WWE Superstars Who Went Out Cold During A Match

Professional wrestling is an extremely dangerous medium, and injuries occur pretty frequently. One misstep can cause leg injuries, one centimeter in positioning can lead to a botched spot that requires subsequent neck surgery, and one rogue fist or foot can lead to a genuine knockout that some UFC fighters would be proud of. Meanwhile, careers can end instantly due to one routine maneuver going wrong. The outcomes of matches are predetermined, but the risks certainly aren't.


There have also been several occasions where wrestlers get legitimately struck and manage to stay standing. However, there have been situations where performers have been knocked so loopy that they genuinely don't know their own names, where they are, or what they're doing afterward. With that in mind, here are some of the most notable examples of WWE Superstars getting knocked out in the middle of a match.

Stone Cold Steve Austin - Summerslam 1997

It's perhaps one of the most famous botches in wrestling history, forever altering the future of WWE and playing a significant part in producing one of the most essential feuds in company history: the night Owen Hart broke Steve Austin's neck and ended their friendship. Right on the doorstep of the famed Attitude Era, Hart and Austin fought over the WWE Intercontinental Championship at the 1997 Summerslam in a "Kiss My A**" match. Still, the stipulation was the least of people's concerns by the end of the bout.


For those who don't know, Hart delivered a sit-out Tombstone Piledriver to Austin, with the "Texas Rattlesnake" not fully prepared for it. Hart dropped to the mat, and Austin's head was the first to connect with the canvas, breaking his neck and briefly paralyzing him. Along with almost becoming paraplegic, Austin was legitimately knocked out but somehow came to and finished the match, picking up the win in the process. 

Austin's neck problems led to him having a mostly non-wrestling feud with Vince McMahon, before officially retiring in 2003. However, his retirement wasn't permanent, as Austin fought Kevin Owens in a no-holds-barred match at WWE WrestleMania 38.

Mick Foley - King of the Ring 1998

The Hell In A Cell match between The Undertaker and Mick Foley at WWE King of the Ring 1998 has transcended pop culture. Jim Ross screaming, "As God as my witness, he is broken in half," after Foley gets thrown off the steel structure is iconic. Meanwhile, the sight of Foley's tooth lodged in his nose is on the Mount Rushmore of barbaric moments in wrestling. Foley suffered life-altering injuries in this match, with the genuine knockout he received being on the tamer side of the pain he's had to endure.


The story goes Foley was knocked out from the combination of crashing onto the ring canvas and a steel chair landing on his head on the way down. To the surprise of anyone who believes in a higher being, Foley returned after regaining his senses, finished the match, and cemented himself in wrestling history forever. His knockout was so bad that when he got backstage, he asked if he used thumbtacks during the match, even though they were stuck in his back, feet, and arms.

Kurt Angle - Summerslam 2000

WWE's Spanish announce tables have taken a lot of punishment over the years, especially during the Attitude Era. At one point, it seemed the tables couldn't go one week without being broken by some of WWE's biggest stars. On some occasions, they struggled to hold the weight of some wrestlers, and this is precisely what happened at WWE SummerSlam 2000, where Kurt Angle suffered a nasty concussion after being knocked out in the opening moments of the show's main event.


Angle was meant to take a Pedigree from Triple H on the announce table; however, the furniture collapsed prematurely, and the Olympic gold medalist's head hit the concrete with such force that he was knocked out and removed from the match for a significant amount of time. Stephanie McMahon dragged Angle back to the ring, even though had the face of someone who just wanted a lie down. Fortunately, he managed to finish the match and nail all of his spots with the help of The Rock, Triple H, and McMahon at ringside.

William Regal - No Way Out 2003

2003 wasn't a good year to be William Regal. While it started strong with him winning the World Tag Team Championships with Lance Storm, his appearance at WWE No Way Out would be his final match over a year. His health seemed to get worse and worse with each passing day, which was a result of a parasite he picked up on a tour of India in late 2002 — and a concussion he suffered in this match, which saw him and Storm defend the gold against Kane and Rob Van Dam.


In the early stages of the bout, Kane delivered a simple body slam to Regal. However, the back of his head connected with the canvas before the rest of his body, knocking him out and giving him the concussion that would ultimately be the straw that broke the camel's back. Like most wrestlers, Regal finished the match and retained his title after Kane accidentally chokeslammed RVD, but the knockout proved just how serious head injuries can be to a wrestler's health.

