Adam Cole decided to join AEW over WWE after spending four years in WWE as arguably the face of the NXT brand.
Cole met with Vince McMahon on August 6 and there were ideas to bring Cole up to the main roster after his NXT run had finished.
"That was the pitch from the gate," Cole said about joining the main roster if he re-signed with the company. "I did have a meeting with Vince, it went really well. It was a 30-minute convo, which was cool. I had only talked to him for two or three minutes prior to that. I got to work the Survivor Series  event and got to talk to him after, he was really happy with the match, but no real conversation with him before, that was the first time. It was really cool. He was very complimentary, very nice. The idea was for me to go to Raw or SmackDown and not stay with NXT just because I had been there for so long and I think they knew, as much as I love NXT, I was ready to take that step. That was the gist of the conversation, to move me to Raw or SmackDown."
Cole was asked if there were any ideas pitched to him regarding the main roster.
He replied, "Apparently, there were a lot of ideas, but they were very vague on what exactly they wanted to do. When I first had the conversation, they had mentioned something about doing a name change or changing my look. That scared me a little bit because I spent nearly 14 years as Adam Cole. Our latest conversation, they were definitely more open to being me and being myself. They could tell I was not too thrilled (about a name change)."
Asked if the potential changes made him more hesitant to re-sign with the company and join the main roster, Cole replied, "It was definitely something that made me a little more timid about pulling the trigger on that one. They could not have been nicer, but when I think about me and my career and what is best for me, the idea of that being an option scared me a little bit. I was like, 'What if I do go and something happens anyway?' At that point, I can't say or do anything. Red flag is the perfect way to put it.
"You don't even necessarily have to change anything, but if you change the atmosphere and people they are working with, then it feels fresh. I understand where they are coming from, to some extent, but I feel like a big part of what has made me work is I'm not 6'3'' and 285 pounds, the Adam Cole BAY BAY and the 'Boom' is a big part of what I do and how I connect with the audience, besides the wrestling and promo. I feel like it would have been quite the challenge if that would have happened, as far as the name change, to build myself back up."
It was reported that Cole was going to be used as a manager for Keith Lee on the main roster, though Cole denied that he had heard that pitch.
Cole is set to team with The Young Bucks against Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus at AEW Rampage Grand Slam. Fightful will have live coverage of the show beginning at 10 p.m. ET on Friday.
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