Even though NXT is on the USA Network each week and features some of the best pro wrestlers in all of WWE, it is still considered by many fans to be purely the developmental brand of the promotion. Adam Cole, a former NXT Champion who has repeatedly stated he's not interested in either Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown, talked about how much that mindset frustrates him during a recent appearance on After The Bell.
"It bothers me a lot to some extent," Cole said (h/t Wrestling Inc.). "I try to be a glass half full guy in a lot of ways, so I think there is an aspect to NXT or the Performance Center where of course there is developmental. Where there are people who get hired with wrestling experience, with no wrestling experience, with the process of hopefully getting to that point where they end up on NXT television. To say that the roster of the guys on NXT, as far as developmental goes, I really do believe that we are on the same level as the guys on Raw and as the guys on SmackDown. The process of development is something that happens all the time.
"I've been wrestling for 13 years and I've constantly been developing, I don't ever want to get out of developmental. It's so cool for me to be around guys like Shawn Michaels or Triple H or Matt Bloom who they themselves are very open to admitting they're still learning. And if those guys are open about learning, we definitely better be open to it," he continued. "I've always kept that mentality and thought process of if I'm not getting better every single year and every single match, then I've got to get out of it. I'm proudly developing in that sense."
He was asked during a press conference about the possibility of going to either Raw or SmackDown prior to NXT TakeOver: In Your House, prompting the response, "Could Adam Cole show up on Raw or SmackDown? Maybe. Would Adam Cole run Raw or SmackDown if he showed up? You're damn right he would. But I'm really tired of hearing this question over and over again. 'Adam you've accomplished so much. You've done everything you can possibly do in NXT.' No I haven't. Maybe to you I've done everything I can do. Once again being the longest-reigning NXT Champion of all time. That sounds nice, right? And then just move on...
"I have an attachment to this brand," he continued, before bringing up the idea of becoming a two and three-time NXT Champion. "When I joined NXT in 2017 I watched this brand continue to grow and evolve into something that can't be touched. Because I stand by this, the NXT roster could beat the Raw roster & the SmackDown roster any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'm very, very proud of this brand, and I do believe I have a lot more to accomplish."