Exclusive: AEW's Adam Cole on Dream CM Punk Match, Britt Baker the Dentist, More

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2021

Exclusive: AEW's Adam Cole on Dream CM Punk Match, Britt Baker the Dentist, More

0 of 9

    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    On August 22, Adam Cole made his final appearance with WWE at NXT TakeOver 36. Two weeks later, he debuted for All Elite Wrestling at All Out on September 5. 

    Since his contract had expired, the former leader of The Undisputed Era did not have to wait the usual 30 or 90-day period before he could work for another televised promotion.

    His debut was heavily rumored before All Out, but with other names like Ruby Soho and Bryan Danielson also being thrown around, fans weren't totally sure if he would show up at the PPV.

    When Cole's music hit and his graphic appeared on the screen, the crowd went bonkers. He came down to the ring, immediately aligned himself with The Elite and instantly became one of the hottest signings in AEW history.

    Since that night, Cole has been keeping busy with promos and matches against Superstars like Jungle Boy. With The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega as allies, Cole's future is looking bright.

    We had the chance to speak with the newest member of The Super Elite about joining the company, working alongside Britt Baker, Twitch streaming, who he wants to work with in AEW and much more. 

Transitioning to AEW

1 of 9

    After spending four years with WWE, leaving the comfort of familiarity behind to venture into a new promotion was not a factor for the former Bullet Club mainstay. Not only does he already have a lot of friends in AEW, but he was also joining his girlfriend. According to Cole, the transition was easy. 

    "It's been really, really cool considering the fact that I've kind of kept a close eye on AEW for a long time," Cole said. "I've always been really good buddies with The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. And then, obviously, my girlfriend Britt has been there from the very beginning. So I kind of got to see an outside perspective on AEW and how much it's grown and how much excitement has developed around this new promotion."

    "My expectations going in were really high. But so far, [AEW has] exceeded them. But even more important than that is the fans have just been absolutely out of control in the best way possible. I feel like every single week it's one of the rowdiest crowds that I've ever wrestled in front of, or performed in front of. So that's been really cool.

    "And transition-wise, I've always had really good experiences everywhere I've worked. So AEW is definitely another place where it's been super positive across the board. The vibe in the locker room is super positive. Again, the fans really want AEW to succeed."

The Plans for His Debut

2 of 9

    While a lot of people expected Cole to sign with AEW, there were still several unanswered questions before he debuted.

    Would he be a heel or a babyface? Would he be a solo act or build another stable from the ground up as he did with The Undisputed Era? Would we see a Bullet Club reunion?

    For Cole, one of the selling points of joining AEW was the idea proposed to him to join The Elite right away. 

    "So, the idea for me to debut at All Out and stuff like that was decided on very quickly and super last-minute," Cole said. "But initially, when I heard the idea of rejoining The Elite, immediately my mind was like, 'Yeah, let's go.'

    "There wasn't really any talk or any discussion of bringing me in any differently. And I think because that first idea was pitched and I was so on board. And, obviously, the Bucks and Kenny were super on board. To me, it just felt like a no-brainer. So, yeah, I was all about that idea."

Who He Would Like to Wrestle in AEW

3 of 9

    Spending several years working with Ring of Honor and NXT gave Cole the chance to work with some of the best talents in the world, but AEW offers a whole new list of potential dream matches for him.

    "As far as the young guys go. Darby Allen is one," Cole said. "I’d really like to get in there with MJF. He is incredibly talented, I'd love the chance to work with him someday. I do want to step in there with Bryan [Danielson] again. I've only wrestled Bryan in a singles match one time, and it was that last-minute SmackDown event, which is super memorable for me. So I'd love the chance to wrestle him again in AEW."

    Not only does he get to work with some of the best up-and-coming stars in the business, but working for AEW also gives Cole the possibility of having one of the dream matches he once thought would be impossible. 

    "CM Punk is at the top of my list. I've been very open and honest about how much he influenced me in my career. He's a guy who introduced me to Ring of Honor and independent wrestling as a whole. He was the guy who made me realize I really want to focus on promos. I never thought I'd get the chance to step into the ring with him."

How He Views Goals

4 of 9

    Pro wrestling is like any other athletic endeavor. If you don't want to be at the top of the food chain, somebody else will occupy that spot instead of you. 

    Having goals is important because it gives wrestlers something to shoot for, but the older some people get, the more their mindset changes to focusing on different things. 

    "For me, when I was younger, I definitely had that mentality of like, 'OK, I want to accomplish this, I want to go here, I want to do this. I want to do that.' And sometimes I think wrestlers, at least for me, you can drive yourself crazy obsessing on the things that you want to accomplish.

    "Goals are obviously very important. It's a driving force whether it be staying motivated or shooting towards something, and then when you accomplish it, you feel that positive affirmation of hard work is paying off. But at the same time, there's so much that we can't control, especially in pro wrestling. So the older I get, the better I am at enjoying the journey and enjoying the process.

    "Coming into AEW, I knew this was going to be a lot of fun. I knew this was going to be something that I was really going to enjoy, and I wanted to make sure that I kind of stepped back and smell the roses every single week. I do have goals, but at the same time, I'm definitely more of a 'Let's just take it as it comes' type of guy."

Watching Britt Baker Grow as a Performer

5 of 9

    Pro wrestling has been filled with power couples even before Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth tied the knot inside the ring. Unfortunately, sometimes people end up working for different companies while in a relationship.

    Cole spent a few years with NXT while Baker has been with AEW since its inception. Now that they are under the same banner, they are going to have a lot more time to spend together.

    For Cole, getting to watch his girlfriend grow as a performer from an outsider's perspective was a fun experience. 

