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Wrestling / Adam Cole

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The champion who brought NXT to USA.

Austin Jenkins (born July 5, 1989) is a professional wrestler and actor best known for his years in Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerilla, who has also worked other promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and is currently signed to WWE on its developmental brand NXT.

You probably don't know anything about Austin Jenkins from Lancaster, PA, though, so let's just go with the guy you do know. A playboy from Panama City, Florida who goes by ADAM COLE, BAY-BAY!

Officially beginning his training in November 2007 while still a senior in high school and having his debut match for CZW on June 21, 2008, Adam Cole spent the first two years of his career as a fresh upstart face balancing a tag team with Tyler Veritas and a singles career before winning his first title, the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship, on May 8, 2010. A few months later he turned heel as the champion by attacking Veritas, followed in the upcoming months by gaining a new valet and onscreen girlfriend in Mia Yim (later known as Jade in TNA), then by aligning himself with his trainer and company owner DJ Hyde, who both helped him retain the championship for 553 days, the longest reign in the title's history. During this time he also developed an intense rivalry with Sami Callihan.


His time with ROH started around 2009 in dark matches and jobber appearances before officially signing on in 2010 and forming a tag team called Future Shock with fellow ROH newcomer Kyle O'Reilly. The team continued on in both ROH and PWG, debuting in the latter in 2011, before breaking up in both companies in 2012 (ROH in January, PWG by September, during which his heel "Panama City Playboy" persona was first reintroduced), both Future Shock and the American Wolves found themselves at odds from their partners at the start of 2012, with Cole siding with Eddie Edwards against O'Reilly and Davey Richards. After beating both O'Reilly and then-World Champion Richards in critical matches, he went on to win his first ROH World Television Championship from Roderick Strong in June 2012. Losing the title in March 2013 to Matt Taven, he later surfaced higher in a tournament for the ROH World Championship after the title was vacated by Jay Briscoe. Cole won the tournament to become champion with the final match going against Michael Elgin, then attacked both Elgin and former champion Briscoe.


From that day forward, the venerable young star had become the incarnation we know him as today, which most of the tropes below are based on; the arrogant, self-worshiping, manipulative villain who would do anything to stay at the top of the game, amassing factions and alliances with other wrestlers to aid in his rise to glory while establishing his own personality and talent as the dominant factor. Over the course of the next few years, this path made him the leader to Maria Kanellis's Kingdom, the fourth-in-command of the Bullet Club, the founder of the Mount Rushmore of Wrestling, the first ever 3-time ROH World Champion (as well as the first to ever win said title at a non-ROH event), the longest-reigning PWG World Champion of all time…

…and the man who ushered in a new Undisputed Era in NXT, as both NXT Tag Team Champion (albeit under the Freebird rule), the inaugural NXT North American Champion, the longest reigning NXT Champion of all time, and altogether the second NXT Triple Crown winner.

Aside from his wrestling exploits, Cole can be found streaming regularly on Twitch as TheCHUGS.


