So by now you have probably read all you ever wanted to read about what happened on Monday night. But just as a quick refresher and for the sake of moving along, let’s recap, shall we?
CM Punk went into the crowd following his match with Vince McMahon. When he got there, he received the customary groping by camera-hungry fans who should have kept their hands to themselves and then Punk decided to not keep his hands to himself in response.
Now we have a “fan” who may or may not file a lawsuit against WWE.
Notice the word fan was in quotations? Well, there’s a good reason for that.
Before we go any further here, let me be clear from the jump. CM Punk should not have reacted the way he did. I think we can all agree that was a rash move, a disappointing error in judgment that if he could, he would likely take back.
WWE Superstars, more than any other pro wrestler working in any other promotion, have to be more professional than that, mostly because they have so much spotlight shining on them.
Face it, these guys are under the microscope all the time, not only from writers, critics and fans, but also the outside world who are often just looking for an opportunity to lash out at them.
Now Punk has given them a reason to do just that.
There is no doubt about it, this thing could get very ugly very quickly and it all could have been avoided if only Punk, a 13-year veteran, had keep his cool and just let it go.
But having said that, I will say this.
If you’re in the crowd, whether it’s at a WWE, TNA, ROH, or any other wrestling event, and one of the workers gets close to you, it’s hands off. Period.
Doesn’t matter if you’re just joking around, trying to get on camera, or if you just want to show your support to your favorite babyface. If you lay your hands on a pro wrestler, then you have crossed the line.
I can tell you from experience that when the situation is escalated and a fan attempts to attack one of the wrestlers, or even just slide into the ring, then they are open season. Wrestlers protect their own, and that is the way it’s always been.
The fact is, that fan who is just acting on a dare from his buddies, could be a psycho who is taking the show too seriously and he may just have a weapon on him. No chances can be taken when it comes to the safety of the workers, or the crew. It has to be resolved right then and there.
Pro wrestlers are in character the entire time they are in front of the crowd. They have let go of who they were before they stepped through the curtain and by the time we see them in the ring, they have become those larger-than-life figures.
Along with that comes the adrenaline rush of working in an intense environment as they attempt to convince the crowd that they mean business and that they are there to win.
When a guy is in that frame of mind and then suddenly he’s getting physically pushed, nudged, or whatever may be happening around him, then there will likely be a reaction.
And here we are.
So, back to my using the word fan in quotation marks. Why did I do that, exactly?
Because this guy is not a fan. He may have been in the crowd, he may have enjoyed the program. He may have even been on his feet most of the time cheering and applauding.
But the moment that he decided to speak to a reporter was the moment that he showed his true colors.
Again, Punk is the one who screwed up. He should have known better, and he was ticked off at the wrong guy to begin with. There is no arguing that point.
But a real fan would have took a deep breath, calmed down and then came to the startling realization that “holy Lord, CM Punk just tagged me. On Raw. On live television.”
Can you imagine? What a great moment that could have been, had the guy been an actual fan and had just stopped for a moment to understood what had just happened to him.
Be honest, if it had been you, what would you have done? For me, the answer is easy.
When WWE security looks at me and says “are you okay?” I say yes and how’s about getting me backstage?
Let me meet some of the Superstars, take some photos, and while we’re at it, my 4-year-old loves John Cena, how about a couple of T-Shirts and maybe a hat or two?
Then, if CM Punk is cool with it, let me shake the guy’s hand so I can tell him there’s no hard feelings and thanks for making me famous.
And why would I do all of this, because at heart I am a selfish jerk who just wants some free swag? Not at all.
I would ask for the chance to go backstage because I am a fan. I understand that things happen in the heat of the moment and the truth is I want them to know that I get it. I get it and the fact is I may not have another opportunity to go behind the curtain with this kind of access, so I want to make the best of it.
Professional wrestling is a big part of my life. I watch it on TV, I go to live events, I am involved in shows whenever I can and I write about it every day. To tell the WWE Superstars one on one that I appreciate what they do in the ring, in the business that I have followed since I was a kid?
What more could a true fan ask for?