While Adam Cole’s AEW debut may have caught many fans by surprise, reports have indicated that people within WWE expected Cole to sign with Tony Khan’s promotion.
WWE made a strong play to get Cole to stay with the company but Fightful Select notes that, as of last weekend, there was an expectation within WWE that the former NXT star was AEW bound.
Cole’s appearance didn’t necessarily come as a surprise to many within WWE, as much of the company expected him to be heading to AEW as of last weekend. As Fightful reported, WWE had operated on the assumption that he was as good as gone by the time they sent a memo to some within the company.
While there was an expectation that Cole was AEW bound, no one in WWE was explicitly told that Cole would be appearing at All Out, with Fightful noting that he was hidden on the day of the show:
Nobody we spoke to within WWE was outright told by Cole that he’d be appearing at All Out, and he was hidden the night of the show.
The deal to bring Cole to AEW reportedly wasn’t “official” until Sunday, with only those that “needed to know” being informed ahead of time that Cole would be coming in:
We’re told the deal with AEW wasn’t “official” until Sunday, but that those who needed to know were informed well ahead of time, as merchandise and other aspects of the debut had to be prepared. The finish of the show was discussed among talent involved late in the evening, after the CM Punk match.
Despite the fact that he rejected an offer from the company to move to AEW, people within WWE have “nothing but positive things” to say about the former NXT Champion.
Still, those we spoke to in WWE had nothing but positive things to say about Adam Cole on the way out, especially the way that he handled the surprise contract expiration and extension.
For more over the coming days regarding Adam Cole signing with AEW, make sure you stay tuned to GiveMeSport.