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.
According to Ringside News and later confirmed by the Wrestling Observer, WWE’s apparent pitch to Cole was for him to become a manager. 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.
Cole will be making his AEW in-ring debut on next week’s edition of Dynamite against the Elite Hunter, Frankie Kazarian.