Professional wrestling has been around for decades now, and although it has become a multi-billion dollar business, with millions of loyal fans all over the world, there are still those who look down on the industry. If you were to ask one of these haters why they dislike professional wrestling, they will usually say because the entire production is fake, which in all honesty is technically true, but to say that the entirety of professional wrestling is fake is absolutely false. In order to become a wrestler, a person needs to be fairly fit and athletic, plus their bodies need to be able to put up with all of the strain and stress associated with workouts, travel, and performing actual wrestling maneuvers.
In truth, the best professional wrestlers are highly skilled individuals who have trained countless hours and years to hone their moves, so that they can perform in the ring to the best of their abilities without injuring themselves or others. As much as they train though, accidents do indeed happen, and when you are either delivering or receiving a high-flying or high-risk move, there is always a chance of someone getting seriously hurt or losing consciousness. There have been several wrestlers who have legitimately found themselves knocked out cold during a match, and sometimes those wrestlers regain consciousness and continue the match as best they can, while others need to be stretchered away; but no matter the outcome, it is always a serious matter when a wrestler loses consciousness. With that being said, here is a list of 15 wrestlers who actually lost consciousness during a match.
15 Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon may have left the wrestling business for years in order to explore other business ventures, but ever since his return in February of 2016, he has proven that he is still willing to mix it up in the ring from time to time. Now Shane may be the boss' son, but that does not mean that he is immune to the dangers of professional wrestling, as evidenced by last year's Survivor Series, in which he lost consciousness during the tag team elimination match. At one point, he and Roman Reigns were in the ring, and Shane attempted to perform his Coast to Coast move, and while he was in mid-air, Reigns countered the move with a spear. Shane did not land well, though, as his head hit the ring first, which knocked him out for a few seconds, and when he snapped out of it, it was obvious that Shane was in real pain.
14 Brad Maddox
Ever since being released by the WWE in 2015, Brad Maddox's name has not come up all that often, unless you count those leaked videos from a while back, but during his time with the company, he did manage to provide us with some list-worthy moments. One of those moments came in 2013 during an episode of SmackDown, where Maddox, who was the Raw GM at the time, came down to the ring to confront Big Show, who at the time had been 'fired' by Stephanie McMahon. During the confrontation, Show told Maddox that he had nothing left to lose, which is when he hit him with his signature KO punch, which caught Maddox by surprise and literally knocked him out cold, which is why he looked completely lifeless in the ring. This moment truly cemented the name of Big Show's move, but it also left Maddox with a concussion.
13 Enzo Amore
Whether you find him to be incredibly entertaining, or incredibly annoying, no one can say that Enzo Amore does not have what it takes to energize an entire arena with his New Jersey inspired character. Early on into his main roster call up, Enzo and Big Cass found themselves in a brief rivalry with the Vaudevillians, a rivalry that saw the two teams meet at 2016's Payback pay-per-view. The match ended up being called early though, because Enzo suffered a really bad injury from a move gone wrong, in fact it was so bad, that some even went as far as to suggest that his career might be in real jeopardy. One of the Vaudevillians went to toss Enzo out of the ring, but instead of a clean exit, Enzo's face clipped the ropes, and because of the force of the toss, Enzo could not stop his head from hitting the canvas. He lost consciousness immediately, and spent several minutes lying on the floor completely unresponsive with his eyes wide open.
12 Sister Sherri
There are several women who wrestled in either the '80s or '90s who deserve recognition in the WWE Hall of Fame because of their accomplishments, and one of those women is Sista Sherri, who had a long career that saw her perform for multiple promotions. In 1996, she joined the knocked-out club while with WCW, during an altercation with fellow female wrestler, Madusa. After finishing up an in-ring interview, Sherri turned around to see Madusa lunging at her from the top rope, a move which caught Sherri off-guard because she was unaware that it was going to happen. That did not knock her out, though, as she and Madusa went on to have a match immediately after, which Sherri ended up winning. However, after the match, Madusa attacked her, and botched a German Suplex which knocked Sherri out, and Madusa went on to continue attacking her while she was clearly unconscious.