  • Aborted Arc: During their debut at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, The Undisputed Era attacked newly crowned NXT Champion Drew McIntyre, but the latter doesn't retaliate in any way at all aside from briefly aiding SAnitY fight off ERA during the build to WarGames. The only real followup was a house show NXT title defense against Cole, which NXT aired as a bonus during the final episode of 2017. Though Cole would go on to become the first ever NXT North American Champion, he wouldn't return to the proper NXT Championship scene until April 2019.
  • A God Am I: This delusion started to creep to the surface after he won the ROH World Title for the second time.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: The host of Michael Elgin's bachelor party would go on to take advantage of the fact Elgin was no longer a bachelor, who'd have thought?
  • Arch-Enemy: The Undisputed Era have feuded with many teams ever since they debuted though Cole's feuds are mainly with sinlge competitors:
    • When the Era debuted at NXT in 2017, they feuded with SAnitY, Roderick Strong and the Authors of Pain though Cole's issues were mainly with Strong and Eric Young; these were resolved when EY led SAnitY to the main roster and Strong turned on Pete Dunne to join Undisputed Era.
    • In 2018, his main feuds are with Pete Dunne and Ricochet with the NXT North American Championship on the line. The feud also had Dunne bringing in his British Strong Style buddies and eventually both Dunne and Ricochet have a Enemy Mine situation to bring Cole down.
    • For most of 2019, Cole feuded with both members of #DIY for the NXT Championship but he also feuded with the likes of Fergal Devitt, Keith Lee and Matt Riddle.
    • Early in 2020, Cole continued to defend the NXT Championship against the likes of Tommaso Ciampa and The Velveteen Dream before dropping the title to Keith Lee. After his Heel–Face Turn, he feuded with Pat McAfee. After dealing with the former footballer's sardonic attitude on panels for over two years, Cole snapped on McAfee's radio show after being mocked for his size one time too many; this led to McAfee attacking Cole on NXT as their feud became heated, with McAfee even gaining his own faction to challenge the Era.
  • Ascended Meme: Josiah Williams, who gained popularity on Youtube for his "Wrestle and Flow" videos where he raps to wrestlers' entrance themes, performed in Cole's entrance at Takeover XXV.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Aimed to physically and mentally on two targets in putting Donjoy reliant MsChif in the figure four leg lock and making Michael Elgin watch while unable to stop him.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • At Final Battle 2013.
    • At NXT Takeover: New Orleans, where Cole made history as the first dual champion in NXT history by first becoming the inaugural North American champion after winning a grueling ladder match, then by successfully defending The Undisputed Era's tag team titles alongside Kyle O'Reilly in place of the injured Bobby Fish later on in the night, converting their champ status from just Fish and O'Reilly into a Freebird Rule title reign, while in the process finally winning over Roderick Strong, as he betrayed his partner Pete Dunne and became their fourth man to help them secure the titles.
    • At NXT Takeover: XXV he defeated Johnny Gargano, avenging his loss at New York in order to claim the NXT Championship, becoming the second NXT Triple Crown winner in history in the process.
  • Batman Gambit: Pulled off an incredibly clever one heading into his Takeover: XXV title match with Johnny Gargano. In the short months heading into the event, Cole was frequently butting heads with Roderick Strong, with the two arguing repeatedly and loudly to the point that cuss words were being exchanged, Strong was ripping off his Undisputed Era gear, and Cole was shouting that maybe he didn't deserve to wear it anymore. While treated as honest dissension by the show, everyone watching suspected that this was the obvious fake-infighting ploy designed to surprise Gargano when Strong turned up to interfere and pretend to stop Cole from cheating (or Fish and O'Reilly from interfering) only to turn around and help Cole win the title. So when Cole openly signaled for help to come from the back after a ref bump, Gargano was distracted and looking at the ramp… allowing Cole to set up Gargano for a draping spike piledriver-like move. While Gargano kicked out of the move itself, he was weakened just enough now for the final sequence to play out in Cole's favor, with a Panama Sunrise and a Last Shot taking out Gargano as Cole picked up the pin and claimed the NXT Championship completely on his own — following which Strong, Fish and O'Reilly all came out to celebrate with Cole no problem. The whole thing was designed for Johnny to subconsciously expect a four-man trap, thus creating a distraction out of nothing to give Cole the opening he needed to claim the championship. Both an ingenious plot, and putting heavy faith in his own skills to finish the job alone.
