Statlander’s emotional journey back from injury to win the TBS title


All Elite Wrestling

Kris Statlander had the moment of the night at Double or Nothing with a surprise return to win the TBS Championship from Jade Cargill. AEW chronicled the emotional journey in Road to San Diego.

Statlander tore the ACL in her left knee on June 10, 2020. She worked hard to recover and was peaking in the pecking order of the women’s division when she suffered her second knee injury on August 5, 2022. This time, it was her right knee that was injured. Statlander’s leg buckled on a big boot in a Dark match. The diagnosis was a torn ACL, torn lateral meniscus, and lateral impaction fractures in the tibial and femoral heads. The recovery window was 6 to 8 months post-operation.

AEW cameras revisited her journey over the months for updates. Statlander has worked so hard to lift everyone up, but the weight of her recovery was crushing at times. Statlander was near tears speaking about the perception of being injury-prone, and it was clear that it affected her mentally. Statlander kept a positive attitude in saying that she will be a nightmare in the ring when she comes back.

Statlander was in a happier mood on her return to the ring for training. She was told that she was ahead of schedule and didn’t want to take that for granted. Statlander had no pain in the brief session. There were a little bit of nerves, but she felt comfortable.

Statlander brimmed with confidence backstage at the Revolution PPV in March. She used the label of being injury-prone as motivation to prove the doubters wrong. Statlander wants to show that she is bigger, stronger, and more athletic than she has ever been. She had her eye on winning a championship, and nothing will stop her. Statlander believes she is one of the best in this business, and she hasn’t had the opportunity to fully shine yet.

The last chapter was Double or Nothing on May 28, 2023. Statlander was officially cleared, and the rest is history. She answered Cargill’s challenge and won the TBS title. Holding the championship was a representation that she deserves the success. Statlander thanked her supporters, and she will prove them right with the best title reign anybody has ever seen.

Watch the full story in AEW Road to San Diego. It is the first segment and runs close to 12 minutes.

Road to San Diego also featured some fallout from Double or Nothing.

Wardlow believes he proved there is no question how far he is willing to go for the TNT Championship after beating Christian Cage in a ladder match. The Acclaimed admitted that they got their ass whipped by the House of Black. Max Caster and Anthony Bowens plan to refocus with the goal of winning trios gold. Orange Cassidy mulled that it wasn’t the best idea to defend the AEW International Championship against 20 men, but he found a way to win. OC will continue to find a way. Jay White and Juice Robinson mocked sweet boy Ricky Starks. If FTR want to be friends with Starks, then they will get served a beating as well courtesy of Bullet Club Gold. This felt like a slight tease that Switchblade and Rock Hard will need a third partner.

On social media, AEW aired Matt Hardy’s first request of Ethan Page now that he owns Page’s contract. Page had to get chips for Hook. Purple Doritos to be precise.

Share your thoughts on the content in AEW Road to San Diego.

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