Wrestlers Who Got Into Fights With Fans

At a professional wrestling event, the focus of the show is on the competitors booked to perform in the ring. There is an invisible boundary between the predetermined action of the squared circle and the real reactions of those in the crowd. There's also the physical boundary of the guardrail meant to restrict the spectators to their area. Some events lack these barriers or proper security, leading to zealous onlookers rushing to the ring.

In some instances, these are mere spur-of-the-moment incidents involving fans having too much to drink and wanting to be a part of the show. Other times, these are premeditated acts perpetrated by fans who seek to cause problems. In the heat of a match, a wrestler doesn't know why this intruder is the ring nor their intent. In order to ensure their safety, wrestlers may defuse the situation using physical force until security arrives to haul the instigator out of the venue.

These confrontations aren't restricted to the ring, as wrestlers are known public figures who are bound to be recognized out and about. While most fan interactions are ones of admiration, others seek to antagonize real people for their kayfabe actions and score a quick moment in the spotlight. In some cases, this can lead to physical altercations with potential legal ramifications. Here are 15 wrestlers who have gotten into fights with fans.

Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho has at least two fights with fans on record.

In February 2009, cell phone footage circulated of Chris Jericho getting physical with a group of fans after a house show in Victoria, British Columbia. The video shows a female member of the crowd confronting Jericho, who shoved her leading to a scuffle. Jericho is shown cursing at security, demanding that they do their job.

Local news outlet The Times Colonist reported that the fan and her boyfriend were arrested but released without charges. WWE issued a statement (per WrestleView) claiming Jericho was provoked by the fans while asking them to move away from his car. A month later, PWTorch revealed that Jericho nor any of those involved would be charged due to conflicting eyewitness accounts.

At the AEW's first show on tour after the COVID-19 lockdown in July 2021, a contract signing was showcased for MJF's Five Labors of Jericho. While Jericho made his entrance, a fan walked up the ramp and removed his shirt. He was tackled by security, with Jericho and even Justin Roberts getting a few shots in. An irate MJF challenged the "fat, white-trash hicks" in the crowd to step in the ring so he could fight them.

Wrestling Headlines revealed the attacker was an Internet troll who made several threats and bogus claims around the show. Fightful reports that in an interview with "The Zaslow Show," Jericho commented on the situation saying "It happens, guys get drunk and want to be part of the show, but it's not a good idea."

Paul Wight

The Giant (Paul Wight) made quick work of Chris Adams on the June 15, 1998 edition of "Nitro" in Uniondale, New York. Across the street from Nassau Coliseum, talent retreated to the Marriott Hotel to close out the night.

After his performance, Wight was standing at the front desk when he was confronted by Levittown native Robert Sawyer. An inebriated Sawyer, who stood at 6'6” to Wight's 7'0", attempted to initiate conversation but was brushed off by the star. Sawyer hurled what was later described by Wight per Newsday (via Slam Wrestling) as "loud, lewd comments and gestures," in front of a crowded lobby. Wight attempted to defuse the situation, with Sawyer not backing down. Wight and witnesses claimed Sawyer shoved the former world champion, being met with a right hand punch that broke his jaw.

A month after his debut at St. Valentine's Day Massacre for the WWF, Wight was summoned to court facing third-degree assault charges. A local news affiliate showed CCTV footage of the altercation, as well as fans being present at the courthouse with Wight obliging them with autographs. After a few days of deliberation, Sawyer v. Wight concluded with Wight being acquitted of all charges. Sawyer admitted to having drank earlier at the event, with Judge Thomas Feinman believing him to have instigated the conflict with his "out of control" behavior.

Kevin Nash

NWO members The Outsiders and Syxx made a guest appearance at MTV's Spring Break program in March 1997. During the festivities, the group were armed with oversized syringes loaded with paint intended to be used solely on-stage. Syxx aimed his syringe to the stands and doused the crowd in blue paint. In response, a fan threw a rock at the group and struck Nash in the head. An angered Nash charged the crowd, which parted before him like the Red Sea, watching on as he took down the culprit. Upon realizing it was a teenager, Nash released his grip. Local police took the youngster away, with Nash affirming that he would be pressing charges.

Scott Hall is shown in footage telling event staff that if they aren't provided proper security, they'd walk off. MTV hosts Ed Lover and Doctor Dre laughed over the clip during a recap, with Lover calling it "the best thing I've ever seen in my life."

In a 1997 retrospective of WCW hosted by Kayfabe Commentaries (h/t Wrestling Recaps), Nash discussed the incident and legal battle. The teenager and his father sought damages for the events that ended up being broadcast on nationwide television. They had failed to disclose to attorneys that the young man was arrested and served community service for the incident. Nash was ordered by the court to pay $1 to the "victim" and to issue an apology, which ended up being written in red crayon.