  • Beard of Evil: Some say he really looks better when he shaved…still not bad, though.
  • Big Bad: Of NXT as the leader of The Undisputed Era starting in late 2017. Ironic, considering he tried for this position in another stable earlier that year.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: A pathetically blatant example in 2017 as he tried to oust Kenny Omega from the Bullet Club, but had the tables turned on him and was kicked out and replaced with Marty Scurll.
  • Blah Blah Blah: How he describes and talks to Delirious.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": "PC" on his pants, which stands for Panama City.
  • Catchphrase: Has two.
    • Alone, he has "Adam Cole, bay-bay!"
    • As part of The Undisputed Era, he ends his promos with " undisputed!"
  • Combat Pragmatist: He was unable to raise his shoulder after taking a spirit bomb from ACH at Supercard Of Honor X but he was able to raise his hand just high enough to catch referee Todd Sinclair's before it came down on the mat for the third time. ACH kept on with the holds so Cole grabbed Sinclair again and sent a thigh up ACH's nether regions using his own body to obscure the view.
  • Continuity Nod: The Undisputed Era marks the reunion of various team combinations made by Cole during his time in the independent scene. These include "Future Shock" (Cole and O'Reilly) and "Mount Rushmore" (Cole and Strong).
  • Crowd Chant: He got a "We Want Headlocks" started during his match with AJ Styles at All-Star Extravaganza VI. This later turned into "You Fucked Up" when he instead tried to give them a ring post figure four and tripped due to ROH "posts" being rectangles.
  • Determinator: Five side effects and a twist of fate from the larger Matt Hardy couldn't keep him down. Jay Briscoe's broken chairs and a ladder with his body. He's raised his shoulder after a top rope power bomb from Michael Elgin.
    • His first title defense came against Johnny Gargano in what essentially amounted to a slightly tweaked Three Stages of Hell match (although it wasn't called that). Gargano is notoriously difficult to outlast on NXT Takeover events and Cole did it.
  • Dumb Jock: He's not stupid but his humor very much runs on this.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He was featured on WWE TV years before being officially signed, appearing during a segment where Serena is revealed to have been breaking the rules of Straight Edge, drinking alcohol with him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Made his first NXT appearance joining Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly in beating the crap out of Drew McIntyre at Takeover: Brooklyn III.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Adam Cole is the sexiest thing in pro wrestling, ask Jimmy Jacobs, who normally dates women, or Kevin Steen, who is absolutely enraged to find out that even just awakened and sounding like a pack-a-day smoker, Adam Cole is still unbearably attractive.
  • Evil vs. Evil
    • A schism formed in The Kingdom when Adam Cole declined to join Bennett, Taven and Kanellis as they feuded with Bullet Club in a short trip to New Japan. However, an Enemy Civil War was averted when Cole laid a trap for Kyle O'Reilly and rejoined his stablemates. Still, Cole later forsook Kingdom for Bullet Club anyway when Bennett and Kanellis went to TNA while Taven fell to injury, and when Taven returned and rebuilt The Kingdom in his image, they would soon be back after Bullet Club.
    • When "The Last Real Man" Silas Young was number one contender for Cole's ROH World Title belt. As you can imagine, Young had no respect for Cole.
    • After being ejected from Bullet Club and replaced with Marty Scurll, the then-ROH Television Champion became his primary opponent. Cole was partially responsible for Scurll losing the belt to KUSHIDA. Although KUSHIDA later proved he may very well have won the belt even without Cole's help, Scurll still took exception to the slight.
  • Expy:
    • His heel turn in ROH was obviously inspired by Joey Matthews (who ironically never went as far in the promotion).
    • The Undisputed Era's mysterious personas, penchant for random out-of-nowhere gang beatings, and 'outsider' gimmick are very reminiscent of Cole's previous stable, the Bullet Club.
  • Finger Poke of Doom
    • Ran the ropes ten times at the 2016 Aftershock while Colt Cabana was held in a camel clutch to build up steam for an eye poke. This didn't actually beat him.
    • He announced that he would successfully defend the world title against Matt or Nick Jackson this way after either one of them became number one contender via the Honor Rumble.
  • Flanderization: His initial fanservice-heavy stint in ROH, compared to his time in CZW. Cole's since developed a deeper and more distinct persona during his first reign as the ROH World Champion.
