13 Times a Wrestler Got Legit Knocked Out During a Match

From the devastating impact of a Shooting Star Press gone wrong to the chilling moment a spear in mid-air ended in unconsciousness, explore thirteen harrowing instances pro wrestlers were legitimately knocked out during a match!

1. Chavo Guerrero Jr. (SmackDown, August 26th, 2004)

Chavo Guerrero Jr. faces off against Billy Kidman in a match where he got legitimately knocked out from a Shooting Star Press gone wrong.
Chavo Guerrero Jr. faces off against Billy Kidman in a match where he got legitimately knocked out from a Shooting Star Press gone wrong. Photo Credit: WWE.

In a SmackDown event held on August 26th, 2004, at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, Chavo Guerrero Jr. faced Billy Kidman in a match that ended unexpectedly.

Kidman delivered his Shooting Star Press but misjudged the move, landing knee-first on Guerrero’s head, resulting in Guerrero being knocked out and suffering a concussion.

Chavo Jr. laid out cold for several minutes and required medical attention from officials and EMTs. Subsequently, he was taken to the hospital for overnight observation.

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2. Kairi Sane (TLC 2019, December 15th, 2019)

Kairi Sane taking the powerbomb by Charlotte Flair that resulted in a concussion at the 2019 TLC pay-per-view.
Kairi Sane taking the powerbomb by Charlotte Flair that resulted in a concussion at the 2019 TLC pay-per-view. Photo Credit: WWE.

In 2019’s TLC main event, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair faced The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.

The grueling 26-minute match saw Sane endure dangerous spots, including a powerbomb through a table that resulted in a concussion.

Lynch was later seen taking precautions by rolling Sane under the ring mat to avoid further contact.

After the match, Lynch broke character by praising her rival’s toughness, saying, “You truly are a warrior.”

Kairi Sane returned to WWE in 2023 after an exceptional run in Japan.

3. William Regal (No Way Out, February 23rd, 2003)

Kane looks at a concussed William Regal at No Way Out 2003.
Kane looks at a concussed William Regal at No Way Out 2003. Photo Credit: WWE.

In a World Tag Team Championship match at No Way Out 2003, held on February 23rd, 2003, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, William Regal and Lance Storm successfully defended their titles against Rob Van Dam and Kane.

During the match, Kane executed a bodyslam, which usually carries minimal risk. However, this time, it inadvertently rendered William Regal unconscious for several seconds.

Despite legitimately getting knocked out, Regal demonstrated remarkable resilience by continuing the match and ultimately securing victory alongside Lance Storm.

4. Drew McIntyre (WrestleMania XXVI, March 28, 2010)

Drew McIntyre lays unconscious at WrestleMania 26 on March 28th, 2010.
Drew McIntyre lays unconscious at WrestleMania 26 on March 28th, 2010. Photo Credit: WWE.

Drew McIntyre’s match at WrestleMania XXVI, held on March 28, 2010, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, marked a significant moment early in his WWE career.

Booked as the “best” of the mid-carders, he was inserted into the Money in the Bank Ladder match for a world championship opportunity.

Ladder matches are known for their dangerous spots, and Drew learned that the hard way.

At one point in the match, Kofi Kingston jumped off a ladder to hit Drew with a leg drop. However, Kofi miscalculated and hit Drew in the head, knocking him unconscious.

Despite his best efforts, McIntyre did not secure victory in the match, which was ultimately won by Jack Swagger.

5. Goldberg (WWE Super ShowDown, June 7th, 2019)

Golberg and the Undertaker face off at the WWE Super ShowDown on June 7th, 2019, held at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Golberg and the Undertaker face off at the WWE Super ShowDown on June 7th, 2019, held at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: WWE

At WWE Super ShowDown held at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on June 7th, 2019, Goldberg and The Undertaker faced off for the first time in a one-on-one match.

This event marked Goldberg’s return to the ring since his last match at WrestleMania 33 in April 2017.

However, the match did not live up to its expectations and was marred by multiple botches, largely attributed to Goldberg sustaining a concussion early in the bout.

