After his match with Vince McMahon on Monday Night Raw on Oct. 8, WWE champion CM Punk ventured into the crowd of the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento as part of the act.
The confrontation Punk had with a group of fans while in the audience was not part of the act, though, and a possibly innocent fan named Charles Schmidt may have taken the brunt of the champion’s anger for no reason, according to CBS13’s Laura Cole.
As you can see in the fan-made video of the incident on YouTube, Punk is shoved from behind a few times before obviously being struck in the back of the head. While Punk’s retaliation on the wrong person can’t be justified, that fan put himself in a position to be interpreted as the culprit by having his arm right next to Punk’s head.
Punk told WWE.com about the incident and exactly what happened in the stands:
I think the whole situation sucks. It’s an unfortunate and isolated incident. I was up in the stands, surrounded. Somebody said, ‘let’s push him down the stairs.’ I got hit in the ribs three times. I was getting shoved and I was getting punched…Then I started getting tagged in the back of the head. Unfortunately, I lashed out in the heat of the moment and I apologize. I’m really just glad nobody was hurt.
There is no defending the actions of Punk in the crowd, but there is also no defending members of a crowd that insist on putting their hands on a WWE Superstar. Just because the company wants the fans to suspend reality for that moment doesn’t mean they are welcome to put their hands on a wrestler.
Despite the fact that Punk is right about this being an isolated incident, CBS13’s Laura Cole is now reporting on Twitter about how Schmidt is considering hiring an attorney for a possible lawsuit:
Today Schmidt told #CBS13 he is considering hiring an attorney for a possible lawsuit.— Laura Cole (@Colereporting) October 10, 2012
As we have seen from the WWE in the past, the company will do whatever it can to make this incident go away.
While Vince McMahon and the WWE brass don’t hate the mainstream exposure—no matter how bad the media tries to make the company look—they don’t want a pending lawsuit hanging over the business or their champion.
Give Mr. Schmidt a few tickets to a Pay-per-view and a one-on-one with a WWE Superstar not named CM Punk, and this shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
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