Source: The Steve Austin Show
Recently, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin welcomed three-time ROH World Champion Adam Cole to 317 Gimmick Street, while 316 Gimmick Street is still under renovation, for a conversation on The Steve Austin Show. On this 'Stone Cold' hosted edition of 'Story Time With Adam Cole', 'The Panama City Playboy' talked about former WWE Champion AJ Styles, how Cole came up with his 'baybay' catchphrase, and professional wrestlers who influenced his career.
"I've known that AJ Styles is one of the best, if not the best wrestlers I've ever been in the ring with based on personal experience and matches with him. But again, the way that AJ has been able to constantly reinvent himself as well, like when he departed from TNA everyone was kind of unsure of what he was going to do. He blew it out of the water! I mean, he went to New Japan. I think he deserves a lot of credit for a lot of people in the States getting into New Japan because a lot of people were like, 'oh, AJ Styles is in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and AJ keeps having these five-star matches with [Shinsuke] Nakamura and [Kazuchika] Okada and [Hiroshi] Tanahashi, just tearing the house down every night.' Coming to Ring Of Honor, AJ doesn't get a lot of credit either. It's a known fact that when AJ was released or let go or left TNA, when he got booked for Ring Of Honor, he sold upwards of 800 tickets because he was booked for the show. So AJ's a star. He was a star then. He's an even bigger star now. And it's cool to see him just killing it."
With respect to Cole's "Adam Cole, baybay" tagline, the former Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Champion cited Chris Jericho's "come on, baby" as inspiration (while making no mention of Heath Slater's 'baybay' catchphrase) as well as the way Joey Mercury would say his own name as a heel.
"Man, so totally by mistake, actually, so I'm a huge Chris Jericho fan and I'm also a huge Joey Matthews fan, Joey Mercury. So obviously, Chris Jericho used to always exaggerate 'baby' to the point where he would say, 'baybay'. But really, the whole reason I started saying my name and 'baybay' at the end was because I was watching Joey Matthews on these independent shows and when Joey Matthews was working as a heel, he used to over and over again put his arms in the air and yell, 'Joey Matthews! Joey Matthews!' and I was like, 'that's brilliant because if anybody doesn't know who he is, everybody is going to know who he is by the end of this match!'" Cole continued, "initially, it was just 'Adam Cole, baby!' Then it got more and more exaggerated and then people started doing it with me. Initially, when I first started doing it, no one would do it. They hated it and thought it was terrible, so it's amazing that that [has] gotten over now. That's something people can't wait to do at my entrance or in the ring or anything like that. But I got it over! It took me years, but I got it over."
Known for being a workmanlike, if not excellent promo, Cole said he put more emphasis on working the mic than working a match when studying the craft of professional wrestling. Cole went on to name Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, and CM Punk as influences.
"Chris Jericho, huge fan and someone I studied a lot. Another guy that's on everybody's list, I think, is Shawn Michaels. I mean, the guy's ability to work as a babyface or as a heel. I think he's an underrated promo too. I mean, I just thought he was fantastic. Another guy that really influenced me as well, even before I got into [professional] wrestling, or when I just started wrestling, I was always such a promo guy where I would study promos and I loved promos and I loved the ability of certain guys to get emotion out of people with just their words. A guy that really captivated me, actually, was CM Punk, as far as his promos. And I used to watch… he's the reason I got into Ring Of Honor in the first place. I remember hearing about this CM Punk guy, buying a DVD, and watching this promo that he cut on Raven and being like, 'I've never seen anything like this before' at the time. So I will, to this day, watch a promo that he does because they've influenced me so much."
Check out the award-winning podcast that has never won any awards here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.