Ring of Honor Wrestling's Adam Cole: World Television Championship Is 'a Fun Process'
In recent years, Adam Cole has been one performer Ring of Honor Wrestling could count on to shine on the microphone, in the ring and as an ambassador for the company. With weeks left on his current contract, the 27-year-old remains loyal to the place that gave him a platform to make a name for himself. At the same time, he still has a big decision to make.
Until then, Cole is ready to compete for the World Television Championship at Supercard of Honor XI during WrestleMania weekend in Lakeland, Fla. Days before the big show, the star sat down for an insightful Q&A.
At Supercard of Honor, coming off your Ring of Honor World Championship loss, you face Marty Scurll, someone who has really elevated the Ring of Honor Television Championship in many ways. Do you see this as a step down?
Adam Cole: I think the key word you used is "elevate." I’ve been pretty much wrapped up in the Ring of Honor World Championship scene now since 2013. So for me to go for the Television Championship is a fun process for me. A guy like Marty Scurll has really elevated that championship and put on great match after great match. So to me, being the only three-time World Champion, to be able to challenge for the Television Championship against a guy who has been absolutely destroying in Ring of Honor, really sets up the title to be in a better position than it was before.
At the end of the day, we are always trying to elevate aspects of Ring of Honor or guys. I think this match will be great in of itself, being the first singles match between us, but it really shows you the importance of the Ring of Honor Television Championship.
You lost the Ring of Honor Championship to Christopher Daniels. It was a big moment for him, but I also think it was a big moment for the company going back to its history. What was it like being a part of that moment for him, knowing how hard he worked to get it and seeing everyone react so emotionally being in the ring and supporting him. What was that night like for you?
For me, that night was just as special as when I won the championship each night. Christopher Daniels embodies what Ring of Honor is all about. This is a guy I looked up to and admired even before I became a wrestler.
When I first started following independent wrestling, specifically Ring of Honor, Christopher Daniels was one of my first favorites. He was one of those guys who stood out as one of the best all-around talents that there are. It’s amazing even at his age, he is still as good as he has ever been—in some cases better.
So I think the one word to describe this is "overdue." It’s long overdue for him. I felt so honored, no pun intended, to be the guy who could have that moment with him. Those tears he had in the ring were real tears. Ring of Honor means everything to him. I’ve never met someone who loves pro wrestling more than Christopher Daniels. So it was really cool and special for me to be a part of that moment.
The Bullet Club is such a focal point in Ring of Honor and in New Japan Pro Wrestling, but we see some dissension in the ranks with the Young Bucks and yourself. What do you make of this?
This is the best way for me to put it. If you stay tuned and watch what happens, to me, the dissension and disagreement with myself and the Young Bucks is something we are in the process of fixing. So like any scenario where they don’t get along or have an argument, that’s all this was. It was a small little hiccup and road bump for us.
If it was up to me, I don’t think the Bullet Club or Super Kliq is divided at all. This was just a scenario of where I lost the championship for the third time, and I was upset. They said things they didn’t mean, and I said things I didn’t mean. Everything will be just fine.
How do you feel Cody Rhodes has done in the Bullet Club and affected the dynamic? How do you feel he has fit into the group?
He is fitting in great. When I think of Cody, not just in Bullet Club, but in his wresting career outside of WWE, I think he is going to be a guy that people are going to talk about when 2017 closes as having one of the best years.
Cody is a guy, when I talk about the love of pro wrestling, who thinks outside the box. Even when he was in WWE, he always watched stuff in New Japan, Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. He really liked the creative ability we had to throw in input and throw in ideas and come and create this character.
Now that Cody is in complete control of who and what he is, Cody can go even farther with his wrestling career than I think he ever imagined either. As far as Bullet Club behind the scenes, all of us are guys are people who eat, sleep and breathe pro wrestling. We love it. We talk about it all the time. We’re texting, on the phone or just staying in communication with each other. We are always talking about wrestling and coming up with ideas. With Cody’s attitude and mind, inside and outside the ring, he is a great fit. He adds more cool star power to the group.
If there is anyone within the wrestling business in general that you think would be a good fit for Bullet Club, who would that be on your wish list?