Triple H

Triple H took on WWF Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in a Berlin live event during the company's "DX In Germany Tour" in April 1998. The crowd was white-hot for the show, given the Federation was in the midst of its Attitude Era touring a growing market. Camcorder footage captured from the audience shows a pro-DX fan rushing into the ring and dishing a beatdown to Austin. Upon realizing what was going on, Triple H sprang into action performing a waistlock and took the Berliner to the ground. Pressing down his body weight and unloading punches onto the fan, Triple H called for security while referee Mike Chioda stomped him down. After the situation settled, Austin — who won the match — held his championship celebration to send the crowd home happy.

During a podcast, Austin discussed the incident and gave praise to Triple H's taking matters into his own hands with a well-done takedown. As the company's top draw, Austin didn't want to partake in the beatdown as he thought that fans would turn on him for joining in. Austin also gave kudos to Chioda, who has seen how aggressive fans can be upon seeing their favorites lose after years of touring small towns. "When things go down in that ring," Austin said, "it's all hands on deck and everybody's together."

Randy Orton

During a WWE tour of South Africa, Randy Orton defeated Big E in Cape Town in July 2013. While celebrating his win performing his signature pose from the second rope, Orton was caught-off guard by a fan entering the ring and low-blowing him. Cell phone video shows Orton selling the move, likely believing it to be an angle, until realizing the perpetrator was a fan. Security forced him to the ground, with Orton punting his head. Big E was reportedly also furious, being separated from the intruder by security. Footage of the incident was uploaded to WWE's official YouTube page, though it cuts to black before Orton is shown striking the fan.

eNCA revealed the attacker as Tshepo Sekhabi, a 20 year old local kickboxer who had recently quit his desk job in Johannesburg. Known in the local independent circuit as Jozi the Wrestling Machine, he released a promo on Orton with a black eye fresh from the attack. Sekhabi pleaded guilty in court and was ordered to either pay a 500 Rand fine or serve a month in jail. After admitting fault for the attack, Sekhabi was granted a three-year suspended sentence and barred from WWE events.

WWE made a public statement on the matter, revealing Orton to have suffered a minor groin injury. When asked by Gorilla Position about the encounter at a SummerSlam red carpet press event, Orton called the incident "pretty crazy" and described Sekhabi as a "little, skinny runt."

Joe Black

In May 2022, Intense Wrestling Entertainment hosted IWE 3 in Augusta, Georgia. Heavyweight Champion Joe Black took on New Age Champion Anthony Henry in a title unification main event. Upon becoming double champion, Black and his manager Tyreeke celebrated in a heelish manner ringside. Twitter user @Casshooole uploaded footage of Black knocking a fan's hat off, with the fan responding with a headbutt. Security was quick to intervene, but fists began flying as fans and other wrestlers including MLW's Krule tried to bring order. The fan, with his shirt torn and out of breath, is told by others off camera to walk away and he exits the venue.

The incident gained national buzz for the regional indie, with publications like TMZ picking up the story. On the "Jim Cornette Experience," Cornette compared the attack to his own experiences in southern ringside brawls and placed blame on "everybody."

IWE tweeted an apology and thanked fans for attending. They would follow up in a later tweet announcing new protocols would be put in place to prevent future altercations. In an interview with Wrestling Inc., Black gave his account of the incident claiming the same fan had caused problems at previous events. During the show, the allegedly intoxicated fan hurled slurs at the heels with Black flipping off his hat in retaliation. He accused Cornette of sensationalizing the controversy, saying "He put his own spin on it, he made it carny. I don't respect that."

Mark Curtis

The September 8, 1997 edition of "WCW Monday Nitro" saw Dean Malenko take on Psicosis with Sonny Onoo in his corner. Officiating the match was Mark Curtis, who started his career wrestling at outlaw independent shows. Although trained in multiple styles and a gifted athlete, Curtis hit his ceiling as he was a skinny, 5'6" tall nerdy-looking fellow and seemed to realize it. He still found ways to contribute in the industry, serving a backstage role and refereeing matches.

The two competitors had an athletic affair typical of the division's golden era, as they had at the previous year's "World War 3" pay-per-view. During the match, a fan rushed into the ring and Curtis struck him in the temple with a knee lift. Curtis grabbed the intruder's head and secured a front facelock, immobilizing him. Malenko and Psicosis each got a kick in while arena security defused the situation. Commentators mocked the fan throughout the match. Tony Schiavone and Jim Cornette claim that the assuming-looking Curtis' quick thinking led to him being nicknamed "Shooter" by those in the locker room.

A month after the match, Curtis was diagnosed with stomach and bowel cancer. Curtis, whose real name was Brian Hildebrand, died nearly two years to the day of the incident. Former colleague Mark Madden wrote about Curtis days after the 20th anniversary of the "shoot fight," saying "Brian was no one to f*** with when s*** got real, as a fan found out."