  • Foreshadowing: Adam Cole in ROH and Broken! Matt Hardy in TNA released eerily similar videos around the same time as one another, right before Hardy's surprise return to ROH. However, TNA would have second thoughts, so little came of it besides Matt and Jeff briefly taking the Tag Team title belts from Cole's stablemates, The Young Bucks.
  • Green-Eyed Monster
    • Both envy and jealousy fueled him to feud with Kyle O'Reilly, who proved to be the better tag team wrestler in ROH and more popular with the fans. Cole could at least take solace in the fact he was a much more successful singles wrestler than O'Reilly but then Kyle would up number one contender to the world title, a belt Cole's ego could not allow O'Reilly to win.
    • During Cole's feud with O'Reilly, Colt Cabana was able to work his way into World Title contention, leading Cole to swear allegiance to Bullet Club in exchange for getting Cabana away from the belt and taking Cabana's spot, then Jay Lethal's title and along with it the seat of power as ROH's Big Bad, all to himself.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Undisputed Era's interference in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic forced Cole and O'Reilly to defend their tag team championships against the tournament's finalists (Pete Dunne and Roderick Strong, and the Authors of Pain) at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans in a match also meant to determine the Classic's winner. Despite Cole being forced into double duty after going through a brutal Ladder match to win the NXT North American Championship, he became a double champion when Strong betrayed Dunne.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: His go-to tactic with the ROH Bullet Club and NXT's Undisputed Era. They appear out of nowhere to beat up other wrestlers and either gloat around for a bit or swiftly disappear.
  • Hypocrite: Called Kyle O'Reilly a coward while surrounded by guards to keep reDRagon away and boasting about his Final Battle victory, which lead to fans attempting to shout him down with "On the ropes!"
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Ricochet accused Cole of being a coward. Cole responded by orchestrating a 4-on-1 attack.
  • It's Personal: Michael Elgin said their issue was not personal, which Adam Cole took personally and set out to make Elgin feel the same way. Brought it to this level with AJ Styles too, when AJ and Kazuchika Okada were also targeted during one of Cole's assaults on Elgin.
  • Jerkass: Not even the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger got any respect from Cole.
  • Kick the Dog: He used the Jay Driller to eliminate Mark Briscoe in the tournament to crown the new ROH World Champion after reigning champion Jay was injured by SCUM. When Jay handed over the belt, well Cole kicked him in the back of the head while he was walking away.
  • Large Ham: "Adam Cole, Bay Bay!"
  • Manipulative Bastard: He makes others do his dirty work by coercing them to work for him, discarding them if things don't go his way. With Bullet Club it bit him in the butt, and they discarded him instead. Didn't stop him from convincing Fish and O'Reilly to ignore the last time he manipulated them and come on board with him in NXT. Later conned Taynara Conti into screwing over SAnitY's Nikki Cross while the two stables feuded only to not pay up whatever his end of the deal was.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Story Time With Adam Cole started out of an open locker but got to the point he was sitting on a throne drinking A Glass of Chianti, or more likely, Hennessy.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Men, women, we can all agree that Adam Cole is really, really pretty.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth!: Unable to reach with his arms, he forced a rope break on Jushin Liger by biting it.
  • Power Stable: Keeps on trying to get involved in these for one reason: to take over whatever promotion he's in.
    • The Mount Rushmore of Wrestling in PWG with The Young Bucks and Kevin Steen.
      • Mount Rushmore 2.0 was already established with the Young Bucks, Roderick Strong, and Super Dragon. The Bucks decided to bring him back into the fold.
    • The Kingdom in ROH with Matt Taven, Michael Bennett, Matt Hardy, and Maria Kanellis.
    • Speaking of the Bucks, in his last year on the independents they saw to it that he headed the American operations of Bullet Club, mostly running in ROH.
    • The Undisputed Era, once Roderick Strong joined in.
  • Power Trio
    • The Kingdom's male members and wrestlers with Michael Bennett and Matt Hardy, who was later replaced by Matt Taven.
    • The Superkliq with The Young Bucks as part of both Mount Rushmore and Bullet Club.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Once wrestled in long pink tights with palm trees on them.
