I recently had the privilege of getting to know one of the fastest rising stars on the independent wrestling scene, Adam Cole. Over the course of about a month from when we started our interview, Adam headlined his first Ring Of Honor PPV scoring a pinfall victory over ROH World Champion Davey Richards and was also chosen ROH’s own Jim Cornette to be his handpicked opponent to face then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Adam Pearce. It’s been a wild month for this 22-year-old from Florida and it seems as if things are just getting started.
Matt Harrak: Firstly let me say thank you for doing this interview with Inside Pulse and congratulations on a very big step in your career at Final Battle. Were you nervous going into the iPPV knowing you would be in the main event against the current World champion? And how did it feel to actually get a pin fall victory over Richards?
Adam Cole: The nerves were definitely there that night. It being my first ROH iPPV main event, in New York City, and at ROH’s 10 Year Anniversary event was certainly enough to get those butterfly’s rolling. But I’ve wanted this moment ever since I debuted in Ring of Honor. When you’re a Ring of Honor athlete, you want to be the best. So that was my opportunity to show that I could hang with the top dog’s in this company. And fortunately for me, not only did I hang but I got the pin fall victory against the ROH World Champion Davey Richards. That was a huge confidence booster for me, and I believe the start of the next chapter in my ROH career.
MH: How do you feel you can capitalize on a such a big moment like this? Is a run at the TV title in the cards or are you looking to jump right up into that upper echelon?
AC: I certainly am going to use all this momentum and capitalize as best I can. If I find myself in the hunt for the TV Title, I will do all I can to try to capture it. Or maybe if I’m lucky enough to get an ROH World Title shot after the results of March 4th, I could create an even bigger upset and become champion. This win was so big for me because all of these goals no longer seem like a pipe dream. I now know that it’s not a matter of if, but WHEN I will hold gold in Ring of Honor.
MH: You have a pretty extensive resume in the independent wrestling scene. How have you seen Ring of Honor grow in the time you’ve been involved with the organization and how does it rank among the other companies you have worked for?
AC: ROH continues to grow by the day. With this recent takeover of Sinclair Broadcasting, we now have the chance to show more people what ROH is all about, and that’s a great thing. I really do believe ROH is the true alternative in pro wrestling, and to say that it’s the number 3 company is the U.S. is completely accurate I believe.
MH: You and Kyle O’Reilly have had a pretty prolific journey both together and against one another. Would you consider him your greatest opponent of your career thus far? And if not, who would be?
AC: I would say that’s pretty fair to say. Kyle is someone I respect so much. He’s such a great wrestler, and his work ethic is unreal. We motivated each other so much as opponents and as a team, and I’m thankful we got our start together in ROH. He will be an ROH World Champion someday, no doubt in my mind.
MH: I have to ask the question I’m sure everyone has been asking you, how much truth was there behind the rumors of Ring of Honor blocking the WWE from contacting you?
AC: Not at all, that was just the internet reporting a false story. A lot of people talk, and kind of twist stories that they hear, so I don’t fault anyone who reported the story, because I’m sure they felt they had something that was concrete and accurate. But Ring of Honor never blocked me from going to WWE.
MH: Almost immediately after Final Battle, Jim Cornette picked you to defend Ring of Honor as his handpicked challenger to then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Adam Pearce. What was that experience like and how did it feel to be the guy chosen to challenge for one of the most prestigious titles in history?
AC: That was definitely something that I took extremely seriously and was also a huge honor for me. To get to challenge for a title like the NWA World Championship, as Jim Cornette’s hand-picked guy, is a huge honor in and of itself. It was awesome also to be able to step into the ring with Adam Pearce. A lot of people may not know, but he was the guy who initially brought me into Ring of Honor and saw something in me when he was the booker there, so that was a neat moment to be able to go toe to toe with him. I certainly would love another go at the 10 pounds of gold sometime down the line.
MH: I have one last question for you.
It’s the tenth anniversary of Ring of Honor, an achievement all on its own! What changes have you seen over the last few years and what looks like future holds for you and the organization?
AC: Ring of Honor has grown so much since it began 10 years ago. It really is amazing to think about. But I think a lot of the credit goes to our loyal fan base. They’ve supported ROH for years, and they are so passionate about what we do, so it makes this job that much better. I just want to continue to do all I can to be the best that I can, hopefully getting to see many more parts of the world in the process. And the fans support means the world to me. Anyone who comes to a wrestling show and has a good time when they watch an Adam Cole match is what makes it all worth it for me.