NXT Champion Adam Cole spoke to Brent Brookhouse of CBS Sports about his title defense against The Velveteen Dream that will air at NXT Takeover: In Your House this Sunday. While Cole vs. Dream was recorded last week, the rest of the show will be live with some developmental talent in the crowd. Cole said that while he misses the crowd, performing in front of a small group of people is not as different as wrestling in front of a big crowd.

“Surprisingly enough, it’s actually not as different as I think you might picture, as far as performing and wrestling not in front of a really, really giant audience,” Cole said. “It’s definitely strange and I really miss our fans because our fans are some of the best wrestling fans in the entire world, especially at TakeOver. You’ve seen it, they’re just absolutely insane the entire show. They’re unbelievable. But so much of where that pressure comes from is internal, and that internal pressure does not go away just because there’s not an audience there. There’s an expectation we have for ourselves and for our own performances that is so incredibly high that regardless of nobody being there, that pressure still stays.

“On top of that, we have a lot of people backstage or who are there watching, who we either idolized growing up or really respect. At the end of the day, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, we want to impress them to and make them go, ‘Oh wow, that was great.’ I think the fans make the crazy, wild performances so much easier because their energy and their passion shine through and make us perform at an even higher level. It definitely helps, but you are going to see that, at TakeOver: In Your House, you’re going to get a TakeOver. You’re absolutely going to get a TakeOver because that’s what we expect from ourselves.”

We reported earlier this week that Adam Cole’s NXT contract is expiring in August and it’s likely that he will be called to the main roster if he signs a new deal. Cole was asked about the reports, but he said that he is not thinking about what’s next in his career, but rather continuing his title reign.

“Right now, and I mean this because a lot of people say, ‘Oh, what’s next? What are you going to do next? You’re NXT champion, what’s your next goal?’ My goal is to keep the NXT championship,” Cole said. “At the end of the day, right now I just broke a full year as NXT champion, I love NXT, I’m proud of what this brand represents and I’m proud of what I’ve done and the Undisputed Era has done. I see no reason why we have to skip over to the next goal or next thing. I think holding onto the NXT championship for as long as possible and making sure this record can and will never be broken is my end-game goal.

“One of the coolest parts about being in NXT through this transition period is seeing the brand grow and how far it has come even from when I joined in 2017. The brand has grown tremendously. I think, oftentimes, about what NXT is going to be like six months from now or a year from now or two years from now. It’s going to keep growing and growing and getting bigger and bigger. I’m very proud to be a part of that. I just want to continue trying to solidify myself as being the greatest NXT champion of all-time.”