A top WWE star has reflected on dealing with a serious injury.
At a December 29, 2022 WWE live event, AJ Styles suffered a broken ankle after landing awkwardly on a backdrop over the top rope.
The former two-time WWE Champion was sidelined until May when he defeated Rey Mysterio and Edge in a triple threat match and then defeat Bobby Lashley in a singles match to advance to the finals of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
Speaking to Mark Andrews on My Love Letter to Wrestling, Styles was asked what it was like returning from his ankle injury. He answered:
“At least they didn’t throw me in two matches and then throw me in a world championship match as soon as I get back. Oh wait, they did,”
“If you’ve ever been hurt, there is nothing like being in wrestling ring shape. The only way to do that is getting in a ring and wrestling.”
“It doesn’t matter how much cardio you do outside of the ring, it doesn’t prepare you for in-ring. A little worried, but after being in the ring, I was like, ‘I’m okay, I’ll be alright.'”
Styles continued on to reflect on this being the longest period of time he has been out with an injury in his legendary career, saying:
“This is the longest I’ve ever been out with an injury. I say this to people, after 24 years, I was due to have a pretty good injury. The last injury I had that kept me out was in TNA and I was out for six weeks, I tore my hip labrum.”
“I was in a boot for a while, and I felt like I was trying to learn how to do things again. ‘Hold on a second, I’ve been doing this for 45 years, how did I not know how to walk right?'”
“It was really painful in some places. I went and got another MRI and once I realized it was this inflammation, the bones pretty much healed, the inflammation is pain, once I knew that in my head, ‘Okay, I’m not going to tear anything, I’m not going to re-break anything, I can get after it.'”
“Once that mental block was gone, it was easier for me to focus on what I needed to do and it seemed like it progressed a lot quicker.”
AJ Styles will face Seth Rollins in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament finals at WWE Night of Champions in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this Saturday, May 28.
The card for WWE Night of Champions 2023 on Saturday, May 27 is as follows:
World Heavyweight Championship – Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins vs. AJ Styles
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship – Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (c) vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa
Raw Women’s Championship – Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Natalya
Intercontinental Championship – Gunther (c) vs. Mustafa Ali
Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar
Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus
Transcription via Fightful
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