On the November 1, 2019 edition of WWE Smackdown, Adam Cole wrestled Bryan Danielson, then Daniel Bryan, in an impromptu match following many of the WWE roster being stuck in Saudi Arabia. In an appearance on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, Cole detailed just how fast things came together to make that match possible.
“I got in there and Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar were in the ring cutting a promo,” Cole revealed. “The whole day was nuts. I remember it was 1:30 in the afternoon and I’m walking around just having a normal afternoon. Just very relaxed. And I get a call and they go ‘you need to get on this airplane by 3 o’clock and you need to go to this airport.’ And the airport was an hour away. I had 30 minutes to pack everything, get ready to go. I got there, we wait forever, the plane took forever to take off.
“We’re up in the air and we still don’t know what we’re doing. I don’t know if I’m wrestling Bryan, I don’t know what’s going on. None of us know anything. Some of us kind of find out that we’re wrestling, but we’re not sure what we’re doing. So I’m sitting besides Shawn Michaels, whose trying to figure out what I’m doing while I’m putting my boots on 30,000 feet up in the air. We got a police escort to the venue. We’re speeding through everything and there’s cop cars with lights on. It was so nuts. Such a nuts day.”
The match served as the first, and thus far only, match up between Cole and Danielson, who now find themselves both working for AEW. The match served as a dream come true for Cole, who credits Danielson and fellow AEW star CM Punk for getting him into independent wrestling.
“I had been a fan of Bryan,” Cole said. “I’ve been pretty open about the fact that CM Punk and Bryan Danielson were two of the guys that got me into, not only independent wrestling, not only Ring of Honor, but the fact that wrestling existed outside of WWE, WCW and ECW. I was like ‘oh my god, there’s wrestling in Japan. There’s independents all over the country.’ And those two were responsible.
“So right as I came into Ring of Honor, he was leaving to go to WWE. And when that all went down and that all happened, my god. The fan in me was so excited to get the chance to get in there with him, which was really cool. And the funny thing is too, I wouldn’t have changed the circumstance at all. It was perfect. It was this crazy, chaotic ‘oh my god, what are we going to do? Okay let’s just let Adam Cole and Daniel Bryan go nuts.’ It was so much fun, so much fun.”
Around that time Cole was also on hand for CM Punk’s debut on WWE Backstage. According to Cole, he had no idea that was going to happen and was caught completely off guard.
“It was awesome,” Cole said. “I legit had no idea, no clue. I remember there was this funny thing that not many people picked up on, but some people did, is when his music played, I still didn’t think he was actually going to walk out. So I remember I jokingly air guitared like ‘okay, we’re going to play this song. Whoa, there he is!’ Like (I had) no idea. Awesome, it was awesome. And that was in the middle of that madness in that crazy November. Everything was happening.”