Back in June, I had written an article touting Kris Statlander as being on the precipice of superstardom citing her match against Ruby Soho as an example of how ready the fans are to get behind her.
Since then, it was feeling like momentum was growing in her favour and in the past month, the path seemed clear to me:
- Use Athena to elevate Jade Cargill to the next level at All Out
- Have Kris Statlander end Jade’s steak at Grand Slam in front of her home city
If reports are to be believed, this is exactly where we were heading. That is until Kris Statlander faced Sierra on the August 9th episode of Dark. It was something I identified at the time as Stat, on a pretty routine move, the ‘Big Boot’, fell awkwardly and was quite laboured getting up after the match. I hoped for the best and with virtual radio silence from any source online, it appeared to be nothing. No one else seemed to even pick up on it and I convinced myself that maybe it was just a twisted ankle.
Unfortunately, as we found out, Kris Statlander had a completely torn ACL. Recovery time is 6-8 months. Devastating. Just devastating.
Not that it’s ever a good time to get injured as a wrestler but there are times where it kind of works out. It forces them off TV and gives fans a chance to miss them and anticipate their return. Unfortunately for Stat, she was about to have her moment. At the end of this past week’s Road To episode, Kris Statlander gives us an update in her own words. If you haven’t watched it, you can catch it here:
I think, for me, what makes this all the more heartbreaking is that I’ve heard so many wrestlers, even huge names, talk in hindsight about making a big return. And they all seem to share that they were nervous that their stock won’t be as hot with the fans as it was. I hope that Kris does not feel this way but there’s a good chance she does.
Tony Khan, on Busted Open Radio, said of Kris, “We’re sorry to see her out. I really had a lot of big plans and do still have big plans for Kris Statlander…”.
Ironically, I had fantasy booked in my mind (never published it anywhere) the idea of Statlander faking an injury after earning her shot at Jade. She’d get a speaking segment on Dynamite and show up wearing a plain white t-shirt, invoking previous injury announcements by CM Punk and Bryan Danielson, saying she “have some good news and some bad news”. Jade would come out and chirp at her and she’d attack Jade, showing it was all a ruse.
We will wait patiently for Kris Statlander to return to AEW. With any luck, timing will be more on her side and she can be slotted right back into a title scene. Get well Stat!