Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Adam Cole, Ruby Soho and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2021

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Adam Cole, Ruby Soho and More

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    A tumultuous 2021 for WWE's front office continued this week with the release of Bray Wyatt and the revelation that Adam Cole is working without a contract.

    Those two topics headline a collection of wrestling rumors and innuendo that also features the latest on former SmackDown women's star Ruby Riott, who changed her last name (now Soho) and is about to change her place of employment, if the reports prove accurate.

    Dive deeper into each of those topics with this peek behind the curtain and into the world of internet wrestling rumors and speculation.

Latest on Adam Cole

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    Adam Cole has not been officially been offered a new contract by WWE, despite word of his previous one expiring leaking online at the end of July, per Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select.

    That WWE officials allowed the contract to run out at all is concerning and reflects poorly on their organizational structure, let alone how valuable the higher-ups outside of NXT consider Cole to be.

    With the contract running out in July, Cole very easily could have told his employers to go pound sand, popped up in AEW and superkicked the hell out of someone as that company continues to build momentum by signing away critically acclaimed, massively popular former Ring of Honor world champions.

    He has agreed to stay through SummerSlam at the very least, per Sapp's report, though and has a great working relationship with management. 

    One can never underestimate the allure of working with a loved one and with Cole's girlfriend, Dr. Britt Baker DMD over in AEW, one has to wonder if he may be eyeing the opportunity to work alongside her as a potential deciding factor in his future.

    Whatever the case may be, Cole's story should be one WWE learns and evolves from because allowing the contract of a star who would command top dollar in free agency to simply expire without doing due diligence is not the way any successful promotion should be operating.

    It is a black eye on the company at a time where it is already taking its hits for the "budget cut" releases of former world champions like Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman in recent months.

Networks Perplexed, Frustrated by Release of Bray Wyatt, Others

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    Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast tweeted he is hearing there is "frustration" from networks regarding the release of Bray Wyatt this past weekend.

    "I’m hearing a lot of frustration from the networks regarding Bray [sic] release. 'Bray’s released [sic] is really disappointing and a little scary that top stars are being let go' - network source. You have to remember perception is everything," he reported.

    Perception is everything and when fans and/or network executives begin thinking "fire sale" or that WWE officials don't care about the talent or their product, it makes sense that there would be frustration or concern for the health of a product you have invested a great deal of time and money in.

    Especially in the case of Wyatt, who was such a major part of television as little as eight months ago. Now he's gone and WWE doesn't have a star of his caliber ready to step up and fill his shoes. It is extremely short-sighted on WWE's part and something that will definitely hamper its ability to ask its next television partner for a billion dollars. 

    Even if content and the company's ability to crank it out, is key.

Ruby Soho Headed to All Elite Wrestling?

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    AEW may be about to strengthen its women's division with a talented free agent released by WWE earlier this year.

    Sapp reported that Ruby Soho (formerly Riott) is expected to sign with the company when the non-compete clause in her contract runs out just before September's All Out pay-per-view.

    Soho has been conspicuous in her absence from the spotlight since her departure from WWE in the spring. She has not granted interviews, appeared at conventions or taken any independent bookings, opting to stay out of the spotlight and keep her future plans fairly close to the vest. 

    As a potential signee of AEW, she would bring experience to a women's division that is much better than it used to be but still trying to find its feet. She would be a natural fit as an opponent to Dr. Britt Baker DMD and could match up well with the likes of Hikaru Shida, Kris Statlanders, Leyla Hirsch, The Bunny and Serena Deeb.

    The combinations are endless as should be fan excitement for the uber underrated competitor to showcase more consistently what WWE never really knew what it had.