Recent AEW signee Adam Cole was on today’s episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast. Chris Jericho brought up Cole’s contract negotiations with WWE this past summer. Jericho asked if Cole being part of the main roster was part of his negotiations.
“That was the pitch from the gate,” Cole revealed. “I did have a meeting with Vince that went really well. It was a 30 minute convo, which was cool. I’ve only talked to him for maybe two or three minutes prior to that. I got to work the Survivor Series event, and he wanted to talk to us afterwards. He was really happy with the match but no real conversation with him before.
“That was the first time, but it was really cool. He was very complimentary, very nice, but yeah, the idea was for me to go to RAW or SmackDown and not stay in NXT just because I had been there for so long, and I think they knew, as much as I do love NXT, I was ready to, if I stayed in WWE, to take that step of going to RAW or SmackDown.”
There were many things that came out of those negations with Vince McMahon and WWE where Cole made it clear he would not give up his Twitch account. There was also a report that WWE had considered Cole to be Keith Lee’s manager, though, Cole admits to never hearing that. He did reveal what was brought up in those meetings.
“It was funny because apparently, there were a lot of ideas, but they were very vague on what exactly they wanted to do,” Cole noted. “This is interesting too because I remember when I first had the conversation, they had mentioned something about ‘maybe we’ll do a name change or maybe we’ll change your look a little bit.’ So that scared me a little bit just because I’d spent nearly 14 years as Adam Cole, and then our latest conversation, they were definitely more open to me being me and being myself and stuff like that. They could tell I was not too thrilled about the idea.”
Jericho noted that something like that must have been pitched and thrown around. He had asked Cole if that was a red flag to him when that option was brought up.
“It was definitely something that made me a little bit more timid about maybe pulling the trigger on that one,” Cole admitted. “Of course, they could not have been nicer, but when I think about me and my career and what is best for me, the idea of that being an option did scare me a little bit, where I was like, okay, what if I do go, and then something happens anyway because at that point, I can’t really say or do anything. Red flag is the perfect way to put it.”
Cole viewed the decision to change his name from WWE’s perspective. He noted how important his name and brand is towards his connection with the audience.
“I understand where they’re coming from, to some extent, but I feel like a big part of what has made me work is, I’m not 6’3″, and I’m not, 285 pounds,” Cole said. “The ‘Adam Cole baybay’ and the ‘boom’ and all that stuff is such a big part of what I do and how I connect with the audience, aside from the wrestling and the promos. I feel like it would have been quite the challenge if that would have happened, as far as the name change goes, to kind of build myself back up.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.