At this past Sunday’s AEW ALL OUT the Chicago crowd was shocked to see former triple-crown NXT champion Adam Cole make his debut for the company following news that his contract with WWE had come to an end.
For the last few weeks the Undisputed Era leader had been negotiating a new deal with WWE, which included several meetings with company Chairman Vince McMahon, with reports being that the two hit it off during their talks. That didn’t seem to make much of a difference as Cole has since signed with AEW.
The report states that Keith Lee was set to turn heel and Cole, who would have most likely underwent a name change, would be paired with him much like Lio Rush was paired with now WWE champion Bobby Lashley, with the idea being that Cole was the big talker who would hide behind Lee.
It was noted that this idea did not come from the WWE creative team, but is said to be a brain child of either Vince McMahon, or top company executive Bruce Prichard. Regardless it seems that Cole’s decision was an easy one once this pitch was made. Fans online are already highly critical of the idea of taking Cole out of the ring, as he has always been widely considered one of the best workers in the ring.
Meltzer said the following during Thursday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio.
“I learned a lot about Adam Cole and WWE and the main roster plans. I can say with no reservations that Adam Cole made the right move.” “They were going to bring him up, the idea was to turn Keith Lee heel, have Adam Cole be his manager, probably with a different name, because of the last name Cole, because it’s main roster with Michael Cole, and you know how that goes. The idea of kinda like a Lio Rush/Bobby Lashley thing where you have this little guy who’s a big talker, and he hides behind this big massive African American guy” “I heard this was from Vince and I heard that it was Bruce, I have not heard it was from creative”
Cole will be making his AEW in-ring debut on next week’s edition of Dynamite against the Elite Hunter, Frankie Kazarian.
If you use any of the content in this report please credit Ringside News and Wrestling Observer with a h/t to HeelByNature.com for transcription.