WWE NXT Champion Adam Cole recently spoke with Alistair McGeorge of Metro UK to promote tonight's Great American Bash Night 2 episode on the USA Network, where he will face off against NXT North American Champion Keith Lee in a "Winner Takes All" main event.
Cole said tonight's Great American Bash finale is a chance to continue NXT's habit of paying homage to the past but also looking ahead to the future. He noted that he loves respect and paying homage, while innovating and influencing at the same time.
"When I think of my favorite stuff in wrestling or favorite shows that I've seen, that's my favorite style," Cole said. "I love respect and homage to the sport and to previous really important things that have happened, while at the same time innovating and influencing this new style of pro wrestling."
"I remember doing the first War Games match in WWE history, I was like a kid in a candy store. I was so excited because of all the War Games matches. Same thing with Royal Rumble, or same thing with Survivor Series. The Great American Bash is the exact same thing – especially considering, not only is it Great American Bash, but the match itself in many eyes is the most important match in NXT history."
Cole continued and pointed to how big tonight's main event is.
"That's never happened before," he said of the NXT Winner Takes All match. "Not only is the event itself really historical and exciting to be a part of, but the match itself is also about as big as it gets. I'm really, really excited!"
Cole and his co-workers haven't performed in front of a regular crowd of fans since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cole said he misses the fans, revealing that the in-ring action hurts more because the adrenaline that you get from the live crowd isn't there. He also acknowledged pressure from knowing the NXT bosses are watching in the back, WWE Hall of Famers Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
"I miss [the fans] so much," Cole admitted. "Wrestling definitely hurts more and you notice the bumps and the bruises a little bit more because you don't have the adrenaline as much from the live audience. However, there is still a massive amount of nerves.
"You don't forget that there's a camera on you and this is going to be on national television and worldwide on the WWE Network. And then on top of that, I know that Triple H and Shawn Michaels are back there watching the match as well so I've got to perform well for them!"
Regarding Michaels, Cole commented on having The Heartbreak Kid as his mentor, and why the WWE Performance Center is the perfect place for a pro wrestler to showcase his craft.
"I say this all the time and it never gets hold – to have Shawn Michaels as a mentor? Nine year old me, his mind is still blown," Cole said, adding that the Performance Center is ideal for a wrestler to work. He continued, "There's a bell from Madison Square Garden and there's just posters of guys everywhere, the Dusty Cup is up there on display with all these rings. It's a wrestling fan's – and a wrestler's – dream, for sure."