When Wrestling Fans Go Too Far
Unfortunately, there are "fans" who can’t help themselves at the shows. They get caught up in a moment and take it upon themselves to jump the barricade and skirt around security to ambush a wrestler. As ridiculous as it may seem, this has happened numerous times over the years. Dive into the insanity of these moments and how wrestlers took care of things after.
1 – A Fan Jumps Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H Helps
By the early part of 1998, Stone Cold Steve Austin had already achieved legendary status as his popularity with the fans was unmatched. The Texas Rattlesnake had the fans going nuts no matter how many times they heard that glass shatter! Not everyone was a fan of Stone Cold, however.
At a Berlin house show in April of that year, a fan ran into the ring to attack Austin after a match with Triple H. The fan ultimately got what was coming to him, thanks to Triple H.
Despite this incident happening when the Internet and cameras at shows weren’t too prevalent, a user on YouTube named Groundunder miraculously took quality footage of the attack and uploaded it for the world to see in early 2016.
You can see Stone Cold picking up a victory in the video after hitting Triple H with the Stunner. Not long after, a fan makes his way to the ring and attempts to hurt Stone Cold. Triple H, to his credit, leaped to his feet as fast as possible and gave this fan a deserved nasty beating, not just with haymakers either, which there were aplenty, but with a brutal suplex takedown! Referee Mike Chioda also assisted with some swift kicks of his own.
A German Fan Jumps Steve Austin
It is thanks to this fan for uploading the footage that this is even a talking point. Otherwise, this would all be folklore.
Talking about the incident, the man behind the camera had this to say in the description of the situation.
“…I won a meet and greet and permission to film the entire show,” the uploading individual said. “After Stone Cold Steve Austin finished Hunter Hearst Helmsley, a German fan entered the ring and tried to attack Steve Austin.” He gave Mike Chioda some credit too, “By the way: the referee is a beast.”
Stone Cold Tells Us All About It
Steve Austin commented on the experience through his Steve Austin Show podcast.
“I was wrestling Triple H, and Chyna was ringside, and after I stun Chyna and get the 1, 2, 3 on Triple H, a fan hits the ring and tries to attack me.”
Austin continued, “Triple H had his eyes open just like a shark laying there. I thought the fan was one of the boys because way back in the day after a match, after a house show, we’d come out from the back and jump in there and take guys finishers as a rib! This wasn’t a rib; it was a fan who was at ringside who happened to be a Triple H and Chyna fan and was not very happy that Stone Cold Steve Austin had given him a Stunner and got the three count.”
2 – Bret Hart Gets Tackled by a Fan
To jump an unsuspecting wrestler is wrong. Plain and simple. But there are different levels of wrong. Going to the ring to attack a jacked-up wrestler in the prime of their career is crazy, cowardly, and stupid. But, going to the ring to tackle 61-year-old cancer and stroke survivor on an evening where he is accepting a prestigious honor — it’s almost impossible to put into words just how low and deplorable it truly is.
However, that is just what happened to Bret Hart when he was delivering a speech in honor of his late partner, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart of The Hart Foundation, at the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
With Jim Neidhart’s daughter Natalya by his side, Bret Hart was up on stage, reminiscing on stories and Jim’s legacy. It was heartwarming to see Bret go through these stories, and it was a treat to listen to them. Yet, one “fan” decided it was a good idea to make a sprint for the ring and tackle Bret Hart mid-speech. What followed was shock and chaos as wrestlers and personnel scrambled to Bret’s defense and dealt with the half-witted fan.
Travis Brown’s Protective Nature
Among the quickest to scramble to Bret’s defense was mixed martial artist with UFC pedigree and husband to Ronda Rousey, Travis Browne. The last guy you want to have lay body shots on you is a mixed martial artist, and that’s the bad luck the fan had coming his way. Travis laid multiple shots as others helped hold the fan down.
Coincidentally enough, the fan, named Zachary Madsen, was also an MMA fighter on an amateur level. Zachary, the man behind the assault, had a history of being unpredictable. Following the attack, he was arrested on counts of stalking a fellow MMA competitor only a few months before the Hall of Fame.
Travis Browne spoke about the incident on Ronda Rousey’s YouTube channel.
“I wanted to talk about the Hall of Fame incident quickly. There’s this trend I’ve noticed where people do these acts, and they get almost immortalized in our media for the negative things that they’ve done instead of going out and making positive changes.
“It should’ve been all about the people that were getting inducted, and it should stay that way.”