Chavo Guerrero - Smackdown [August 26, 2004]

Chavo Guerrero is from a wrestling family and has some stories to tell regarding his battle scars. However, one tale he's unable to tell is what happened when he faced Billy Kidman on the August 26, 2004, edition of "WWE Smackdown." Kidman was known for having the prettiest move in wresting in the form of his shooting star press, a title he had held proud since his days in the WCW Cruiserweight division. Guerrero had felt the force of the move multiple times before, but never like this.


On this occasion, Kidman performed the move as usual, but his knee collided with Guerrero's head on the way down, knocking him out cold for a significant amount of time. Guerrero's entire body tensed up, and the concussion he suffered forced him out of action for over two months. He was immediately rushed to hospital following the match. While Guerrero made a full recovery, Kidman didn't perform the move the same again, turning fully heel in the aftermath.

Candice Michelle - Raw [October 22, 2007]

Fans of WWE's Ruthless Aggression Era don't have many great memories of women's wrestling outside of a select few notable performers, such as Trish Stratus, Lita, and Beth Phoenix. Things like the "Diva Search" became the priority over the WWE Women's Championship, but the 2004 edition of the competition led to Candice Michelle being hired. The former "Go Daddy" girl had no wrestling experience when she signed with WWE. By 2007, however, she had worked hard to improve in the ring, and was on her way to being one of the women's divisions greatest success stories. That was until she faced Phoenix on October 22, 2007.


The incident occurred in a two-out-of-three-falls match for Michelle's WWE Women's title, happening after she lost her balance while on the top role. On the way down, her face planted the canvas, knocking her out and resulting in a broken collarbone. Michelle's wave of momentum was diminished entirely and she was never be the same after this match, retiring from the business full-time in 2009. Since then, Michelle has detailed the injuries she picked up in WWE, but she appears to be on good terms with the promotion as she returned for the 2019 "Raw Reunion."

Drew McIntyre - Money In The Bank 2010

When the inaugural Money In The Bank event rolled around in 2010, Drew McIntyre was amid a nearly six-month reign with the WWE Intercontinental Championship and was hailed as "The Chosen One" by Vince McMahon. This led to his inclusion in the first of two ladder matches, with some fans believing that McIntyre would be the one to walk away with the briefcase. Instead, Kane was victorious, while McIntyre walked away not having a clue about what was going on.


Toward the end of the match, Kofi Kingston hit McIntyre with the Boom Drop through the announce table, legitimately knocking the Scotsman out cold. McIntyre, who was reportedly planned to win the match at one stage, woke up underneath a ladder after Kingston landed on his head. McIntyre recalled the incident with Kingston afterward, stating that his first thought was wondering why so many people were in his bedroom, as he had no idea where he was. After shaking the cobwebs off, he continued the match, but was initially shocked by his reaction of thinking that thousands of people were in his bedroom.

The Miz - WrestleMania 27

Getting knocked out in a wrestling match is one thing, but getting knocked out in the main event of WWE WrestleMania is an entirely different story. Headlining the company's biggest event is an honor only a select group of wrestlers can experience in their careers. It should be a memorable occasion for those involved. Sadly for The Miz, he has no memory of his match against John Cena at WrestleMania 27.


During the bout, The Miz was tackled over the barricade by Cena, which resulted in his head smacking the concrete floor, knocking him out completely. The match was initially ruled a double count-out, a decision that was eventually overturned by the show's host, The Rock. Still, even when the match restarted, it was clear that Miz wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders. 

Since then, Miz has stated that he finds his WrestleMania 27 match hard to watch, as he has no memory of what happened outside of pinning Cena to get the win. Despite this, he is thankful to everyone who helped him through the match and who took care of him backstage afterward.

Daniel Bryan - Smackdown [August 19, 2011]

Given his injury history in WWE and beyond, it's hard to imagine the former Daniel Bryan not sustaining a few injuries that knocked him out cold. After all, concussion-related issues forced him into an early, albeit brief, retirement in 2016. Before that setback, however, Bryan was legitimately knocked out by Alberto Del Rio on the August 19, 2011, edition of "WWE Smackdown," causing the Mexican star to enter panic mode.


The incident happened due to a rogue kick landing clean on Bryan's jaw, which caused him to fall unconscious for a short amount of time. Del Rio attempted to tell referee Charles Robinson that Bryan was out cold, but he was ordered to continue the match for some reason. Bryan eventually woke up and finished the contest with little to no trouble, but it's incredible to think that one kick can throw such a massive spanner in the works of a regular wrestling match.

