Adam Cole was recently a guest on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast. The NXT North American Champion discussed his surprise entry in the Royal Rumble in January.
After losing to Aleister Black in a hardcore match at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, fans were shocked when Cole was the No. 23 entrant in the Royal Rumble one night later. It was his first appearance on the main roster and he performed well before being eliminated by a returning Rey Mysterio. Cole, who was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said it was extra special for him to make his main roster debut in Philadelphia.
"I found out last minute about the Royal Rumble," Cole said. "Second of all, the first pro wrestling show that I ever went to was in that building [Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia], the first WrestleMania I ever watched was in Philly [WrestleMania XV], I trained to be a pro wrestler in Philadelphia, so so many things mean that much to me coming out of Philadelphia, and to be able to make my Royal Rumble debut in Philadelphia it's like, okay, great career Adam. That's it."
Cole has always been able to generate a positive reaction from fans, but he made sure he took a moment to enjoy the excitement from the WWE Universe when he walked out to the ring. He said the feeling was similar to when he first appeared at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
"I definitely made sure that I enjoyed that for what it was. My favorite part was when the music hit and the people reacted and then when I came out they reacted because I was there, and then I stood there. I made sure to enjoy it as much as I could," he said. "I had the same feeling for when I debuted at NXT: TakeOver Brooklyn III when I ran in and attacked Drew McIntyre. I remember thinking, 'God, I hope they care.' 'God, I hope they react in any capacity.' This was the end of the event so I was just hoping they were really interested in what was going on. Both times they haven't let me down. Both times have been great."
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.