Adam Cole Reflects On Reasons For Making Jump To AEW & His Time Spent In WWE NXT

If you wind back the clock to this time in 2021, perhaps the hottest free agent in pro wrestling was Adam Cole. After a successful run in "WWE NXT," he opted to leave the company after his contract expired. 


Cole had long been linked with a move to AEW, and at the All Out pay-per-view event in Chicago, the 34-year-old debuted at the close of the show, aligning with long-time friends Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. On the latest episode of "Under The Ring", Cole explained the main reasons behind moving from WWE to AEW and signing long-term with the growing promotion. 

"It was definitely a choice I thought about for quite some time," he said. "There were a couple of factors that kind of really pushed me towards making the AEW decision. First and foremost, I was a massive fan of the product and I would watch it every week. It was so awesome to watch these shows ... the crowds were so raucous and so wild every single week and it almost felt like an NXT TakeOver every week. 


"At this point, me and Britt, my girlfriend, were barely seeing each other -– I was maybe seeing her one day a week at this point because our schedules were so different. The idea of not only being able to see her more, travel with her, be there for her before and after her matches, that was something that was very attractive to me."

Cole also elaborated on the crackdown within WWE on third-party channels, admitting the potential of having to end his Twitch video game streams and leave behind the community he'd built, was another enticing part of joining AEW. 

Adam Cole reflects on successful NXT tenure

During his tenure in "NXT," Adam Cole became the centerpiece of the show's weekly programming, capturing both the "NXT" Championship and "NXT" North American title, as well as leading the Undisputed Era faction. 


While the pandemic hindered the NXT product, Cole's run between 2017 and 2019 was one of the best in the brand's history and he hopes fans feel the same way.

"I certainly hope history looks back on that era as a special one," he said. "I felt like we were in the middle of something very special. As far as what made it work, I think it's a combination of the timing being really right, I think you had Triple H who was eating, sleeping, and breathing NXT at the time and totally invested, Shawn Michaels, the exact same thing, and then you had a roster full of guys who had known each other for years and were ready to commit everything to making this the best possible show. 

"You could feel the brand growing and you could feel more people joining this ride that was 'NXT' black and gold. I think for a lot of people, it was the first time they had seen that style of wrestling. It just created this movement that was absolutely unbelievable."


Despite his incredible resume in "NXT" and close relationship with Triple H, Cole didn't move to the main roster. Now, Cole will look to earn another major championship in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in the main event of AEW All In, when he will go against current AEW World Champion, MJF