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BRIE BELLA COMMENTS ON LIV MORGAN INJURY, A BREAKDOWN OF WHAT HAPPENED & WWE'S RESPONSE AND MY THOUGHTS ON THE SITUATION

By Mike Johnson on 2018-09-25 09:42:00

After an errant Yes Kick rocked Liv Morgan and required her to leave the match during their six woman tag team bout on Monday Night Raw, Brie Bella issued the following comments on her Twitter account: “Every match on #Raw is an opportunity for us to entertain our fans. Our intentions as @WWE Superstars is to win the match, never injure our opponents. Thinking about @YaOnlyLivvOnce tonight.”

Brie nailed eight Yes Kicks on Morgan.  On the seventh, Morgan was a little too forward at the same time Bella kicked a little high and it was one of those slight miscalculations that happen in pro wrestling that accidentally happen and end with negative results for the person on the receiving end.  Bella nailed that seventh kick and rocked Morgan, who began to slump forward as Bella was already shooting in with the final kick, connecting with Morgan a second time.

Morgan was down, so Bella covered her and communicated to her to kick out, which Morgan did, although she did so with very little energy.  Bella tried to use her own power to pretty much lift Morgan up to her feet, maneuvering her into a collar and elbow lockup.  Bella's idea appeared to be that she would maneuver Morgan back into her own corner so she could tag out.  However, Morgan, obviously out on her feet, instead slipped down and forward to the mat as Bella was "pushed" backward. 

Ruby Riott tagged herself in and at that point, the referee appeared to realize something was truly amiss and began checking on Morgan.  Morgan rolled out of the ring and off the apron into the arms of partner Sarah Logan, who also began checking on her well being.  At this point, the referee was going back and forth between looking outside the ring towards Morgan and officiating what was going on in the ring.

After a minute or so, Liv Morgan returned to the apron alongside Logan, breathing heavily.  The next big spot was a triple suplex.  Morgan was the last one to enter the ring for the spot, ignoring the referee, who was instructing her to get down off the apron before she ever came back through the ropes.  As Morgan hit the ring, the referee looked off camera, likely communicating with WWE's medical staff. 

After taking the suplex, which looked to have been an otherwise safe bump, Morgan began selling her back and rolled back to the floor, with Sarah Logan following her immediately.  WWE went to commercial at this point.

When they returned, Michael Cole stated on their broadcast that Morgan was taken to the back during a commercial.  We are told she was actually still at ringside being tended to by WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann.  Amann remained with Morgan for the remainder of the bout.  Whether he had been examining her before she returned to the ring for the suplex spot, we have not been able to confirm.  Cole later repeated that she was taken to the back, seconds after she could be seen at ringside with Amann as her partners joined her on the floor.  

Morgan was finally removed from ringside through the crowd after the match was over, carried by Sarah Lorgan and Ruby Riott, with the Bellas and Natalya all following.

Obviously, Morgan never should have been allowed back in the ring, but it appears by all accounts that WWE officials weren't sure if Morgan was selling or not until she and Bella went into the corner.  From that point, it appears that Morgan was being instructed to remain outside (at least by the referee) but blew off those instructions in order to complete the suplex spot. 

While Liv Morgan's determination to perform is admirable (and no one is questioning her toughness), these are exactly the type of situations that WWE has tried very hard to prevent by their talents from being in by being extremely conservative when it comes to injuries and pulling talents who could technically gut through injuries but chance hurting themselves further from being cleared to perform.    There was obviously some form of communications breakdown.

PWInsider.com was told last night that once Morgan was brought to the back, she was evaluated by WWE's medical staff and underwent several tests.    WWE has not released any official information on Morgan's condition.

****

Thoughts: Obviously, Morgan never should have been allowed to have any physical interaction after she took the Yes Kicks.  It appeared that there was some confusion at ringside as to how banged up she was, which, in the heat of the moment on live TV, I get how that could happen. 

That said, other than the referee pretty much tackling Morgan to stop her from re-entering the ring (which some might argue should have happened) or Dr. Amann physically yanking her off the apron - both of which could have caused additional injury, I don't know what in hindsight could have been done once Morgan returned to the ring. 

Pro wrestlers, even today's pro wrestlers, are a special breed who, even when hurt, are laser focused on finishing the match.   Morgan was in that zone, whether she even realized it or not, but needed to be protected from herself, even if she was (and I am assuming here) assuring everyone around her she was fine.    

I do want to point out that the triple-suplex spot was controlled and safe, even for Morgan.   That said, why Morgan was not brought to the back until after the match ended something I can't even begin to explain.  Had she been taken to the back, there wouldn't have been a suplex spot a minute or so after she tagged out.  Even if it would have taken attention off the match, in my opinion, there was absolutely no reason Morgan wasn't immediately removed from ringside and that was WWE's big mistake last night.

WWE has done a great job of building and evolving their Wellness and Medical policies, but last night showed that there are still (and likely always will be) ways to improve them and that in the heat of the moment, mistakes can still be made.  It's on WWE to learn from them, so the next time someone is accidentally hurt performing, there is a quicker call to action to assist them.  That said, watching the footage over and over this morning, I wouldn't say WWE was negligent as much things happened so quickly, they couldn't or didn't (having not been there live to see for myself, I can't say for sure) react fast enough to prevent Morgan from returning to the ring.

In recent years, the company has held multiple meetings with their talents where the performers are told, over and over, that if they believe they are hurt, they need to communicate it to the officials and to not continue and that there will no heat on them because of it. 

The issue we saw last night on Raw is that Morgan likely didn't realize how hurt she was, therefore she was unable to communicate it.  Add in that a vital part of pro wrestling is selling and whether, in the moment, the referees and medical officials can differentiate between selling and a legitimate injury on the spot and you see why WWE was behind in how they reacted last night.

There was obviously a communications breakdown last night, likely because of how quickly it all happened, along with the fact that it was a match unfolding on live TV in front of the entire world and everyone was trying to salvage the segment - which, truth be told, they accomplished.   But, that communications breakdown should give everyone involved a reason to take pause and see what could be handled better the next time there is such an unfortunate occurence. 

Last night was a major learning moment for all involved and hopefully, they recognize that so that the next time a miscue in the ring leads to an injury, talents don't have the opportunity to continue to perform - because in instances like this, the talents need to be protected from themselves as much as the injuries.

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