Adam Cole has long been one of Ring of Honor's best and brightest stars. From his ROH title run to an injury that sidelined him for half a year, Cole has seen some up and downs in recent years, culminating in an ROH title match next Friday at ROH 14th Anniversary against Jay Lethal and longtime rival Kyle O'Reilly.

I spoke to Cole ahead of the show, and asked him about his several tryouts with the WWE, as well as the culture that NXT has created being similar to Ring of Honor. Cole says he wouldn't change anything about the tryouts.

"Looking at how my whole career went, I'm thankful I got my chance when I did. I had a tryout when I was like 19 and totally not prepared. I was 170 pounds with homemade gear. At that point I realized how far I had to go to even get looked at. Then when I was 22 or 23, I was much more prepared and that second tryout went way better. Still, it was a thing for me where I knew I needed to continue to grow as a performer and a man, how I looked, how I carried myself, the experiences I needed to have. I look at myself now and I'm thankful I didn't get signed at 23 years old because of the experiences I've had. I definitely believe everything happens for a reason and I learned a lot from that and it was positive," Cole said.

Cole also said that he follows NXT not just because he has friends that work there, but because he enjoys the show.

I don't know. I think there's less competition than maybe the fans think. I think it's fun to fantisize about the idea of NXT and ROH butting heads and seeing which one will do better, especially with WWE looking at ROH guys to hire. I think NXT and Triple H are so focused on what they can do to be the best product, and I know ROH is too. I think it's awesome and it creates an environment of 'who's going to show up where?,' 'who's going to run where?' NXT ran the Turner Ballroom in Milwaukee, which is an ROH venue. It's cool, it's exciting. ROH isn't threatened. We're comfortable where we stand in the wrestling world and our roster is stronger than ever. I think it creates a cool competitive edge for everybody to make sure we're bringing our A game. If NXT is doing one of their network specials and ROH has a PPV coming up, we're like 'We're going to make this better than the NXT show.' That's our mindset, and that's cool," said Cole

This interview was conducted before Cole was pulled from this weekend's ROH shows in Japan, which we'll have full, post-show recaps of. It appears that Cole is still set for next Friday's big ROH PPV, which we'll have full, live coverage of.

You can check out the audio clip of the preview in the video player above, or the audio player below. Don't forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel, where we post live podcasts, exclusive interviews, video clips and much more. You can also download the clip at this link.

Follow Sean Ross Sapp on Twitter at @SeanRossSapp. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.