Adam Cole vs. Bronson Reed is the feud both need right now

WWE NXT superstar Bronson Reed (photo courtesy of WWE)
WWE NXT superstar Bronson Reed (photo courtesy of WWE) /

On the July 27 episode of NXT, Adam Cole and Bronson Reed will settle their recent squabbles in one-on-one action, marking the first time that these two will face each other in a televised match.

The NXT creative team hasn’t done anything revolutionary to hype this match up. Week one of the program started with some basic trash talk by Cole followed by Reed confronting Cole and countering Cole’s sneak attack with his usual overpowering offense. They then followed up with a solid sit-down interview with Reed, where the big man discussed wanting to rebound from losing the North American Championship by taking on the challenge that is Cole.

Seeing Cole and Reed two feud with each other, no matter how short the story turns out to be, is refreshing, and not just because of the scaled-down narrative.

This is the feud that Bronson Reed and Adam Cole needed.

For the last few weeks (and much longer, for Cole), both men have been stuck in creative purgatory. In the time between losing the North American Title to Isaiah “Swerve” Scott on June 29 and his confrontation with Cole on July 13, Reed hadn’t appeared on NXT, which left some fans to speculate whether a call-up was in his immediate future. Cole, for his part, was most recently seen continuing his expired milk of a feud with Kyle O’Reilly (a feud that doesn’t appear to be over, by the way).

With the two stuck in booking limbo, it made sense to pair them together before finding something bigger for each guy later on. Again, even if it only leads to the one match, both guys still gain something from this.

The Reed side of the equation is obvious: Cole represents a solid test for his viability as a main event star. In that respect, a clean win would contribute greatly to that cause, as it would cement Reed as one of the brand’s top babyface (a commodity that NXT is in desperate need of). The NXT writers will probably settle for a good showing in defeat, but even that would at least send the message that Reed has a permanent role as part of the brand’s upper midcard. Plus, depending on how the match goes, they could always come back to it at a later date.

As for Cole….well, he needed a fresh opponent. This is the consequence of sticking around in NXT while many of your contemporaries move to Raw or SmackDown: Eventually, you run out of things to do. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Cole but as a former NXT Champion, it was certainly exacerbated.

Reed gives Cole something different to do that won’t be seen as a significant step down by the audience (if anything, it will be looked at as a step UP for Reed, to circle back to how this benefits him). Sure, he’ll eventually go back to his spat with O’Reilly, but seeing him engage with a wrestler without having to resort to calling out their spouse or brawl with them every five minutes to heat up the story had been a nice reprieve.

Next. CM Punk In Talks For Pro-Wrestling Return per Fightful Select. dark

Instead, fans are being treated to a simple story with clear motivations for both men that are easy to understand, and for these two, that is all that it needs to be.