Fan involvement is a huge part of professional wrestling. The babyfaces live to please the masses, heels try to enrage them, and turns are often inserted to keep them interested, entertained, and on their toes. Wrestlers feed off the energy, and dialogue and actions can be altered on the spot during matches in order to cater to the crowd. Whole angles have been changed based on the attitude of the audience, and their enthusiastic opinions can completely make or break performer’s careers.
Still, there needs to be a line when it comes to fan interactions, and making physical contact with a wrestler definitely crosses it. Aside from a friendly pat on the back or handshake, there is no need for an audience member to ever touch an athlete, let alone doing so forcefully. Yet throughout pro wrestling’s long and storied history, fans have smacked, punched, pushed, kicked, and tackled wrestlers on numerous occasions.
Thankfully, security usually apprehends any wrongdoers almost immediately, but those precious seconds beforehand can be frightening and dangerous, and no one should blame the performers for giving a shove, hit, or take-down right back. And this does happen, probably more often than one might think. Regardless of the severity, repercussions, or other details of each incident, one thing is certain: they are almost always memorable. Here are the top 15 times wrestlers got physical with fans.
15 Raven - WCW Thunder - 1998
14 Chris Jericho - Monday Night Raw, 2002
13 Triple H - Raw is War, 2000
12 Randy Orton - SmackDown World Tour Live, 2013
11 Chris Hero vs. Everyone - Various
10 Eddie Guerrero - Monday Night Raw, 2002
9 Sabu - NJPW Event, 1995
8 Scott Hall & Kevin Nash - WCW Bash at the Beach, 1996
7 Randy Savage, Scott Hall, & Kevin Nash - WCW Monday Nitro, 1997
6 Randy Savage & Kevin Nash - WCW Monday Nitro, 1999
5 Stone Cold and Triple H - WWE International Event
4 Jeff Jarrett & James Storm - TNA Event, Mid-2000s
3 Once Upon a Time in Mexico...La Parka Punched a Fan
2 CM Punk - WWE Monday Night Raw, 2012
Although it’s fun to see wrestlers interacting with fans, and exciting to see them get physical once in a while, here’s how things can go very wrong. After attacking Vince McMahon on the October 8, 2012’s Monday Night Raw, CM Punk went into the crowd while Ryback tended to the boss. The fans got a little too handsy though, with one smacking Punk right on the back of his head. The wrestler responded by spinning around and destroying the face of the fan, breaking his glasses in the process. The only problem is that video of the incident shows Punk hit the wrong guy. He later apologized.
1 Chris Jericho in Parking Lot
Fan attacks and wrestlers responding isn't just prone to happen inside the arena during a show. This kind of stuff probably happened a lot more back when fans thought everything was real, but some wrestlers have drawn so much heat, fans will attack them. Chris Jericho was attacked while leaving a show in Victoria, BC. In this altercation, fans were hitting Jericho's car. When he got out to confront them, a fan spat in his face and shoved him, to which Jericho responded by shoving the fan down and fighting off several others, while yelling at security to do their jobs.
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