Despite the mishaps, The Undertaker emerged victorious after a challenging match that lasted just over nine minutes.

In the aftermath of the match, both wrestlers reflected on the encounter, with Goldberg acknowledging on social media that he had knocked himself out during the match and was disappointed for letting his fans down.

The Undertaker, in the documentary The Last Ride, expressed that the match was “catastrophic” and took a toll on his physical health, particularly his back, prompting him to reevaluate his career status.

Both wrestlers returned to the ring shortly after, with The Undertaker teaming up with Roman Reigns at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view in July 2019, which was well-received. Goldberg returned to action at SummerSlam 2019, facing Dolph Ziggler in a match that was also a return to form for him.

6. Candice Michelle (Raw, October 22nd, 2007)

Candice Michelle lays unconscious on a stretcher after being knocked out on an October 22nd, 2007 episode of Raw.
Candice Michelle lays unconscious on a stretcher after being knocked out on an October 22nd, 2007 episode of Raw. Photo Credit: WWE.

During a WWE Raw event on October 22nd, 2007, held at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska, Candice Michelle sustained a serious injury in a match against the then Women’s Champion, Beth Phoenix.

During the ill-fated match, Candice Michelle fell from the top rope and landed directly on her shoulder, resulting in a concussion and a broken collarbone. She was immediately rushed to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.

This injury kept her out of in-ring action for six weeks, causing her to miss the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view event, where she was prominently featured on the poster.

7. Enzo Amore (Payback 2016, May 1st, 2016)

Enzo Amore lies unconscious on a stretcher as the medical team takes him away at Payback 2016.
Enzo Amore lies unconscious on a stretcher as the medical team takes him away at Payback 2016. Photo Credit: WWE.

On May 1st, 2016, during WWE’s Payback pay-per-view event held in Chicago, Enzo Amore suffered a severe concussion in a No. 1 Contenders match for the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Vaudevillains.

Amore accidentally hit the bottom rope while attempting a maneuver, causing him to crash violently onto the mat and lose consciousness outside the ring.

This alarming situation prompted immediate intervention by WWE medical staff, who transported Amore on a stretcher for further evaluation.

Subsequent medical tests confirmed the concussion, but fortunately, Amore was released from the hospital following a brief period of observation

8. The Miz (WrestleMania XXVII, April 3rd, 2011)

The Miz and John Cena lay on the floor at WrestleMania XXVII, on April 3rd, 2011.
The Miz and John Cena lay on the floor at WrestleMania XXVII, on April 3rd, 2011. Photo Credit: WWE.

Getting knocked out at WrestleMania must be a nightmare for any wrestler. During WrestleMania XXVII, held on April 3rd, 2011, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, The Miz successfully defended his WWE Championship against John Cena in the main event. However, the match did not go off without a hitch.

The Miz suffered a concussion and was knocked out after both competitors fell over a barrier during the match.

Despite the injury, The Miz managed to regain consciousness and most of his composure, continue the match and retain his title. The bout concluded after The Rock restarted the match and intervened to attack Cena, allowing The Miz to secure the victory.

9. Shane McMahon (Survivor Series 2016, November 20th, 2016)

Shane McMahon gets help being taken to the back at Survivor Series in 2016.
Shane McMahon gets help being taken to the back at Survivor Series in 2016. Photo Credit: WWE.

Shane McMahon is well-known for his high-risk spots and maneuvers despite not being a full-time wrestler. Amazingly, he never ended up seriously injured following a dramatic stunt. That all changed at Survivor Series 2016.

During a 5-on-5 elimination match for Team SmackDown, Shane attempted to perform his Coast-to-Coast move. This maneuver involves climbing a turnbuckle on the opposite side of the ring before jumping across the ring to deliver a drop kick to the opponent. However, Roman Reigns countered by spearing Shane in mid-air.

Shane ended up unconscious due to the landing and was taken to the back.

10. Liv Morgan (Raw, September 24th, 2018)

Brie Bella executing her "Yes! Kicks" against Liv Morgan on a September 24th, 2018 episode of Raw.
Brie Bella executing “Yes! Kicks” against Liv Morgan on a September 24th, 2018 episode of Raw. Photo Credit: WWE.

