Fans expected another incredible bout at Forbidden Door when Cole challenged for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. He was scheduled to compete in a four-way match against champion Jay White, Kazuchika Okada, and Page.
The match was fine, until an awkward finish. White hit his finishing move on Okada but pinned a downed Cole to win the match. Unfortunately, the reason for this awkward finish was due to Cole suffering a concussion after taking an Okada drop kick.
Recently, an update was provided on Cole's condition, and speculation on his return may begin soon.
Britt Baker, Cole's girlfriend, spoke with Sportskeeda recently where she provided a bit of an update on the former NXT Champion's condition.
“He’s definitely recovering and healing,” she said. “I hope just like everybody else that we get to see him back in a wrestling ring soon."
The couple briefly were paired together on-screen during Cole's feud with Cassidy. Cole and Baker teamed up on the January 19 edition of AEW Dynamite to take on Cassidy and Kris Statlander. Cole and Baker picked up the victory.
The concussion is not the only thing the Panama City Playboy is working through right now. Cole had been dealing with multiple injuries leading into Forbidden Door, including a torn labrum.
AEW owner Tony Khan recently told the New York Post that Cole had been cleared to compete at the AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling crossover even. Khan also mentioned that Cole would be taking time off for the time being.
True to his word, Cole has not been seen on AEW programming since Forbidden Door.
“He had been cleared to wrestle. So now, I’m also gonna take some time [off] for him,” Khan said. “We had already taken some time and I’ll take some more time to make sure he’s right and wouldn’t want him to wrestle until he’s feeling 100 percent. He was feeling 100 percent going into Forbidden Door. That’s how unpredictable these [injuries] are.”
A Big Angle?
When Cole is able to return to the ring, a potentially huge angle may be waiting for him. Fightful Select reported earlier on Tuesday that former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega is nearing a return to the ring.
Omega last competed in the ring last November, when he dropped the AEW World Championship to Page at Full Gear 2021. He appeared in a backstage segment on the ensuing edition of Dynamite, where tension between himself and Cole was teased.
According to Fightful, the Best Bout Machine is tentatively scheduled to compete in a six-man tag match at All Out 2022. This could lead to an intrafaction feud between Omega and the Young Bucks against Cole and reDragon, Kyle O'Reilly, and Bobby Fish.
As of now, there is no tangible timeline for Cole's return. He has been dealing with these injuries as far back as Revolution 2022 when he took on Page for the AEW World Championship.
As of now, it doesn't appear as if the leader of the Undisputed Elite will get surgery for his torn labrum. That would mean any timeline on his return would depend on the recovery time from his concussion and the other injuries he is currently dealing with.
Hopefully, Cole is able to step back into the ring soon and be at 100% while doing so.