"I suggest he stays away," Adam Cole has a message for Velveteen Dream, ahead of Wednesday's WWE NXT
Ever since his WWE debut in 2017, Adame Cole has established himself as a formidable NXT player. The WWE NXT Champion, the leader of ‘The Undisputed Era’ - one of the most accomplished factions in NXT history, has had a great run so far. However, last week, Adam was in for an ugly surprise.
The Undisputed Era were defeated by Velveteen Dream who was helped by Dexter Lumis during last WWE NXT match held on April 22. Though Velveteen pinned Adam down, the NXT Champion is not someone who will let this impact his future matches.
In a candid interview, Adam opens up about his WWE journey and he also has a strong message for Velveteen ahead of their WWE NXT live scheduled for April 29.
Tell us about the recent NXT match… it was quite unexpected. Velveteen Dream scored a victory over you…
Yeah. I was not happy about this one. I've said before that Velveteen Dream is a very talented young man, but in my opinion, he doesn't deserve a shot at the NXT championship. Not only does this impromptu tag team match that happened upset me, but also this new guy, Dexter Lumis, gets thrown into the picture halfway through the match. It was a big conspiracy. I think NXT has some stuff stacked up against us, specifically against me because now my record-breaking run as the longest-reigning NXT champion is kind of getting crazy and I think they're worried about how good I'm doing. So, yes, I was very upset.
How did your wrestling journey begin, what are your earliest memories?
I'll never forget how I started following pro wrestling, specifically WWE. I remember, I was about nine years old. I was taking karate classes four times a week and I absolutely loved it. I built a really good relationship with my instructor. One day I got there early, and I was just stretching. My instructor was running on the treadmill and he was watching a taped WWE Monday Night Raw from the night before. Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin putting Paul Bearer in a sewer. I was just fascinated by watching the TV. My instructor looked at me and asked, ‘Do you watch pro wrestling?’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I watch it all the time.’ I lied to him because I wanted to fit in with him. He then told me he has a WrestleMania 15 The Rock versus Stone Cold Steve Austin tape and said if I get a note from my parents, I could borrow it and watch. I begged my mom to let me borrow the tape and she did… and the rest was history. I saw The Rock versus Stone Cold Steve Austin WrestleMania 15 and I was hooked onto wrestling. I became a die-hard fan from there.
How have you evolved as a pro wrestler?
I have constantly been focusing on changing and bettering myself. When I first started training, I remember I had the goal to Main Event WrestleMania and win the WWE Championship someday. That was me at 18 or 19. The goal was so far out that it got really overwhelming. So I told myself early on, ‘I'm going to focus on what I can do and better myself. Whether it is studying wrestling, going to different seminars, wanting to wrestle in as many different parts of the world as possible and learn different styles - these things have been are crucial to me. I believe, the guys who never stop learning, the guys who watch matches and find little things that they can improve on are the ones who succeed. We're now even in India. You can see me on NXT TV every week on Thursday. It’s surreal to think how a guy who was wrestling in front of 30-40 people is now wrestling all over the world on HDTV. It is really, really cool.
How different is it to perform in an empty arena?
It's bizarre. It’s really, really bizarre. So much of our performance is about engaging the audience and then feeding off of their energy and seeing how they're reacting. When they're really excited, it makes us more excited. And just we're so focused on them. At the same time, we're very aware of what's on the line right now and how important this NXT television show is. We know we have a live show and we're going to perform. We know that people are watching. So even though there's no one in the arena, in our brains, we're aware that people are sitting at home and watching NXT, wherever they are in the world. They have this expectation of what NXT is supposed to bring to the table. So we use that pressure and still perform. I'm very proud of the WWE with the way we've managed to still be able to perform shows, while at the same time really respecting the guidelines. It's a very limited crew. Everyone's wearing masks, we're washing hands all the time, keeping a social distance, only with the exception of the matches, that are underway, and making sure everyone's healthy. But generally speaking, yeah, performing in front of no one is very strange.
You were also a part of State Farm Play Apart Together Charity event recently…
It’s a combination of reasons to have participated in the event. First and most importantly, I agreed to participate because of the charity that was involved. I think it's fantastic that a group of us got together to try to raise money for something that's very important right now. So, anytime I can be involved in something like this, I'm very interested. Secondly, for those of you who don't know, I absolutely love video games. When I have any downtime, or if I'm off the road, I play video games. It's the most relaxing thing and is a nice escape. Video games to me are another art form. It’s about storytelling, music, and the characters. I have so much fun playing.
What have you been doing apart from playing games during this lockdown?
Initially, it was really strange to have all this downtime. But then like everything else, you know, how important it is that we as a society, as the world needs to respect this and make sure that we are all kind of working together to make sure this goes to the wayside sooner rather than later. So I've been making the most of it. I've gotten to have a lot of good one on one time with my girlfriend, and I got to catch up on some great video games and TV shows. But I can't wait for stuff to get back to normal. But right now, like a lot of other people, I'm trying to make the most of it.
Which TV shows do you recommend?
Tiger King is a very popular show. It is an absolutely crazy rollercoaster ride of emotions. I watched the Moana for the first time. I actually had not seen that movie before. That was very good. Besides that, I have been playing video games like Resident Evil 3 Remake and Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
What is your message to Velveteen Dream?
I want to tell Velveteen Dream that even though he happened to get lucky, and he pinned me this week on NXT television… he is not ready, nor does he deserve a shot at my NXT championship. I'm on the run of a lifetime. Velveteen Dream is nowhere near ready in the near future to become the NXT Champion. I suggest that he stays away. If he keeps putting his nose in my business, I'm going to make him pay for it. He better stay away from me and the Undisputed Era. Most importantly, he needs to stay away from my NXT championship.
Watch Adam Cole on WWE NXT live and exclusive on Thursday on SONY TEN 1 and SONY TEN 3 channels from 05:30 AM (IST)
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