Cole joined The Elite, a faction led by Omega, who is real-life friends with the Panama City Playboy. The former NXT champion was thrust into a prominent role in the faction when Omega took time off following Full Gear 2021.
Since then, Cole has wholly reshaped the group. He even changed the name of the group. While The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) remained, Cole added Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly to the group. And, much to the chagrin of the Bucks, he brought "Switchblade" Jay White to AEW.
Cole has been out of action since Forbidden Door, but on Wednesday night, he returned with his Undisputed Elite brethren by his side. By the time his segment was over, the faction was changed forever.
Cole entered Wednesday night trailed by Fish, O'Reilly, and the Bucks. Along with the Bucks was Brandon Cutler, who was filming for the "Being The Elite" YouTube series.
The former NXT champion grabbed a mic and told the fans he was happy to be back in the ring. He was especially happy to be back in the ring with his friends. He relayed to the Columbus, Ohio, crowd that he was not cleared to compete still.
Cole talked about success and how he had thought of ways the Undisputed Elite could improve. He mentioned how the group had leadership, chemistry, and talent, making the faction the best in the industry.
The most important thing, Cole said, was loyalty. And the Undisputed Elite had it in spades. This brought Cole to the AEW World Trios Tag Team Championship Tournament.
He told the Bucks that if they weren't going to pick Fish for the tournament, they couldn't do it. The Panama City Playboy clarified that he meant the Bucks wouldn't be physically capable of doing the tournament. This led to reDragon (Fish and O'Reilly) to begin a vicious assault on the Bucks and Cutler.
It looked as if Cole and reDragon were going to damage the neck of Matt Jackson. However, before they could go through with their dastardly plan, "Hangman" Adam Page hit the ring, steel pipe in hand.
Cole and reDragon fled the ring, leaving Page and the Bucks. The former AEW World Champion slowly turned around and offer his hand to Matt Jackson. It was accepted. Page then left the ring as the Bucks stood tall, and fans wondered if these three men would reunite after two years apart.
The history between these men dates back many years. The Elite were together when AEW formed, and the faction was expected to find great success. Page, however, fell on hard times. And his insecurities would lead to him costing the Bucks opportunities.
Eventually, Page was kicked from The Elite. He would find friendship with the Dark Order faction and win the AEW World Championship from Omega at Full Gear 2021.
Cole, along with The Elite, was a member of Bullet Club before his signing with WWE. In WWE, he and reDragon formed The Undisputed Era faction. Cole and O'Reilly also formed a tag team known as Future Shock on the independent scene.
These men have a lot of history, which plays nicely into their ensuing feud for TV.
This feud seems to be on a collision course for All Out 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. At that event, AEW will crown their first AEW World Trios Tag Team Champions.
AEW may decide to have Cole and reDragon take on Page and The Young Bucks in the finals of that tournament. The picture could get even more interesting once Omega returns from injury.
Regardless of what's to come, Cole's return to AEW on Wednesday will have huge ramifications now and in the future.