"Making the decision was a fairly easy one."
That's how Adam Cole described his choice to join AEW as he spoke to the media at the post-All Out scrum. Cole debuted in the closing segment of the All Out pay-per-view.
Cole said that working in WWE had been his dream since he was a child, but that the passion of the AEW crew and fans helped make his choice to leave and join AEW.
"When you think about where I was, that was my dream since I was nine years old," said Cole. "...But I knew in my heart pretty early on that I wanted to come here [to AEW]."
"It was no knock whatsoever on them [WWE]. I had a very excellent four-year experience. But I wanted to come back and work with a crew who I love being around 24/7, a crew that is just as passionate about pro wrestling as I am, and fans that feel the exact same way that we do."
According to Cole, he was not anticipating to be a free agent until December.
But circumstances were different than both Cole and his former wrestling home anticipated, as Cole's contract actually came due in June. Cole revealed the details of his WWE deal and how his new agreement with AEW came together very quickly.
"I was under the impression that it was six months later," said Cole. It was a surprise to me, it was a surprise to them [WWE]. All of a sudden I went from thinking December was when I was going to start talking about a new contract, to all of a sudden we were talking about in three days."
Cole confirmed reports that he signed a short-term extension of his WWE deal to finish up his NXT angle with Kyle O'Reilly, who he called "one of my best friends in the entire world."
Cole also confirmed that he met with Vince McMahon prior to leaving WWE. He described McMahon as "intimidating," but said that their meeting was positive.
"The talk went great," said Cole. "We had a really, really good conversation about a lot of different things. The actual conversation itself was awesome. I had no bad experience with him whatsoever."
"He is an intimidating man. He definitely commands respect in a lot of ways, but the experience itself was totally fine."
Cole also addressed the future of his Twitch channel. In response to a question about knowing he won't have to give up his channel as he presumably would have had he stayed with WWE, Cole confirmed that it was important to him.
"It's incredibly important to me," said Cole. "Twitch was sort of something I started over the pandemic and wanted to do for a long time, but hadn't really taken the time to teach myself."
"Initially, I really did do it just because I really like video games..." "But then what started from the Twitch stream was this community of people that would all come together and literally share that passion over video games," Cole said.
"I have gotten so many messages from people who are going through a really, really rough time, and the only thing they looked forward to at that time were those streams. I feel a connection with a lot of these people. I know a lot of them by name. Social media can be a really nasty place sometimes, and there is not of that in the Twitch streams."
"So I adore doing that, I'm so happy that I'm still doing it. I don't plan on stopping anytime soon."