AEW’s Adam Cole recently appeared on the Chris Van Vliet Show, and during the interview, he revealed the history behind his popular “bay bay” catchphrase. Combining inspiration from both Joey Matthews and Chris Jericho, Cole made two of their signature expressions into his own.
“So I have been doing ‘Adam Cole Bay Bay’ since 2009, but it didn’t catch on until about 2014. It kind of started early on in my wrestling career at a Maryland Championship Wrestling show,” Cole explained. “Joey Matthews [Joey Mercury in WWE] was on the show, and he was in the finals of the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup. He was the heel and he was just walking around going ‘Joey Matthews!’ and putting his fists up in the air, and he said it so many times. I remember sitting there and thinking that is so smart. If you are not really a hardcore wrestling fan, if you remember one name from that show, it’s going to be Joey Matthews.
“So I thought, how can I incorporate that into my own thing? I’m a huge Chris Jericho fan and when he would stand on top of someone, flex and go, ‘Come on, baby!’ I was like, ‘Oh, I will do ‘Adam Cole Bay Bay.'”
During the most difficult months of the COVID 19 Pandemic, WWE, AEW, and other pro wrestling companies put on their shows without any fans present in an effort to protect their staff. Cole explains that this lack of an immediate response to their work led to uncertainty of whether or not something was getting over with fans.
“That whole situation was so strange, especially now, we are performing again in front of crowds. It is so insane how literally vital they are to what we do, so it changed a lot of it. First of all, the bumps hurt a lot more without a crowd and without that adrenaline,” Cole stated. “But of course I cared so much, because in my mind, I’m having this match and I’m thinking everyone is watching at home.
“Also, Triple H and Shawn Michaels are back there watching as well. I want to make sure I am doing good for them and for the people watching at home. But it just changed so much on how we approached matches and the way that we wanted to do things,” he continued. “It became more of a television show, because so much of it was to the camera, and so much of it was hoping that the people were feeling what we were trying to portray. When you have an audience. it’s so much easier because you get this instant gratification. It either worked or it didn’t work. During the pandemic, it was a total shot in the dark and it was a guess. It was definitely strange, and I am so happy that fans are back.”
Cole’s real-life partner, Britt Baker, is the current AEW Women’s Champion and works alongside Cole each week, but on television, the two have yet to interact with one another. He hopes this will change someday and the couple can do a storyline that involves one another.
“I do love the idea of eventually doing something on-screen with Britt. I know I have been asked that before, and I know some people are like, ‘Oh maybe you want to keep it separate?’ Or, ‘Maybe you want to work together?’ I love the idea of that. There was a small phase when I was done with Ring of Honor, where for like 3 months I was doing independent shows. I remember doing shows that she was also booked on, and in a couple of those matches we got to do some mixed tags, or she had run in or I had run in. It was really fun to work with her. Eventually, doing something like that on the big stage that is AEW, I’m all for it.”