Adam Cole to WWE Sounds ‘Too Sweet’ After ROH War of the Worlds


Adam Cole going to the WWE isn’t guaranteed, but seems possible after the events of ROH War of the Worlds.

It feels like Adam Cole’s name has been tied to the WWE for months — maybe over one year. He has ruled Ring of Honor for most of his seven in the company, including becoming its first-ever three-time ROH World Champion. The fan interest and match quality have been there all the way, too, so it’s no wonder WWE wants its latest talent from possibly the No. 2 wrestling promotion in the United States.

On the final day of April, Cole’s contract expired, according to PW Insider. So, even though he worked Friday night’s ROH War of the Worlds event, we have the latest big-name free agent in the wrestling business.

Cole’s War of the Worlds didn’t just include a loss to Hiroshi Tanahashi, though, as Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks and Marty Scurll teamed to kick the 27-year-old out of Bullet Club — the stable he joined nearly one year ago.

Cole is certainly out of Bullet Club, but did he just get superkicked into the WWE?

Speculation of the former PWG Champion aligning with the Stamford, CT-based company seems inevitable. He’s openly addressed it in interviews throughout 2017, so the fan discussion will be there. It also means the “Adam Cole to WWE” rumors are bound to show up.

If Cole goes to WWE, one would think he’s given a ticket to NXT. Despite stars like AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows making a direction transition since January 2016, we’ve mostly seen the already-popular new acquisitions arrive in NXT first. This trend started with Samoa Joe, then spread to the likes of Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Shinsuke Nakamura. The transition to WWE’s developmental brand is done to help acclimate new talents with learning the WWE way, except if there’s Superstars who either bypass it for various reasons or are being given a lot of money.

Cole going to NXT fits the “rebuild” phase WWE’s third brand has been going through. It hasn’t seen Performance Center-developed wrestlers come through, but big-name acquisitions like Aleister Black and Drew McIntyre have bolstered what now looks like a promising roster.

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The main roster is constantly plucking talents from NXT, though, as seen with the post-WrestleMania call-ups and the 2016 WWE Draft that changed the landscape of the Full Sail University-based show. It’s why this “rebuilding” process is still pushing forward, and means insurance will be needed for when the Black’s, McIntyre’s, Itami’s, Roode’s and others of the NXT world move up. Think of it like a college football team recruiting an extra scholarship quarterback, in case someone transfers, graduates or leaves early for the NFL Draft.

While a big name, Cole can step in as that insurance policy for the long-term, since he’ll need time to acclimate himself in NXT. Look how long it took Strong to get his feet underneath him — it’s a process and won’t work overnight, despite popularity in other wrestling companies. Maybe Cole will settle in and win over everyone with his charisma and in-ring ability, or he’ll work through some growing pains, before moving to the NXT Championship picture.

What will also be something to watch — if WWE signs Cole — is a potential name change. They had been letting recognized talents keep their names, but recently, that hasn’t been the case. Tommy End, Big Damo and Heidi Lovelace were all popular names in the pro wrestling scene, but they each became Aleister Black, Killian Dain and Ruby Riot, respectively. Could we no longer see “Adam Cole” exist then? Would that be a dealbreaker for him coming to WWE, shedding the personality fans of him have grown to love?

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There’s no indication Cole is headed to WWE — he could even stay put in Ring of Honor, if the situation presents itself. Either way, we’re in for an interesting decision to be made soon.