The NXT Championship is around Adam Cole’s waist, but that doesn’t mean The Panama City Playboy is done antagonizing Johnny Gargano. Yet, even by Undisputed ERA’s diabolical standards, Cole’s latest taunts may have crossed the line.
On the second installment of Cole’s Bay Bay Championship Celebration Tour, the NXT Champion visited Gargano’s hometown of Cleveland. His first stop was the restaurant owned by Johnny Wrestling’s father, Frank. As the elder Gargano warily eyed his son’s rival, Cole picked up an order of pizzas and left a keepsake for the restaurant, tacking an autographed photo of himself onto the wall, between photos of Gargano and Candice LeRae. Cole’s inscription underscored his malicious intent: “To Gargano’s, A champion you can be proud of!”
Next up, Cole went to the wrestling school where Gargano used to be a trainer. Addressing the same group of WWE hopefuls that Gargano previously encouraged to follow their dreams on Target: TakeOver XXV, Cole said Gargano was “full of crap” and that he felt pity over Gargano giving the trainees “false hope” that they could one day become champion. The reaction was hostile, and Cole was told to leave, but before he exited, he left the students with the pizzas and some parting advice: “Give up” and “Find yourselves a new hero.”