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Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney hold special meanings to WWE NXT double champ Adam Cole

There is a connection between WWE NXT Superstar Adam Cole and the comedy classic "Grounhog Day," which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. There is also a connection between NXT and Fort Pierce as NXT returns to Fort Pierce on Saturday, June 2 at the Havert L. Fenn Center.
There is a connection between WWE NXT Superstar Adam Cole and the comedy classic "Grounhog Day," which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. There is also a connection between NXT and Fort Pierce as NXT returns to Fort Pierce on Saturday, June 2 at the Havert L. Fenn Center.

The comedy classic movie “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018.

The film is set in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on Groundhog Day, which is Feb. 2, and no one knows that better in WWE than NXT Superstar Adam Cole.

Cole, 28, is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but his girlfriend, Britt Baker, is actually from Punxsutawney.

“Groundhog Day,” written by Danny Rubin and directed by Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Stripes), also features Punxsutawney Phil, the city’s groundhog, and on that special day in Punxsutawney, folks celebrate annually with a festival-type outing.

Accompanied by music, contests, dancing, food, and hot chocolate, everyone gathers in Punxsutawney to see if Phil sees his shadow and hides, making it a longer winter.

“I used to go to Groundhog Day religiously when I was still in high school and middle school, but never really find the time to get there now,” said Baker, an independent wrestler. “I would love to take Adam to the festival someday, so he can experience the ridiculous holiday we love of standing in the woods and waiting for a groundhog to see his shadow or not. Haha.”

In the movie, TV weatherman Phil Connors (Billy Murray) doesn’t want to be there, but he relives the day over and over and over again.

Well, Baker and Cole want to be there for the special outing, and they have seen the movie over and over and over again, giving it two Thumbs Up. Popcorn approved.

Baker noted: “Adam has absolutely been to Punxsutawney [just not for the festival], seeing as how my family lives there...As soon as we got there, the first time he visited, I took him straight to the park downtown to meet [Punxsutawney] Phil.”

Cole's Groundhog Day moment

Cole, the leader and co-founder of The Undisputed Era, is the first NXT North American Champ and one-fourth of the NXT Tag Team Champs (with fellow Undisputed members Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong).

At NXT TakeOver: New Orleans in April during WWE WrestleMania Week, Cole lived a moment — a couple of moments — which would be fun to relive again and again.

That’s where Cole won the North American Title and then later teamed with O’Reilly to retain the NXT Tag Team Titles while winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. During the triple threat tag match, one of their opponents (and real-life friend) Roderick Strong turned heel to help them win the big match and also become the newest member of The Undisputed Era.

What a night for Cole as he became the first double champ in NXT.

History making, Baker witnessed it all, and as an indie pro wrestler, she understood the significance of the occasion. She is also a dentist in training. No Isaac Yankem jokes, please.

Cole discusses NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, his personal dentist (who he highly recommends), the movie “Goundhog Day” and those ties to Punxsutawney.

"One of my favorite T-shirts [Britt's] given me is this Punxsutawney T-shirt with the groundhog on the front. I love the thing," Cole said. "I've been to Punxsutawney many times, and it reminds me of my hometown Manheim [in Lancaster, Pa.]. I can totally relate to that. I love that town. It's a nice, relaxing place to be."

Wrestling Related Scene

There’s a scene in the movie “Groundhog Day” where Connors gives a young, married couple a gift — tickets to WrestleMania.

Their reaction...

Yes, that’s a young Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) in the scene.

They’re going to WrestleMania

With the movie being released in February 1993, let’s see what WWE WrestleMania 1993 looked like for the young, excited couple in the movie.

The first WrestleMania outdoors, they would be traveling to Las Vegas for WrestleMania IX at Caesar’s Palace.

Who can forget commentator Bobby The Brain Heenan dressed in toga while entering the venue backward on a camel.

After Yokozuna with Mr. Fuji beat Bret Hart for the WWE title in the main event, Hulk Hogan surprised by answering an impromptu challenge from Mr. Fuji and pinned Yokozuna quickly for the belt.

Also, Tito Santana defeated Papa Shango. Tatanka with Sensational Sherri defeated Intercontiental Champ Shawn Michaels with Luna Vachon by countout. The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner) defeated The Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu) with Afa. Doink the Clown defeated Crush. Razor Ramon defeated Bob Backlund.

WWE Tag Team Champs Money Inc. (Irwin R. Schyster and Ted DiBiase) (c) defeated The Mega-Maniacs (Brutus Beefcake and Hulk Hogan) with Jimmy Hart by disqualification. Lex Luger defeated Mr. Perfect. The Undertaker with Paul Bearer defeated Giant Gonzalez with Harvey Wippleman by disqualification.

Jim Ross called the action, and Randy Macho Man Savage was a color commentator. Gorilla Monsoon was the show’s host, and Gene Okerlund, Todd Pettengill and Raymond Rougeau conducted interviews. Ring announcer Finkus Maximus (Howard Finkel). Your referees Bill Alfonso, Dangerous Danny Davis, Earl Hebner and Joey Marella.

WWE NXT in Fort Pierce

WWE NXT is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce.

See the future of Raw and SmackDown today.

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NXT on TV

NXT, under the direction of WWE executive Paul Triple H Levesque, is 8 p.m. ET Wednesdays on WWE Network.

TV tapings are at Full Sail Live at Full Sail University in Winter Park, near Orlando.

A stellar coaching staff trains developmental and new WWE talent at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.

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