The WWE culled its roster a good deal this year, presumably out of financial necessity based on certain reports, as well as the fact it had to halt its touring schedule in most of 2020. Now, as key alumni continue signing with rival organizations like AEW, fans have been watching nearly every superstar's contract situation while wondering if Vince McMahon could lose another wrestler from Raw, SmackDown! and NXT's rosters. That could be the case soon, based on the current reports surrounding the situation with indie wrestler-turned-NXT legend, Adam Cole.
The 32-year-old Adam Cole recently lost a best of 3 falls match against Kyle O'Reilly at NXT Takeover 36, will reportedly see his contract expire with WWE at the end of this week, according to PW Insider, which first reported in error that Adam Cole was 100% a free agent following SummerSlam weekend. Now the situation has been clarified, and it would appear the WWE has had some time to officially ink a new contract with Cole before he could potentially pursue opportunities with rival organizations.
That initial short-term extension of Adam Cole's WWE contract reportedly took place weeks ago in a Friday meeting with Vince McMahon hours before SmackDown began. While we don't have any official news from WWE on that front, it was said to have been a positive-leaning meeting between the athlete and the CEO, which seemed to feed into rumors that have swirled for a while now saying that WWE creatives wanted to move Cole away from NXT and onto the main roster as a meaningful member of either Monday Night Raw or SmackDown's ensembles.
Adam Cole's four years in NXT have gone incredibly well, so it wasn't surprising to hear talk of him allegedly wanting to join the main rosters. Cole is currently the longest-reigning NXT Champion and had nearly a decade of experience and notoriety in indie wrestling organizations before the WWE scouted him in 2017. Though NXT has typically been seen as a developmental brand for future WWE talent, Cole is already a superstar who could presumably rise through the ranks quickly for a shot at the main event scene much sooner than others.
Unfortunately, if that's all legitimately the case, then we're definitely unsure why Adam Cole's contract renewal hasn't been solidified yet with the WWE. Money can always be a factor in these situations, of course, and was reportedly why superstars like Braun Strowman and Lana were cut from the WWE's main roster earlier this year. Vince McMahon and his fellow execs may not want to overpay for Cole, but at the same time, there's a growing need for long-term superstar talent following Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan's departures. With the influx of WWE superstars heading to AEW, Cole may be better off sticking with the bigger brand for now so that he's not lost in a sea of new-to-AEW talent. Either way, it would seem we could get an answer for Cole's situation by the end of the week.
NXT airs on USA Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Speaking of superstar departures, be sure to read up on what John Cena had to say after his SummerSlam loss and why we may see him back in the WWE in the future.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.