Adam Cole: “factions in wrestling can be a very beneficial thing”

Jun 18, 2019 - by James Walsh

Adam Cole spoke with TalkSport for a new interview about the Undisputed Era’s WWE run so far, WWE needing more factions and more. Highlights are below:

On the genesis of ‘Bay Bay’: “So, truth be told, I saw Joey Matthews – or Joey Mercury in WWE – he was wrestling an independent show in Maryland for MCW. He was beating a guy up and he just kept turning to the camera and going ‘Joey Matthews!’ and then he’d go back to him and then he’d go ‘Joey Matthews!’ over and over again and I was like oh that’s brilliant. For people that don’t know his name, everyone is going to remember it by the end. So I decided to add ‘baby’ to it and I used to say it like baby, and then it got more and more obnoxious and turned into B-A-Y, B-A-Y. The first six or seven years I did it, no one would do it, they would boo me, they hated it. Then, for some reason, somewhere along the line, they decided they wanted to do it with me.”

On whether WWE should have more factions: “Absolutely. I think, especially now, just seeing how attached audience members get to factions, they love when a group of guys are together and you can tell the camaraderie is there, the fun is there and they just love it. I’ve been in factions my whole career. I was in The Kingdom in Ring of Honor, Bullet Club in New Japan and now Undisputed Era and it’s so much fun creatively for a performer, to be able to play off the guys in your group. You don’t want too many, because then it loses its specialness. But, definitely, factions in wrestling can be a very beneficial thing.”

On NXT TakeOvers being the best shows in wrestling today “First of all, I absolutely agree with you and that’s not just because I work for NXT, I do think from top to bottom, bell to bell, NXT is the best wrestling show on the planet right now. I think it’s a lot of factors as to why it’s clicking so well. First and foremost, it’s the attachment the fans have to NXT. Again, they’re just as rowdy as any rowdy wrestling fanbase there is, they make a ton of noise, they’re on fire for two-and-half, three hours and more importantly, they’re so supportive of NXT that they have their minds made up before the show even starts that it’s going to be awesome. And you can feel that. So when they go in with that attitude of ‘this is going to be great’ it just puts that vibe out in the room and then, of course, the group of wrestlers, we go out and just try to have the absolute best match that we possibly can. All of us who are wrestling against each other and with each other, we’ve known each other for a really, really long time, we all think about wrestling the exact same way, we all have that mentality of ‘let’s have the absolute best match that we can’ and I think it’s just a combination of all of those things and all the stars aligning that makes TakeOver so special. Then Triple H and Shawn Michaels, that’s probably the most important factor. Two of the greatest to ever do it passing down knowledge, letting us try things with trial and error. Just being involved in helping NXT and us as individuals progress, learn and grow as everything moves forward.”

On if he prefers to stay with Undisputed Era “100%. And I know that Roddy [Strong], Bobby [Fisk] and Kyle [O’Reilly] feel the exact same way. I know in wrestling there comes a time where most likely, factions or groups of people are likely going to split, but, we have so much left to do, I feel. I’m having a blast, all three of those guys are my absolute best friends. I feel like what we have is really special and I feel like a lot of fans feel that way too, so there’s just so much left on the table to do and if it were up to me, the Undisputed Era never breaks up.”

On how much control NXT stars have over their matches: “One of the coolest things about NXT is we have a ton of creative liberties to come up with the story and the vision we have for the match. Of course, there’s input and advice given and there’s suggestions or, you know ‘we need something this way’ but generally speaking, myself and Gargano, we come up with that match [two-out-of-three falls]. We decide ‘hey, let’s do this’ and then if we’re stumped on a little area then someone will chime in and come up with another way to take another cool dip or make the match or the story more exciting. We do have a lot of freedom, which is great.”

On if there’s any anxiety in the NXT locker room about being moved to the main roster: “It’s tough to word it. I believe and I know a lot of the guys there in NXT do to, we absolutely love it. We’re not thinking ‘gosh, I can’t wait to get to the main roster’. We’re enjoying what we are doing, the stories we are telling. But, of course, a lot of us eventually as well want to take the step to Raw or SmackDown, but the big thing is I don’t look at it as you’re moving up or you’re upgrading, it’s just another brand you’re going to. That’s how strongly me, Johnny [Gargano], Ciampa and everyone else feels about NXT. A lot of our guys, and don’t get me wrong, you could put them on any brand and they’d be successful, but NXT fans are definitely – they’re starting to morph and become one – but they are a little different than the Raw and SmackDown fans. Some characters or guys may work better on other brands.”

On Britt Baker’s performance at AEW’s Double or Nothing: “So proud of her. Britt, and she’s going to kill me, but I think she’s been wrestling close to four years now, and she works so incredibly hard. At anything she does – I mean she’s a doctor! So she’s a dentist, then she wrestles on the weekends, so for her to get this cool opportunity and wrestle on a cool stage like that was really a lot of fun for me – I’m so proud of her.”

On his future NXT plans: “There’s so many talented guys. To wrestle the Velveteen Dream in a big featured match, to wrestle Matt Riddle on a TakeOver, to wrestle Pete Dunne, I mean, there’s so many guys you could list. But my goal for NXT is I’ve got the NXT Championship, now we need to get Roderick Strong the North American Championship, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly the Tag Team Championships so we can for sure go down as the greatest faction in NXT history. We need it [that Evolution at Armageddon 2003 moment].”

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