The situation with NXT superstar Adam Cole (bay-bay!) and his contract with WWE has been a long-unfolding tale with lots of twists and turns. It all started last month when even though WWE official's assumed Cole's contract expired in December, it was actually coming to an end in July. This led to the company quickly assembling a short-term extension to keep Cole until after SummerSlam week, allowing him to finish his program with former stablemate Kyle O'Reilly and have their showdown in a Two Out of Three Falls Match at NXT TakeOver 36, which of course unfolded this past Sunday night. And now all eyes are on tomorrow, as that is indeed the hard out for Cole in WWE and if he does not work out a new deal with the company before then, he's a free agent. So where are things right now?
WWE has been aggressive as of late in trying to get Adam Cole to sign a new deal with the company. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon had a one-on-one meeting with Cole backstage at Smackdown a couple of weeks ago to discuss a new deal and his future with the company and WWE was under the impression that the talk went well and the boss had gotten somewhere with Cole.
But today, according to Andrew Zarian of Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast, the tone has definitely turned less optimistic. While officials in the company felt Adam Cole was staying after his meeting with Vince McMahon, that has now changed leading up to tomorrow's deadline. Here's what Zarian said on the podcast today:
"With people that I spoke to within WWE, for the longest time the anticipation was that he would re-sign with WWE. Something changed. Now I'm not being told that he's leaving, I'm also not being told that he's signing with WWE. … The conversation with Vince McMahon apparently went well. That was a positive conversation at that Smackdown on Friday a couple of weeks ago. I don't know what changed."
So with Adam Cole yet to sign a new deal with WWE and his contract being up within the next day, the question becomes why would Cole not want to sign with WWE?
It's actually a pretty easy one to answer. AEW has been signing quite a few former WWE wrestlers lately and it's very easy to imagine a wrestler like Adam Cole fitting right in over there. His abilities, both as a physical performer and as a character, would flourish in an AEW landscape that needs some more legit heels.
But maybe the biggest influence in bringing Adam Cole to AEW would be that his longtime girlfriend and current AEW Women's World Champion Britt Baker is a big star there. Obviously, it would help their home life if both were employed at the same company, a company that seems to be a wrestler-friendly place to work at the moment where a very creative mind for the business like Cole could really do well.
So it looks like we'll have to wait until after tomorrow to see where Adam Cole lands and how this all shakes out, but no matter what the future holds, WWE is feeling much less confident in resigning him right now and Cole himself is the one who holds the keys to his future. Not a bad position to be in.