CM Punk has reached out to the fan who was shot in the eye and then said watching The Rock beat Punk was the worst thing that had happened to him recently. According to Lordsofpain.net, Punk called in to the Abe Kanan Show, which airs on Sirius XM Radio, to talk to Thomas Dotterer, the 77-year-old fan.
Punk called in to the show to talk with Dotterer and offered him the chance to be his special guest when the WWE runs a show in Syracuse on March 3.
Punk apparently has the most loyal and passionate fans in professional wrestling, and Dotterer has taken the idea of passion for your favorite sports stars to an all new level.
Last week, Dotterer, a liquor store owner and baseball coach in Syracuse, N.Y., was robbed. During the altercation, the elderly man got shot in the eye. He survived and went to the hospital in critical condition. When reporters came to speak to him later about what had happened, he said he wasn't upset about the robbery. He was more perturbed about the outcome of last month's Royal Rumble main event.
"That's the worst thing that happened to me all week, The Rock beat Punk. Did you know that?" he told WSYR Channel 9 News.
Dotterer is, of course, talking about The Rock's predictable victory over Punk at the Rumble, where The Great One ended Punk's legendary 434-day run with the WWE championship.
Dotterer's devotion isn't surprising. Wrestling fans are extremely loyal to the sport they watch and just as loyal to their favorite stars. Wrestling forums are full of arguing fans that go back and forth about who is better than whom.
Usually, it stays in the forums. But sometimes, wrestling fans are so emotionally struck by events, they can overreact. Bleacher Report recently ran an article detailing a Punk fan who, upset over The Rock's victory, destroyed The Rock merchandise in his room. It was all on camera, of course.
But saying losing an eye isn't as bad as Punk losing the title is taking things to a new level.
According to the article on Lordsofpain.net, Dotterer said he was a long-time fan of wrestling and used to watch Gorgeous George with his father back in the '40s. He was struck by Punk's work ethic inside the ring and was upset he lost the belt.
Punk reaching out to Dotterer and inviting him to be a special guest at a house show may help explain why wrestling fans are so passionate.
Reaching out to a victim shows a side of humility and humanity on the part of Punk. The same can be said of guys like John Cena and Sheamus, who grant wishes with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Wrestling fans love wrestling because the wrestlers love them back. The men and women of the WWE are relatable because they are also human. They feel like we do. They hurt like we do. In them, we see parts of ourselves or parts of ourselves that we want to have.
Interestingly, in an article that appeared on Syracuse.com, one of Dotterer's neighbors spoke about him. Joni Scheel, who has known Dotterer for quite some time said, "All he wants is respect and all these years he's still here...He's not going anywhere."
Sounds a lot like former WWE champion Punk.