Former NXT Champion Adam Cole drew a lot of attention from the wrestling community on Thursday when he had an explosive argument with WWE analyst Pat McAfee on his eponymous online series, one that resulted in him cussing out the former Indianapolis Colts punter and walking off the set in a huff.
As seen in this video from the official YouTube account of The Pat McAfee Show, the interview started getting heated at the 9:30 mark, as McAfee pointed out how Cole has frequently been compared to WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. After Cole dismissed the comparisons and suggested he was offended by McAfee bringing up the topic, the former NFL star then insinuated that his guest had become the top guy on the black-and-gold brand not on his own merits, but rather with the help of his Undisputed Era stablemates.
Following an exchange where McAfee and Cole brought up their credentials in their respective fields, the analyst reiterated his earlier point about the path his guest supposedly took en route to becoming the longest-reigning NXT Champion in the brand’s history. Shortly before the 13-minute mark, he added that it was a smart thing for Cole to form The Undisputed Era, because he’s a smaller wrestler.
These comments set Cole off, as he stood up, toppled a microphone, and started screaming at McAfee, dropping several expletives and pushing producer Ty Schmit when he tried to intervene.
“F*ck you, McAfee! F*ck you!” Cole yelled before walking out.
Following the incident, McAfee took to social media and issued a statement on the matter, suggesting that he plans to have Cole banned from future episodes of his series.
“I obviously never mean to disrespect anybody but, f*ck that guy. There’s no way that’s how an ADULT human should act,” read the second part of his statement on Twitter. “I pride our show on being a positive, good time having, upbeat show & he will never be invited back.”
As noted by Forbes, there has been a lot of speculation as to whether the incident was legitimate or simply part of an upcoming storyline. Offering his thoughts on the issue, the publication’s Alfred Konuwa wrote that the moment where Cole shoved Schmit was a sign that the altercation was staged. He added that McAfee’s ties with WWE as a pay-per-view panelist lent credence to that theory.
Furthermore, Konuwa suggested the interview might be the promotion’s way of trying to boost its flagging viewership numbers, especially since AEW Dynamite soundly defeated NXT this week in the so-called “Wednesday Night Wars.”