During a recent appearance on the “AEW Unrestricted” podcast, Adam Cole commented on when he made the decision to leave WWE and sign with AEW, the secretiveness behind his AEW debut at All Out, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On making the decision to leave WWE: “The weeks leading up to it was just such an insane process because again, I didn’t like officially make the decision until a few days before the pay-per-view. So much of this was happening so fast. I had a wonderful four years with NXT. I really, really did. My relationship with Triple H was great. My relationship with Shawn Michaels was great. I loved the locker room there. When I made the decision, Britt [Baker] was asleep, and I was laying there in the dark. It was one in the morning, and I was just thinking about debuting for AEW and I felt like a nine-year old-kid. I couldn’t sleep I was so excited. I’ve always followed my gut lots of times and followed my heart, and my heart and my gut were telling me, yeah, AEW is the way to go between how wonderful Tony Khan is, between how wonderful the entire locker room is, just the whole crew.
On the secretiveness behind his AEW debut at All Out: “As far as the actual debut, it was crazy. It was the most secretive I’ve ever had to be. I flew into Milwaukee the night before, and then spent the night in a hotel, and then got picked up and we drove two hours or whatever to the venue. While the show was going on, I’m in this trailer all day, and I didn’t realize how secretive it was until that moment when I was rushed into this trailer because originally, I was gonna go say “hi” to everybody. I was walking in like, I want to say hello to the crew, and they’re like, ‘No, you’re not. You’re gonna go in this trailer right now.’ And I remember sitting there in the trailer, and the main event had finished, and I’m still in the trailer. So, then I start to panic a little bit. I’m like, did someone forget to come get me? Where am I supposed to go? I don’t know what the entrance looks like. Are there stairs? What’s going to happen? So, we finally got grabbed, and I’m passing everyone and saying hello. And everyone’s like, oh crap, here we go. It was such a surreal time. The same thing happened to me when I debuted at NXT. I remember in Brooklyn for my NXT debut, four years prior thinking, god, I hope the fans are excited, and I went through the exact same thing with my debut at AEW at All Out. I’m like, they’re expecting Bryan. People are chanting yes, yes, yes. Are they gonna be like, ‘Ugh, Adam Cole. Oh man.’ I was pleasantly surprised that they were so amped. My legs were physically shaking out of excitement and adrenaline. I was so pumped so ready to go. Just all those factors make it one of the best nights of my entire career, for sure.”
On the deciding factors that made him choose AEW over staying with WWE: “Well, aside from the fact that I had a four hour and 15-minute conversation with Tony Khan, who I had I had met before, but talking to him about pro wrestling and just feeling the passion that he feels about the industry was really inspiring. Aside from the fact that, The Young Bucks and Kenny, and the entire crew, and the entire locker room and how much everyone is so invested in the company and in the brand, aside from the fact that Britt Baker was there, was very telling and very important to me. But again, laying there in my bed, and thinking about debuting for AEW made me so excited. I’ve been so blessed and so fortunate in so many different ways in my life to have the privilege of being able to do things that I want to do and things that make me happy. And the idea of working for AEW made me really, really happy. So I said, I got to go for it. I got to follow my heart on this one. So I wish it was a more exciting, direct thing that had happened but really it was me laying there and just thinking about everything. And you know what else is really inspiring too is company growth is very exciting to me. The thing I loved about working for NXT or Ring of Honor or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla was I feel like I’ve been so lucky in that I’ve been on like the upswing of said companies, and it’s such a cool feeling to be like, ‘We’re growing. Oh, we’re making magic. Oh, man, we’re continuing to build this momentum and no one’s gonna stop us.’ In AEW, it feels the exact same way in the sense of AEW is steamrolling the pro wrestling industry right now. And man, I am frickin’ so happy to be a part of that.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)