Travis Browne concluded his statement with a strong message:
“This guy needs to disappear and go back into the nothing of which this piece of [junk] was born. It could’ve been way worse, and we’re lucky that that’s all it was. Bret is an amazing man; he’s a frickin legend. I got to spend some time with him in the back at the following Raw, and he said ‘thank you,’ and I said ‘of course, any real man would do the same thing’ and it’s like we forget about it.'”
Frustrations After the Attack
Another man who notably left his mark on the fan was Cash Wheeler of AEW’s FTR, then known as Dash Wilder of WWE’s The Revival. As the fan was escorted away, Dash (Cash) left a stiff punch straight to the face for good measure.
Both FTR members have been vocal about their adoration for Bret Hart, and Bret Hart has supported them straight back over the years. The indecent assault was something Dash couldn’t watch without letting out his frustration on the assaulter.
The Conclusion of a Scary Situation
Like the true champion that he is, Bret Hart finished his speech before going to the hospital and getting the all-clear. It was a scary situation, and one we hope never to see anything like again.
The fan was released on a $1500 bail after being arrested and facing assault and trespassing charges.
3 – Raven Gets Ambushed by a Fan on WCW Thunder
It’s always unsettling to see a fan unexpectedly get involved in the action, even when the wrestler sees them making their way to the ring. However, getting jumped from behind, and being caught off guard must be unsettling on a different level.
Raven was cutting a promo on the April 9th, 1998 edition of WCW Thunder before that very situation happened to him as he was pulled by the hair out of the ring by a fan in the middle of a promo.
Raven’s Professionalism in the Face of a Fan Attack
Raven was a total pro about it. He took a glance at the fan, resisted the urge to strike or fight as security dealt with him, and continued with the promo as if nothing happened. It became a bit of a trainwreck, though, despite Raven’s determination to get through the segment.
After the attack, when Raven started talking, the mic was cut out. Raven had the self-awareness to realize that the mic was cut to the crowd, but he kept talking, thinking the viewers at home would be able to hear him, when in fact, they couldn’t. Eventually, the mic came back on, and Raven was able to finish his passionate promo freely.
The whole attack looked rather violent as Raven was not only pulled by the hair but was pulled from the ring. According to Raven, the only reason he falls out of the ring was to sell the impact, thinking it was the late Kanyon, who he was feuding with at the time.
The whole incident was one of great coincidence as fate would have it from Raven’s perspective. Raven did a recent interview with WrestleBotch about this incident, revealing the crazy odds that the night he was attacked by the fan was the same night he and Kanyon had agreed to do a future angle that involved Kanyon attacking him in that very corner. This explained why Raven was so quick to sell the hair pull, believing it to be Kanyon.
Raven Talks About The Incident
“This is what happened, okay… I was feuding with Kanyon, and we were talking about ways that we could up the feud,” Raven remembers. “I go, ‘You know what, I’ve never let anyone attack me while I sit in the corner. That’d be cool. Maybe next we’ll try and have you attack me when I’m sitting in the corner from out the crowd.'”
Kanyon agreed, “Yeah, that’d be great!”
But it didn’t add up. It wasn’t approved, and although the two spoke about the idea for the attack that day, this specific episode of Thunder didn’t make sense to do it on. Raven was confused but still believed it was Kanyon in the heat of the moment.
“And then [later that night on WCW Thunder], I’m sitting in the corner doing my promo, and somebody grabs me by the hair! I’m like, ‘Holy [cow], what is Kanyon doing? We’re not doing this until next week! We haven’t even got it approved yet!’ I just assumed that it had to be Kanyon because it didn’t make any sense to me for it to be anything else. We just talked about it that day, and so I went with it. I let the guy pull me out, and then it turned out I took a bump because how else are you going to land on your back when you come out the ring by your hair? I got up, and it was some skinny guy!”
Impact on Raven’s Work as a Heel
Raven continued, “I was like ‘What!?’ Before I could even take a swing at him, security already had him hauled off. I was like, ‘Well, what do I do now? Just go back and finish my promo, finish where I left off?’ And so I acted as nothing happened and got back to work.”
Raven factored the percentages in his head and said he figured there was a 98% chance that it was Kanyon, and a 2% chance a fan, so the odds were slim! Raven didn’t see it as a total negative, however. WrestleBotch asked him if this could be seen as complementary to his work as a heel.
“It’s a huge compliment!” Raven replied. “The fact that I had that much heat that the guy attacked me and not only did he attack me, but he attacked me before I was attacking someone else. Normally when fans hit the ring, it’s because the heels are beating down a babyface, so yeah, it’s a huge compliment.”
