For the first time in months, if not years, Monday Night Raw culminated in a rumbling fever pitch.
As Vince McMahon battled CM Punk in what was basically a Kendo stick-laden street fight, fans chanted "this is awesome" and made a ruckus with their stomping feet, causing the hard camera to tremble.
There was a sense of passion and renewed excitement in the air, as the bout gave way to the sudden crowning of the next WWE phenom—the always-hungry, intense Ryback.
But when Punk scurried out of the ring and into the stands of Sacramento's Power Balance Pavilion, the scripted frenzy boiled over into a real-life unfortunate incident.
While live viewers were only able to witness Punk's offensive flurry on a member of the WWE Universe, a YouTube video posted by Raw attendee "DaJoel" (click HERE to watch it) illuminates a much clearer picture of what may have provoked Punk's attack.
When Punk makes his way to the fan-flanked spot where he listens intently to McMahon's in-ring ultimatum, we begin to see the chaos quickly unfold.
First, we see the irascible heel immediately push away a Dolph Ziggler fan who attempts to touch the WWE title belt.
Next, Punk, for a reason not entirely clear, wards off a male adolescent in a Brock Lesnar tee with his elbow. Surprisingly, the kid retaliates with a forceful push, causing Punk to momentarily lose his balance, but not yet his composure.
Again, Punk loses his footing as a result of the close quarters, prompting him to quickly turn around, seemingly paranoid of his surroundings to the hilt.
Shortly thereafter, a man with a chin 'stache and black T-shirt, who is standing directly behind Punk, appears to be flashing his right index finger as if to communicate that he recognizes the man in front of him to be No. 1 and the "Best in the World."
Inexplicably, however, the same man decides to randomly put on a pair of black sunglasses, as an overzealous guy in a white dress shirt reaches out of nowhere to flaunt his middle finger and sneak in an open-handed jab to the back of Punk's head.
Without question, it is the straw that broke the WWE champion's poise.
In abrupt and unceremonious fashion, Punk unleashes a devastating spinning backfist and lunge-thrust maneuver to the skull and face of the man in black—except he is not the perpetrator.
Certainly, the fallout of this controversial skirmish raises two antithetical questions:
Was Punk's "self-defense," notwithstanding he hit the wrong man, justified given the frenetic circumstances?
Or was it a horrible misunderstanding and overreaction on his part?
Follow me on Twitter @ImaanJK
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!