On August 2nd, Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc landed an exclusive story concerning Adam Cole’s current contract situation. Giri stated that Cole’s contract, which was originally reported by Dave Meltzer to be in place until 2023-24, had actually expired in June of this year. Giri claims that Cole and the WWE had agreed on a short-term extension at the time, but that extension would be ending after Summerslam, on August 21st. Multiple other sources and outlets have confirmed this information since then.
Adam Cole will be a wrestling-free agent before the end of August, and according to multiple sources, he is not subject to a non-compete when his contract expires. This means that come August 22nd, Adam Cole is free to show up wherever he would like.
That is why Adam Cole will be on the AEW roster by the end of the summer.
His Choice is Simple
AEW is partially run by Cole’s real-life best friends in Nick and Matt Jackson. All Elite Wrestling is also home to Adam Cole’s real-life girlfriend, Britt Baker. In AEW Cole would get to join with other wrestlers whom he came up with and respects, like Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and Adam Page. It has been reported that he is backstage for many of their events and that when he can not be backstage to watch Baker’s matches live, he is often backstage at NXT events watching them on his phone.
Adam Cole’s signature is probably already on a contract in Tony Khan’s office, but if it is not, it will be by the end of the month. It is inevitable.
When he returns to the Elite’s side, it will be a huge deal for the wrestlers in the back as well as the fans. Cole is the missing part of the Elite. He debuted with the fed before AEW could come about, and a full year before the All In event. His work in Ring of Honor as what was essentially was the American arm of the Bullet Club initially opened the door for the Elite to take over professional wrestling in America. Without Adam Cole, All In does not happen. Without Adam Cole, AEW does not happen.
Anyone with any experience telling stories or who knows how a narrative works should see how easy this story would be to tell.
Real-life Adam Cole is obviously very supportive of AEW and everything Khan and the Elite have built, but the character “Adam Cole” would be furious. He put in the work. Cole took the beatings, bled on the canvases, and carried the Bullet Club to relevancy in the States in the mid-2010s. No one in America would know who the Bucks even were if it were not for him.
The least they could have done is thank him. Sent him a card or some flowers. But no, the moment they thought they no longer needed him, they embarrassed him.
In what was the biggest and most emotional moment in Adam Cole’s career, the Bullet Club not only fired him but replaced him with a scumbag of a man in Marty Scurll. They beat him in the middle of the ring, after an exhausting and grueling match, and ran off to make money off his labor.
However, from the Elite’s point of view, Cole was in the wrong, not them. In the “Being the Elite” canon (which loosely ties into the AEW canon), Adam Cole poisoned Nick Jackson and tried to ruin Omega’s Visa. He tried to get the Bucks fired from the Bullet Club. He may have been lashing out in anger from being overlooked, but it was still uncalled for.
Plus he abandoned them. He went off to the fed. He signed with the contract that Hunter put in front of them. Cole took the money. They had something real building, and he left before he could get on board.
Cole’s debut can be done a thousand different ways, and be right every time. However, there is one route AEW can go that I think would be the most fun.
Omega should begin bragging again about he does not have a worthy opponent for All Out in a backstage segment with Tony Schiavone. Then, have Schiavone or even Tony Khan correct him and tell him that he does, and hand him a contract. Omega should read the contract and get angry and be in denial. “I already dealt with him, what are you even talking about?”
This should lead the fans to speculate that it is Adam Page, which AEW should play into for two weeks.
Then, on the August 25th episode of Dynamite, Omega should come to the ring to address his All Out opponent and invite them out to sign the contract. The crowd will start chanting for Hangman, and he and the Dark Order should come out to sign. However, whenever Hangman starts talking about taking the belt at All Out, Omega should stop him. The line from there writes itself as a callback to wrestling history.
“The name on the contract does say, Adam! However, the contract reads Adam Cole”
Have Cole’s music play and have the man himself make his way to the ring. Have the Bucks present in the ring, and have them start freaking out. When Cole signs the contract, have him launch it at the Bucks and just walk away. Make it clear this going to get very personal very quickly.
Then, All Out
Over the next two weeks, have Cole and Omega cut as many promos on the situation as possible. One on Dynamite, one on Rampage. Let them blur the lines between kayfabe and reality. Get the Young Bucks to change their Twitter bios to something dragging Adam Cole. However, Cole and the Elite should not touch a single time. It should be words only.
Then, when the match comes, the stakes are going to be high enough that you do not have to justify Cole’s appearance in the main event. Let Omega and Cole do what they do best between the ropes and fans will be dying to see what happens.
At one point in the match, the Good Brothers should try to get involved and either get taken out by another team (this would be a perfect spot to debut Guerillas of Destiny and introduce them into the Jay White/Kenny Omega story) or thrown out by the official. Then, while all that is wrapping up, have the Bucks slip into the ring and be put in a situation where they have to officially take down Adam Cole. Have the Bucks finally hesitate and realize what all is going on. Have them look between Omega and Cole in distress.
They should choose to roll out of the ring and do nothing.
Omega should see this and start yelling at them from inside the ring. Cole should roll up a distracted Omega for a two-count.
Omega should win this bout, but it will flag the beginning of the end for the Elite as it exists now. It will also force Kenny to become more and more isolated, which would play better into the inevitable Adam Page story.
From there, book Adam Cole as this anti-AEW heel. Have him feud with Cody Rhodes shortly since Rhodes took his spot in the Elite. Have him demand things of Tony Khan, maybe even playing an angle that he has blackmail on Khan.
Build towards him and the Young Bucks being forced to reckon with what happened. Then choose whether you want them to align or finally duke it out. You could tie Adam Page into this to team with Cole and take them out.
After his initial long story is told, just book Cole to be the heel he naturally is. He does not need a faction to be dangerous, but if you want another one, he could work with Punk and a heel Jon Moxley.
The potential is endless, and AEW executives should be thinking about those choices, with less than a month until Cole comes on board.