Sometimes things happen in live events, and at the end of October 8th’s Monday Night Raw, one of those things happened. Visible even on the live broadcast, a fan can be seen to be assaulted by CM Punk, right as Vince McMahon was speaking to him in the audience. For those unaware, the scene took place at the end of a match between McMahon and Punk. Punk had run into the crowd, as many wrestlers often do to escape for one reason or another, and was apparently being shoved by fans. Punk than lashed out and struck a fan twice in the face, on live television, as seen here:
The fan in question who was hit, unfortunately does NOT seem to be the one who provoked, and looks to be an unfortunate victim who took the blame for the guilty party behind him. If you look closely, this video shows a fan in white behind the guy who got hit, clearly giving Punk the middle finger before slapping him on the back of the head.
With what was already a literally touchy crowd, Punk seemed already riled up by the teenaged fan in the black Brock Lesnar shirt to his left, who can be seen shoving Punk very hard just before punk lashes out on the guy behind him. The actual fan who was attacked has released a few comments and pictures on twitter, saying he did NOT hit Punk. After watching the videos I have to agree, he’s just a victim of his unfortunately proximity to Punk at the time.
Laura Cole (@Colereporting) October 09, 2012
2 things I gotta say first off. #1.) That guy has every right to be upset. Punk should NOT have lost his temper in this fashion, and if there was anything that would actually make me lose respect for him, it’s this. Knowing Punk though, I’m sure he’ll make a statement of some sort, or an apology to make things right. My faith in him doing this is a big factor in me keeping my respect for him on a personal level, rather than a professional one, which he’ll always have.
#2.) I don’t believe this is a work. Something like this seems too spontaneous and real to be faked for publicity. Incidentally, if it WAS a plant, it does the WWE no favors. Sacrificing the integrity of the safety that’s supposed to be upheld by security at live events is never good, no matter how badly you want your main heel to get hated by fans.
One last thing, as a security guard myself, I do have to point out that the security who is seen walking into the video’s frame towards the end, is responding relatively quickly. I’ve been in the middle of a lots of fights, and having someone respond to your situation can take many long seconds, that can lead to many different kinds of injuries. The guy who got there in my estimation, seems to be the only one who made it within what I would call an acceptable amount of time. Which is unfortunate because the situation Punk was in shouldn’t have happened. The kid in the black Brock Lesnar shirt clearly agitated Punk in the video, along with the rest of the audience being a bit too close in general. That’s not to excuse Punk’s behavior, but it’s something to be expected realistically. There’s a reason they make an announcement to NOT TOUCH the talent in any live sporting event, and it’s probably this one. In my opinion, they should have had security much closer, tailing Punk from the beginning. However the response time is about as good as could be realistically expected from security. I’ve personally seen response times go on seconds longer, and that’s in a room with a few thousand fewer people in it.
So will the guy be pursuing legal action? Probably, I wouldn’t blame him. He did seem to get accidentally shoved into Punk, but that’s not worth getting punched in the face. It’s the fault of the asshole Guy In The White Shirt behind him, and black Brock Lesnar Shirt Guy for forgetting that Punk is a real dude, who can get hot-headed, and will probably knock you out if you f–k with him. How Vince McMahon and the WWE will respond, is another thing entirely.
:EDIT: WWE and CM Punk have officially issued a statement:
“WWE security was unfortunately not in the appropriate place at the time. Given CM Punk’s persona as a ‘bad guy’ fans were naturally heckling him, but unfortunately a few fans began shoving him and one struck him in the kidney and on the back.”
The rep adds, “WWE regrets that proper security measures were not in place, and CM Punk apologizes for reacting in the heat of the moment.”
After reflecting on this further, I’ve changed my stance a little bit on how I felt. Personally I feel it’s incredibly rude and disrespectful of any fan to ever lay their hands on these performers who give their all 300+ days a year for our entertainment. The fan(s) who incited this reaction from Punk are jerks who can’t separate fiction from reality, and need to realize that it’s all just a show. I can’t say I blame Punk for reacting the way he did, and it’s a shame he hit the wrong guy. Sure Punk shouldn’t have done it, but I cannot say he overreacted.