— Over the past several weeks, news has come out about multiple WWE contracts coming up for expiration much sooner than originally expected. Adam Cole’s was apparently a complete shock to almost everyone including WWE officials and the company was able to get him to re-sign a short term deal before he ultimately walked away and joined AEW. Kevin Owens’ name has also been in the news now with his deal expiring in January 2022, at least a full year before everyone thought. However, the difference in this situation is that WWE is fully aware of the specifics regarding Owens’ contract.
— Fightfulselect.com reports that WWE renegotiated several contracts in 2019 mainly by adjusting them for higher downside guarantees at which time it appears the length of some deals also got altered. Unfortunately for WWE, Adam Cole and Pete Dunne’s expiring contracts this summer were never noticed by anyone, including the wrestlers themselves, even after officials began reviewing contracts after Malakai Black’s deal only had a 30-day non-compete clause from his NXT agreement rather than the standard 90-day that Raw or Smackdown brand wrestlers have.
— This report also notes that there was significant backstage heat on people “falling asleep at the wheel” in reference to the NXT contracts, including Cole’s, but they were said to be “handled” internally in proper fashion.