While most of us were marveling over the sheer amount of abs on display, shocked by the surprise appearance of Bray Wyatt on the Titantron or trying to process what the Eater of Worlds’ return to Monday nights means for future angles on Raw and SmackDown, we may have missed a real life consequence for Finn Bálor that occurred during his match with Jinder Mahal on April 10.
As you can see in the above video, Mahal’s elbow strike on Finn lands clean, and Bálor goes down face-first to the mat. The Irishman recovered and finished the match with his usual shotgun dropkick-to-Coup de Grâce finishing sequence, but he still didn’t look all there when the referee raised his hand, or as he was listening to Wyatt’s promo. In fact, the friction burns on his face are an indication Finn might have been out when he fell after the blow landed.
Watching it in slow motion, as in the following GIF, it seems consistent with the type of flash knockout you see in other, non-scripted combat sports:
The way Finn's body flails around and how he hits, plus the mat burn on his forehead/nose afterwards, this seems like a legit knock out. pic.twitter.com/acbSdQW7Ij— It's KFG (@KungFu_Grip) April 11, 2017
No one at WWE or any sourced wrestling media outlet have reported an injury to Bálor.
If it is what it appears to be, though, it’s the kind of thing that happens when men and women are trying to make something look as legit as possible in real-time. As with many recent injuries that can be traced to a particular spot, and given WWE’s highly publicized efforts to reduce occurrences of head trauma and improve treatment, expect there to be plenty of discussion, and probably some blame thrown around, in the wake of these images.