The talk of the wrestling world has surrounded Monday night's conclusion to RAW, which saw WWE Champion CM Punk escape into the crowd, ultimately be provoked by multiple fans and strike one on live television. In this video, shot by a fan who was right near Punk during the incident, it is clear that multiple fans are attempting to touch Punk or the WWE Championship belt. All of these attempts are thwarted by Punk, who is supposed to be a heel character at this moment, if you recall.
Multiple times, Punk is seen being struck from behind, nearly falling down a step at one point. He also turned around at one point, posing what seemed to be a warning to the fan behind him by the looks of the superstar's body language.
Moments later, another strike from another fan sent Punk over the edge and he struck a fan behind him, possibly the one he had been warning just moments earlier. The identity of this fan is still speculation at this point.
WWE and CM Punk have both released statements about the incidents apologizing for the incident. WWE officials are apologetic for a lack of security near the champion to keep both him and the fans safe.
As for Punk, he has apologized in a statement for letting his emotions drive him to strike a fan, a first for him despite a long history of angering fans in his career. Punk had stayed relatively quiet on Twitter since the incident, mostly just retweeting kind words about his new DVD, which was released Tuesday.
This incident becomes another example of fans getting too close to the action and provoking a pro wrestler who is not afraid to strike someone if they feel threatened. Punk is just one superstar who has been involved in a situation where a fan has wished to get in the ring or put their hands on a performer.
It has actually been an all-too-common occurrence and one that will happen again in the future. Here is a list of ten close calls and incidents where wrestlers and fans collide.
Fans always want to get involved, even when it is at the grand stage of WrestleMania. Prior to the main event between John Cena and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 23, a fan attempted to come into the ring and seemed to have the intention of streaking.
The idea didn't feel too thought out because the fan was still attempting to get undressed even after making it into the ring somehow.
One would assume that the heightened security of a WrestleMania, especially one in the city of Detroit, would prevent someone from hopping the rail and entering during main-event time.
Ultimately, neither Cena nor Michaels was ever touched by the attempted streaker. Camera operators scrambled to avoid the situation from being seen in their shots, making for an unusual moment, but one that did not reward the man's stupidity. Commentators for the match ignored the incident entirely as the match was slightly delayed from starting.
It was rather interesting to see Michaels react to the fan being taken away. That reaction would actually be acknowledged by the commentary team, but did not include the actual reason why. On the spectrum of how bad these things can get, this was pretty tame.
Just like The Diamond Cutter, fans hopping barricades was seen on WCW programming way too long. As Diamond Dallas Page attempts to call out a superstar, he seems to have his challenge answered by two fans from the crowd, who thought that this was a Santino Marella moment or something.
Well, it wasn't, but WCW staff and security had plenty of reinforcements to make sure the men wouldn't get close to the wrestler.
DDP actually barely touches either man with the situation ending really quickly. It kind of makes Page look like a guy who has his posse fight for him, but that isn't his fault. The job of those other guys is to not have any fans interfering with what is supposed to be going on.
WCW was infamous, especially towards the end of their existence, of having fans running into the ring. On this particular night, the New World Order was finished beating down Diamond Dallas Page before their next victim was a fan of all people.
Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Randy Savage were all standing in the ring and quickly went to beat down the fan. The fan runs right behind the back of Nash, but meets with Hall initially. A few shots from Hall would be followed by Nash and finally Savage, who needed a moment to realize the situation.
The nWo included a lot of members in its existence, but you wouldn't find a guy in the black and white that wasn't ready to go after an idiotic fan who somehow made it past security and put another guy potentially in danger.
Even though this guy was the one in trouble with a three-on-one assault, the wrestlers were not reprimanded for their actions.
It was a little bit of a different scenario here. Both Savage and Nash were involved in an episode of WCW Nitro, but they were not friends at the time and it was just another stupid fan that wanted in on the fun.
The segment saw a beaten down Nash getting lipstick drawn on his face, but a fan jumped the barricade, perhaps to come to Nash's aid.
Multiple WCW employees on the outside couldn't keep this moron out of the ring, but Savage was ready for it.
With Nash having to lie there and not be able to assist, Savage took the guy down all by himself, gave him a few shots and even threw some inadvertent shots at an employee who may have looked like a second fan to Savage in the moment.
The Macho Man then proceeded to head back over to Nash and beat his head in even more, justifying Nash coming back to his senses.
Here's where we start getting into fans interrupting actual matches. Rob Van Dam and Eddie Guerrero were in the middle of a ladder match live on RAW, only to have a fan come into the ring in the middle of the action.
What made this interruption even more dangerous was that Guerrero was on top of the ladder and the fan came in to purposely knock the ladder over.
