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Wrestling / Adam Cole

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The One
Austin Jenkins (born July 5, 1989 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania) 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 Combat Zone Wrestling 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 looking to usher in a new Undisputed Era in NXT, as both NXT Tag Team Champion (albeit under the Freebird rule) and the inaugural NXT North American Champion.


  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Beard of Evil: Some say he really looks better when he shaved…still not bad, though.
  • 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.
  • 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: He and Roderick Strong were called "Mount Rushmore", after the Guerrilla stable, when they tagged in ROH.
  • 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.
  • 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 in New Japan. Cole forsook Kingdom for Bullet Club while Taven was injured, thus averting an Enemy Civil War but The Kingdom, rebuilt in Taven's image, would soon be back at Bullet Club anyway.
    • 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).
  • 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.
  • Florida: It's a big part of his gimmick. He's nicknamed "The Panama City Playboy," and his German Suplex finisher is called "Florida Keys."
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.")
  • 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: "Adam Cole, 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.

Example of: