Adam Cole made his shocking debut in All Elite Wrestling at the All Out pay-per-view this past Sunday, mere weeks after his final match at NXT TakeOver 36 took place and his WWE contract expired. Cole went into detail about why he chose to leave WWE during the post-show media press conference, starting off by confirming that he was just as surprised as WWE officials were that his contract was set to expire earlier this Summer. He confirmed that he signed the short-term extension in order to finish his feud with Kyle O'Reilly.
"I was under the impression that it was six months later," Cole said. "So it was a surprise for me. It was a surprise for them. And then all of a sudden, I went from thinking, 'okay, December is when I'm going to start talking about a new contract.' And then it was like, 'oh no, we're talking about it in three days.' I know it was public knowledge to a lot of people that I had signed a little extension. I was in the middle of a really serious angle with Kyle O'Reilly, which was very important to me. He's my best friend in the entire world. After that is when stuff kind of opened up for me. But yeah, very surprising to me. It was just as surprising to me."
Cole then said the decision to join AEW was incredibly easy for him — "I've been here countless times to support for it, and hang out with the crew, and it's just the best crew. The shows are amazing, the fans are amazing. But at the same time, I had really built a reputation for myself there as well. But I knew in my heart pretty early on that I wanted to come here and it's no knock whatsoever on them. 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. So making the decision was a fairly easy one."
Prior to his release, it was widely publicized that Cole met with Vince McMahon in person to negotiate a new contract. Cole had nothing but positive things to say about his former boss.
"The talk went great," Cole said. "We had a really good conversation about a lot of different things, but the conversation itself was awesome. I had no bad experience with him whatsoever. He is an intimidating man that definitely commands respect in a lot of ways, but the experience itself was totally fine. Working and being around or even... I mean, cause I just started tonight, but being around Tony is so cool for so many different reasons. But the biggest one is how contagious his love for wrestling is. Like, I know that I love pro wrestling, but you can't help but be more excited and more ready to go and fired up when you're around Tony.
"I feel like I can go and talk to Tony about anything, ... which is so cool," he added. "And I'm not just saying this because he's sitting here, I say this to everybody, but Tony is an amazing, amazing person."