Recent AEW signee Adam Cole has opened up about his relationship with Shawn Michaels and Triple H, and the last conversations he had with them before he left WWE.
Adam Cole spent four years in WWE wrestling on the NXT brand. During that time he was the leader of the dominant Undisputed Era faction and held the NXT Championship for a record 403 days. On a recent appearance on Renee Paquette’s ‘Oral Sessions’ podcast, he spoke about the close bonds he formed with NXT showrunners Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
“The nice thing about my relationship with him and my relationship with Shawn Michaels is they are so positive. To this day, positive. I formed a bond with Hunter, with Shawn, that I would like to think, and they’ve made very apparent to me as well, that it’s a relationship we’re always going to keep. I loved working with those guys. He knew what my goals were, what I wanted to accomplish. I think a big reason I loved NXT so much was we had that freedom and that ability to wrestle super cool, longer matches and get to show ourselves off artistically in that sense. NXT was built on that mentality. I got in at the perfect time, at least for what I loved about pro wrestling.”
He went on to discuss how he was always open and honest with the D-Generation X originals, and how he told them about his decision to leave WWE soon after he made it.
“He [Hunter] understood that I wanted to continue doing stuff like that, he knew my Twitch was super important to me. And I know that’s a big no-no in WWE, which is unfortunate. So I was very open and very honest with him, to the point where I was still thinking about what I was going to do when my contract was up. He knew that. And then when the decision was made, he knew that and Shawn knew that. So I’ve always been open and honest with them right out of the gate, because they’ve always been open and honest with me. I love Hunter, I love Shawn. They have been nothing but incredible to me, they’ve made me better as a performer. I don’t think I’d be where I’m at in AEW right now without those two and I really do mean that. When I think about the performer I was in Ring of Honor, as much as I learned and as many great people as I got to work with, getting that four years with them is priceless. It’s absolutely priceless.”
The former North American Champion also revealed how, while he wanted him to stay in WWE, HBK also wanted Cole to be happy, even if that meant leaving the company.
“Shawn and I have developed a relationship, like I said, that I think will last for the rest of our lives. At least I hope so, and I know Shawn feels that way too. But Shawn has always been such a big supporter of me and what’s best for me. So of course he wanted me to work something out where I could stay and things like that. But at the same time, Shawn wanted me to be happy, he wanted me to do what’s best for me.
“So he had my back. He knows how much I respect him, how much I look up to him and idolize him. So for him to be very open about ‘listen, of course I want you to stay here. But I want you to be happy.’ He was putting business aside, all that stuff aside. He just wanted me to be as happy as possible, so that was really cool for me. It was what I needed to hear honestly. Like I said, it was a big decision. So for him to have my back was really cool.”
Adam Cole made his AEW debut at their biggest show of the year, All Out, on September 5th. He then had his first match for the company on the following week’s Dynamite where he defeated the ‘Elite Hunter’ Frankie Kazarian.
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription.