Rey Mysterio Appears To Suffer Head Injury During WWE SmackDown Match

Update 7/28/23, 9:45pm: Following the publication of this story, Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp claimed on Twitter that "the Rey Mysterio injury is storyline."

Update 7/28/23, 11:14pm: Sapp has deleted his tweet about Mysterio's injury being a storyline after claiming to have received "conflicting information." Sapp later said on Fightful's post-show broadcast that he and some others were told immediately after the injury occurred that it was kayfabe, but a second source later said it wasn't.

Update 7/29/23, 1:02am: Fightful Select is now reporting that the injury is legitimate.

The final match of WWE's United States Championship Invitational Tournament ended abruptly after Rey Mysterio suffered an apparent head injury.

The match between Mysterio and Santos Escobar on Friday night's "SmackDown" appeared to be going as planned until Escobar connected with a suicide dive to Mysterio on the floor. The show went to a commercial with no indication that anything out of the ordinary had happened. However, when "SmackDown" returned from the break, the match had been stopped and a ringside doctor was examining Mysterio. Replays showed the back of Mysterio's head contacting the floor when he fell backward from Escobar's suicide dive. The referee called off the match and Escobar was declared the winner. Mysterio was well enough to stand up and congratulate Escobar.

Escobar's victory means he will be the next challenger for Austin Theory's U.S. Title. Theory was in attendance for the match, munching on popcorn as he watched from a sky box high above the ringside area.

Theory and Escobar went one-on-one in a non-title match just last week on "SmackDown," with Escobar emerging victorious.