Adam Cole made his emotional return to AEW dynamite last night. The former NXT Champion hadn’t been seen since last September and it was common knowledge that he was recovering from some serious concussions he suffered earlier this year. He described his difficult road to recovery, but then the crowd in the Kia Forum stood up when he announced he was completely free to get back into action.
Cole reflected on his return on Thursday afternoon and penned a photo of him appearing on stage as “A Second Chance”. Dr. Britt Baker, Cole’s longtime girlfriend, then discussed the trials and tribulations he went through.
The only time for months @AdamColePro left home was to go to bran/physiotherapy appointments. There was a time when he was not allowed to fly airplanes or do anything other than walking. I am so damn proud of how hard he worked every day to get back to all of you.♥️
— Dr Britt Baker, DMD (@RealBrittBaker) January 12, 2023
“Thank you for being in my corner every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without you,” Cole wrote back.
Prior to Cole’s hiatus, he challenged for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and the AEW World Championship (twice). Despite this, some fans were still dissatisfied with how he was positioned within the company, especially compared to how he was a record-breaking top star for WWE’s NXT promotion. When Paul Levesque was announced as WWE’s new booker following the “retirement” of Vince McMahon, Cole’s name was brought up as someone who could potentially try to leave AEW and return to work for Levesque. That idea was something that Tony Khan actively called out as silly.
“I’m a little amused that changes in the league (McMahon leaves, Levesque takes over as WWE’s booker), people think the landscape is going to magically change. …Some of the stories I’ve seen (on Twitter) I have people who signed here for five years and people just think because the CEO, the chairman, the head of creative, those positions change in the league, people that I have five-year contracts with are just going to magically switch teams? good luck with that. Adam Cole is signed until about 2027 now. I wouldn’t expect him to be going anywhere anytime soon,” Khan told Busted Open Radio last year. “…So just because these guys had some success under a previous administration, they won’t magically go elsewhere.