Last Friday night, a stagnant WWE SmackDown product came to live when stars from NXT invaded the show.
The plans for the invasion truly came together at the last minute, with the NXT stars in Florida being told of plans to fly them to Buffalo, New York for SmackDown just hours before the show went on the air on FOX.
Everything came together at the last minute due to the fact that an unplanned delay in Saudi Arabia forced several WWE stars to be unable to make SmackDown on time following the Crown Jewel event halfway around the world.
Adam Cole talked about how he found out about the invasion during an appearance on Corey Graves' After The Bell podcast this week.
"I got a text message about 2:15 PM saying, 'Hey, there's a chance that you might be needed for SmackDown.' And then two minutes after that, it was, 'Hey, you're needed for SmackDown and a plane leaves in an hour and a half. So fortunately, I was home," Adam said. "So I quickly get all of my stuff together and get all rushed, and we get there, and we're waiting on this plane because the plane's late. We're kind of figuring out the idea of what we're going to be doing while we're in the air.
"When we do land, we land at about 7:30 PM but, again, this is in Buffalo so there's a decent little trip yet to get there. We walk into the arena around 8:15 - 8:20, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were just finishing in the ring. That is kind of how the whole process started; it was definitely one of the wackiest days in my career, Adam continued. "I think at that point, Bryan and I ended up walking to the ring about 9:30 pm so it was like I had about an hour to get ready and get focused, and get in the zone, and all that jazz. But yeah, totally wild day. It all happened so fast that it almost didn't seem real."
Cole went on to have a fantastic main event match against Daniel Bryan, easily one of the best RAW or SmackDown matches in several weeks. Cole talked about the match, which was the first time he and Bryan had ever crossed paths in the squared circle.
"[Working with Daniel] was so cool for so many reasons because when I was younger, all I watched was WWE. That was it. Then I remember that when I had access to the internet, it opened me up to all these different types of wrestling that you could find. And one of the first guys that popped up was Daniel Bryan, or Bryan Danielson at the time. I remember seeing him in Ring Of Honor and being blown away by this guy; I just couldn't stop watching his matches. I was such a big fan of his.0comments
"Right around the time I started working for Ring Of Honor, Bryan was on his way out. So, I met him a few times and got to watch him a few times to learn something. I'm still a giant fan of his, so then to see him go on and do his thing and me kind of go up through the ranks on the independents, Bryan was a guy I had never wrestled. Like, in my twelve years of wrestling, I had never gotten the chance to step in the ring with him. So, it was crazy, and it was awesome that the first time was absolute last-minute live on Friday Night SmackDown. Yeah, that was awesome. He was everything I had hoped he would be; the guy is one of the absolute best I ever stepped in the ring with. It was as good as they say he is and it was a major pleasure for me."
[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the interview transcript]