Adam Cole was never pitched WWE's reported plans to turn him into Keith Lee's manager and change his ring name if he stayed with the company.
Speaking to TV Insider, Cole reasserted comments made in the post-AEW All Out 2021 media scrum by stating that his pre-departure talks with Vince McMahon were productive, putting over his four years with WWE:-
“I personally have never heard anything regarding that. I touched base a little bit on how my meeting with Vince McMahon went really well. We talked for about 30 minutes. He had a lot of complimentary things to say. As far as hearing that specific thing, that was not something I heard about. My four years with NXT was fantastic. My four years with WWE was awesome, but at the end of the day, I wanted to end up with AEW. Now that I’m here, I’m stoked.”
Cole's WWE contract expired on 27 August. This came following a short-term extension for the former NXT Champion, whom WWE believed they had under contract until December before realising his deal was up in July. The 32-year-old ended up sticking around through SummerSlam 2021 weekend, concluding his feud with Kyle O'Reilly at TakeOver 36, but debuted for AEW at All Out (5 September).
The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer reported the Keith Lee plans last week, calling it a similar deal to the old Lio Rush/Bobby Lashley mouthpiece, with Cole playing a small, mouthy manager hiding behind a monstrous man mountain. Said plans may have also called for Adam to change his name in order to avoid a clash with announcer Michael Cole.
Meltzer noted at the time that he didn't know if the idea had been brought to Cole personally, though he'd been told it was devised by either Bruce Prichard or Vince McMahon.