The WWE is a league that’s run rampant with high emotions. The upper brass knows this fact, and uses it to their advantage. Though some storylines are obviously fake and created simply to drive up fan interest, the league occasionally hits the nail on the head and pits two superstars against each other who obviously dislike one another. Put the microphone in their hands and the fans are given pure gold.
It’s when this emotion spills outside the ring that issues sometimes arise. Sometimes wrestlers will take a stroll through the stands during one of their monologues, only for their aggression to be misdirected towards an unsuspecting fan. Other times, a much too brave fan is the guilty party, forcing a vicious response from the nearest superstar. Whatever the case, there have been plenty of instances when violence was directed towards one fan or another, resulting in some embarrassing publicity for the acting wrestler.
While the league obviously does not condone violence directed towards fans, it happens nevertheless. In fact, it’s a frequent enough occurrence that we can make it into a list! We’ve dug through WWE history to bring you a list of the ten wrestlers who’ve assaulted their fans. Whether the fans deserved it or not, it’s definitely a list a professional wrestler does not wish to end up on:
10. R-Truth Attacks John Cena Fans
R-Truth initially captivated audiences with ringside stunts like rapping and energetic entrances before he turned toward the “truth” in 2011. Afterwards, his character took on the persona of a mentally unstable individual who was not against lashing out at the fans.
During a RAW event, R-Truth actually confronted some fans on his approach to the stage simply because they were wearing John Cena related T-shirts. With the microphone in his hands, he berated the father and son, eventually getting into the face of the father telling him to “say something!” This verbal assault was responded to later in the evening when Cena emerged and the two squared off in an impromptu wrestling match. Though probably staged, the confrontation left a sour taste in the mouths of many viewers, and was seen as an unnecessary assault on some WWE fans.
9. Heath Slater Assaults Hotel Guard
Much like R-Truth, Slater was billed as a heel with a mouth that never stops talking. It’s this arrogant attitude that has landed him in some troubled waters in the past. Usually, the issues are resolved within the realms of WWE writer-created storylines, but other times his wrestling persona merges into that of his real life.
Slater caught a lot of flak from the media, not to mention legal repercussions, after an incident involving a security guard at a hotel following a wrestling match. According to the guard, Slater grabbed her after determining that she was attractive and tried to drag her up to his room via chokehold. The police then issued a warrant for his arrest soon after.
8. The New World Order Beats Fan Out of Ring
The nWo has been comprised of many wrestlers over the years. The wrestling team was famously originated with Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall, though Hogan would be replaced by Randy Savage in the situation that earned the number eight spot on our list.
After a fan rushed into the ring following the group’s victory over Diamond Dallas Page, Hall, Savage and Nash got together to swiftly beat him out of the ring. This instance probably falls under the category of “the fan deserved it,” yet nevertheless was somewhat embarrassing due to how badly the fan was beaten. Many people criticize professional wrestling for being fake, yet there was nothing fake about this moment.
7. Eddie Guerrero Punches Fan
Guerrero was performing in a RAW match against Rob Van Dam back in 2002 when this infamous altercation occurred. It was set up as a once in a lifetime match, as both wrestlers had perfected the difficult Frog Splash maneuver, and it was living up to its billing.
Eddie Guerrero had successfully gassed RVD, and had him lying on the mat while a ladder was placed. As Guerrero climbed up, a fan rushed the ring and knocked the ladder out from under him. Luckily for him, he landed on his feet, though this was unlucky for the fan. Guerrero then proceeded to land a few good punches on the fan as he was being wrangled away by the security staff. While certainly rather famous, this incident ranks lower on the embarrassing scale, and thus only comes in at number seven on our list.
6. Miss Texas Fights Fan
As you’ll read about in a later section of this article, fans in the lower tier wrestling leagues can be especially brutal at times. When fights break out, wrestlers must retaliate in legitimate acts of self-defense. The case of Ms. Texas in the USWA is no exception.