Eddie Guerrero

Returning to the WWF in April 2002 after conquering his addictions and with plenty of gas in the tank, Eddie Guerrero was in top-form going into his second run in the company. Weeks into his comeback, Guerrero won the Intercontinental Championship from Rob Van Dam to begin his second reign.

The main event of "Raw" on May 27, 2002 saw Guerrero defend his championship against Van Dam in a ladder match. While standing on top of a ladder, Guerrero was pushed off by a fan in an Edmonton Oilers jersey. A dazed RVD watched on as Guerrero landed on his feet, beating down the culprit as ringside officials took him away.

In his autobiography "Cheating Death, Stealing Life" Guerrero had no other explanation for the fan pushing him off the ladder besides "he must've been crazy." Seeing him come from the crowd, Guerrero initially thought the wily audience member was Crash Holly sent by management to do a run-in. After security hauled off the fan, Guerrero didn't have time to process what had just happened as he still had to finish the match. Upon reaching backstage, Guerrero claims he was greeted by Stephanie McMahon with a hug and told him "That's the Eddie we know and love."

Devin Danger

In May 2018, Impact Wrestling and California's Big Time Wrestling co-promoted One Night Only: Cali Combat in Salinas. Among the local and nationally-regarded talent on the card was Devin Danger, a member of the regional independent scene most associated with his faction Bite Club.

While making his entrance with his tag team partner, Danger extended his hand to a little girl in the crowd for a handshake. Snapchat footage uploaded to Twitter by user @newfoundmass shows Danger retracting his arm and spitting his gum on her, going on with his entrance. As payback, the girl's father approached Danger from behind and began clubbing him, with event security shown separating the fan.

After the event concluded, Danger tweeted that he apologized to the family and said his gum landing on the girl was an "accident." Danger would further elaborate, as The Mirror reports that he and his family were being threatened because of the incident. He said that "my lack of judgment and being a father myself I can completely understand your position." Danger extended his apology to Impact and BTW, saying the controversy put a "negative light on two promotions I not only respect but admire."

The Daily Star reports that Harry Smith gave his take on the incident in a tweet, saying "Well you shouldn't spit on anyone let alone a kid and not expect them to fight you."

Bad Dude Tito

In June 2019, "Bad Dude" Tito Escondido was booked in a six-man tag team match at the Los Angeles Ale Works in Hawthorne, California. The event was sanctioned by Bumps and Brewses, a promotion tailored to fans of pro wrestling and craft beer which holds shows in local breweries. Teaming with his stablemates The Wolf Zaddies to take on Killer Kross and The Lucha Homies, Tito noticed a drunken fan physically assaulting a woman in the crowd. Footage uploaded by SoCal Uncensored on Twitter shows Tito leaving the ring and taking down the disorderly fan, grounding the attacker with his knee planted firmly on his temple. Police were called in and the drunkard was removed from the open-air venue, allegedly fighting officers as he was taken away.

This wouldn't be the first time Tito has used his athletic gifts to subdue another person, as SoCal Uncensored claims Tito was responsible for taking down a local criminal fleeing from police in 2018. In response to the footage, Josh Barnett revealed that he and fellow IGF-alum Erik Hammer are sparring partners of Tito, indicating his legitimate grappling capabilities.

With his newfound publicity, Tito used it as a chance to further his career tweeting that he would be taking bookings as "Law Dog Sheriff Tito."


While on tour with NJPW in June 1995, Sabu defended his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Eddie Guerrero, who performed as the masked Black Tiger II. While making his entrance, Sabu's keffiyeh was ripped off his head by a fan. Incensed, he leapt over the guardrail and delivered a beatdown to the person he believed committed the act. After jumping over the barrier and delivering some choice words to the "perpetrator," Sabu would go on to successfully retain his title.

A second-generation Lebanese-American by way of his mother, Sabu's heritage is weaved into his persona with moves such as the "Arabian Facecrusher" referencing this. Beirut and Beyond describes the keffiyeh as "not a fashion statement," but a symbol of "Arab pride." To have an article of clothing, especially one with cultural significance, disrespectfully torn off would warrant anger in most even if Sabu's response was somewhat intense.

On an episode of "Keepin' It 100" featuring Sabu, Disco Inferno described the footage as one of the funniest things he had ever seen. Sabu revealed that the keffiyeh was an heirloom from his uncle The Sheik, who deemed him worthy of no longer having to "ride on his coattails." To have his new headdress torn off left the champion "embarrassed," prompting him to lash out. The actual person who took the scarf ran off with it while a poor fan was caught in the middle of his ire, with Sabu admitting he felt bad after realizing he got the wrong guy.

Randy Savage

"Macho Man" Randy Savage is another wrestler who has taken on fans multiple times.

