Santos Escobar was declared the winner of the United States Championship Invitational on SmackDown last night (July 24). That apparently was always the planned outcome of his match with Rey Mysterio. How it happened, however, was not.
The match was stopped by referee Jessika Carr after Mysterio’s head bounced off the floor while taking a suicide dive from Escobar during a commercial break.
The initial word online was that this was part of a storyline, meaning Mysterio was not actually injured. It would have been an odd booking decision, but the post-match show of concern by Escobar and show of respect from both men seemed to support that idea the ending was a work.
Overnight however, Fightful Select and PWTorch both reported that Rey was legitimately hurt and the match stoppage was an audible WWE called as a result. Escobar was the planned winner of the bout, but he was supposed to beat Mysterio clean. Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp added that a backstage follow-up segment was also nixed because of the injury.
The Torch’s Wade Keller specifies what many assumed after watching the spot — the stoppage came after ringside medical team suspected Rey’d suffered a concussion.
Escobar is now scheduled to challenge Austin Theory for the United States championship on the Aug. 11 episode of SmackDown. That gives WWE a couple weeks to rework the story now that Escobar won’t be heading into that match with a definitive win over his Hall of Fame friend & mentor.
More important, obviously, is the 48 year old Mysterio’s health. Please join us in wishing Rey a complete recovery. We’ll keep you posted with any updates on his condition and progress.