On the September 24th, 2018 episode of WWE Raw, held at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, Liv Morgan, then a member of the Riott Squad, was accidentally knocked out during a six-woman tag team match against Natalya and the Bella Twins.

The incident occurred when Brie Bella, attempting to execute “Yes!” kicks, a move popularized by her husband, Bryan Danielson (AKA Daniel Bryan during his time in WWE), mistakenly struck Morgan in the head instead of her intended target area, leading to Morgan’s immediate collapse.

Despite the worrying situation in which Morgan seemed disoriented and had difficulty keeping her balance, she valiantly returned to the ring after a medical assessment. Although she was visibly impacted by the earlier blows, she would later participate in an impressive triple-suplex maneuver.

11. Daniel Bryan (SmackDown, August 19th, 2011)

Daniel Bryan faces Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match on SmackDown on August 19th, 2011.
Daniel Bryan faces Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match on SmackDown on August 19th, 2011. Photo Credit: WWE.

On the August 19th, 2011 episode of SmackDown in Bakersfield, California, Daniel Bryan faced Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. During this encounter, Del Rio secured a victory with his signature move, the Cross-Arm Breaker.

However, before his eventual win, Del Rio kicked Bryan in the head, causing him to become clearly concussed.

After the kick, Del Rio put Bryan in a hold so that the referee could check if Bryan was okay.

Bryan, despite the knockout, managed to continue and finish the match.

12. Brock Lesnar (WrestleMania XIX, March 30th, 2003)

Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle both lay on the ground after Lesnar's botched Shooting Star Press attempt.
Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle both lay on the ground after Lesnar’s botched Shooting Star Press attempt. Photo Credit: WWE.

WrestleMania: “The Grandest Stage of Them All” (and also an event that has seen many botched moves over the years, as witnessed by the other entries on this list). Another such example took place at WrestleMania XIX on March 30th, 2003, at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, where Brock Lesnar faced Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship.

Lesnar, who had been dubbed “The Next Big Thing” in WWE, was in his first WrestleMania appearance and was set to make history.

In an attempt to deliver a spectacular finish, Lesnar climbed to the top rope to execute a Shooting Star Press, a move he had performed successfully in the past but was highly risky given the context and his opponent. Unfortunately, Lesnar’s boot slipped on the wet rope, causing him to under-rotate and land headfirst on the mat.

The incident was a harrowing moment, with immediate concern for Lesnar’s health as he lay disoriented in the ring.

Despite the injury, Lesnar managed to finish the match and secure a victory, though he struggled with the effects of the concussion in the aftermath.

You can learn more about the secret story behind what happened after Lesnar’s botched maneuver here.

13. Mick Foley (King of the Ring, June 28th, 1998)

The Undertaker stands atop the steel cage as medical teams rush to check up on Mick Foley.
The Undertaker stands atop the steel cage as medical teams rush to check up on Mick Foley. Photo Credit: WWE.

Mick Foley, under his in-ring persona Mankind, competed against Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match at the King of the Ring event on June 28th, 1998, at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The match has since become notable for several high-risk moments, including Foley being thrown off the top of the cell onto the announce table and, later, a chokeslam through the cell roof onto the ring mat below.

Foley’s injuries from the match were severe and included a concussion, the loss of three teeth, a dislocated shoulder, and numerous cuts and bruises.

Foley was knocked out after the chokeslam, and the Undertaker even thought Foley had died! Taker wasn’t alone in thinking that.

“I genuinely felt he was dead,” Jim Ross admitted in an episode of WWE Rivals on the A&E Network. “An average man couldn’t live through that ordeal.”

High-impact moves in the professional wrestling ring involve inherent dangers. As these thirteen examples showed, they may even result in legitimate knockouts!

Further stories where legitimate injuries took place in the ring:

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Kevin Tanza is a Venezuelan writer with a long experience working in several areas, such as digital marketing, music, sports, entertainment, and more.