Live events are supposed to be more of an intimate experience for the fan. However, on one bizarre night, things went a bit too far after a fan not only jumped into the ring to deliver a low-blow on Randy Orton but cut his own heel-style promo minutes after being escorted by security!
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Randy Orton Gets Attacked by a Fan
Scott Hall once said, "Fans are allowed to yell and cheer and boo all you want, but you’re not allowed to touch the wrestlers. You’re not allowed to throw stuff at the wrestlers, and you’re CERTAINLY not allowed to go over the barricade into the ring.
Once you come into the ring, we don’t know if you got a gun, a knife, or whatever. And guess what – that’s what I do for a living, man. Yeah, it might be ‘fake,’ but all I gotta do is turn the volume up a little bit, and it starts becoming REAL."
Fans are great; they fuel the wrestlers with energy, whether it be a babyface needing some backing or a heel thriving off the jeers, they’re a big part of the story whenever a match takes place inside that squared circle. However, there is the odd fan that is good for no one. Take this bizarre incident from a live event in Cape Town, South Africa.
The year is 2013. It’s late July. Randy Orton is the current Money in the Bank briefcase holder after winning it earlier that month. The WWE is embarking on a tour in South Africa, the SmackDown brand, specifically.
Randy Orton’s opponent on this particular night in Cape Town was Big E Langston. Yes, he was still known as "Langston" at this point! The fans inside the GrandWest Arena were excited to witness a card that featured the likes of:
- The aforementioned, Randy Orton vs. Big E
- Rob Van Dam vs. Wade Barrett
- Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger (Jake Hager in AEW)
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler in a No Disqualification Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
The fans all enjoyed the show and paid their respects to the talent they paid to see. That was except for one fan, a 20-year-old man named Tshepo Sekhabi, who took it upon himself to jump past security and strike Randy Orton as he posed on the turnbuckle after the match.
Tshepo was so desperate for this to happen that he had planned it ahead of time and even quit his job to make the show.
The Fan’s Motive For His Attack
In the only known video of the attack, Randy can be seen falling to the canvas after being struck in the groin. Randy gets to his feet, looks behind him to see it was a fan gone rogue, and is clearly not happy. Uninjured, but not happy.
There could never be a motive that is justifiable for attacking a wrestler. Once you’ve stepped across that barricade, you’ve gone too far. Put your hands on a wrestler, and you’re really asking for it. But let’s hop inside the mind of a fan who has done the unthinkable, if "fan" is even the right word to use, and see why someone would do such a ridiculous thing.
eNCA, a 24-hour television news broadcaster based in South Africa, was able to get ahold of Tshepo after his bizarre attack on Orton. He simply had this to say, "I just don’t like Randy Orton. This was an opportunity for me, so I got up there and made a name for myself."
It turns out, not only did Tshepo quit his job for this, but it was a part of his masterplan to make it big in the business and get noticed by WWE. This fan was an independent pro wrestler who went by the name "Jozi The Wrestling Machine."
Unfortunately for Jozi’s sake, real name Tshepo, he did not get offered a spot on the WWE roster for his cowardly attack. The only thing he received from WWE was a black eye courtesy of Randy Orton, who managed to sneak a slight kick in before Tshepo was escorted from the ring.
Fans watching the attack happen at ringside are audibly shocked. One young fan can be heard asking, "Who the hell is this?" It was that same fan asking the question that caught it on video. As the video keeps rolling thanks to the young fan, Randy can be seen flipping off the attacker from the second rope.
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Watch: Randy Orton gets attacked by a fan in South Africa
"Jozi the Wrestling Machine" Cuts a Promo on Randy Orton
If you thought this story couldn’t get any weirder, it does. The crazed fan decided that jumping Randy Orton in the ring wasn’t enough to be noticed by WWE, so he showed off his promo skills after being escorted by security.
YOU Magazine TV had their camera’s rolling as the self-proclaimed wrestling machine directed a passionate promo against his most despised wrestler, Randy Orton.
"Why did I jump on the stage? That is the question at the moment," Orton’s attacker began. "Randy Orton, wherever you are, man, you owe me. I’m The Wrestling Machine! I’m coming, Randy, and I will get you because everything I do in this world… I keep on shining, surviving!"
