As the longest running NXT champion in WWE history, amassing an impressive record of 403 days with the gold, Adam Cole now finds himself away from the title picture, and yet he’s heading toward a bitter grudge match that could turn out to be the most significant match of his career so far.

Pat McAfee, the former Indiana Colts player, has been a thorn in Adam’s side since he first appeared as a broadcast journalist in WWE. During the last several months, Pat has made a series of jibes and insults regarding the Undisputed Era captain’s stature. On a recent episode of NXT, Pat took things further when he managed to cheap shot Cole, and so all hell will likely break loose when the two enemies finally collide at TakeOver XXX on Aug. 22.

This will be Pat’s first in-ring appearance, a daunting challenge for just about any competitor. Add to that the fact that Adam has been called “the next Shawn Michaels” by many in the industry—a comparison that shouldn’t be taken lightly—and it’ll be interesting to see how the former football player fares in the squared circle.

And even though Cole has years of experience on his opponent, he’s not taking anything for granted either.

Muscle & Fitness was granted an exclusive interview with Adam just days out from what has become a fight for bragging rights as he wrestles for respect. We found out that the 31-year-old from Lancaster, PA is taking great care of his physical and mental health, and could even be described as training with some of the old “ruthless aggression.”

Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee will go down at NXT TakeOver XXX on Aug. 22 on WWE Network. For more information visit