Adam Cole is enjoying the best babyface run in his professional wrestling career.
Adam Cole has been wrestling for many years but did not reach proper prominence until his run with WWE’s NXT, where he solidified himself as one of the company’s top heels and go-to main eventers. Fast forward to current-day AEW, and we see the same thing, but this time as a top babyface, which I feel is something he wouldn’t have been able to do under Triple H’s creative.
This is in no way a jab at WWE or Triple H; just a sharp observation. Upon his return, Adam Cole showcased himself as one hell of a babyface in a short period by battling health problem after health problem that threatened to put him on the shelf prematurely. The audience is 100 percent behind him and his current program with former AEW and ROH Champion Chris Jericho and the Jericho Appreciation Society Personally, I am looking forward to his other storylines and matches as one of the hottest baby faces currently in pro wrestling.
A key difference. between his babyface run now versus his babyface run in NXT is time. In NXT, there were no other feuds for heel Adam Cole to enroll in, so they turned him into babyface to put the rub on different heels, such as Adam Cole, Pete Dunne, and others. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t exhilarating enough to have us backing him to the moon. Adam Cole was a wrestler who became a good guy with no actual reasoning or explanation.
Now, AEW has got lucky. As we all know, actual events can change the course of many pro wrestling storylines for better or worse. Initially, it seemed we were getting the Second Coming of 2018–2019 Adam Cole, but sadly, several injuries took him out of action for quite some time. It was no secret the severity of these injuries as AEW and their stars commented on it and were unsure whether or not the 33-year-old former champion would return to the ring he loved so much.
When he returned on the January 11th episode of AEW Dynamite, it was to the surprise of many and roaring applause as he told us he had been cleared and that it was bad news for every one of his co-workers in the back. In this segment, we saw another side of Adam Cole, showcasing a heel who had time to process his demons due to being on the shelf for too long. We, the audience, saw an Adam Cole who had matured and realized that it wasn’t all about stepping on necks to get what you want but about entertaining the fans and giving them the best version of himself.
I still stand by what I said earlier that this is in no way a shot at WWE or Triple H’s creativity. Still, it just goes to show that in the world of professional wrestling and storytelling, if something doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean it can’t work out later on in a better way. The same way trials and tribulations shape us is how we can gravitate to babyfaces like Adam Cole, 2018 Daniel Bryan, and Kofi Kingston just a little more. To be human is to feel, and isn’t that the goal of watching pro wrestling? To feel?