One of the ideas for Adam Cole to move up to the WWE main roster was to become a manager for a heel Keith Lee, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Meltzer said it was either Vince McMahon or Bruce Prichard's idea.
Cole became a free agent at the end of August after his already extended NXT contract expired. In an effort to keep him and promote him to the main roster after a four year run in NXT where he had done it all, Cole met with McMahon. It's believed that is where the idea was proposed.
Meltzer said they were looking for a similar dynamic to what Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush had where Rush (the manager) would talk big but hide behind the bigger Lashley when things got physical. He also thought they would likely change Cole's name because of announcer Michael Cole.
Cole debuted with AEW at All Out, rejoining The Elite at the end of the pay-per-view. He made his Dynamite on-screen debut Wednesday and will take on Frankie Kazarian in his in-ring debut on next week's Dynamite in Newark, New Jersey.