11 The Miz
As far as heels go in 2016-17, The Miz has done a fantastic job, to the point that the fans appreciate all of the work he has put into his character, a character who has feuded with John Cena multiple times over the years. One of those feuds culminated at WrestleMania XXVII, a match which Miz would actually go on to win, but before pinning Cena, he had to regain his senses after losing consciousness for more than a minute. During the match, Cena was supposed to spear Miz twice, with the first move going off without a hitch, but the second spear did not go as planned, as Miz's head bounced off of concrete, which knocked him out instantly. When he finally recovered, you could tell that Miz was really shaken up over what happened.
10 Candice Michelle
There was a time when the Women's Division in the WWE was mostly filled with women who were on the main roster not for their wrestling capabilities, but because they happened to be very attractive individuals, and Candice Michelle was one of them. She may have not been a good wrestler, but the fans did eventually grow to like her, which is why they were genuinely concerned for her when she was rendered unconscious during a match with Beth Phoenix. Near the very end of the match, Michelle went up to the top turnbuckle, but Beth hit the ropes and caused Michelle to fall straight onto her face, which knocked her out clean. The referee told Beth to cover her, which she did, and the accident was more severe than originally thought, as Michelle ended up missing more than three months of action because of it.
9 Daniel Bryan
For at least a good three years, WWE fans were in love with Daniel Bryan, because of how well he performed in the ring, his storylines, and because he was willing to jeopardize his own well-being in order to provide viewers with entertaining matches. This willingness came with a price, though, as he ended up receiving multiple concussions and injuries, which eventually caught up with him, and forced him into early retirement. One of those concussions occurred during a singles match with Alberto Del Rio, where Bryan accidentally landed on his head instead of his back, which resulted in Bryan losing consciousness. Del Rio noticed he was out cold, and tried to end the match right then and there with a pin, but he was told to continue with the match, and luckily, Bryan managed to regain consciousness seconds later, and after coming out of his daze and asking Del Rio some questions, he decided to continue the match.
Beth Phoenix was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, an induction that was met with some mixed responses seeing as she competed at a time when the Women's Divion was fairly mediocre. Regardless of that though, she was a four-time champion, and during her time with the company, she was a true physical force within the division, which is why Candice Michelle was not the only woman who she managed to knock unconscious. Melina initially debuted as a heel, but over time, she managed to win over the fans, and became a five-time champion who could actually perform some nice moves in the ring. During one of their 1-on-1 matches, Phoenix powerbombed Melina, a move which Beth put a tad too much power into, because when Melina landed, the force of the landing caused her to lose consciousness for several seconds.
7 William Regal
William Regal is currently developing talent down at NXT, which means that he has been involved in the wrestling business for nearly 36 years, and in that time, he managed to win several titles in the WWE. In 2003, Regal won one of his four Tag Team titles with partner Lance Storm, and at that year's No Way Out pay-per-view, his team faced off against the team of Kane and RVD. During the match, Kane basically toyed with Regal, and went for a quick finish with a Gorilla Press Slam, a move which Kane botched because it was Regal's head that hit the ring first, which knocked the Englishman out immediately. Kane tired to continue the match by trying to pick Regal up, but he was unresponsive, so he just went for the pin, which was subsequently broken by Lance Storm. The force of the break was enough to wake Regal up, and after regaining his senses, he continued the match and won.