    "It's been really cool because I think people forget that Britt has not been wrestling that long," Cole said. "So to see her spike in growth in such a short amount of time has been really cool. You know, when I wasn't working for AEW, watching her kind of find herself as a character was really exciting. And watching her develop her promo style and get even better in the ring has been a really fun process to watch.

    "One of the coolest parts about AEW is to be able to see her go out and have a killer match, or have a killer promo, and to be able to be there in the back when she comes through the curtain and talk about how great it went. So it's been really awesome to see her development. And the coolest thing is again, she's not even close to her full potential yet. So it's really exciting."

Something Britt Baker Taught Him

6 of 9

    As the industry veteran in their relationship, a lot of fans probably assume Baker seeks our Cole's advice, and while that may be true, the former ROH champion has also learned a thing or two from DMD about character presentation.

    "Britt always has this top-of-the-line, excellent gear consistently, whether it's this awesome, flashy new ring jacket, or new gear, and she always looks like a million bucks," Cole said. "And for me, I've always been someone that kind of liked the stuff that I wore, but it was more traditional. I am just going to wear some trunks, maybe wear a T-shirt.

    "After watching her and seeing how much of a superstar that she looked like, I'm like 'OK, I think I'm going to get a ring jacket and I'm gonna start changing up my appearance a little bit more.' I think that's a huge part of her appeal and her presentation. So watching her kind of develop that habit of getting new stuff all the time is something I'm going to start to implement. And that would not have been in my brain if it wasn't for Britt."

Becoming a Twitch Streamer

7 of 9

    Many pro wrestlers have found other ways to make income in recent years, and one of the most popular platforms has been Twitch. 

    "I've been a massive video game fan for years now," Cole said. "In 2015, I realized I had no hobbies whatsoever, it was just pro wrestling, 24/7. I decided I need a hobby outside of pro wrestling, something I can do to kind of relax and take my mind off things and stuff like that. And for me, it happened to be video games."

    When the pandemic hit in early 2020, a lot of wrestlers suddenly found themselves with more downtime than they had ever experienced. That was the kick in the butt Cole needed to start building his streaming empire.

    "I've been wanting to start streaming for years. And then when the pandemic hit, I realized I had all this free time on my hands just like everybody else. I said, 'OK, now I have no excuse. Now I have to teach myself how to get on Twitch.' So I started doing it just as a passion project for loving video games.

    "And then the community that built from it was so much bigger than I anticipated. It's so cool to have people come and hang out in the stream. And we'll celebrate like a job promotion, or you know, someone getting married, or someone having a child. And it really is like a big family. It's really cool, while at the same time playing these really cool video games.

    "I really have enjoyed getting the chance to do that. And I'm definitely not going to stop. It's become a huge part of my life. It's become something that I really look forward to. On a day when I'm not able to stream, it's not the same. In a perfect world, I'm able to stream as much as humanly possible. So it's definitely something I'm in for the long haul."

    The cross-section between wrestling and video game fans is big, but there are a lot more people from around the world who tune into Twitch every day, so Cole has found himself while a new audience who is unfamiliar with his work inside the ring.

    "I would say the coolest thing over these past few months is about 20 percent of the people who watch me don't even know that I'm a pro wrestler, which to me, is always really exciting. Because then I'm like, 'Oh, cool. Someone is watching me. And it's not necessarily because they see me on AEW or they're a pro wrestling fan.'"

    "Of course, I love and appreciate the wrestling fans who are there. Those are some of the people that I'm closest to. But yet to have people that haven't seen me wrestle ever and just to watch the content from a streaming standpoint is really cool. So, yeah, I've definitely seen an influx in people who are not necessarily wrestling fans, and one of the coolest things about that is quite a few people have decided to start watching wrestling."

Did You Know Britt Baker Is Also a Dentist?

8 of 9

    Baker is not only the AEW women's champion, she is also a dentist. Being in a relationship with anyone in the medical field can have advantages, but some people might not be comfortable letting their significant other poke around in their mouth. Luckily, that is not a problem for Cole. 

    "You know, my top gums, I've always had a little bit of receding," Cole said. "And I think it's from when I was younger, I brushed my teeth really, really hard. So anytime they get cleaned on the top, I'm always a little bit scared, like, 'Oh, hopefully it doesn't hurt.'"

    "But Britt does a really good job of making sure that I'm OK and comfortable. Fortunately, I've never had cavities or anything. So I haven't had super bad experiences at the dentist. So, yeah, it's just like going to the dentist."

AEW Movie Reviews

9 of 9

    Our recent AEW interviews have all ended with movie reviews. Malakai Black talked about Howl and Ruby Soho discussed Suspiria. It looks like the horror genre is popular with AEW stars because when we asked Cole to review a movie for us, he went with the first installment of the Saw franchise. 

    "Well, this is funny, because this is one of my favorite movies, and I recently rewatched it, but the first Saw movie is one of my favorite movies of all time and I hadn't seen it in years.

    "So I refuse to say what happens just in case anyone hasn't seen it, even though it's a super old movie. But on paper, it just looks like a super gory, violent movie. But my god, the twists and turns in this movie are just absolutely unbelievable, especially considering it was shot in just a couple of rooms and a couple of locations.

    "I still, to this day, have not experienced anything quite like it. Considering I've seen twists in movies before and stories kind of changing where they're going before, but nothing impacts me the way that the first Saw movie did. The timing of the music is so appropriate for those scenes to really take you on that journey. So, yeah, the first Saw movie, not even just as a horror film, but as a film in general is one of my favorite movies of all time."


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.