Adam Cole is one of the hottest actors in professional wrestling. Sitting number one in the AEW rankings, it’s only a matter of time before he comes face to face with the world champion with a title on his mind. But there’s a big debate going on on Wrestling Twitter about whether Cole is being used properly. As subjective as this conversation tends to be, the fact remains that Cole is set to have a massive impact on AEW in 2022.
At AEW Beach Break, Orange Cassidy handed Cole his first loss in a singles match. Since joining AEW in September, Cole’s run has included wins over Frankie Kazarian, John Silver, Wheeler Yuta, Jake Atlas, Cassidy and others. Enough to position himself as the best man to face the AEW World Champion in the future.
Losing to Cassidy in an extinct match doesn’t hurt Cole’s stock in AEW at all. Both Kenny Omega and Britt Baker lost blitzkrieg matches before heading into races that would push them to championships. Lots of people complained about using Omega before they also became champions. How did these losses work out for these two artists?
For some, their disagreement in conversation comes from looking at how Cole has been reserved in NXT. There, he won the North American and NXT Championships. He played central roles in major storylines with the likes of Johnny Gargano, Kyle O’Reilly, Finn Balor, Pat McAfee and others.
But NXT has changed. Had Cole remained within that mark or even longer until the main roster, there is reason to be very concerned about how he would be used. If not at all. There’s a slew of talent on the WWE roster who aren’t getting TV time, or if they do, it’s happening in a way that leaves fans feeling disconnected and disconnected. Would Cole be one of these individuals? He has the talent to be a star wherever he performs, but that is only possible with opportunity. And he’s excelling with the opportunity before him in AEW.
It would be better to say that the debate over Cole’s character and use isn’t so much about Cole, but rather questionable allegiances to wrestling promotions. Cole has been unwavering in character since his days in Ring of Honor, through the Undisputed Era, and now as part of the Super Elite in AEW. Fans may not like where he’s booked, but to deny that he plays his part well would be a dishonest statement.
The same should be said about him not being one of the top performers in the business. In less than a year with the company, he is exactly where he should be. The adage of “let it play” doesn’t sit well when talking about many aspects of WWE booking, but it does when talking about Cole’s current placement on the AEW roster.
The situation went very well for Kenny Omega and Britt Baker. Chances are the same will happen for Adam Cole.