On the eve of potentially being crowned the next NXT Champion it is easy to forget where Adam Cole was exactly 2 years ago. On May 1st 2017 Adam Cole became a free agent from ROH. A few weeks later he was Superkicked out of Bullet Club, killed on Being The Elite and on his way to NXT.
Sure, Undisputed Era has had great success, but has being #Undisputed been better than #BeingTheElite
The “What If” game can be fun: so What If Adam Cole stayed with ROH or more importantly the BTE crew. Before there was Cody, Hangman, Marty, Flip and SCU there was Adam Cole -BayBay!! He was heavily featured and was being positioned to square off with Kenny Omega. This was the first time BTE was used to build to a match.
But when it was Cody and Omega who did get the feud the next spring the chain reaction that led to AEW was set off. Huge match that sold great for ROH. All In, AEW.
It would be hard to say Cole has missed out on AEW because it’s hard to say it would exist if he stayed in the picture. So many things had to fall perfectly for AEW to happen.
But I can’t help but wonder what Cole must feel. His Girlfriend is front and center for AEW. The Elite are EVPs and the talk of wrestling. He was every much a part of that first year of BTE as anyone.
So tomorrow Cole may become NXT Champion but what’s his future? We have too much evidence to actually believe he’ll succeed on Vince’s main brand. But he’s in a fascinating position to negotiate when he does get called up. If he knows what The Elite got from AEW then why shouldn’t he get it from WWE? After all, he could always not resign and I’m sure he’d have a home. And then how would that look if a NXT “call up” was a jump to AEW. What becomes of the major leagues then?
One thing that is Undisputed is that Adam Cole is fascinating What If and What NXT topic of conversation on the eve of his championship match at TakeOver 25.
Good post. I can’t imagine Vince ever pushing Cole - he’s WAY too small.
I dont really feel like Undisputed Era has even been that great of an act.
Cole should ride out on NXT for as long as possible (maybe Vince dies) and then go from there. But he would be a far better fit on AEW than WWE as long as Vince is running creative.
“As long as Vince is ruining creative.”
Fixed it for you
Kevin Owens should bring Undisputed Era to the main roster and destroy everyone.
At the moment, quality wise, I would place AEW above Smackdown and Raw but not above NXT. NXT is the best for me so at the moment Adam Cole is not missing out on anything. As Johnny Gargano said, NXT IS the main roster.
Adam Cole is not missing out on anything…except potentially being an Executive VP of a Wrestling Promotion where he receives benefits and gets to work with his girlfriend who is the feature of the Women’s Division, and makes 5x what he current makes today?
Yeah fair enough but creatively he’s happy and I know I am when I see his matches in the ring. I mean yeah he should have been in AEW with the ROH lot. Maybe he could go to AEW the minute he’s sent to the main roster ? That would be funny.
Some of what I was trying to get at in the OP was whether AEW would exist if Cole stayed.
The Cody-Kenny feud proved the concept of selling matches via BTE…remember how much of that was a BTE build, the Bears, the fight for BC…when Supercard drew 3k they knew they could have done more and then went on to do All In. If Cole stayed around would Cody have had such a big role with the group…so many things had to break right for this all to happen the way it did. The company is truly serendipitious in that way.
And yes, if I’m in NXT and I’ve seen what they’ve done with guys or girls like me, I’m not sure it’s worth staying in WWE if AEW will have me and I can make comparable money. At the same time, talent ink new main roster deals when they are called up and the pay scale changes - all UE guys and anyone getting called up with history with AEW guys should be leveraging their worth to the max!
I think what you say will be more true once AEW proves successful for a while. WWE is still the land for financial security. What AEW can pay doesn’t matter if they fail in 2 years.