UPDATE: Pro Wrestling Tees has reached out to the artist since the time of publish and have denied that they have took her design. Lili wrote the following update on Twitter and posted the below screen shots of her conversation with the t-shirt company.
“Shout out to Dave from @PWTees who got in contact to share the team had been working on a very similar design, the same time I was drawing mine.”
“I tried to be careful in my wording, because I knew I’m not the only person who could have thought of this idea.”
Adam Cole was revealed to be The Devil at AEW Worlds End and this was built upon during last week’s Dynamite. Cole wearing the Devil mask remains a big part of his character, but now an artist has pointed out how new merchandise for Adam Cole is far too similar to her own work.
AEW has a passionate fanbase of fantastic artists who make loads of digital or hand-drawn artwork of their favorite professional wrestlers. Adam Cole is no exception in this regard, especially after he was revealed as The Devil.
An artist named Lili took to Twitter and pointed out how new merchandise for Adam Cole is far too similar to an artwork she made of Adam Cole as The Devil. She expressed her mixed feelings and disappointment that her design wasn’t the one that got sold on a t-shirt.
Mixed feelings cause it’s similar to the drawing but different, with a real photo, higher contrast, and a line down the middle (rather than blended together) Tbh a little sad cause I would’ve really liked to have seen my art being sold on a shirt
My feelings are mixed cause when my drawing was shared a lot of people in the comments were saying they wanted it as a shirt – and there’s a bit of a running joke about AEW being a ‘t shirt company’ that prints shirts off of anything very quickly”
The artist would then go on Reddit and make a similar post, pointing out the similarities. She would then note that the pessimist in her can imagine AEW taking advantage of her being a small-time artist.
”Mixed feelings because it’s similar to the original, using real photos, higher contrast, and a line down the middle (where as mine was deliberately blended together vs the features of the lips/nose on the shirt mask don’t entirely line up)
I’m a small creator – my twitter has 300 followers, and my art instagram [@hollee.arts] has 130 – so the pessimist in me can imagine AEW (a company owned by a billionaire with a loyal fan base) taking advantage of that
I’m also a really big fan of Adam Cole, which is why I did the drawing in the first place, and was incredibly happy when he liked and shared my drawing, so I don’t want to ruin that memory.”
It is not known whether AEW genuinely took inspiration from the artist’s design or if it was truly just pure coincidence. Nonetheless, such things are not unheard of in the world of professional wrestling.
What do you think of this story concerning Adam Cole’s new AEW merchandise? Do you feel AEW might have jacked the design or it’s pure coincidence? Let us know in the comments section below.