KEY POINTS

  • Adam Cole was "surprised" that his contract with the WWE was set to expire sooner than expected
  • He also shared that his conversation with WWE CEO Vince McMahon went "awesome"
  • The former NXT champion said he joined AEW because he wanted to work with a group of people that he loved being around

Adam Cole said that his decision to join AEW was a "fairly easy one" to make despite having a great run in WWE.

The former NXT champion made the revelation when he, alongside AEW CEO Tony Khan, recently spoke to the media following his unforgettable debut at AEW All Out on Sunday.

During the post-show scrum, Cole was asked how he reacted to the knowledge that his contract was expiring much earlier than originally anticipated. 

“Funny enough, believe it or not, I was also surprised. I was under the impression that it was six months later. So it was a surprise to me. It was a surprise to them [WWE]. It was public knowledge for a lot of people that I had signed a little extension,” said Cole.

He explained, “I was in the middle of a really serious angle with Kyle O’Reilly, which was very important to me. He’s one of my best friends in the entire world. Then after that is when stuff kind of opened up for me. It was just just as surprising to me.”

AEW’s latest addition also talked about the “great” conversation that he had with WWE CEO Vince McMahon a couple of weeks ago on Smackdown.

“We had a really, really good conversation, about a lot of different things, but the actual conversation itself was awesome,” he shared.

Cole said he has had “no bad experience with” McMahon, whom he described as an “intimidating man that definitely commands respect in a lot of ways.”

Cole went to say that working with Khan was “cool.”

“I know that I love pro wrestling, but you can’t help but be more excited and ready to go and more fired up when you’re around Tony [Khan],” said Cole. “I’m not just saying this because he’s sitting here, I say this to everybody, but Tony is an amazing, amazing person.”

He also opened up on his decision-making process that saw him land in AEW instead of re-signing with the WWE. He explained that he had long been eager to make the jump.

“It’s no knock whatsoever on [WWE]. I had a very excellent four-year experience, but I wanted to come back and work with a crew who I love being around 24/7, a crew that is just as passionate about pro wrestling as I am, and fans that feel the exact same way that we do. Making the decision was a fairly easy one,” Cole shared.

The three-time Ring of Honor champion was not the only one to debut at the event. Former WWE champion and perpetual fan favorite Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan in WWE) also made an appearance, alongside Ruby Soho (Ruby Riott in WWE) and Japanese wrestling legend Minoru Suzuki.

Adam Cole Adam Cole does his signature pose before entering the ring for a match. Photo: WWE