During the October 8, 2012 edition of "Raw," CM Punk struck a fan in the stands multiple times. There are various camera angles of the non-storyline incident appearing online. From at least one angle, it does not appear the fan intentionally provoked the attack. This is about to turn into a severe headache for the WWE and Linda McMahon.
Fans tuned into "Raw" to see what announcements the returning Vince McMahon had to make. After provoking CM Punk in the main storyline of the night, McMahon challenged the WWE Champion to a match. After winning the match, CM Punk escaped over the ringside barrier and up the stairs into the stands. Excited fans immediately begin to surround the champion and many were trying to touch him or give him a little nudge.
In the videos, you can see a fan bump CM Punk with his forearm. The performer turns and backhands the fan and then lunges at the defenseless man. According to reports coming out from other fans in the area, the champion knocked out the fan. This was obviously a non-storyline incident since the cameras on "Raw" cut away once the altercation began and there was no indication of what happened by the announcers.
Bad for WWE
Last week, "Raw" had the worst non-holiday ratings in fifteen years. McMahon went on a non-storyline rampage yesterday and reportedly removed Brian Gewirtz, the head writer of the show, from his position. The company would rather increase ratings due to stronger storylines and performers instead of having increases due to negative press over the recent in-stands altercation. While negative press can occasionally be good press, the WWE does not want its performers to appear pressed against a wall by the recent ratings plunge and ready to strike out at anyone in real life.
Mrs. McMahon is only weeks away from the election in Connecticut and she should be concerned about this altercation impacting her chances of winning the U.S. Senate seat. So far, her opponents have attempted to push blame on her for wrestling angles which demeaned women, non-Caucasians, and the mentally challenged. Wrestler's early deaths and steroid use in sports entertainment have also been used to show why Linda McMahon might not be the best candidate. A potential story about out-of-control wrestlers attacking fans willy-nilly would be another angle of attack.
The news sources in Connecticut are sure to pick up the CM Punk/fan story and run with it. Right now, everyone in the WWE represents the company, the industry, and the McMahons. An incident where a representative attacks a fan will be brought into the election to attack the McMahons. Ol' Vinnie Mac has always stated how "Perception is reality." What type of reality will the perception of this event bring to Vince's wife?
L. Vincent Poupard has been following the wrestling industry, as well as the characters and storylines, for almost 30 years.
- Sports & Recreation
- Linda McMahon
- CM Punk
- Vince McMahon