Kenny Omega vs Adam Cole: An Undisputedly Cursed Feud in Pro Wrestling

Kenny Omega vs Adam Cole

There is no denying that Kenny Omega and Adam Cole are two of the biggest stars in all of pro wrestling today. The two trailblazers went through similar paths, whether it was grinding on the independent scene, working in Japan, or being real-life best friends with the Young Bucks. However, it is nothing but a sad tragedy that every time the duo came close to having a match, something or the other seemed to derail it.

Is Kenny Omega vs Adam Cole Cursed?

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Where it Began

The story between the two soon-to-be megastars began in 2016, when Adam Cole joined the Bullet Club on May 8 at Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s co-produced Global Wars pay-per-view. However, Cole took no time to make his wicked intentions clear, that he did not just want to be another member of the highly popular faction. This eventually led to tensions brewing up between him and the stable’s leader Kenny Omega, even to the point where Cole tried to fire the Young Bucks from the group, only for them to respond by stating that Omega, not Cole, was their leader.

While it was clear that both ROH and NJPW were building up to a major bout between the two stars, backstage happenings at ROH put a stop to those plans. In the summer of 2017, Cole received a contract offer from WWE, which he pursued. This resulted in him being kicked out of the Bullet Club on the third night of the War of the Worlds tour by the Young Bucks and the newest member of the stable, Marty Scurll.

The segment itself was also just a shadow of what was originally planned, as Omega was unable to travel for the show due to visa complications. Cole would then make a few more appearances for the promotion before fully heading to WWE’s performance center in Orlando, Florida.

Developments Within Bullet Club

On the ROH and NJPW side of things, the promotions decided to swap Cole with Cody Rhodes for the major Bullet Club civil-war storyline, who then feuded with Omega throughout 2017 and 2018.

The idea of an encounter between the two stars briefly took over the internet at the start of both 2018 and 2019, when Omega saw his year-long NJPW deals run out. However, in 2018, Omega chose to sign a 1-year extension with the Japanese promotion before signing a long-term deal with Tony Khan’s All Elite Wrestling in the February of 2019, which saw him becoming the start-up promotion’s executive vice president.

With Omega and Cole being under long-term deals for the next couple of years, things seemed calm until it was suddenly brought to WWE management’s attention that the former 3-time ROH World Champion’s contract with the promotion had expired at a date way before the company expected it to.

Cole would display sheer professionalism by working with the company on a handshake agreement to complete his ongoing feud with Kyle O’Reilly. The former leader of the Undisputed Era would lose his critically acclaimed 2-out-of-3 falls match at NXT TakeOver 36 to O’Reilly, which would write him off WWE programming as he weighed his future options.

Reuniting in AEW

Less than a month later, after Kenny Omega defeated Christian Cage to retain his AEW World Championship in the main event of All Out, Adam Cole made his shocking AEW debut to an enormous reaction from the crowd in the NOW Arena. The former NXT Champion would immediately turn heel and join the Elite, only for his debut to be overshadowed by the arrival of one Bryan Danielson.

In the months following, the promotion would subtly tell the story of Matt and Nick Jackson choosing Cole over Omega, sowing the seeds of doubt and hatred in the mind of the AEW World Champion. However, following Full Gear, the storyline faced a major speed bump as Omega took a long break from the company to nurse multiple injuries he had been dealing with.

To AEW’s credit, the Jacksonville-based promotion did not waste time until Omega’s return but rather used his absence to take the story in a different direction. Through the course of months, fans would see Cole turning “The Elite” into the “Undisputed Elite” as he brought his former stablemates from NXT, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, into the faction.

Another Bump in the Road

However, a lack of information about Omega’s return led to Adam Cole finding himself stuck in a booking limbo, with the entire faction feeling stale post-Revolution. Just as things started to get positive regarding news about Omega’s potential return, another major setback was waiting to happen.

At the Forbidden Door PPV, Adam Cole suffered from a major concussion during his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship fatal-four-way bout with Jay White, Hangman Page, and Kazuchika Okada. It was also later revealed that Cole had been working with a torn labrum, which could further delay his return to the ring.

Also, in the meantime, it was reported that Kyle O’Reilly had also been sidelined with a serious neck injury. Just as Omega’s eventual return was nearing, the Undisputed Elite storyline had its pieces spread all over the board.

With the AEW World Trios Championship tournament and Omega’s return both nearing, Tony Khan made the call to pull the trigger on this long-awaited storyline regardless of all the injuries. On the August 3rd, 2022, episode of AEW Dynamite, Adam Cole, along with the entire Undisputed Elite, appeared in an in-ring segment. Cole announced that he and O’Reilly are still not medically cleared, before the two of them and Bobby Fish turned on the Young Bucks, breaking up their faction in the process.

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The Show Must Go On

Following the angle, neither Cole, O’Reilly, nor Fish appeared on AEW programming. Instead, the Young Bucks searched for their partner for the Trios Tournament. This led to Kenny Omega finally returning to in-ring action on the August 17, 2022 episode of Dynamite as the Jackson Brothers’ partner.

The trio would go on to become the inaugural champions at All Out after defeating Hangman Page, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver in the final, a matching way different than the originally planned Elite vs Undisputed Era bout the company had been teasing.

Unfortunately, fate had its way once again as hours after winning the straps Omega and the Bucks got into a physical altercation with CM Punk and Ace Steel backstage, following berating comments Punk had made about the Elite and others during the media scrum. This resulted in Tony Khan suspending the trio and stripping them of their newly won championships.

Moreover, later in the week, it was revealed that Bobby Fish’s AEW deal had expired and that he had departed the promotion imminently.

Kenny Omega vs Adam Cole – In Closing

As of this writing, the Elite is back from their suspensions and in a best-of-seven series with the Death Triangle for the AEW trios titles, while Cole is rehabbing from a concussion and O’Reilly is resting after a neck fusion surgery. On the other hand, Bobby Fish has been appearing in IMPACT Wrestling on a handshake agreement.

While Omega and Cole may eventually get to share an AEW ring, there is no denying that their rivalry has been a cursed one. Also, with Fish no longer in the promotion, the dream match of the Elite vs the Undisputed Era remains just a dream.