Adam Cole has become the talk of the pro wrestling world since WWE NXT, WWE’s new third wrestling brand beside Monday Night Raw & Friday Night Smackdown, went live Wednesday nights on the USA Network. The NXT Champion & his band of thieves, The Undisputed Era, have collectively taken over all the championships available while making sure that everybody remembers the name. There is no doubt in any pro wrestling fan’s mind that this is The Undisputed Era’s year.
Before the release of WWE 2K20 on October 22nd, we had a chance to speak with with WWE NXT Champion, and ¼ of the Undisputed Era, Adam Cole. He talked to us about his character, his love for video games, and NXT going live on USA.
How close would you say Adam Cole the performer is compared to Adam Cole the real person?
Adam Cole: “So, there’s a lot of differences. For me the real person, I’m pretty shy, I’m kinda reserved, I’m to myself. Obviously Adam Cole the character is brash, flamboyant, arrogant, on top of the world. So, it’s really fun for me. I actually think that’s one of my favorite parts of this job, being able to walk through that curtain and be somebody else for 20 minutes. It’s really fun, and a really good time to do that. There’s quite a few differences.”
Do you take any inspiration from movies, video games, or pop culture and incorporate that into your “Adam Cole” performance.
Adam Cole: “Yes! – As far as movies go, I loved James Bond movies growing up. I remember James Bond always had the coolest villains. I remember when I watched these movies, I thought James Bond was cool, but the bad guys were even cooler. So, I think subconsciously watching all those different characters was something that stayed in my head.”
“As far as video game characters, Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2, to me, is one of the best characters in entertainment. So full of himself, totally believes that he was right, out of his mind arrogant. I loved that character – I remember the first time that I saw him and the dialogue and the way that he acted. I was like ,”how can I translate this into pro wrestling?”
You are very well known as having and I quote “extensive gaming background” and you have an insane collection of video games, ranging from Atari all the way up to the modern consoles in the Xbox One and PS4. When you are looking to play a pro wrestling video game, what is your go to game? Do you look for the N64 classic, No Mercy, The PS2 classic Here Comes the Pain or are you more into the modern WWE 2K games?
Adam Cole: “I’d say the games that I put the most time into, as far as wrestling games, I played so much No Mercy, so much WrestleMania 2000. I remember every day after school me and my brother and my cousin would get together and play these games for hours. If I had to pick one, and picking a classic wrestling game that I really enjoyed and put a lot of time into, I’m going to say No Mercy or WrestleMania 2000.”
WWE Superstars are notorious with bringing their video games on the road and in the locker room to play. Is there anyone in the WWE locker room that would be your video game rival?
Adam Cole: “You know who’s turned into a little bit of my video game rival? Kyle O’Reilly. Infact, Kyle O’Reilly recently got into video games, all thanks to me. It’s something that he’s picked up on and he’s really enjoyed. It’s like side hobby. Lot of times, we’ll be racing each other in Mario Kart while we’re traveling. Kyle’s turned into a little bit off a video game rival to me.”
The video game culture has changed since when you were a little kid, now people are making full time careers out of streaming videos games. Who may be some of you favorite live streamers from Twitch, YouTuber, or Mixer to watch?
Adam Cole: “I do. I’m a massive fan, he’s now became a friend, GrandPOObear. He streams a lot of Mario Maker 2 or he’ll play ROM hacks of Mario games with super hard challenging levels. He’s a guy that I really enjoy watching. There’s this guy, Ryukahr. He plays a lot of really hard Mario levels. To me it’s so fascinating watching someone playing a game that looks so incredibly difficult, something I could never possible do. To watch them do that flawlessly blows my mind. I love watching guys do that.’
NXT has caught fire and exploded. Recently you guys moved to the USA Network and put on 2 fantastic weekly shows. Does this move to the USA network put a lot of weight on your shoulders, you being the champion, or do you welcome the challenge?
Adam Cole: “It absolutely puts a lot of pressure on me. Like you just said, that is something I welcome, something I want. When I got into this job the intention was always to be the absolute best that I could be. Part of that process is being the champion and being the guy leading that charge. A ton of pressure, absolutely, especially with this move to live television on USA. It’s something me, the rest of The Undisputed Era and the rest of NXT is totally ready for. There is just a different feeling now with the adrenaline rush of live television that is so exciting. It’s a different feel, it’s awesome.
NXT is now apart of the main brand of WWE and is no longer considered developmental. WWE 2K20 releases on October 22nd and from the looks of it the NXT roster will be very well represented. How was it for you and others in the locker room to see yourself in a WWE video game for the first time?
Adam Cole: “So cool. I’ll put it to you this way, that game cave I was talking about earlier; the only video game I have on display is a deluxe edition of WWE 2K19. Because I’m so proud and thinks it’s so sweet, not only that I was in the video game, but portrayed so well. The first time getting to see that and the entrance and getting to play as myself, or to have a little cousin buying the game and being all excited to get to play as me. It’s such a cool feeling. Just unbelievable.”
Let’s say you are a teenager, you go to the midnight release of WWE 2K20. You get home take the game disc out and put it in your console, What is the FIRST thing you are going to do?
Adam Cole: “Absolutely watch the “Adam Cole Bay Bay!” Pick Adam Cole IMMEDIATELY, make to watch that entrance and see how sweet it is, and go, “Man I can’t wait to play as this guy all the time.” That’s what I would do.”
Which member of The Undisputed Era would win if you had a fatal 4 way match in WWE 2K20?
Adam Cole: “Ahh, you gotta put me in this position? Part of what makes The Undisputed Era so great, of course I’m gonna say myself. If you as Roderick Strong he’d say him. If you asked, Kyle he’d say him. If you asked Bobby he’d say him. Fortunately the four of use collectively, that’s what were such a great team, such a great unit. We all think we’re the best. But, if we’re being serious, c’mon. I’m definitely going to in the fatal 4 way.