Last week saw the news emerge that a fan had thrown a replica Money in the Bank at Roman Reigns, striking the big Samoan star in the back of the head, leading to the ejection of the fan from the venue, and the match being delayed due to medics having to treat Reigns. It isn't the first instance of a fan causing WWE Superstars physical harm, and nor do I believe will it be the last. I fully believe that if you are stupid enough to throw something into the ring, or to even try to get in the ring then you better be ready to face the consequences of your actions, because usually those instances don't end well. In my mind if you try to do anything to harm one of WWE's superstars, physically or in any other way then you are a complete moron and shouldn't be in the building or allowed to a live event of any kind again. The Reigns incident got me thinking about other instances of fan attacks and why this is just another example of fan stupidity.
The first thing I guess we need to remember here is back before we all knew wrestling was a work, fans did believe it was real which meant working as a heel back over twenty years ago really was dangerous. We've all heard the stories of how wrestlers would sometimes have to fight their way to the back while being physically punched, hit with chairs, and in some of the worst circumstances sometimes fans would try to stab or shoot the wrestlers. It doesn't make it any better that people were not in on the fact the match outcome was a work, but fans back then can maybe given a little more slack than fans today, who mostly know now that the outcomes are predetermined and that when a wrestler is playing a heel persona it is just a character and he isn't really like that. In no way am I making excuses for anyone who went to ever hurt a performer back in the day but when you think about the fact attitudes and beliefs were different then it does make some sense why fans would sometimes try.
At the majority of live events we all attend nowadays the show will 99% of the time go off without a single hitch or delay due to problems with the fans, so my rants above don't extend to the majority of fans. But there is a small percentage who seem intent on ruining the show for others. Let's take the idiot who threw his replica Money in the Bank briefcase at Roman Reigns. I would love to know why he thought it was genuinely a good idea to do that. I would also love to know what he thought actions like this were going to achieve. He clearly wasn't brave or stupid enough to get in the ring because he knew that would not end well but thought throwing the briefcase was clearly more sensible. Banning the fan from all future live events was a sensible move on WWE's part but it still doesn't prevent instances like this happening again in the future. There have to be rules introduced to protect performers, and if that involves banning replica belts or briefcases then so be it.
But it isn't just fans who throw things into the ring that WWE Superstars have to worry about. Sometimes they have to worry about when fans jump the barricade and try to get into the ring. I think if you try to do this you deserve anything that happens to you beyond that barricade because the barricade is there to protect you from getting hurt. Get the other side of it and it likely isn't going to end well. Lets take for example when Randy Orton was attacked in South Africa back in 2013. The fool decided to get in the ring and hit Orton with an attempted uppercut to the groin from behind. Orton tried to retaliate but the fan was restrained by security before any real damage could be done, unlike the time a fan tried to jump in the ring in 1996 when the nWo was formed. Unfortunately for the fan he first came up against the 7 foot, 300 pound Kevin Nash, who gave the fan a legit forearm to knock him out. Some people have done stupid things in the past but I think that one takes the biscuit. I don't think it helps sometimes when fans see celebrities like Stephen Amell just jumping the barricade to attack a superstar but I guess fans need to realize that it's all part of the story in those situations.
The one time a WWE Superstar is most at risk is obviously in the crowd, and while WWE tries to limit the time their stars spend outside of the confines of the ringside area sometimes there are points where going through the crowd is the only option. If I was a WWE Superstar I would feel so pissed off every time someone slapped me on the back as I came through the crowd. There's no need for it and if anything you could provoke the wrong kind of reaction out of them. Take the incident in 2012 when CM Punk attacked a fan, even though admittedly he hit the wrong guy. Punk was escaping from ringside and left through the fans at the time. At this point there is normally pretty tight security but this night there wasn't and while Punk was stood on the steps some fans began to shove him, while another felt the need to strike him in the back and on the kidney. Punk lashed out and hit the wrong guy, which sucks but had he hit the guy doing it I see nothing wrong in that. If you think you're being clever provoking these guys then they have every right to retaliate. You are there as a fan and paying these guys salaries yes, but that doesn't give you the right to touch or provoke these people. They are human beings just like you and I and should be respected and treated as such.
Is last weekends attack on Reigns the last time we are going to hear a crazy fan attack story? I highly doubt it. Sadly there will always be that small minority of idiots who try to spoil the good time the rest of us legitimate fans want to have. In any form of sport or form of entertainment this is something that needs to be addressed as it is a serious issue that could lead to performers or fans being seriously hurt. So my final thought and comments here would be this; if you're a fan who is considering throwing something into the ring or jumping the barricade to get in the ring and try to hurt one of these performers then do yourself and the rest of us a favor. Please don't buy yourself a ticket, or if you do please think twice before you ruin everyone else's good time or put yourself in danger. After all, if you cross the line then anything that happens to you is self inflicted.
If you have enjoyed this blog, and any of my other work, then please give me a follow on Twitter if that's your scene by following @jamie_welton, or please give my Facebook page a like for all my latest blogs and thoughts on the world of WWE and Wrestling. You can now also check out my interviews on Soundcloud.