Over the years, WWE has seen several incidents where fans attacked superstars inside and outside the ring. While a fan ambushed Seth Rollins in 2021 on Monday Night RAW, Stephanie McMahon got a baseball thrown at her at another show several years ago.
Conversely, there were a few incidents where superstars attacked fans. One former world champion punched a guy he thought had pushed him. Another superstar engaged in a fight with a couple of fans in a parking lot.
Here are five times WWE Superstars attacked fans and why.
#5. Paul Wight (aka Big Show)
Before joining WWE in 1999, Paul Wight (aka Big Show) worked for a few years in WCW. During that time, the 50-year-old had an incident in which he physically attacked a fan.
In 1998, Wight was at the Marriott Hotel bar in Uniondale, New York when a fan named Robert Sawyer reportedly heckled him. He also cursed the current AEW star and shoved him in the chest.
"Thirty-year-old Robert Sawyer, 6'6" and 220 pounds, approached The Giant, who waved him off at first. Next, witnesses say Sawyer started gesturing and insulting The Giant to the hundred or so fans gathered there. But when Sawyer made an obscene gesture [believed to have been the DX crotch chop], The Giant asked him to stop. Next, The Giant and some witnesses claim Sawyer pushed The Giant in his chest," CaughtOnTapeTV's reporter described the incident.
Wight responded to Sawyer's actions by pushing him in the face. A few days after the incident, Wight spoke about it in an interview, stating that he was defending himself.
"I asked him very politely to stop doing all the cursing and stuff… And then he got up in my face. [Reaction to being shoved?] Self-defense. I mean, it looks crazy coming from somebody as big as me, but it startled me, it did," he said. (H/T: ProWrestlingStories)
As Wight's punch broke the man's jaw, police arrested the former World Heavyweight Champion on charges of third-degree assault. However, the court later dropped the charges.
#4. WWE Hall of Famer Jacqueline
In 1998, Jacqueline signed with WWE after competing for several years in other promotions, including United States Wrestling Association (USWA). During her time in USWA, Jacqueline had an incident in which she got into a brawl with a fan.
The 58-year-old, who then wrestled as Ms. Texas, was reportedly at ringside when a male fan tackled her. Jacqueline immediately engaged in a brawl with the man, which required police officers and USWA staff members to separate the two.
Jacqueline had a successful six-year run in WWE, during which she won the Women's Championship twice and the Cruiserweight Championship once. In 2016, the former Ms. Texas entered the Hall of Fame.
#3. Chris Jericho
In 2007, Chris Jericho kicked off his second run in WWE. Two years later, he got into a fight with a fan in a parking lot following a show in Victoria, British Columbia, in his home country of Canada.
According to Bleacher Report, some fans heckled the former WWE Superstar while leaving the parking lot in his rental car. TMZ reported that things then escalated when Jericho stared down a female fan.
When a fan attacked Jericho's vehicle as he stopped at a stop sign, an enraged Y2J got out of his car. A few friends of the attacker, including the female fan, jumped on the then-WWE Superstar. The woman spit in Jericho's face, which led him to do the same to her before shoving her to the ground. He also got into a fight with another guy.
As a few security personnel stepped in, Jericho finally got into his car and drove away. Police reportedly arrived at the scene a few minutes later. Although authorities arrested the fan and girlfriend who attacked Jericho, they later released them without a charge.
WWE later issued a statement in which the company stated that Jericho was "attacked by a mob," explaining that he was assaulted physically and verbally.
Between 2006 and 2007, Sabu had a brief run in WWE. Meanwhile, he spent many years competing in other promotions, including USWA, ECW, and IMPACT Wrestling (fka Total Nonstop Action Wrestling).
Sabu also fought for a few years in Japanese promotions. During his time there, he had a memorable incident with a fan.
The former WWE Superstar passed through the crowd as he headed to the ring for a match when a fan snatched his turban. Sabu was enraged by the fan's behavior.
The 57-year-old turned around and jumped on the guy, hitting him with a few punches. Sabu then left the fan, who appeared in shock, and continued on his way to the ring to have his bout.
#1. CM Punk
On an episode of Monday Night RAW in October 2012, CM Punk wrestled Vince McMahon. However, when John Cena and Ryback interfered before Punk delivered the GTS on the former Chairman, the then-WWE Champion took his belt and escaped through the crowd.
McMahon then grabbed a microphone to inform Punk that he had to choose an opponent between Cena and Ryback to defend his title. Otherwise, McMahon would decide for him.
As Punk stood among the crowd listening to the former Chairman, a fan smacked him on the back of his head. The current AEW star turned around and mistakenly elbowed and punched another fan.
Following the incident, Punk released a statement on WWE.com, in which he apologized for his actions:
"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," he said. (H/T: GiveMeSport)
WWE also released a statement in which the company stated that it "regrets that proper security measures were not in place" during the incident.
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