WWE fans will recognize Ms. Texas as Jacqueline Moore, a diva who went on to find some success in the upper leagues. Her career path was not without growing pains, though, and this vicious altercation left an embarrassing blemish. As she was dodging a wrestler during a match, a fan knocked her over and the two immediately began brawling. By the time security got involved, Moore was laying it onto the fan. While she was rightful in her retaliation, as the fan should never have gotten involved in a fight, it is certainly an embarrassing moment of her career for her to look back on.
5. Randy Savage Tackles Fan
“Macho Man” Randy Savage was about as dynamic a wrestler as you will ever see. He found some extreme success in the league, earning two WWE championships along with four WCW World Championships. He is the son of legendary wrestler Angelo Poffo, and certainly filled his shoes.
Yet, even the biggest of legends can be put on the spot when a fan gets into the ring. Back when he was wrestling with the WCW, Savage was filming a Nitro event with Kevin Nash. He’d beaten Nash silly, and had the wrestler nearly passed out on the mat when he decided to humiliate his opponent with some lipstick markings on his face. During Savage’s moment of glory a fan rushed under the ropes, and because Nash was playing up his injuries it fell on Savage to bring him down. Savage did so rather violently, tackling the man and punching him while on the ground.
4. CM Punk Elbows Pushy Fan
CM Punk prides himself on breaking the rules. WWE.com labels him as the “embodiment of the anti-establishment” and the label is fitting. Sporting a microphone talent that rivals any other superstar, Punk is certainly a force to be reckoned with, and he certainly looks the part of the rebel with all of his tattoos.
One fan found out the hard way just how tough CM Punk can be, and it wasn’t even the right one! During a segment where CM Punk was standing menacingly in the audience while another superstar was on stage performing a monologue, the crowd grew rather rambunctious. CM Punk was flipped off and shoved a number of times, primarily by a fan behind him. That detail is important, as Punk never saw the true culprit. After another shove was sent his way, Punk had enough and turned around to elbow the fan down. Unfortunately, it wasn’t even the person who’d been shoving him! You can watch it all in this video.
3. Chris Hero Makes Racist Comments
Hero is not well-known in the WWE circuit, yet he made a name for himself in the independent leagues. He wrestled for the likes of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Ring of Honor, and Pro Wrestling Noah. He eventually made it to the bigger WWE, wrestling under the name Kassius Ohno instead. It is for a particular incident in his independent days that he makes our list.
During one match, Hero was being chided by fans in the front row. Hero decided to take them on and an exchange of vicious words occurred. Hero then inexcusably said some racist comments, causing the fan to become even angrier. Throughout the match, whenever Hero would pass by, the fan would take a swing. That is, until Hero retaliated once more by punching the man and then throwing his chair at him. The incident painted a bad picture for both Hero personally, and the smaller tier leagues that allowed such altercations.
2. Big Show Punches Fan in Hotel Lobby
It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to get into a fistfight with the Big Show. After all, he is an absolutely massive individual. Pitted against anyone normal sized, it’s clear to see who would have the ultimate advantage. That said, it hasn’t stopped some fans from getting chipper with the WWE superstar.
Back when he was still wrestling with the WCW, Big Show was checking into a New York hotel when a fan is seen on the security tapes getting a little too close. The two apparently share some words, and the fan is seen gesturing angrily. From there, the fan proceeds to flip Show the bird and then, in a move that defines idiocy, shove the superstar. Big Show retaliated by punching the man in the face, breaking his jaw. Big Show later claimed self-defense during the corresponding court proceedings.
1. Chris Jericho Fights Fans Outside Car
Jericho has experienced a successful professional wrestling career. Hailing from Canada, he’s the son of a former NHL player, and the competitive genes sure do run in the family. Jericho has proven time and time again that he does not step back from any challenge, though unfortunately that also applied towards his fans.
During one infamous altercation, Jericho was stopped in his vehicle shortly after leaving a WWE event arena. There, a large group of fans swarmed his car making it impossible to pass. As he opened the door, a woman spat on him, leading to a brawl that would rival any in-ring performance. Jericho took on several fans at once, and at one point knocked out a woman cold. The fans were shocked, and police were eventually involved.