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Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Adam Cole Says Recent Head Injuries Were The Scariest Part Of His Career

It was a scary 2022 for Adam Cole, but he’s on the mend physically and mentally after two back-to-back head injuries inside the squared circle.

All Elite Wrestling‘s Adam Cole was a recent guest on Wrestling Observer Radio with Dave Meltzer and Garrett Gonzalez to discuss a wide variety of subjects. When asked how he’s feeling now, Cole admitted that he feels great physically and being back on the road with the company has helped him a great deal mentally.


“I feel great. Again, the idea of just being able to be back on the road in some capacity, and kind of just be around AEW has been great for me mentally,” Adam Cole said. “But as far as physically, it’s the best I’ve ever felt. I still have a little ways to go until I get to a point where I think I’m ready to rock and roll as far as going in the ring and having a 30-or-45-minute match. But as far as how I’m feeling, again, compared to even two-and-a-half, three months ago, I feel fantastic. I feel really, really good. Then like I said, just mentally, to be able to be back at AEW, around the fans, around the crew, has been huge for me. So I feel good. I feel really good.”

In 2022, Cole suffered two serious head injuries back to back. One in the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament against Samoa Joe and then a month later at Forbidden Door he suffered another one in the four-way match for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Cole admitted the entire process was very scary for him and at one point thought he might have to prepare for the idea that he could never wrestle again.

“I think that was definitely the scariest process, aside from the fact that, again, any time you get a head injury, it’s always a little bit scary. But for me, the scariest part was after like a month had gone by,” Adam Cole admitted. “The first three weeks to a month, you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m recovering, I’m just healing. I’m gonna be fine. I’m not gonna have any side effects. Everything will be great.’

“The crazy thing was that after even a month, it was like that’s when real serious side effects started happening. Literally, everything I said in my return in-ring promo that I did, all of that was true, and more. There was a lot of stuff that was happening very late into the healing process, or what I thought was late, like a month-and-a-half, two months. But I was genuinely very, very nervous, and really afraid that I might be told I’m not allowed to wrestle again.

“For me, I have a tendency lots of times where, when I get bad news, I just assume the worst. I mentally prepare myself to go, ‘Okay, I’m gonna have to deal with this new chapter of my life.’ Of course, I had the hope and dream of being able to get back in there. But just with all the news I was getting, how I was feeling, I’m like, oh my god, I can’t be in a car for more than 15 minutes, and it’s been two months. How am I ever gonna get into a wrestling ring again? But fortunately, I’ve said this before too, but the doctors that I had around me, AEW by the way was fantastic through this entire process.

“It was like I barely had to think, it was like so many things were set up for me that, in the middle of all this, where I was seeing doctors like three times a week, they just wanted to make sure I was healthy and feeling okay. I was constantly being checked on. So in that sense it was wonderful, but again, I did have a genuine fear of, I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to do this. I’m 33 years old, and I’m not even close to wanting to be done with wrestling yet. So it was scary.”

Adam Cole spoke about the emotions he went through over the last several months and going through periods where he would just start crying without understanding why. He also spoke in-depth about a series of brain tests he had that took him some time before he was able to pass them, which finally gave him hope that he would be able to return to the ring.

“As far as emotionally, what I was going through, obviously I think the head injury played a part in how I was feeling, especially early on, the first few months,” Adam Cole said. “I know I talked with Britt [Baker] about this before, but there would be times where, for no reason, I would just start crying. She would ask me what’s wrong or what’s happened, and I genuinely would look at her, and I meant it, and I would say, ‘I don’t know. I have no idea why I’m so emotional.’

“Aside from the head injury side effects, again, my entire life has been devoted to pro wrestling. When I was nine years old, that’s all I ever wanted to do, and getting to have the career that I’ve had is something that I’ll cherish forever. I love pro wrestling more than anything in the world, and the idea of imagining that that could be over at such a young age or at such an important part of my career, was devastating to me.

“But then I would go back and forth and say, ‘No, I have a great team of doctors around me. I am working as hard as I possibly can every single day to make sure that I get back. I’m gonna do it. This is just another speed bump, and I’m gonna get through it.’ Early on, there were a lot of ups and downs in that sense. But for me, there were a couple of months, but the big one is, and I won’t go into crazy detail, but long story short, there was a test I had to take two months after that second head injury, and that test, I scored so poorly that there was a concern of whether or not I could even drive.

“That was two months after the second head injury, so that was absolutely devastating. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my god, this is real. This could potentially be something that I deal with forever, or potentially this could be something where I’m not gonna be able to get in the ring again. But after a few, it was probably two, two-and—half months after that, I took the test again, and I passed it with flying colors. Not only did I meet the average, but I exceeded the average.

“When I saw that and the reaction from the doctor I was working with, her excitement as well, I’m like, ‘Oh my god, we’re gonna do this. We’re gonna make this happen. I’m gonna be able to get back into the ring.’ So the one test I had to take for my brain, when I eventually passed that test, that was so, so incredible to get that news at that point because again, you’re scared about losing the thing that you love the most. So that was a point where I was like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna make this happen. This is gonna work.'” [H/T: Fightful]

READ MORE: Tony Khan: AEW Put Adam Cole’s Health First, We’re Excited To Have Him Back

What do you make of Adam Cole’s comments? Are you happy to see him back on All Elite Wrestling programming? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.