“That storyline being a bust crippled them,” “His decline since he left WWE is crazy” - Fans claim Tony Khan fumbled top AEW star’s booking

Tony Khan is the CEO and President of AEW
Tony Khan is the CEO and President of AEW [Picture courtesy screenshot from AEW YouTube channel]

Some fans have taken to social media to criticise Tony Khan for mishandling the booking of a top AEW star. The talent in question is Adam Cole.

The Panama City Playboy was involved in a long-running storyline with Maxwell Jacob Friedman which began in June, 2023. Cole wrestled MJF in an Eliminator match for the AEW World Championship to a draw on the June 14, 2023 episode of Dynamite. Despite their differences, both men were paired up in a Blind Eliminator Tag Team tournament.

The chemistry between Cole and Friedman led to their unlikely tag team becoming one of the hottest acts in the company. The duo, dubbed Better Than You Baybay, captured the interest of fans through their character work and in-ring storytelling. Cole and MJF would go on to main event the 2023 All In pay-per-view at Wembley Stadium for the latter's world title. Friedman retained the title after a highly competitive matchup.

The Better Than You Baybay saga suffered an unexpected setback with Adam Cole's ankle injury in September, 2023. Soon afterwards, MJF found himself in the crosshairs of a figure in his stolen Devil mask and his goons. The storyline culminated at World's End 2023, where The Salt of the Earth was dethroned by Samoa Joe.

After the world title match, Adam Cole revealed himself to have been The Devil, turning heel on Friedman in the process. He also unmasked his goons, revealing a new stable called Undisputed Kingdom, consisting of Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Roderick Strong and Wardlow. The former NXT Champion, who is in the middle of recovery, has made it clear that the group intends to pursue multiple championships in the promotion.

A photograph of Cole and Wardlow backstage in an AEW show was recently shared by users on X. A number of fans responded to the image, commenting on the 34-year-old star's supposed career downfall as well as on his physique. Others criticised Tony Khan's booking of Cole and the creative direction of his new stable.


AEW star Adam Cole broke character to address fans of his Twitch stream

Adam Cole created shockwaves in the wrestling world when he jumped ship from WWE to AEW in 2021. While many acknowldge the Pennsylvania native is a talent of the highest calibre in-ring, he is also known for his interests outside of wrestling.

Adam Cole is an avid gamer who streams on Twitch under the username 'Chugs.' He famously streamed with Xavier Woods, Tyler Breeze and Blackpool Combat Club member Claudio Castagnoli as a part of the group known as 'Da Party.' The former ROH World Champion also operates separate X accounts for gaming and for wrestling.

In a recent post shared on X, Cole broke character and shared a heartfelt message for his followers and community on Twitch. The former NXT Triple Crown Champion voiced his love for the 'Chugs Army.'

"I have never seen a corner of the internet like the #ChugsArmy Seriously. What a great group of human beings. All of you are incredible souls. Can’t believe I’m saying this…but I’m jealous of @the_chugs."

Check out Cole's tweet below:

Adam Cole is currently on a hiatus since suffering an accidental ankle injury in 2023. Fans are eager to see him return to the squared circle.

How would you book Adam Cole's return to AEW? Let us know in the comments section below!

One of Samoa Joe's colleagues had harsh words for him HERE

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Edited by Harish Raj S