Smark Country: Big Fish, Bigger Pond?
I like to keep an eye on talent in wrestling promotions outside of the big two shows: WWE and TNA. For quite some time now, the one that has stood out the most is the current Ring of Honor world champion Adam Cole. This guy has stood up and made the world take notice. I just wonder if WWE and/or TNA have taken notice as well. If that’s the case, would it be in Cole’s best interest to make the jump, or would it be to his detriment?
I despise the term “total package” (which may stem from my loathing of Lex Luger), but Cole fits the bill. This guy has the look, not just of a superstar, but of a main event superstar. He has a complete repertoire, from a technical ground game to high flying when need be. Most importantly, he can work the microphone like no other, something rare in a post-CM Punk/Bryan Danielson/Samoa Joe Ring of Honor. Going over on Michael Elgin on September 20th, in the finals of a sixteen man tournament gave just that little extra bit of legitimacy and gravitas to Cole’s win and was the right decision by the bookers/creative. But a question they all must ask, Cole included, where does he go from here?
He’s had two amazing title defenses against Mark Briscoe and Roderick Strong and is slated to return to his old stomping grounds, PWG, to defend that title against Chris Hero. This is by far an internet fanboy’s dream match. But the call is bound to come soon, most likely from TNA first. Cole fits the mold of the majority of their long term workers (AJ Styles, Austin Aries, and Chris Sabin). He could easily fit into their X-Division, or even compete for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The WWE is a less likely potential employer, but not out of the question. Recent pushes to superstars like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes, superstars that don’t fit the muscle-bound gladiator physique with which Vince McMahon has such an obsession, have been a breath of fresh air. Cole could easily slide in and make a splash in the mid-card and right out of the gate, score an Intercontinental or United States Championship win. This is being optimistic though. We have seen, time and time again, what happens to amazing talent when they get to the big two. Do names like Tazz, Perry Saturn, Ultimo Dragon, Matt Morgan or Colt Cabana ring any bells?
I wish nothing but success to Austin Jenkins (Cole’s real name). He’s clearly got all the tools to be a top star in any company he’s working for. Let’s just hope he hears that from upper management if he decides to make the jump to the big leagues. I’d hate for the more likely scenario to unfold. After six months time of being saddled with a crappy gimmick thought of by (un)creative, he’ll hear the most dreaded seven words that a professional wrestler can hear, “Best of luck with your future endeavors.”