Adam Cole left WWE in 2021, joining AEW for his debut at All Out 2021.
His singing sent shockwaves across the wrestling world. AEW had poached a top talent from the WWE, sending a warning that they were true competition for the sports-entertainment juggernaut.
However, Adam Cole left WWE for a variety of reasons, not just because he wanted to join AEW.
Reasons including his girlfriend, his other businesses and the terrible creative from WWE are why he left WWE, something that fans of the former NXT Champion are very happy he did.
There were four key reasons why Adam Cole left WWE, staring with spending more time with his girlfriend in AEW.
Adam Cole Left WWE Because Of Britt Baker
AEW’s Adam Cole revealed that the chance to spend more time with Britt Baker is the main reason he left WWE.
The pair have been together for years, with Britt Baker even being shown on NXT TV watching one of Adam Cole’s matches (something Triple H apologized profusely for).
However, by 2019 they were in opposite companies. Baker was the top female star in AEW, while Adam Cole was the longest-reigning NXT Champion of all time.
They already struggled with seeing each other enough, and with rumors that Adam Cole would be called up to the main roster, their time together was looking even more limited.
peaking on a panel discussion at the Motor City Comic Con, Adam Cole revealed there were three main things that convinced him to move to AEW.
The first was to spend more time with Britt Baker, the second being how “fun” the crowd made AEW look, and the third being him not wanting to give up his Twitch stream.
“One of the biggest things was getting to be around and see Britt a lot more. At the time, our schedules were so different that there’d be some times that I’d see her for maybe half a day, one day a week. Sometimes I wouldn’t see her for weeks at a time. So getting to travel with her and just being behind the curtain when she walks through after she’s done a match or a promo is really nice.”
“It just looked like so much fun. You know, I had known tons of people on the roster, but to see these crazy, wild crowds every single week, I was like, ‘God, I’d love to wrestle in front of these fans.’”
Adam Cole debuted in AEW at the end of All Out 2021, joining up with The Elite before being interrupted by fellow debutant Bryan Danielson.
WWE Wanted Adam Cole To Be Keith Lee’s Manager
Despite being the greatest champion in NXT history, Vince McMahon wanted to call Adam Cole up to the main roster and make him a manager.
Keith Lee was already called up to the main roster in 2021, when the idea about Adam Cole being brought up was thought up.
Both men are fantastic wrestlers and great on the mic, so teaming them up as a manager/client duo made no sense.
According to Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer Radio, Adam Cole was to be Keith Lee’s manager, after he turned heel on the WWE main roster.
Dave: The idea was to turn Keith Lee heel and have Adam Cole be his manager, probably with a new name (So you don’t have 2 Coles). Described as a Lio Rush/Lashley dynamic where Cole is the little guy hiding behind the big guy.Trevor Dame (@TrevorDame) September 9, 2021
This idea was even referenced on AEW TV, poking fun at Adam Cole.
During one of his promos alongside MJF, the AEW Champion poked fun at the Keith Lee rumors, calling Adam Cole “Keith Lee’s manager” in a derisory tone.
While Adam Cole can laugh at it now, at the time there was nothing funny about Vince McMahon torpedoing his in-ring career to make him a manager who didn’t wrestle.
Why Did Adam Cole Leave WWE?
So in conclusion, there were four main reasons why Adam Cole left WWE in 2021.
- To spend more time with his girlfriend, AEW’s Dr Britt Baker DMD
- To have more fun working in front of the AEW crowd
- So he could continue streaming video games on Twitch
- If he stayed in WWE, he would be unable to wrestle and be stuck as Keith Lee’s manager
Do you think Adam Cole made the right choice in leaving WWE? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.