As the first-ever NXT North American Champion, Adam Cole is an important part of the future of NXT. He was recently on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast and discussed how he feels about being one of the superstars who will carry the roster for the next few months.
Cole was one of the most popular independent wrestlers in the world before he signed with NXT in 2017. His popularity has only grown since then, and he said he gets recognized a lot more when he's in public.
"It's definitely a lot more since starting with NXT," Cole said. "Even post-Royal Rumble definitely more often that people come up to me asking to take a picture with me and wanting an autograph. It just shows the scale at how many people do watch WWE."
Cole won a six-man ladder match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans to become the inaugural NXT North American Champion. As a member of The Undisputed Era with Kyle O'Reilly, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong, Cole is also an NXT Tag Team Champion under the Freebird Rule, making him the first double-champion in NXT history. With members of the NXT roster getting called up to the main roster after WrestleMania, Cole knows he will be an integral part of NXT's future and he accepts the pressure of being one of the brand's cornerstone superstars. He said he's motivated to be as good as the previous generation of NXT superstars.
"There absolutely is that pressure. Any time guys move to Raw and SmackDown, I think that is what has kept NXT so relevant and has kept the fans so invested because they are now conditioned that whoever leaves or comes in, NXT, as a product, is going to give really exciting sports entertainment every time," he said. "You do have your different generation of guys, and those generations before did an excellent job, so it does put pressure on guys like me, Aleister [Black], Bobby [Fish] and Kyle [O'Reilly], and everyone else involved in NXT now. I think that is when guys are at their best, when you put pressure and have something to work towards and have something to compare yourself to, or try to best them, it really does make you better."
If any of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.