Recently on The Ross Report, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross spoke with Ring Of Honor World Champion Adam Cole about a number of topics including ROH alumni succeeding in WWE and whether a WWE run is on the horizon for 'The Panama City Playboy'.
On the subject of his former ROH roster mates finding success with WWE, Cole indicated that he knew the likes of Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins had ability; however, 'The Star Of The Show' did not know whether they would get opportunities working for the world's largest professional wrestling promotion.
"Yeah, it's very cool and seeing those guys succeed is something, again, that I knew they were capable of. It was just wondering whether or not they were going to get the chance to do it. And now, they've been given the chance. Look, Kevin's WWE Universal Champion now, so I'm really, really proud of those guys, both as coworkers and as friends."
According to Cole, he is very close friends with Zayn and Owens, and he has learned a lot from WWE's current Universal Champion.
"I'm really close with Sami Zayn. I'm really, really close with Kevin Owens. We talk practically every day. He was a guy who really, really helped me, both in Ring Of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He was a guy who really believed in me, believed in my abilities, and really helped me, so I think Kevin, as far as understanding an audience and knowing how to make them cheer, how to make them boo. I do think Kevin is one of the best at understanding a crowd, just the way he is with speaking and the way he puts matches together, so I've learned a ton from him."
Although Cole is not as familiar with Rollins as he is with Zayn and Owens, there is a level of mutual respect between 'The One' and 'The Man'.
"Seth Rollins was just leaving Ring Of Honor when I was coming in, so I've heard him say very nice things about me in interviews and stuff. I always say nice things about him because of that respect I have for him. I watched him when I was working the independents while he was wrestling at Ring Of Honor and I used to be blown away by his work then."
Cole professed that rumors of him leaving ROH for WWE have died down since his actual contract status got out on the internet. While Cole would welcome a so-called WrestleMania moment one day, he is too preoccupied with being ROH champ and his impending New Japan Pro-Wrestling run to give too much thought to working for WWE down the road.
"Well, first and foremost, I think that the reason the rumors have kind of settled down as far as WWE discussion is it actually recently, a couple of months ago, got out when my Ring Of Honor contract is up. Before, everyone was kind of guessing when it was going to be and it seemed like every time I lost a match, [people would say], 'oh, Adam Cole is on his way out - he's going to NXT', so that created a lot of interesting discussion. But, yeah, regarding the WWE thing, and this is the most truthful answer I can give you and it may seem like I'm beating around the bush, but it's the truth: I haven't really thought about it too much. And the reason being is, I just won the Ring Of Honor World Championship back. I'm about to start my career in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. I have to focus all of my mindset, all of my heart into making this run in New Japan the best I possibly can and making this run with the Ring Of Honor world title as best as I possibly can. But, of course, J.R., going off on the WWE thing, if I were to tell you I don't want to have a WrestleMania moment someday, I'd be lying to you. I'd be lying! Of course I do. It's just a matter of when this contract comes up, where I'm at, where WWE is at, where Ring Of Honor is at, so so many things can change in these next couple of months. But, yeah, right now, I'm just focusing all my energy on doing really well over in New Japan and trying to do my best with the Ring Of Honor world title."
During the interview, Cole claimed that being passed over by WWE in 2013 was the best thing that could have happened for his career, as he has been able to gain experience and improve his body.
"I actually did a tryout with the WWE in 2013 and I remember thinking there were quite a few 'yeses'. I remember thinking I was going to end up going [to WWE] and I was so excited. And then, it ended up being a 'no, let him get more experience and then we'll take a look at him later.' And that was the best thing that ever happened to me as far as my career. If I would've gotten signed when I was 23 years old, I weighed a lot less, didn't have the proper experience of dealing with pressure and pay-per-view main events, traveling the world, yeah, yeah, I wouldn't be where I'm at. So now I look at it and say, 'oh, man, I'm in a better spot. So, timing, obviously, you can't always control, but I'm fortunate [for] the timing that has been put in front of me right now."
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Source: The Ross Report