My number-one person would be Kevin Owens. When I look back at me, Kevin and the Young Bucks when we formed Mount Rushmore in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, there were a lot of Bullet Club-esque vibes in that group of the four of us. Then I look back at the four of us in what myself and the Young Bucks have done in Ring of Honor and Pro Wresting Guerrilla. All I can think about is how well Kevin would fit in with this group. We act the same we have acted in Mount Rushmore. For me, I would love Kevin in the Bullet Club.
There has been a lot of talk with you and April making a decision of what you want to do regarding your future in pro wrestling, and specifically Ring of Honor. Are you still debating your future with them, or have you made a decision of where you are going to go now?
I’m definitely still trying to decide what I want to do. So much can change in pro wrestling, even a week’s time. So for me to come up with a plan of what I am going to do, or direction I’m going to take, or what company I am going to work for, there is still so much time left.
For me, May 1 is when my current contract with Ring of Honor ends. I haven’t made my decision if I’m going to stay with ROH or go elsewhere. I just have to explore those options when they come available to me. As of right now, I have a month, month-and-a-half, worth of work to do in ROH and New Japan. So I’m going to deal with that up until May 1 and then think about what I’m going to do.
What do you make of all the news out there about the idea of Vince McMahon and WWE purchasing Ring of Honor or working with them in some way?
It’s funny that this was news to me up until a little bit later. I had caught on to what was going on with this whole rumor just yesterday (March 23). It surprised me, that’s for sure. To me, it’s so tough to know what is true and not true. People in ROH will tell you that is definitely not the case. However, the fact that this story has come out is just flattering.
Ring of Honor has done just a good job to make such an impact and make such great such developments and strides the past few years that the fact that WWE buying Ring of Honor was such a big news story is, again, just flattering to our company. It shows we have made an impact, not just in Ring of Honor, but all across the pro wrestling scene. So if people are talking about ROH, that’s cool. I don’t think there is any truth to it. But in 2017 in pro wrestling never say never. You never know what the hell is going on, so I guess we will see in the next couple of months.
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If you were running Ring of Honor and in charge of the company, do you see it as a good move to work with WWE?
For me, personally, no. I think for Ring of Honor to help move forward pro wrestling in 2017, there needs to be more places to work separately. The more there are outside of WWE, the better. I think it creates a competitive atmosphere. I think it gives guys the potential to make more money elsewhere.
I really like the divide. If WWE was doing great, if TNA was doing great, if ROH, Lucha Underground, New Japan, and smaller independent groups do well, I think that is better. I don’t like the idea of one company owning and producing everything. I like the idea of multiple companies giving guys a chance to show their art form and give guys the chance to work. I understand the business model behind it, but I think it’s healthier for pro wrestling to have the separate divisions.
Lastly, WrestleMania weekend is such a big weekend for pro wrestling in general. Ring of Honor and so many other companies have a presence in Central Florida and Orlando. Describe what these days mean to you to be a part of it.
WrestleMania weekend is definitely one of my favorite weekends of the year. This goes without saying—there are wrestling fans from all over the world who are collectively in one city or one town or one area. You can literally see all your favorite wrestlers. You get to meet the coolest fans in the world. The crowds are so rowdy and shows are sold out everywhere.
I fell in love with pro wrestling when I was 9 years old. I remember feeling very weird because I was the only one in my town—at least it seemed that way—who liked it. So I had nobody to talk to about it. Then you go to WrestleMania weekend, and you can’t see anyone walk down the street without someone wearing a wrestling T-shirt. All of us collectively are coming together to celebrate pro wrestling and what it is and the passion we have for it. I’m beyond amped and excited. I hope each and every show completely delivers for the fans, because I know everyone is going to come to have a good time.
Ring of Honor Supercard of Honor XI takes place Saturday, April 1, 6:30 p.m./5:30c via www.rohwrestling.com and the FITE TV digital Pay-Per-View platform.
Ring of Honor TV can be seen in syndication through Sinclair Broadcast Group affiliates, online and Wednesdays, late-night 12am/11c, Comet TV.