Guerrero did not injure himself in this moment. In fact, he landed right on his feet and proceeded to attack the fan in an Edmonton Oilers jersey.
The match continued on and the winner of the match is very well-known (RVD). What is most remembered about this match was the fan interference and Guerrero's actions mere moments before nearly being injured.
In WWE, he is known currently as Kassius Ohno, but the Internet fans still love him as Chris Hero. Hero was competing for the IWA (Independent Wrestling Association) and began to talk back and forth with fans at ringside, which is very common in the independent wrestling scene.
There were a few pushes and shoves from the fans and some back from Hero. Without the fans being escorted out, it may have just been that this moment was planted to get the rest of the crowd against Hero.
Later in the match, Hero is back in that part of the arena and gets hit by those same fans. After he takes a chop from his opponent, a different spectator decides that it is his turn to give Hero a chop. Hero's reaction is to try and attack that fan, but is restrained partially by security and staff.
This was all before Hero narrowly missed a punch intended for the guy's face. He also grabbed and flung a chair at the fan. With quick thinking, Hero's opponent throws Hero into the ring to continue the match.
It's hard to quite define the thought process of a typical TNA fan. The promotion has not existed for a long time, so it isn't quite clear, though the promotion does get a lot of similarities to WCW in terms of their style during the later years.
That apparently includes TNA fans acting like WCW fans and trying to get into the ring. Shame on the security for TNA, who can see Jeff Jarrett in the ring trash talking with the fan in the Rey Mysterio mask at ringside. There isn't one security guard there even as a precaution.
The first indication that something is going to happen is that the fan is on top of the barricade a few times before he finally hops over. When he does, a referee is right there and does not touch the fan. The fan jogs to a part of the ring apron by Jarrett and proceeds to take a few shots from Jarrett himself.
Suddenly, the cavalry charges in with nearly a dozen staff members, including security, referees and TNA superstars. You can see such superstars as Matt Hardy, Samoa Joe and what looks to be Bobby Roode.
This is the video that has inspired this entire list. Earlier this week, a heel CM Punk runs into the crowd with his WWE Championship and sets up for a camera angle with Mr. McMahon. As Punk runs to his spot, dozens of fans lay their hands on him.
The security presence in this place is not stellar and it is quickly evident that it is Punk against hundreds of fans who are supposed to not like him. Immediately as this video shows Punk on the step, a fan in a pink Dolph Ziggler shirt keeps tapping Punk's title, which merits a swat by the champion.
Moments later, fans are trying to get on camera in front of Punk and the superstar is getting poked and prodded by fans to his right. He shoves one guy away, only to nearly get knocked off a step by another. He gets bumped by that same fan, a short male with a Brock Lesnar t-shirt.
This all happened away from the side that Punk swung to moments later. Punk was getting pushed, poked, shoved and punched by dozens that surrounded him.
Security was not there to help Punk in a sensitive scene, so Punk did what he could by defending himself. The man who was struck was not the biggest offender, but was an offender nonetheless. There's controversy, but the justification sure is there for Punk.
When dealing with an extreme superstar who is used to using a lot of weapons in matches, it probably isn't wise to anger them. Any wrestler can fight back, but attacking one who is not afraid to deal out concussions with steel chair shots is never a smart move.
You wouldn't knock a beer out of The Sandman's hand and not expect to get beaten up for it. So why would someone knock Sabu's turban off? It must be because they have no reason to walk out of the arena.
Sabu was in Japan, which is common for the international star. Sabu already seems annoyed before his turban flies off as he is mobbed by one fan after another. A fan likely was trying to put a hand on one of their favorite superstars. Instead, his hand gets locked on the turban and the headdress goes flying.
Moments later, Sabu was doing the flying as he dove onto this fan and threw a few punches. Not one man restrains Sabu. After a few shots, it is done and nobody has to break the fight up. As quickly as the fight started, it was all over.
If I can leave you with one image, as much as it hurts me to, it is this video. This is exactly the kind of danger that a pro wrestler has when fans decide to get involved. What makes this even worse is that it was a woman who was being struck here.
Fans can become regulars at shows, which was the case here in the USWA in the early 1990s. WWE fans may know her better as Jacqueline Moore, but she was simply known as Ms. Texas back in these days.
In trying to stay away from a wrestler, Moore is knocked over by a fan. Moore and the fan are quickly tangled in a brawl on the floor. Police officers and USWA staff members rush to the scene to separate the two, but it is Moore who is now getting most of the shots in.
It still didn't mean that Moore didn't get some action that she was not expecting to get and that it only validates actions from Punk a few days ago and the future actions when the next mainstream superstar is in a similar situation.