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By Luke Dorsch @Luke_Dorsch
Nothing has gotten more attention in the WWE/NXT Universe the past 2 weeks than the debut of the new (Ring of Honor) faction on NXT with the long awaited arrival of Adam Cole to WWE’s developmental territory NXT. Adam Cole is joined by his former tag team partner Kyle O’Reilly and O’Reilly’s other tag team partner Bobby Fish. Now for the most part, wrestling fans around the world were excited to see the arrival of Adam Cole and reDRagon in NXT but what about those fans who are unfamiliar with the new trio whose name could be Future Shock. It’s an apt name for the trio if it indeed sticks because that was the name of Cole and O’Reilly’s tag team on the independent scene several years ago.
The Infamous Bobby Fish
The first member of this new faction that was publicly signed to NXT was the “Infamous” Bobby Fish. The former Jerk Jackson got his start in the business on the east coast of the United States particularly in the New England area then working as a jobber for ROH house shows and on early HDnet television. Bobby started turning some heads when he arrived in Japan to work for Pro Wrestling Noah and was brought back for several tours sometimes working as a singles wrestler and other times working tag matches with Eddie Edwards.
He was brought back and signed to Ring of Honor in 2012 where he started teaming with Kyle O’Reilly and they formed the tag team reDRagon and quickly found success dethroning Mark and Jay Briscoe in the spring of 2013. They would drop and regain the tag titles a few times over the course of the next year and in the summer of 2014 reDRagon made their debut in Japan working for NJPW. Later that same year they took on their longtime rivals The Young Bucks in the finals of the 2014 Super Jr. Tag Tournament and winning the tournament earning another shot at the Time Splitters (Alex Shelly, KUSHIDA) and successfully becoming the IWGP Jr Tag Champions. The next year Bobby entered in the 2015 Best of the Super Juniors tournament and had a good run finishing second in his block really showing what he can do as a singles performer. reDRAGon would win the IWGP Jr Tag titles one more time by defeating The Young Bucks in August of 2015 and Bobby received his first and only NJPW singles title shot facing Katsuyori Shibata for the NEVER Openweight Championship.
Back stateside Fish would gain his first major singles title by defeating then ROH World Television Champion the Stone Pitbull Tomohiro Ishii at Global Wars 2016, he held the title and almost turned heel before losing the strap to Will Osprey in November of that same year. WWE had its feelers on Bobby Fish and others earlier this year, and after facing his new partner Adam Cole for the ROH World Championship at Manhattan Mayhem and entering into a brief feud with Jay Lethal, Bobby left his longtime home working independent shows such as Pro Wrestling Guerilla and finally making his NXT debut against Aliester Black back in June.
Sleazy Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle O’Reilly trained under former ROH and TNA Champion Davey Richards and began wrestling in 2008 working the indie scene in promotions like Full Impact Pro, Chikara, Evolve, and Dragon Gate USA. He had some great matches in these promotions ironically, on the first Evolve show he had a great match against future tag team partner Bobby Fish, and additionally in Chikara’s Young Lions tournament he would have one of his first encounters with his other future tag team partner Adam Cole. He first appeared in Ring of Honor in 2009 essentially as enhancement talent then he faced former 2X ROH World Champion Austin Aries and was quickly signed to a contract impressing everyone backstage. Not long after he and Adam Cole formed the original Future Shock working Pro Wrestling Guerilla and entering a feud with The Young Bucks having several memorable matches with them, culminating at one of, if not the best PWG show of all time their anniversary show, Threemendous Three. They took part in a Guerilla Warfare match with the Bucks, and the Super Smash Bros and tore the house completely down. Back on the east coast he and Adam Cole had disbanded Future Shock in ROH and Kyle started teaming with his mentor Davey Richards as Cole ironically would form a team with Eddie Edwards. Kyle essentially turned heel in 2012 in ROH turning on Adam Cole who at the time was a white meat baby face, and the two had some great matches at Best in the World and Showdown in the Sun. It was around this time that Kyle and Bobby Fish would form reDRagon and go on to hold both the ROH World Tag Team Championship as well as the IWGP Jr Tag Team Championship.
In 2013 Sleazy Kyle competed in his first Battle of Los Angeles tournament defeating Trent, ACH, Drake Younger, and finally Michael Elgin in the finals to win that year’s BOLA and earn a shot at then PWG World Champion….Adam Cole. Cole retained in their first PWG encounter due to interference by Cole’s Mount Rushmore stablemates The Young Bucks and Kevin Steen. Kyle received a rematch in 2014 in a knock out or submission match in which Kyle ended the reign of Adam Cole to become the new PWG champion. Due to his Ring of Honor contract Kyle had to leave PWG dropping the title to Roderick Strong in an impromptu Guerilla Warfare match. Back in Ring of Honor O’Reilly made his return and reignited his feud with Adam Cole and finally last December at Final Battle Kyle O’Reilly defeated Adam Cole for the Ring of Honor World Championship. His reign wouldn’t last long as just over a month later at Wrestle Kingdom 11 at the Tokyo Dome Kyle was defeated by Cole and dropped the ROH Championship. This was due to the fact that O’Reilly didn’t resign with ROH and instead began working independent shows like PWG, Evolve, and AAW. Finally, after months of speculation Sleazy Kyle made his NXT debut much like his reDRagon partner facing Aliester Black on NXT television losing to Black in a really solid hard hitting match.
