AEW Star Adam Cole Shares Appreciation For Shawn Michaels & NXT Experience

Since making his way over to "WWE NXT" to become a trainer and producer, hundreds of wrestlers have been given the opportunity to learn from Shawn Michaels at the WWE Performance Center. One of those performers is Adam Cole, who was a key figure in raising the cache of the developmental brand. During an interview with "Inside The Ropes," Cole dove into his relationship with the legendary Michaels.

"I know I've said this so much, but just in case, if someone doesn't know, Shawn Michaels is my favorite pro wrestler of all time," Cole said. "One of the things I cherished most about my time at NXT was not only having him as a mentor and someone that I learned from, but forming a relationship with him was so surreal to me. He taught me so much. ... My ability to listen to the live audience and adjust accordingly changed so much working under Shawn Michaels."

According to Cole, Michaels is the kind of boss who is set on wanting everybody to succeed together. Additionally, when Cole used to come to the back after a match, the former "WWE NXT" Champion said his mood would improve tenfold if Michaels was excited about the performance.

Cole's onscreen best friend (and AEW World Champion) Maxwell Jacob Friedman recently praised Michaels as well. The WWE Hall of Famer would make up the in-ring aspect of the perfect professional wrestler, according to MJF.

Cole's time in NXT

Though Cole allowed his WWE contract to expire in 2021, joining up with AEW a short time later, the 34-year-old wrestler seems to cherish his time spent on the black-and-gold brand. Speaking about his NXT experience, Cole had only positive things to say.

"I loved it there," Cole continued. "I had such a wonderful, wonderful experience. I learned so much. I got to explore more of who Adam Cole was. I feel like I grew a ton as a performer. ... The love and respect I still have for all of them is absolutely through the roof."

The former WWE star named Triple H and Matt Bloom as two important individuals with regard to his time in the company. While NXT was once Triple H's domain, he has now moved up to the role of Chief Content Officer for the company, where he's in charge of creative on the main roster while Michaels has taken over his position in NXT. Not wanting to leave anyone out, Cole also emphasized that the entire roster and crew in NXT deserves praise.

Over the course of his NXT run, Cole held the "WWE NXT" Championship once, became the first-ever "WWE NXT" North American Champion, formed and led the Undisputed Era for years, and held the "WWE NXT" Tag Team Championship with that group. Along with those accolades, Cole helped raise the profile of the brand enough to allow for the move from the WWE Network to the USA Network.