6 Jeff Hardy
During this year's WrestleMania, wrestling fans all over the world lost their minds when The Hardy Boyz made their long awaited return to the WWE, and since returning, they have injected new life into Raw's tag team division. For years, Jeff wrestled for TNA, and while with the promotion in 2015, he suffered a rather serious injury that caused him to temporarily lose consciousness during a cage match. At one point in the match, Jeff made it to the top of the cage, but he ended up falling off the cage after an opponent opened one of the cage's doors, and when he fell, he landed with his groin hitting the open door. Any man will tell you that such a landing is incredibly painful; in fact, some guys will pass out from such pain, but that is not how Jeff lost consciousness. That happened when a planned fall did not go as planned, which resulted in him slapping his head on some steel steps, knocking him out instantly.
5 Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin will go down as one of the most beloved and popular wrestlers in WWE history, mainly because he played an amazing character who was essentially a tough redneck who could really make us laugh if he wanted to. Austin may be remembered for being a tough guy, but in wrestling, even tough guys get hurt, and in his case, he suffered an in-ring injury that legitimately knocked him out for a few seconds. This occurred during a match with the late Owen Hart, and during the match, Hart attempted to deliver a piledriver to Austin, a move which Hart had not practiced much and botched. When Hart executed the move, Austin's head was too low, which not only resulted in Austin getting knocked out for a few seconds, but it also left the Texas Rattlesnake with a pretty bad neck injury.
4 Ricky Steamboat
With this entry we will be focusing on Ricky Steamboat and Jake "The Snake" Roberts, two WWE Hall of Famers who both made names for themselves during the '80s, and unlike most of the other entries on this list, there was actual concern going into their match. Prior to the match, Roberts said that he was worried about using some of his moves on Steamboat because of the fact that he had to execute them on a concrete floor, concerns which were shrugged off. In the end, Roberts' concerns were valid, because after delivering a DDT to Ricky on the concrete, Steamboat lost consciousness right away, and remained motionless for several minutes. Roberts knew that Ricky was out cold, and knew that the match could not go on as planned, so he just pulled him into the ring and tossed his signature snake on him, signifying the end of the match.
3 Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle may have not always been amongst the most popular wrestlers during his initial run with the WWE, seeing as Triple H, Undertaker, Stone Cold, and The Rock were also around, but fans were still pleased to see him truly return to the company in May after an 11-year absence. During the main event of the 2000 edition of SummerSlam, Angle was in a triple threat match with Triple H and The Rock for the WWE Championship, a match which Rock eventually won, but it was in the first couple of minutes that Angle got knocked out. The plan was for Triple H to Pedigree Angle through the announce table, but the table gave way before the move could be executed properly, which caused Angle to briefly lose consciousness, to the point that he had to be stretchered out of the arena. Still, he did end up coming back to continue the match.
2 Chavo Guerrero
The late, great Eddie Guerrero, provided audiences with a lot of entertainment during the early 2000s, and while working with the WWE, he was able to bring his nephew Chavo into the company as well. Chavo left the WWE in 2011, and has still not returned, choosing to either work on the independent circuit, or for other promotions like TNA and Lucha Underground. While he was still with the WWE in 2004, Chavo faced Billy Kidman in a singles match on SmackDown, a match in which he sustained a major injury while being rendered unconscious. The plan was for Kidman to hit Chavo with a Shooting Star Press from the top rope, and although the move appeared to go off without a hitch, it actually did not, because Kidman accidentally drove his knee into Chavo's face. Not only did this mistake leave Chavo unresponsive for several minutes, it also forced him to miss several months of action.
1 Mick Foley
Thanks to his body of work, which includes literally hundreds of matches, many of which were hardcore in nature, Mick Foley will always be considered a legend within the wrestling industry. In 1998, Foley took part in one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, a match in which he faced off against The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell, and at one point during the match, there were some personnel who legitimately thought he might have died. While both men stood at the top of the cage, Taker Chokeslammed Foley through the cell, which sent him crashing to the ring below, and if the impact of the fall was not bad enough, a steel chair landed on his face right after the fall. Following the fall, Foley was unconscious for quite a long time, and like the legend he is, when he finally woke up, he got back to his feet and continued with the match for nearly 10 more minutes despite being seriously injured.