AEW's Adam Cole Talks Concussion Recovery, Wanting a Rematch With Jay White, The Scrapped Undisputed Elite Storyline (Exclusive)

Adam Cole will make his long-awaited in-ring return on tonight's AEW Dynamite, taking on Daniel Garcia of the Jericho Appreciation Society. Cole suffered a pair of concussions last year, the latter of which took place at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view during a four-way bout for Jay White's IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Cole's injury caused the match to immediately rush to a finish with White quickly pinning him. Aside from a segment on an early August episode of Dynamite involving the Undisputed Elite, Cole wouldn't be back on AEW programming until the Jan. 11 episode of Dynamite where he'd proudly announce he had fully recovered and was cleared for a return.

Cole spoke with ComicBook ahead of his match with Garcia and this week's premiere of AEW: All Access, which goes into detail about Cole's road to recovery. 

"What's wild is as time has gone on I feel better and better. I can train more, prepare more, be around the right people. As far as feeling ready, it's crazy. Because being gone for nine months, I don't know if I'll ever feel like, 'All right, I'm ready.' I'm scared. It's been nine months since I've been in the ring. But physically, mentally, emotionally, I am ready to go. The doctors agree. I can't wait, I can't believe it's almost here," Cole said.

When Cole returned, it marked the first time he was being presented as a babyface since arriving in AEW back in 2021. That aforementioned August episode of Dynamite saw Cole turn on The Young Bucks by having Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish attack the pair as they were gearing up for the AEW World Trios Championship tournament. But between Cole's face turn, Bobby Fish's release from the company, Kyle O'Reilly still not being cleared to compete and Matt Jackson now dealing with a partially torn bicep, it looks like whatever initial plans AEW had for an Undisputed Elite vs. Elite storyline have been shelved (at least for now).

"I think so (those plans have been scrapped)," Cole said when asked about the status of that storyline. "It's one of those situations where, obviously, wrestling is dangerous and things change all the time there may have been a couple of ideas as far as where we were going months and months ago. We thought, 'okay, this recovery process is going to be a little bit quicker.' But as time went on and we learned how serious this injury was, obviously things had to pivot and change as well. That's kind of the way wrestling is where things change often and you just kind of have to roll with the punches. We definitely had at least a couple of ideas back then but things have changed now. But it doesn't mean that we won't play into that down the line."

Cole also mentioned he'd happily compete in another match with White, who recently left New Japan Pro-Wrestling. There's plenty of active speculation over where he'll sign next, with AEW and WWE being the obvious two choices.

"Talking about people that I think the world of, Jay White is one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet for sure. There's absolutely some unfinished business there. Getting back to a match, even a one-on-one match with Jay White is something I'm incredibly interested in," Cole said.

AEW Dynamite airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on TBS. AEW: All Access will premiere this week on TBS immediately following Dynamite.