August 27th, 2021 was the date Adam Cole became a free agent after his WWE contract ended. Less than two weeks later, Cole became All Elite, Bay Bay!
Kenny Omega and Christian Cage went to war in the main event of AEW All Out, with Omega picking up the victory following a top rope one-winged angel to avenge his loss to Cage for IMPACT World Championship just a few weeks prior.
After the match Omega was joined in the ring by The Elite, who continued the beatdown on Cage despite some attempted help from Jurassic Express.
As Omega continued to celebrate the lights went out and, to the surprise of many watching, Adam Cole made his shocking AEW debut.
Even more shocking, especially to some who wouldn’t know Cole’s history before WWE, was when it turned out to be a double cross and he joined The Elite, including a kiss on the cheek from The Young Bucks.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 6, 2021
Adam Cole may have only been a free agent in the last couple of weeks, but the news came as a surprise to his previous employers. Thinking his contract ran until the end of the year, WWE learned that his contract actually ran out at the end of July and negotiations must have then started as to where the former NXT Champion’s home would be.
Cole was not the only surprise in the closing segment of AEW All Out, as the ring was then cleared by a debuting Bryan Danielson, as the former Daniel Bryan helped his new comrades clear The Elite from the ring.