ADAM COLE BAY BAY
It’s been well documented that Adam Cole’s dream was to become a professional wrestler stating that it was the Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock match from WrestleMania 17 that turned him into a fan, and then as he aged he learned of independent promotions like Ring of Honor and CZW. He loved early ROH citing CM Punk and others as an inspiration to follow his dreams. While still in high school he began training under John Dahmer and DJ Hyde at CZW’s wrestling school. He would work in the Combat Zone for five years making regular appearances at their biggest shows. He won his first gold defeating Ruckus and Sabian in a three way match for the CZW Jr. Heavyweight championship as well as the Best of the Best X tournament defeating Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly. Cole would go onto become the longest reigning CZW Junior Champion clocking in at almost 600 days as their champion ultimately losing to one of his longtime rivals Sammi Calliahan.
Adam Cole signed his first Ring of Honor contract in the summer of 2010 when as stated above he and Kyle O’Reilly formed Future Shock. Once that duo ended Cole became a singles competitor earning his first championship gold in the company by defeating then ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong here in Baltimore for an ROH TV taping in June of 2012. After a brief feud with Matt Hardy he dropped the TV title to Matt Taven after holding that title for 246 days.
Over in Pro Wrestling Guerilla; Cole competed in the 2012 Battle of Los Angeles now being known as the “Panama City Playboy” defeating fan favorite El Generico, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, and in the finals (just like O’Reilly would the next year) Michael Elgin. After the tournament was completed he attacked then champion Kevin Steen and set up a Guerilla Warfare Match w/ Steen in one of the most impressively brutal matches you will ever see. Cole takes a top rope fisherman suplex thru about 400 chairs stacked on top of one another with the one at the top upside down so the chair legs are exposed. Even after taking a bump that bad, Cole would go on to defeat Steen and become the PWG World Champion. Adam Cole would go on to make history as the most defending and longest reigning Pro Wrestling Guerilla World Champion clocking his reign in at 426 days. He would go on to drop that title to Kyle O’Reilly as mentioned above.
Back in ROH, after Jay Briscoe had to vacate the ROH World Championship due to an injury there was a tournament to crown a new champion in which Cole would go on to defeat Mark Briscoe, Jay Lethal, Tommaso Ciampa, and Michael Elgin to win the tournament and become the new ROH World Champion. In May of 2014 the returning Jay Briscoe and Adam Cole would fight for the right to be called the undisputed ROH World Champion at Supercard of Honor VII. Not long afterwards, Cole joined the stable known as The Kingdom teaming with Matt Hardy, Mike Bennett, and Matt Taven. He defended the title a few more times that year before ultimately losing the strap to Michael Elgin ending the reign at 275 days. Cole was sidelined for several months due to his shoulder injury and returning to ROH at War of the Worlds 2015 facing AJ Styles on night one and teaming with his Kingdom stablemates for night two. It seemed as if Future Shock would be reformed due to Matt Taven’s knee injury and Mike Bennet and Maria Kanellis leaving the promotion but it was not to be. Cole turned on O’Reilly costing him a shot at the ROH World Championship.
The Young Bucks had been teasing a new Bullet Club member on ROH TV for some time and speculations were running rampant as to who the next member would be, and at the 2016 Global Wars PPV during the main event between reigning ROH World Champion Jay Lethal and Colt Cabana the Bullet Club came to ringside and their newest member was revealed…of course Adam Cole Bay Bay. He and the Bucks formed the “Superkliq” and defeated War Machine and Moose at Best in the World, and he would face World Champion Jay Lethal at Death Before Dishonor and would claim his second ROH World Championship. Kyle O’Reilly returned to ROH that night to reignite his feud with Cole and interject himself into the title picture, setting up their match at Final Battle 2016. As mentioned previously due to O’Reilly not resigning with ROH, Cole regained his title for a record setting third time by defeating O’Reilly on January 4, 2017 at Wrestle Kingdom 11 at the Tokyo Dome.
The rumor mill was already up and running because Cole went to Full Sail for an NXT try out in February so we all knew it was a matter of time, he ended his long career in Ring of Honor by dropping the championship to Christopher Daniels at the 15th Anniversary Show, which prompted Cole to try and fire the Young Bucks from the Bullet Club for allowing him to lose the title. This played out on ROH TV and on The You Tube Show “Being the Elite” over the next few months. Cole lost to Marty Scull in a ROH World Television Title Match at Super Card of Honor this year, and would lose to one of his idols Hiroshi Tanahashi at the War of the Worlds PPV. His ROH contract had expired so, the end was nigh, as The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and the newest Bullet Club member Marty Scurll would lay Cole out and cement his departure from the Bullet Club. Cole wrestled two more times for ROH losing to Adam Page on ROH TV, and losing a Philadelphia Street Fight to Marty at the Philadelphia TV tapings in May.
Adam Cole ended his impressive and record setting independent career with a great match with Matt Riddle in PWG, and at the aptly named PWG show “Head Like A Cole” the Panama City Playboy faced his longtime rival Sami Callihan in what would be his final appearance in Reseda. He and his girlfriend Britt Baker are the current Wrestle Circus Tag Team Champions as I’m sure his independent dates are winding to a close.
Adam Cole made his NXT debut at this year’s NXT Take Over Brooklyn III, when he and his new Future Shock stable of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly showed up at the end of the Drew McIntyre and Bobby Roode championship match. While Fish and O’Reilly had Drew distracted Adam Cole hustled thru the crowd and attacked McIntyre as all three former ROH Stars beat him down. The night ended perfectly with the Barclay Center chanting along, “ADAM COLE BAY BAY” as Future Shock exited the arena.