4 – Eddie Guerrero Gets Pushed Off a Ladder by a Fan
Ladder matches are dangerous even when everything goes according to plan. A fan running in and pushing a wrestler off the ladder is about as unplanned as anything can get. It could have resulted in severe injury for Eddie Guerrero had he not been so agile and aware of his surroundings in his ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship on May 27, 2002’s edition of Monday Night Raw.
Rob Van Dam and Eddie Guerrero spoke about the match and the fan run-in on an episode of WWE Confidential, a show that ran from 2002-2004. It was a show that gave behind-the-scenes and fascinating insight into a range of topics.
Rob and Eddie Provide their Point of View
Here is what Rob and Eddie had to say about the fan before getting into the match itself.
“I think the spot that stands out most in my mind and probably a lot of people’s mind was the fan running in from the crowd that was, of course, not expected or planned by anybody except for maybe him,” Rob Van Dam admits.
Eddie followed, “I didn’t know what to do. My first thought was, ‘Did I forget something?’ and then I look at him, and I see that jersey he was wearing, so I’m thinking, ‘Is this Crash Holly? What’s going on?’ Then I thought maybe Vince sent somebody or maybe something was going on or things got changed up, I didn’t know. When I saw it was a fan, then I got hot. Yeah, I threw a punch — just a little reminder to not come back in.”
Things Can Get Crazy, Fast
It just goes to show how quickly wrestlers have to think on their toes when out there in the ring. There’s no time to stop and process things slowly. There’s a match, a crowd watching it, and millions at home watching, so Eddie would have had to go through all of these scenarios in his head in the space of a couple of seconds before laying punches on the intruder. From there, it was straight back to the grueling match-up.
More Thoughts From The Superstars
Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam continued exchanging their thoughts of their ladder match.
Eddie: “[Before the ladder match with RVD], I’ve had one ladder match before in my life, and it wasn’t too good of one, so I was nervous. I had no idea how to lay it out, so I went to Rob, and I asked his opinion.”
RVD: “I just started thinking of all kinds of ideas.”
Eddie: “After that first bump, you know, all of my fear left — it was just now or never. The way I looked at this match, it was all or nothing. I felt I had to do something a little special. I just said, ‘Rob, I’m gonna do that sunset powerbomb we talked about.'”
The spot Eddie is referring to was executed to perfection from atop the ladder. Watch it below (thanks to u/Hopecon802 on Reddit)! Eddie even did an arguably more insane version of this against Edge later that same year on SmackDown!
“I know he hadn’t done that before, and he was just out there with his competitive spirit doing these moves just pulling them out of vision because we knew that we could do it,” Rob later added.
“If you could go for, go for it, but don’t do it half-ass. Go balls out,” Eddie concluded.
This match is worth reminiscing back to not only for the fan run-in but, more importantly, for the incredible match itself!
Rick Rude: A Ravishing Man with a Tragic End
“He refused to budge.”
Rick Rude was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime kind of wrestler. He went by the nickname “Ravishing” — and rightfully so. He had a solid moveset, great looks, and unbridled arrogance with the in-ring skill to back it up. He played hard in the ring but even harder out of it.
Wrestling Injuries That Ended Careers Too Soon
“When I hit the mat, I knew my neck was broken and that I was paralyzed.”
Greg Valentine’s Defiant Act Behind The WWE Intercontinental Championship Belt
When Greg Valentine and Tito Santana met on July 6, 1985, in a steel cage in Baltimore, Maryland, Santana got the victory to reclaim the title. Valentine responded by retrieving the championship and destroying the belt, beating it repeatedly against the cage and tearing the gold away from the leather.
"I had to give the belt back to Tito after that angle," Valentine said. "And one day, when I saw him a few years ago, I asked whatever became of that belt, because Tito kept it after that angle. What he responded with broke my heart.”
Owen Hart’s Death: What Really Happened, From Those There
VINCE McMAHON: “Earlier that day, I was shocked and surprised by what Owen said.”
On May 23rd, 1999, the wrestling world mourned the loss of Owen Hart. People behind the scenes on this unthinkable day reflect on the tragedy, answering the all-important questions.
Mr Perfect Curt Hennig – A Great Life with an Unfortunate End
On camera, Curt Hennig was arrogant, and he backed up his Mr. Perfect persona brilliantly. However, outside of the ring, it was a different story.
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