It’s been several months coming, but it looks like it’s finally happened, bay-bay — former Ring of Honor World Champion Adam Cole has reportedly signed a contract with WWE.
PWInsider’s report doesn’t include too many details on the deal the 28-year-old Cole signed with the WWE, but it can be confirmed that he will be starting work at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando later this week, and beginning his career for the company as part of the NXT brand, which will be holding the TakeOver: Brooklyn III pay-per-view on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.
Adam Cole is the third ROH standout in recent weeks to join WWE’s developmental ranks, following the signing of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, who have since made their NXT debuts. In both cases, Fish and O'Reilly faced up against, and lost to Aleister Black in singles matches, though this might be part of a broader plan leading up to both reDRagon members ultimately teaming up like they used to in ROH.
With Cole now signed, sealed, and delivered to WWE, one has to ask the question: what can the WWE Universe expect of him now that he's in NXT? One, we're expecting a solid push right out of the gate as a man with his credentials in the independent ranks deserves no less than a main event push on the NXT roster. Two, the possibility of a name change will always loom large. Although the aforementioned Bobby Fish (his real name) and Kyle O'Reilly (Kyle Greenwood) didn't get the old WWE rebranding, the real-life Austin Jenkins does share an in-ring surname with a certain "Voice of the WWE" named Michael. There's a chance of that being an issue, so don't be surprised if WWE opts to rename Cole at some point in the near future.
Creatively speaking, the obvious prediction would be putting Cole in a stable of ROH signees alongside O'Reilly and Fish, though we're not quite sure what we'd think of another "invasion" storyline, as they've been done to death, and are often of a hit-or-miss nature.
As far as his debut date is concerned, it's still unsure when we'll be seeing Cole in an NXT ring, but as we mentioned above, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn takes place on Saturday. That show wouldn't hurt for seeing a big name from the indies make his debut on a bigger platform, even in a non-wrestling appearance for starters.