Adam Cole Talks Leaving WWE, Joining AEW; Says His Contract Situation Surprised Him

-- After his debut at AEW All Out, Adam Cole participated in a media scrum where he discussed details of his WWE contract expiring as well as his decision to join AEW. Here are some of his notable quotes:

On deciding to leave WWE for AEW
"Making the decision was a fairly easy one. When you think about where I was, that was my dream since I was nine years old. But I knew in my heart pretty early on that I wanted to come here. It was no knock whatsoever on them. 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."

On his WWE contract expiring sooner than anyone ever thought
"Yeah so, funny enough, believe it or not, I was also surprised. Yeah, I was under the impression that it was like six months later. So it was a surprise to me. It was a surprise to them. 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. It was public knowledge for a lot of people that I had signed a little extension, I was in the middle of a really serious angle with Kyle O’Reilly, which was very important to me. He’s one of my best friends in the entire world. Then after that is when stuff kind of opened up for me, but very surprising to me. It was just as surprising to me.”

On having a meeting with Vince McMahon
"The talk went great. 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."

On the future of his Twitch stream and how that may have contributed to him leaving WWE
"It's incredibly important to me. 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. 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."