Enzo Amore - Payback 2016

When Enzo Amore and Big Cass broke out of "WWE NXT" and onto the main roster, many people were excited to see if the two men's in-ring ability could match their promo skills. Their first big test on pay-per-view came at WWE Payback 2016 against another recently called-up team in the form of The Vaudevillains, where the winners of the show's opening contest would become the number one contenders to The New Day's WWE Tag Team Championships.


The champions were at ringside and had a front row seat to the unfortunate moment when Simon Gotch threw Amore into the ropes, but couldn't get his head down in time. This caused his head to bounce off the bottom rope, ring apron, and floor. Amore was knocked out cold, and the match was ruled a no contest. Amore was taken to the back on a stretcher for further evaluation, but he would return to action just a few weeks later. 

Shane McMahon - Survivor Series 2016

Reintroducing the hard brand split in 2016 incited a storyline war for supremacy at WWE Survivor Series 2016. The men, women, and tag teams of "Raw" and "Smackdown" fought to honor the color of the t-shirt they wore that night, with Shane McMahon, the blue brand's commissioner at the time, leading WWE Champion AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, and Bray Wyatt into battle against "Raw's" Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and Braun Strowman.


However, things didn't go according to plan for McMahon. While attempting to land his signature coast-to-coast dropkick on Reigns, the "Big Dog" hopped up as he was in mid-air and landed a spear on him that was so severe, it knocked out of the "Smackdown" commissioner. This was evident when McMahon tried to roll out of the cover on instinct but was safely removed from the match moments after. McMahon's children were in the front row to witness the whole thing, and while they looked concerned, they were comforted by Orton, who broke character and informed them that their dad would be okay.

Liv Morgan - Raw [September 24th 2018]

The return of Daniel Bryan to a WWE ring in 2018 came with a few extra add-ons. One of those add-ons was the in-ring return of Bryan's wife Brie Bella, who also came out of retirement for things like the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match and to shut the mouths of The Miz and Maryse. After that feud was done, she stuck around for a little while to see if she could shake off some ring rust. Amid this shaking, she knocked Liv Morgan unconscious without even noticing.


On the September 24, 2018, edition of "WWE Raw," during a match pitting The Riott Squad against The Bella Twins and Natalya, Brie channelled her husband's ability to kick hard by striking Morgan. However, as Morgan was about to go down to sell, Brie kicked her, twice, right in the mouth, knocking her out. The women tried their best to work around Morgan, but it was useless. Bella returned to retirement by the end of the year, and has only made one cameo in the years since, at 2022 Royal Rumble match where she eliminated Morgan of all people.

Goldberg - Super Showdown 2019

WWE's Saudi Arabian shows have been prone to mishaps, and fans will remember ill-fated bouts such as D-Generation X against The Brothers of Destruction, Shane McMahon being named "the best wrestler in the world," and of course, Goldberg against The Undertaker. The latter bout saw a concussed Goldberg almost kill "The Deadman," who was still on his personal quest to have one more classic match. 


The match ran for under 10 minutes, and in that time, Goldberg's head collided with the ring post following a spear attempt, busting him open and knocking himself for six. He wasn't wholly unconscious, but he was dazed for the remainder of the match, resulting in a Jackhammer attempt that almost paralyzed his opponent. Goldberg was mercifully pinned while not knowing what country he was in, ending one of the worst matches in WWE history. Goldberg later described the match against Undertaker as a "debacle," and it won't go down in history as one of either legend's finer moments.

Kairi Sane - TLC 2019

By the end of 2019, the women's division in WWE had become just as much of an attraction, if not more, than the men's division. This was evident by things like the Mae Young Classic tournaments, the WWE Evolution pay-per-view, and Becky Lynch winning that year's WrestleMania main event. The final pay-per-view of the year, TLC, was headlined by the a WWE Women's Tag Team Championship bout between The Kabuki Warriors and Lynch and Charlotte Flair. While it sounded promising on paper, the execution didn't go according to plan.


During the match, Kairi Sane was knocked out after suffering a head injury. It's unclear when she sustained the injury during the match, but the moment she was powerbombed through a table by Flair is often cited as the cause of her concussion. Sane didn't participate in the rest of the match, with Lynch rolling her underneath the ring to keep her from getting hurt any further.