Just two months ago, jaws dropped when The Undisputed Era leader Adam Cole superkicked his ally and brother, Kyle O’Reilly, in the face. Now, both men look to seek vengeance in an Unsanctioned Match tonight during the second part of WWE’s NXT: Stand & Deliver. But before these two clash, Cole spoke with WWE’s The Bump on where his head is at going into this match.
“It’s strange because I am emotionally drained – I’m tired, and I’m exhausted – while at the same time, I’ve never been thinking more clearly in my entire life,” Adam Cole mentioned. “The beautiful thing about the past and being friends with somebody for so long is it helps you think more clearly because you have the past to look at.
“I look at all of the year’s Kyle and I spent fighting each other. I look at all the year’s Kyle and I spent teaming together. And if you look back starting in 2009, when you compare Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, it has always been about Adam Cole. It’s always been Adam Cole is number one, and Kyle O’Reilly is number two. Somewhere along the way, Kyle wanted to play the leader and who, what, where, what happens to The Undisputed Era, and that was never what it was about. This started as me teaching Kyle O’Reilly a lesson, and it’s turned into so much more than that. It’s turned into me teaching a friend a lesson that I don’t think he’s going to be able to come back from. ”
Panelist Evan T. Mack asked the former NXT Champion if breaking up The Undisputed Era at TakeOver: Vengeance Day was a long time in the making after being such a solid group for the last four years.
“Well, of course! In my mind, there’s no reason that The Undisputed Era couldn’t have lasted forever,” Cole stated. “There’s no reason that I could have spent the rest of my NXT/WWE career with The Undisputed Era by my side. But again, when people like Kyle and Roderick [Strong] and Bobby [Fish] for that matter – specifically Kyle – lost sight of what The Undisputed Era was – which at the end of the day was about being the best. At the end of the day, it was about running the show and showing the world that we were the greatest faction, not just in NXT but all of WWE. Part of that process was holding all of the gold – that golden prophecy that we fulfilled once, but I wanted to do it again.
“When Kyle challenged for the NXT Championship – twice – and failed both times, and then decided to try and bring Finn Balor into The Undisputed Era, that showed me exactly where Kyle’s head was at. He didn’t belong in The Undisputed Era anymore. So, yes. It was appropriate to shut it down.”
Last Wednesday, O’Reilly published a tweet stating that their Unification event will not just be a typical match, but a violent fight, and another must-see moment in their on-again, off-again rivalry. Panelist Ryan Pappolla asked if Cole agreed with O’Reilly’s statements.
“He’s right about it being a must-see. Every time Kyle and I teamed together or fought each other, it has been spectacular,” Cole noted. “The thing he’s wrong about is it’s not like everything that people have seen. This is going to be like nothing that anybody has ever seen before. If you’ve been following everything that I’ve been doing and what Kyle O’Reilly has been doing, you still will not have seen what I’m going to do to him. I’m not going to say what we’re going to do to each other. Kyle can call it a fight all that he wants. I know him better than anybody. He’s going to bring his best and put me to my limit. But the things I’m going to do to Kyle O’Reilly will not be anything that anybody has ever seen before.”
It’s evident that O’Reilly sees himself as the better man heading into this match. When sitting across Cole just two weeks ago, O’Reilly mentioned how his career blossomed, thanks to his time in The Undisputed Era. But he didn’t feel the same way about Cole. In his opinion, Cole is still the same guy he was four years ago when he first landed in NXT. Still furious over that comment, Cole made it known this week just how thick-witted it is for O’Reilly to think that he hasn’t changed, considering all the accolades he’s achieved over his former friend.
“I love when he says that because again, it shows the hypocrisy of everything that he’s been saying. Like, what is he fighting for? To be a better person, as he has been claiming,” Cole scoffed. “So, I guess being a better person is running me off the road with a vehicle. Yeah, that’s Kyle O’Reilly; being a real stand-up guy! He doesn’t make any sense. If he were to listen to himself, he would know how absolutely insane he sounds.
“And he talks about me not changing. So, the 403 day legendary run as NXT Champion – the longest reigning NXT Champion of all time. The fact that I’ve been a Triple Crown winner. The fact that I got ‘Wrestler of the Year’ in 2019. The fact that I main evented NXT, Raw and SmackDown, and had the match of the night at Survivor Series. The fact that I was in the first-ever WarGames match and won that match in WWE. The accolades, I can go on and on. So, if Kyle believes I’m the same dude who came into NXT in 2017, he’s lost complete sight of what this is all about.
“I care about winning and being the best. Kyle clearly cares about feeling like the better person while not changing at all. Kyle is running in circles. I know Kyle doesn’t want the beating I’m about to give him, but that’s what he’s going to get. Kyle can continue to fight this fight that he thinks makes him so noble and special. I’m going to shut that down like I’m going to shut him down.”
You can watch Adam Cole’s full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.