In a dramatic turn of events during Friday night's "SmackDown," WWE fans witnessed an unsettling incident as Rey Mysterio appeared to sustain a head injury during the final match of the United States Championship Invitational Tournament.
The match, which pitted Mysterio against Santos Escobar, took a concerning turn when Escobar executed a suicide dive, resulting in Mysterio's head making contact with the floor. Following this impactful moment, the broadcast headed to a commercial break, leaving viewers uncertain about the severity of the situation.
Upon returning from the break, it became apparent that something was amiss, as the match had been abruptly stopped, and a ringside doctor was attending to Rey Mysterio. Instant replays showed the distressing moment when Mysterio fell backward from Escobar's maneuver, hitting the back of his head on the floor.
Taking the athlete's safety as a priority, the referee decided to call off the match, awarding Santos Escobar the victory. Despite the disappointment of an unfinished bout, Mysterio managed to rise to his feet and demonstrate sportsmanship by congratulating Escobar.
Conflicting Reports: Legitimacy of Injury Debated
The WWE Universe was left in suspense as conflicting reports regarding the legitimacy of the injury emerged. Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp initially took to Twitter to assert that the incident might have been part of a scripted storyline.
However, he later deleted the tweet, citing "conflicting information." Sapp later clarified on Fightful's post-show broadcast that he and some others were informed right after the injury that it was a planned element of the show, but a second source later contradicted this claim.
As concerns and speculations circulated, Fightful Select, a reliable source for wrestling news, finally confirmed that Rey Mysterio's injury was indeed legitimate. This revelation brought forth a sense of seriousness and concern within the WWE community, reminding everyone of the inherent risks involved in professional wrestling.
The aftermath of this unfortunate event also had implications for the United States Championship picture. With Escobar declared the winner, he earned the right to challenge Austin Theory for the prestigious U.S. Title. Interestingly, Theory was present during the match, watching from a sky box high above the ringside area and enjoying popcorn while witnessing the action unfold.
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