In April 1986, Savage was sued for giving a teenage girl a concussion and black eye after missing a punch intended for a heckler. Her family was awarded a $6,000 settlement in 1988.

The following February, The AP reported that Savage was accused of hitting a 9-year-old in the gut for caressing Miss Elizabeth's hair. The fan claimed he was reaching out for a high-five, but was met with aggression by Savage who called him "punk."

In March 1988, Savage was sued by a fan claiming he was assaulted for tailing the former world champion and Elizabeth after a show. Upon asking for an autograph, Savage allegedly body slammed and taunted him while he was downed.

On a February 1997 episode of "Nitro," Savage cemented his loyalty to the NWO by helping The Outsiders dish a beatdown to Diamond Dallas Page. Out of nowhere, a fan crosses into the ring with Savage and Scott Hall beating him down. The intruder was thrown out by Kevin Nash and chased off by security.

During the May 17th, 1999 episode of "Nitro" a ponytailed and aggressive Savage attacked Nash and smeared red lipstick on his face, getting tackled by a fan in the process. Landing punches on everyone in sight, including event staff, Savage released the fan as he was carted off and finished the angle.

The Revival

While The Hart Foundation were being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019, Bret Hart and Natalya were tackled in the middle of his speech. Identified by CBS News as Zachary Madsen of Nebraska, the attacker is known to have had a criminal record including stalking charges. The broadcast was disrupted with security and a group of wrestlers including The Revival, Hart's nephew Harry Smith, and MMA athlete Travis Brown carrying Madsen out of the venue. Fancam footage shows Dash Wilder getting in a punch on the attacker, knocking Madsen loopy. After the commotion, Hart was able to finish his speech with the incident removed from the cut available on the WWE Network.

Sportskeeda reports that Madsen was handed over to the NYPD who charged him with trespassing, assault, and interrupting a sporting event. The NY Post quotes Madsen as telling the police officers "I just felt like it was the right moment," after being detained. Hart was checked into the hospital citing discomfort in his newly-replaced hip after the fall. Later in the weekend, the team would go on to post a photo with Hart in a now-deleted Twitter post, as reported by Wrestlezone. In a promo leading up to their tag team title match at Wrestlemania 35, Scott Dawson would refer to his partner as a "knockout kind of guy."

In October 2022, Hart would manage the rechristened FTR in a match versus Homicide and Jay Lethal for Big Time Wrestling in Brooklyn.

Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor was set to take place on the November 22, 2021 episode of "Raw" but never officially went underway as Rollins faced a heinous assault before the bell rang. On his way up the ramp, Rollins was tackled by a crazed fan on camera. Production covered up the squabble by highlighting replays and focusing on the beaten down Balor.

Media outlets identified the attacker as 24-year-old Elisah Spencer of Red Hook. Barclays Center security released Spencer to the local authorities, with the NY Post reporting that he was charged with attempted assault and disrupting a sporting event. In a piece by the NY Daily News, Spencer discussed crossing paths with Rollins at a meet-and-greet and hoping the Architect would be his way into the industry. After DMing a social media account posing as Rollins, Spencer was scammed out of thousands in a gift card by the catfish. Although Rollins himself had nothing to do with the scheme, Spencer described his vendetta as a "legitimate beef."

TMZ got a word in from Rollins following the attack, telling the site that "It happened very quickly. I was mostly just reacting and hoping that our security would come." Rollins didn't mention pressing charges but suggested that the fan be barred from attending future events. In spite of this, Spencer posted Instagram photos of himself at that week's "SmackDown" event in Greensboro and attended WWE's annual Boxing Day show at Madison Square Garden barely a month removed from the attack.

CM Punk

CM Punk is no stranger to interacting with the audience, often lacing insults during his promos and even singling out a fan for his haircut at a house show. In the midst of his 434-day WWE Championship reign, Punk was set to perform a GTS on Mr. McMahon on an October 2012 episode of "Raw" until Ryback made the save. Paralleling his infamous escape after first winning the championship, Punk fled to the crowd.

While edited out of the clip available on WWE's YouTube page, the live broadcast caught Punk entering a physical altercation with a member of the audience. A closer video captured on mobile phone shows that Punk was shoved in the back of the head by a fan with a white shirt. In the heat of the moment, Punk struck an innocent bystander identified by HLN as Charles Schmidt. The victim suffered slight bruises on his face and a broken pair of sunglasses. In spite of the damages, he wouldn't press charges with WWE issuing a public apology to Schmidt. In a statement from WWE.com, Punk discussed hearing calls among the stands to push him down the stairs and apologized as he "lashed out in the heat of the moment."

In an appearance on ESPN's "Highly Unquestionable," Punk discussed in-ring scraps with fans saying "I won fair share of those." While revealing that a kick to the head would put most disorderly fans away, Punk closed the interview saying he doesn't condone it.