Current WWE NXT World Champion Adam Cole was a guest on this week’s edition of After The Bell. During the conversation he had with host Corey Graves, Cole detailed exactly what went down when he was told last Friday morning that he needed to fly across the country to main event SmackDown.
“I got a text message about 2:15 PM saying, ‘Hey, there’s a chance that you might be needed for SmackDown.’ And then two minutes after that, it was, ‘Hey, you’re needed for SmackDown and a plane leaves in an hour and a half. So fortunately, I was home,” Adam said. “So I quickly get all of my stuff together and get all rushed, and we get there, and we’re waiting on this plane because the plane’s late. We’re kind of figuring out the idea of what we’re going to be doing while we’re in the air.
“When we do land, we land at about 7:30 PM but, again, this is in Buffalo so there’s a decent little trip yet to get there. We walk into the arena around 8:15 – 8:20, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were just finishing in the ring. That is kind of how the whole process started; it was definitely one of the wackiest days in my career, Adam continued. “I think at that point, Bryan and I ended up walking to the ring about 9:30 pm so it was like I had about an hour to get ready and get focused, and get in the zone, and all that jazz. But yeah, totally wild day. It all happened so fast that it almost didn’t seem real.”
Cole revealed the history that he and Daniel Bryan have together in the pro wrestling industry, however, their match on SmackDown was the first time they’ve competed in the ring against each other. Cole had high praise for Daniel and says that he is every bit as good in the ring as people make him out to be.
“[Working with Daniel] was so cool for so many reasons because when I was younger, all I watched was WWE. That was it. Then I remember that when I had access to the internet, it opened me up to all these different types of wrestling that you could find. And one of the first guys that popped up was Daniel Bryan, or Bryan Danielson at the time. I remember seeing him in Ring Of Honor and being blown away by this guy; I just couldn’t stop watching his matches. I was such a big fan of his.
“Right around the time I started working for Ring Of Honor, Bryan was on his way out. So, I met him a few times and got to watch him a few times to learn something. I’m still a giant fan of his, so then to see him go on and do his thing and me kind of go up through the ranks on the independents, Bryan was a guy I had never wrestled. Like, in my twelve years of wrestling, I had never gotten the chance to step in the ring with him. So, it was crazy, and it was awesome that the first time was absolute last-minute live on Friday Night SmackDown. Yeah, that was awesome. He was everything I had hoped he would be; the guy is one of the absolute best I ever stepped in the ring with. It was as good as they say he is and it was a major pleasure for me.”
Although he had an extra twenty hours or so to prepare for his appearance on RAW, Adam says that his nerves were still ringing strong when Monday arrived. This was also the very first time that Cole and Rollins competed in a one-on-one match.
“[RAW] was another situation incredibly similar but it was not as close to last-minute as it was SmackDown but still fairly last-minute. We got about a twenty-four hours notice, but again, that’s another thing – Seth was a guy that’s very similar to Bryan. It was like when I first started working for Ring of Honor without any sort of contract, that’s when Bryan had left. And I remember the day I signed my first wrestling contract for Ring of Honor was the day Seth Rollins had his farewell match, and he was wrestling Roderick Strong ironically enough.
“Again, he’s another guy that I had never gotten the chance to wrestle for and one of those guys that was very high on my list that I wanted to step into the ring with. So yeah, between Bryan on Friday and Seth on Monday, two of, in my opinion and in many other people’s opinion, the very best at what we do. To be able to tangle with them for the first time was really cool and I like to think that it won’t be the last time.”
You can listen to the full interview below. If you use any quotes from this article, please credit After the Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.