BOOM! Adam Cole stood out as a virtuous and charismatic wrestler in Ring Of Honor. He confirmed those nominations during the four years he spent in NXT, starring in fights and memorable moments as the leader of The Undisputed Era and conquering everything there was to win in the WWE brand.
Born on July 5, 1989, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Austin Kirk Jenkins by his real name learned karate before making his debut in the ring on April 26, 2008, at age 18.
After stints with Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and making sporadic appearances with other promoters on the independent circuit, he signed with Ring Of Honor (ROH) in August 2010, having started by forming the Future Shock tag team with Kyle O’Reilly. From there, he went uphill, having won the ROH World Championship three times.
In August 2017, he signed with WWE and began a four-year run in NXT, having won all of the brand’s belts: NXT Championship (once), NXT North American Championship (one), NXT Tag Team Championship (one, while a member) of the Undisputed Era) and the 2018 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic (with Kyle O’Reilly).
At a time when Adam Cole is in AEW, it’s worth remembering his ten best matches in WWE, in chronological order.
NXT Takeover: Philadelphia (January 27, 2018)
Extreme Rules match: Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole
On the December 6, 2017, episode of NXT, General Manager William Regal announced four matches whose winners would face off in a fatal four-way match to determine the main contender for the NXT Championship from Andrade “Cien” Almas at TakeOver: Philadelphia: Kassius Ohno vs. Johnny Gargano (the latter replacing The Velveteen Dream), Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole, Killian Dain vs. Trent Seven and Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan.
That night, Aleister Black beat Adam Cole, but three weeks later, The Undisputed cost Black his shot at the NXT Championship in the aforementioned Era fatal -four-way match.
On the January 10 episode of NXT, Black teamed with Roderick Strong to challenge Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly for the NXT Tag Team Championship but failed to win the title as Cole interfered and drew Black into the crowd. After the match, The Undisputed Era attacked Black, prompting William Regal to announce an Extreme Rules match between Black and Cole at TakeOver: Philadelphia.
NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV (August 18, 2018)
NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Ricochet
On the July 25 episode of NXT, Ricochet confronted Adam Cole and challenged him to a match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV for the North American Championship, but Cole declined. The following week, a match was even scheduled between the two for the event.
NXT TakeOver: New York (April 5, 2019)
Two-out-of-Three falls match for the NXT Championship (vacant):
Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole
Tommaso Ciampa, then NXT champion, was supposed to defend the title against Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: New York, but one Ciampa had to undergo neck surgery and, consequently, give up the belt. Triple H announced that Gargano would remain in the match for the NXT Championship and that he would face the winner of a fatal five-way match between Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, Aleister Black and Ricochet that was eventually won by Cole. However, The Game revealed that the match would be best-of-three.
NXT TakeOver: XXV (June 1, 2019)
NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole
At TakeOver: New York, Johnny Gargano beat Adam Cole in a best-of-three match to win the vacant NXT Championship. On the May 15 episode of NXT, a rematch was scheduled between the two for the title for TakeOver: XXV.
SmackDown (November 1, 2019)
NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
A few weeks from a Survivor Series marked by matches between wrestlers from Raw, SmackDown and NXT, Daniel Bryan found Triple H and Shawn Michaels backstage during the November 1, 2019 episode of SmackDown and asks them what they were doing there.
Daniel Bryan said he wanted to fight and challenged Triple H, but The Game replied that he didn’t have the equipment, but that he knew someone who wanted to fight, at the moment NXT champion Adam Cole appears on the scene. And Daniel Bryan said he wanted to face Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, a challenge Cole readily accepted, with Triple H’s endorsement.
Survivor Series 2019
NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Pete Dunne
On November 19, it was announced that Adam Cole would defend the NXT Championship at Survivor Series and that his opponent would be determined by a triple threat match taking place at TakeOver: WarGames on the eve of the historic pay-per-view. Pete Dunne beat Damian Priest and Killian Dain to win the title shot.
NXT TakeOver: Portland (February 16, 2020)
NXT Championship : Adam Cole (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
NXT won the battle of brands at Survivor Series 2019, and on the NXT weekly show that followed, the entire roster (including NXT UK) celebrated the victory. However, The Undisputed Era interrupted the party, with NXT champion Adam Cole saying that NXT’s victory was due to the stable it leads.
In response, Tommaso Ciampa reminded Cole that his team beat The Undisputed Era at WarGames on the eve of Survivor Series, and said he was focused on winning the NXT Championship. Finn Bálor interrupted him, but Ciampa challenged him to combat, with Bálor getting the better of him after Cole interfered. However, after the fight Bálor applied a Pelé Kick on the champion.
On the December 11 episode of NXT, Bálor beat Tommaso Ciampa and Keith Lee in a triple threat match to determine the title contender. However, Bálor proved unable to win the NXT Championship, while Ciampa returned to the title race, which led to a match between Adam Cole and Sicilian Psychopath for NXT TakeOver: Portland.
NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver – Day 2 (April 8, 2021)
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
At NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day, after Finn Bálor defended the NXT Championship against Pete Dunne, he was attacked by Dunne, Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan, which led The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong) to help Balor.
After the save, Adam Cole performed a Superkick on Bálor. O’Reilly questioned Cole’s action, but also suffered a Superkick, which led to the break-up of The Undisputed Era. To top it off, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly were pursuing the NXT Championship, which increased tension between the two. On the March 24 episode of NXT, an unsanctioned match was scheduled between Cole and O’Reilly for the second night of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
NXT: The Great American Bash (July 6, 2021)
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
After nearly two months of absence, Adam Cole returned to the NXT ring on June 1 to interfere in a triple threat match between Kyle O’Reilly, Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano to determine the main contender for Karrion Kross’s NXT Championship at TakeOver: In Your House. Once Cole attacked all three fighters, the match ended in a no-contest.
This result led to Kross confronting Cole and asking General Manager William Regal to defend the belt against Cole, O’Reilly, Dunne and Gargano in a fatal five-way match, managing to retain the title via submission, leaving O’Reilly passed out. through a Kross Jacket. Two days after the event, it was announced during the June 15 episode of NXT that Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole were going to square off at The Great American Bash.
NXT TakeOver 36 (August 22, 2021)
2 out of 3 Falls: Fall 1: Traditional wrestling;
Fall 2: Street Fight; Fall 3: Steel Cage
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
After a win for O’Reilly at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver and another for Adam Cole at The Great American Bash, during the August 11 episode of NXT a 2-out was scheduled between the two. -of-3 falls match, for NXT TakeOver 36.