WWE NXT: 5 Potential Opponents for Adam Cole

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1. Hideo Itami

If Hideo Itami captures the NXT Championship from Bobby Roode at NXT TakeOver Chicago it should be treated like a classic moment and celebrated as such. After the pyro goes off, as the confetti is falling from the ceiling and Itami is rejoicing in the middle of the ring. The arena should go black and when the lights finally turn back on, Adam Cole should be standing behind the new NXT Champion and then hit a big superkick.

That’s how Cole should debut in NXT, with a bang and making his presence felt. Not in a suit, in the crowd, watching the event. Hideo Itami would be the perfect opponent for the former Bullet Club member. The wrestler formerly known as KENTA is two inches shorter and about 20-pounds lighter than Cole. So unlike the other candidates on the list, Cole would actually have a size advantage.

Itami has been in NXT since 2014. While he probably deserves to win the NXT title, he does not necessarily need a long title run before he finally gets called up to the main roster. Furthermore, sometimes it is better to have the babyface chasing the title, rather than having a lengthy title reign.

If Hideo were to finally capture the title that has eluded him for three years, just to lose it to the debuting arrogant heel that is Cole. It would not only do the honors for the new talent but it could finally get Itami on the main roster. If the plan is to keep Itami in NXT, he could have a lengthy feud with Cole. Complete with a fast-paced, strong style matches a kin to NJPW.

Cole vs Itami could be a one-time deal or it could be a trilogy that takes place over the course of three NXT TakeOver events. Hideo’s size would compliment Cole in a way that Ohno, McIntyre and Black couldn’t. Cole could make Hideo look strong in a similar fashion to Bobby Roode, he would not dwarf Itami like a McIntyre would.

Not to mention, there is no better way to get the entire wrestling world talking about NXT than to bring in another (former) member of Bullet Club and immediately place him in the main event scene. NXT already has so much former ROH talent; they could re-imagine how Cole returned and joined Bullet Club. By interrupting the anticipated main event title match and immediately making his presence felt.

Both NXT and the WWE have evolved since Hideo Itami joined in 2014. He is most likely destined for 205 Live after his NXT run is over. KENTA is better suited for competing for the Cruiserweight title against talents like Austin Aries and Neville than ever competing for either World Heavyweight titles.

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With that being said, NXT has become a destination for the top tier indie talents and Cole is a top tier talent. Whether you believe his ceiling on the main roster is upper-midcard or the main event; there is no denying where he belongs in NXT. Simply put, he is Adam Cole, bay-bay!