In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, NXT Champion Adam Cole ranked his favorite matches and opponents, along with discussing what goes into planning a good match. Here are the ranked matches below, along with the interview.
7. vs. Finn Balor (NXT – December 18, 2019)
6. vs. Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Takeover: Portland – February 16, 2020)
5. vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT Takeover: Toronto II – August 10, 2019)
4. vs. Matt Riddle (NXT – October 2, 2019)
3. vs. Daniel Bryan (Smackdown – November 1, 2019)
2. vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT Takeover XXV – June 1, 2019)
1. vs. Pete Dunne (Survivor Series – November 24, 2019)
What makes a great match?
“The unbelievable story leading up into the match, how emotionally invested the audience is before the match even begins, how emotionally invested they are watching the match. Obviously, we don’t have a bunch of fans in the audience right now, so hopefully them watching invested from their couch at home or wherever they’re watching the event. As far as Edge and Orton are concerned, they’re two of the absolute greatest of all time. The matches that Edge has had have been unbelievable. The matches Orton has had have been unbelievable. But the greatest wrestling match ever? When you talk about the greatest wrestling matches ever, I personally think you think of Adam Cole and the amazing NXT title defenses I’ve had and the many, many more NXT Championship defenses I’m going to have. When we talk about greatest wrestling matches ever, look no further than yours truly.”
Working with Finn Balor.
“Why that one was special was, at that point, I was in pretty deep with my NXT Championship run and I was really solidifying myself as one of the best NXT champions of all-time. The one looming thing was the longest-reigning NXT champion Finn Balor, who had recently come back to NXT, so a lot of people had fantasized about us challenging each other with the title on the line. That one was really special. Fast-forward a bunch of years later and here we are on NXT television with the title on the line. It was really cool. I look at Finn Balor as absolutely one of the greatest NXT champions of all-time, so it was really important to me to not only have a good match with him, but also to walk away still the NXT champion to prove I am what I say I am, and that’s the greatest.”
Why his match with Pete Dunne is his favorite?
“If I had to pick a favorite [title defense], strictly because of the month and the positioning of where I was, the successful title defense against Pete Dunne at Survivor Series is up there. I hold that one and the night that I won the championship as [being] very special. Not only because I got to wrestle at Survivor Series and it being the first time the NXT Championship was defended, but just the crazy month that I and so many other people had. To think it was 24 hours before I went through a 50-minute war in WarGames and I was thrown off the top of the cage. I was battered, beaten and bruised but still went out, still had a tough match, and still walked away as the NXT champion. I think that one is up there too as being very special as far as title defenses go.”