Adam Cole has signed with All Elite Wrestling as he made his promotional debut at the All Out pay-per-view event following the main event.
Cole became a free agent when his WWE contract expired at the end of last month. His deal originally expired in July, but he signed a short-term extension to finish up his storyline with Kyle O’Reilly. He talked after the show about this being an easy decision to make in regards to signing with AEW.
Fightful Select reported that Cole signing with AEW and making an appearance at All Out didn't necessarily come as a surprise to many within WWE because they expected him to be heading to AEW as of last weekend.
WWE had been under the assumption that he was as good as gone by the time they sent a memo to some within the company. Those in WWE had nothing but positive things to say about him as he was on his way out, especially with the way he handled the situation as it was a surprise to both the company and Cole that his deal was up before December.
Cole was hidden the night of the show just like Bryan Danielson. Cole’s deal with AEW wasn't "official" until Sunday, although those who needed to know were informed well ahead of time as his theme song, entrance video, and merchandise had to be made.
The finish of the show was discussed among the talent involved late in the evening.