Perplexed South African officials watched on as Tshepo Sekhabi directed his heated words towards Orton. One of the officials attempted to set him straight, but there was no getting through to Tshepo.
"You know, it’s all an act, are you aware of that? You’re not actually supposed to attack," one baffled official stated to the fan gone rogue.
"I’m aware," the fan simply responded.
Watch: The fan who attacked Randy Orton cuts a strange promo on Randy Orton
Speculation The Fan Attack Was a Work, Orton Comments
With the nature of the business, there will always be fans who think there is a conspiracy and that it’s a "work."
Recent examples of this would be fans thinking that Daniel Bryan’s retirement in 2016 was a work at the time. CM Punk’s abrupt departure from WWE in 2013 would’ve had a few skeptics, too.
As long as it’s pro wrestling, someone’s questioning what’s real life and what’s not. But this strange attack in South Africa had genuine reasons for fans to think this was a work.
One skeptical thing that makes you think twice is WWE’s publicity of the attack. It would make sense for WWE not to give a desperate fan who craves attention any publicity. However, WWE ran the story on its website.
Even stranger is that WWE uploaded the fan footage to their YouTube channel. The top two comments on that video both question WWE and why they would upload this.
Also, the way Randy Orton’s music cut off well synchronized with the attack made it look like it was part of the show. It was all-around a strange incident, and fans believed that Jozi might be a prospect destined for WWE.
It’s clear with the actions the local authorities took, and punishments handed out, that this wasn’t at all part of the show. The incident left some fans feeling skeptical nonetheless.
Per WWE.com, the fan’s punishment was as follows:
"The accused party pleaded guilty in court yesterday, August 1, 2013, and was charged and ordered to either pay a fine of 500 Rand or, alternatively, serve 30 days in jail."
The statement from WWE continued, "After acknowledging his wrongfulness, the accused individual was given a three-year suspended sentence, and is not permitted to attend WWE’s Live Events in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week."
There were reasons to believe it was all a work, but the reasons to believe it was the real deal were there, too. The best way to get an answer, though, is straight from the source himself.
In the buildup to SummerSlam, just a few weeks after the attack took place, Randy Orton was doing the media rounds when he segued into talking about the incident after being asked by the guys at Gorilla Position, "What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on the road by a fan?"
"I don’t even know, bro. I’ve forgotten more crazy shit… I got hit in the balls last week in South Africa!" Randy responded. "That’s the first time that’s ever happened."
Then the interview followed up with the golden question to put the skeptics at ease: "So, that wasn’t a work?"
This instantly struck a nerve with Orton, and you see his demeanor change.
"No… No… we pressed charges. Oh yeah, yeah, did you think it was a work!?" a confused and annoyed Orton said.
The interviewer brought up the internet rumors and the fact that Orton sold for him. "Well, I got hit in the balls!" an annoyed Orton responded.
"Imagine standing on a tight rope and about to extend your arms out in the open to do your pose that people have recognized for almost a decade after a match that you have won in South Africa at the beginning of a five-day tour and as you’re completely in your own little world going, ‘Oh, I’m so glad it’s over’ because you can’t wait to go back to your hotel and take a shower and eat some catering… you get hit in the balls."
It’s safe to say that Randy was not happy about the accusation. This next blow to the interviewer about sums it up:
"What would you do? You’d probably fall over, break your neck, and die," Randy sternly told the interviewer.
"I had the wherewithal to make sure I fell inside the ring but either way, what you might conceive to be a work or a shoot… like, you have no idea what’s real and what’s not, but common sense would tell you that this little skinny runt that looks like a local South African guy wearing shoes and jeans and one raggedly elbow pad… did you recognize him? No."
Concluding the interview, Randy had this to say, "Rumors… I love the internet. I sure as hell didn’t sell for the fucking guy. I wish I would’ve kicked him harder in the face."
Randy Orton ended all skepticism there. Jozi has not been heard from since. Sadly for him, it looks like his dream of making it to the WWE has sailed. It was a truly bizarre incident that had a lot of people second-guessing.
These stories may also interest you:
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