Following up on yesterday’s post about the top 10 wrestlers in AEW that I’m looking forward to seeing Bryan Danielson face, I can’t just ignore the other big debut in Adam Cole. He’s more than deserving of a list of his own, as he’s been one of the best performers in WWE over the past few years and arguably the anchor of NXT.
Just the same as before, I invite everyone else to leave their lists in the comments below. These can be based on who you’d like to see have a true feud with, who you think he’d have the best matches with, or any combination or other factors. Everyone’s lists are their own opinions, so be sure to explain why you picked who you picked!
Without further ado, here is my top 10, along with my honorable mentions.
5 Honorable Mentions
- CM Punk – It might seem crazy to not have Punk on the top 10, but I want to see more of his new style before I make a judgment call on whether he’d make the list or not. Right now, having seen his match against Darby Allin, I was underwhelmed with the amount of rest holds and such. If that’s more of how he’ll be wrestling, I don’t think he’ll have great chemistry with Cole, who has a faster pace. The promos would be great, though, and this would have to be a true feud and not just a one-off match.
- John Silver – #4 of Dark Order is often overlooked as far as in-ring competitors. He’s on the smaller side, but he’s jacked and can really put on a great show. Since Cole is also smaller, I could see them pairing well together. Both have comedic timing in the ring, too, so they could make this even more on the humorous side if need be, without turning it into something too silly.
- Kenny Omega – Eventually, we’re going to get this and it will be great. For now, though, I’ll put it on the back burner. I don’t want to see Cole break off from The Elite super soon, so I’m okay with waiting until we go through at least the rest of this list before we turn one of Cole/Omega babyface.
- PAC – There’s not much to this other than that I think they’d have a great match together. I don’t care much to see it be a dedicated storyline, but I’m down for them locking horns.
- Rey Fenix – Fenix against anyone is likely going to be a good match, am I right? It’s as simple as that.
10. Sammy Guevara
As I mentioned in my Bryan Danielson posts, Sammy Guevara makes almost every one of these types of lists for me. He quickly went from someone I kind of wrote off at first, if I’m being honest, to one of my overall favorite talents. There aren’t many people in AEW who I could imagine the company revolving around in due time more than Guevara.
As a babyface, Guevara doesn’t have quite the same edge to him because he’s naturally more of a cocky jerk. It’s hard to do that without seeming like an asshole. However, if you’re opposite Adam Cole, being a jerk to him just seems like you’re the hero.
I think Cole could talk down to Guevara in a way where he’d chastise the “kid” and get his comeuppance when he realizes being a little older doesn’t mean he can bully him around.
Who would ultimately win this feud? I’d go with Guevara.
9. Christian Cage
Cole’s been at the game for 13 years, so there aren’t many people who have been wrestling longer. Christian is one of the great in-ring talents who could actually pass on some knowledge to Cole, isn’t too much bigger than him and could verbally spar with him better than most people on this list.
In fact, I say go with this as the first feud for Cole. Cage is going to still have his issues with The Elite following All Out, but he shouldn’t keep wrestling Omega. He’s already fought the others in various formats, so let’s have Cage vs. Cole at something soon enough. That’s a marquee match for a Dynamite or Rampage that would certainly draw in some viewers.
Who would ultimately win this feud? I’d go with Cole.
8. Chris Jericho
Babyface Jericho works best when he’s opposite someone who can hold their own on the mic. If not, Jericho tends to overload the other person so much that it seems less like a feud and more like he’s actually making fun of the guy.
Cole’s more than capable of trading some barbs. Even better, Cole’s fantastic at reacting angrily and surprised at anyone who can jab at him. He’s an amazing foil to be the butt of a joke without looking too bad.
In a way, this is similar to the Christian situation in that Cole could learn from Jericho, but they can also respect each other well enough that it wouldn’t be as clear-cut as a “rookie vs veteran” type angle. You would be able to buy into Cole being able to beat Jericho just as much as Jericho having an edge over Cole from having a longer career to draw inspiration from.
Who would ultimately win this feud? I’d go with Jericho.
7. Darby Allin
Cole is at his best when he’s a total jerk. Since he’s not on the monstrous side like Wardlow, there aren’t too many people he can bully around without it looking a little pitiful the bigger babyface is taking that much crap.
Darby Allin is one of the smallest on the roster and a beloved babyface who would be a fantastic target for Cole. I’d imagine this would be a feud that could go on for a solid amount of time with Cole belittling Allin’s aesthetic, only to find out that he shouldn’t have pushed around a loose cannon.
Who would ultimately win this feud? I’d go with Cole.
6. Jon Moxley
Establishing a theme here, I think Cole is best utilized as the antagonist who can really get on someone’s nerves. I’d imagine Moxley would be someone who wouldn’t want to deal with Cole’s bullshit and would take great offense to the tiniest slight, turning it into a bigger deal and snowballing this feud.
For example, let’s say both are in an eliminator tournament to crown a No. 1 contender and Cole happens to cut a promo where he says something disparaging about Moxley. That’s not going over well. The first chance Mox would get, he’d be gunning to put Cole on the shelf. That would turn Cole into the “Woah! Someone has to cage this animal!” type of guy we’ve seen in the past and it would all spiral out of that.