Much discussion of late has revolved around the incident on Monday Night Raw in which Liv Morgan was concussed when an errant kick from Brie Bella caught her flush in the face. This won’t be another turn at raking Brie over the coals for what was clearly an accident, but instead this list makes note of the aftermath. Morgan, apparently running on autopilot following the hard strike, took part in an elaborate Suplex spot moments later. Some, rightly, placed blame at the feet of the official and on-site medics for not stopping the action in order to get Morgan checked out.
Certainly, it’s not the first time somebody has sustained a disconcerting blow to the head during the course of a match. In WWE alone, especially before concussion awareness became an absolute priority, there have been a number of instances in which a wrestler has been rendered disoriented, or even unconscious, from a strike or move gone awry.
The following list will look at those cases where a wrestler was KO’ed, or at least noticeably staggered, at the hands of an opponent. For those who criticize any perceived carelessness or inexperience on Brie’s part, consider in some of these instances the skill level of those performing the moves here. Remember – accidents happen.
10. Ricky Steamboat (1986)
One of WWE’s top rivalries in the mid-eighties was between Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. The angle kicked into high gear via an angle on Saturday Night’s Main Event, in which heel Roberts attacked Steamboat at ringside prior to a match, and DDT’d his nemesis on the bare concrete floor. Steamboat earned a stretcher ride, which he legitimately needed.
Steamboat sustained an actual concussion from the blow. Before running with the angle, Roberts was apprehensive about doing the move on the floor, worried that Steamboat wouldn’t be able to keep his skull from hitting the surface. Steamboat convinced Roberts that he could handle it, but was unable to do so in the moment. Roberts went to lift Steamboat up afterward to continue the attack, only to discover that The Dragon was unconscious. Roberts later described Steamboat in that moment: “The heaviest thing I’ve ever picked up in my life,” and compared the sound of Steamboat’s head hitting to “a watermelon bursting.”