  • Red Baron: "The Panama City Playboy", "The One", "The Industry Ruler".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tends to be the Blue Oni compared to the tag teams he forms trios with, but he was the Red Oni alongside Kenny Omega due to his arrogance spiraling out of control.
  • Running Gag: There was him "accidentally" superkicking Mandy Leon during a no holds barred match with O'Reilly. Then there was his subtle hijacking of Mandy Leon's recapping duty to voice his complaints. Notice the first "story time with Adam Cole" segment is labeled "Inside Ring Of Honor episode #216", how his argument for a title shot on the October 14th 2015 show just so happens to run down the pay per view card? He also threw out or committed Mustache Vandalism on the posters she kept in her locker. It was no surprise to anyone, except Faye Jackson, that she was most interested in Cole's defense against O'Reilly at the 2016 Final Battle.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Not only does he think himself "Best in the World", Adam Cole thinks the pay per view was named for him. There's also the fact that his debut on WWE's NXT was alongside a trio that refers to themselves as The Undisputed Era. Let us repeat that: Since his very debut there, Cole and his cohorts referred to themselves as an era all of their own.
  • Smug Snake: At Supercard of Honor X Cole insisted he come out second as if he was champion due to being 2-0 against Kyle O'Reilly. While Cole was "up" in victories, he hadn't technically won his last two matches with Kyle and definitely was not undefeated against him as far as their ROH careers go.
  • Spiteful Spit: After AJ Styles defeated Adam Cole Styles was content to leave but senor referee Todd Sinclair insisted Styles uphold the Code of Honor and shake Cole's hand. Style's reluctantly listened and of course Styles got his kick pad spat on for his trouble.
  • The Starscream: Bullet Club fulfilled their end of the bargain, getting Adam Cole a shot at the ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, but Cole wasn't satisfied. He wanted to be in charge, and to that end, began to actively undermine the authority of Kenny Omega, going so far as to get Omega, who is Canadian, temporarily barred from entering the United States on allegations of child abuse (a Continuity Nod to Omega's participation in World Wonder Ring STARDOM's Kid's Fight, aka "That time Kenny Omega wrestled an actual kid.")
  • Start My Own: Back in ROH, Adam Cole and Kenny Omega got into a feud when Cole attempted to replace Omega as leader of the Bullet Club. Cole failed and was eventually kicked out of the Club. Not long later, Adam Cole joins WWE and forms a stable of his own, the Undisputed Era.
  • Stunned Silence: Became the second person to subject Nigel McGuinness to this on the same night at Death Before Dishonor 2016 when he decided to hit Jay Lethal with two Last Shots en route to becoming the third two time ROH World Champion.
  • Take Over the World: Is constantly trying to spearhead groups to do this in whatever his main stomping grounds are at the time. The most notable of these instances being the four major power groups listed above.
  • Theme Naming: Him hailing from Florida is a big part of his gimmick. He's nicknamed "The Panama City Playboy," and his German Suplex finisher is called "Florida Keys."
  • Traumatic Haircut: Tried to invoke this trope by cutting Michael Elgin's hair and then walking around in his "fear the mullet" shirt. Did it again two years later, shaving off Jay Lethal's cornrows. The first was just because Cole really disliked Elgin but the second served a purpose, being a successful attempt to goad Lethal into granting him a title shot after Nigel McGuinness declared Cole would get no more.
  • Trouser Space: He kept Jay Lethal's severed braids in his trunks.
  • Verbal Tic: It is physically impossible to say the name "Adam Cole" without following it with "BAY-BAAAAAAAY!"
  • Villainous Breakdown: After eight months of outsmarting Nigel McGuinness and avoiding Kyle O'Reilly, Cole began to break down during the 2016 Road To Final Battle as he had run out of ways to put off another rematch; Cole was now World Champion and O'Reilly was number one contender.
  • Villainous Crush: Jimmy Jacobs has one on him, and has on at least one occasion open-mouthed kissed Adam Cole.
  • Villainous Underdog: His title defense against Michael Elgin at All Star Extravaganza was the most lopsided against Cole yet, with Cole still not having recovered all the weight he lost to his bout with phenomena, to the point that crowd were more sympathetic towards Cole, despite Elgin battling a knee injury.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Put Michael Elgin's wife, MsChif, into a figure four leglock during the previously mentioned haircut. Has fought Candice LeRae as well.

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