KELLER'S TAKE KELLER: Punk put himself in a potentially volatile situation and dealt with it in worst possible way
Oct 9, 2012 - 9:33:29 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
The statement issued by WWE today draws a picture of the circumstances that led to C.M. Punk hitting a fan. It was a situation that could have been prevented with security being ready to create distance between Punk and the fans pestering him.
What the statement does not cover is that Punk was way, way out of line in what he did. He had his back turned to the fan that he wildly, blindly swung his arm toward and hit. Even worse, he then turned around and palm thrust the fan in the face with no indication the fan was making any aggressive motion toward him.
Two other points. The fan he hit was clearly not touching or pestering Punk at the time Punk hit him. The fan had both arms in the air as he was putting on a pair of sunglasses. Also, Punk could have missed and, for all he knew, hit a parent holding a young child. Or he could have knocked that fan over and that full grown man he hit could have fallen onto someone - a child, a baby, an elderly person, a pregnant woman.
In other words, this could have been a lot worse.
Punk put himself in that position. The fans around him, some of whom were simply sitting or standing at their assigned locations, were bystanders who did nothing to ask to be in the middle of a potentially dangerous situation.
Punk should not have gone into the crowd without full knowledge that, as WWE's statement indicates, as a heel he might get pestered and prodded by fans. Unless Punk has the discipline, in the heat of the moment, to know he would never wildly swing his arm blindly in a crowd of fans or lose his composure and punch a fan who was no apparent threat to him, he should not have ever gone into the crowd.
What happened among the fans was to be expected. Punk has been around and he knows what fans are like when you plop yourself in the middle of them. He was at fault, 100 percent, for reacting poorly in a situation he shouldn't have put himself in. The idea that he struck a fan - twice - without any apparent evidence that fan was an imminent threat to him is a lesson that he shouldn't be going into crowds.
When I was a kid, I went to AWA shows at the St. Paul Civic Center. Stan Hansen wildly swung his cowbell and rope through the fans as he made his way to the ring. There were no security railing separating fans from wrestlers in those days. They just had a few security guards surround them and push their way through the crowd. As a kid, I loved it. I got to be close to the wrestlers. But it was my choice to get close to the wrestlers. If Hansen had gone into the crowd and swung his cowbell wildly, that would have been different, as he'd be in the space of fans who maybe weren't mobile enough to get out of his way quickly (parents with kids, elderly, pregnant women, etc.). And certainly no wrestler should put himself in the middle of the crowd unless he has the composure not to escalate a situation by punching a fan just because he was annoyed or stressed out.
WWE's statement indicates they are backing Punk, at least publicly, in this situation.
"WWE regrets that proper security measures were not in place, and C.M. Punk apologizes for reacting in the heat of the moment."
For legal reasons and p.r. reasons, we may not hear from Punk on this matter. Punk, though, was out of line. He should have removed himself from that situation, not escalated it.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**