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The lesson from the CM Punk lawsuit WWE should have applied to Raw’s Brie Bella/Liv Morgan incident

Setting aside the spot itself, what could have been done differently when Liv Morgan got her bell rung by one Brie Bella’s YES Kicks on the Sept. 24 episode of Raw?

As Hall of Famer Jim Ross once famously said...

After taking at least two kicks to the head which allegedly led to post-match concussion testing, Morgan participated in a triple suplex spot. According to both PWInsider and Fightful, this was Liv’s call. It was something the wrestler did despite her Riott Squad teammate Sarah Logan and the referee (and a producer at gorilla position in contact with the official via earpiece) trying to make sure she stayed out of the action.

It’s also something Morgan probably doesn’t even remember doing. Fightful says Liv had issues remembering the match afterwards and was “on ‘auto pilot’” after taking Brie’s kicks. The only reason she didn’t try to participate in the match further was because Logan and Ruby Riott held her back while selling the suplex on the floor until they could communicate the severity of her condition to her.

It’s a familiar story when it comes to athletes who’ve experience head trauma during a game/performance - their competitive drive/work ethic kicks in rather than their self-preservation instinct, and they instinctually want to continue even when doing so will put them at greater risk for permanent brain damage.

It’s a lesson WWE in particular should have learned from testimony in the defamation lawsuit filed by Dr. Chris Amann (who attended to Morgan at ringside last night) and CM Punk in Chicago earlier this year. Punk described waving off numerous attempts by company personnel to get him to allow himself to be eliminated from the 2014 Royal Rumble match after suffering a concussion.

You can’t negotiate with a cognitively impaired wrestler in the middle of a match. Which is why, just like when someone is bleeding profusely, the match should be stopped until the injury can be addressed.

Stopping a major pay-per-view (PPV) match might be difficult. But there’s really no excuse for not stopping a bout on a show with commercial breaks like Raw. In addition to just being the right thing to do for the safety of their contractors, it would be a good public relations move! WWE positions itself as being at the forefront of concussion safety. What better way to prove it than to demonstrate that when it comes to potential brain injury, the show doesn’t go on?

Hopefully, Morgan wasn’t further injured by what looked like a safe bump on the triple suplex.

And hopefully, WWE learns it’s okay to put everything on hold until they can get a possibly concussed performer out of harm’s way - even when the wrestler is the one rushing into the action.

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