How Adam Cole Helped AEW Sign Keith Lee

How gracious of Keith Lee's former manager, Adam Cole, to vouch for AEW to the big man.

Adam Cole Keith Lee

Keith Lee has revealed how former NXT rival Adam Cole helped him make the decision to come to All Elite Wrestling.

Speaking on AEW Unrestricted, Lee said that his relationship with Cole made his choice a little easier, with the duo consulting before Keith's arrival in the Tony Khan-helmed promotion:-

"There aren't a lot of people in this industry that you can just trust or get along with at certain levels but I really like Adam Cole as a person. His testimony for his happiness here is something that made it a little easier."

Cole has been with AEW since debuting at All Out 2021 last September, having joined the promotion following his WWE deal's expiration. Lee, meanwhile, was shockingly released by the market leaders in November, arriving in AEW after his 90-day non-compete clause expired this February.


Prior to all of this, Lee and Cole worked together extensively in NXT - including a 2020 rivalry that culminated in the then-North American Champion Lee toppling NXT Champion Cole to hold both belts that July.

On Khan, AEW's founder and president, Lee revealed that their early conversations were laid-back and pleasant:-

“That release (from WWE) happened and within three days, Tony found a way to get in touch with me. I was actually really impressed with that considering we had never spoken before. We had some really laid-back conversations and kind of got to know each other a little bit. I think that’s something that helped because I think that some of my trust is a little disgruntled. I really enjoyed my time with him, getting to know him and what he’s about, talking football and all that good stuff, especially as a former player. Then eventually, that led into business. But in terms of getting to know him, yeah, I had a blast, a lot of laughs, and a lot of jokes. He’s a swell guy, to say the very least."

Currently 3-1 in AEW and yet to take a pinfall or submission defeat, Lee is embroiled in a feud with Team Taz members Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs. He wrestles Max Caster on tonight's episode of Rampage.

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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.