Hello to all my dogs out there, and welcome to another edition of The Dog Pound. Today I wanted to discuss a very, very hot topic right now, and that is the altercation on Saturday afternoon between WWE superstar Chris Jericho and a group of fans. Now, we all know that Canadian fans are some of the rowdiest when it comes to sports, and wrestling, which always makes for a hell of an atmosphere during the shows. However, this time I think it’s clear that a line was crossed.
Being as big a Jericho fan as I am, I felt compelled to address the incident. I will admit, I was not there to witness what actually took place, therefore I can’t make any direct assumptions and/or accusations as to who was at fault and who may have started it. I will say though, fans have a habit of going a little to far from time to time and if you were being heckled by a crowd of people with little assistance from “security,” would you not snap?
Professional wrestlers (especially those in the WWE) are on the road performing for us fans, close to 300 days of the year. With everything these performers give us on a daily basis, the last thing they deserve is to be, in effect, cornered by a group of fans when all they want to do is leave and get to their next show. As I mentioned, I wasn’t there so really I don’t know if Jericho was cornered or if he had enough room to keep driving, but my point remains the same.
I also understand the other side of the issue. These wrestlers are performers and as such, they know that heckling and the harassment from fans comes with the territory. However, as fans, we have to understand that there is a line, and we have to know not to cross that line. Wrestlers, like other celebrities are subject to the pressures of the paparazzi and standards of being “famous” however, as many of us have seen in the past even celebrities can snap at a camera man or two.
My outlook on this “incident” is this; Jericho was trying to leave the arena and perhaps get going to the next show. When stopped and confronted, he realized he was severly outnumbered by the crowd who was getting more hostile. It is here I would say Jericho acted more like a regular person and not a celebrity. He realized he was outnumbered by the crowd, and with no real police involved to help enforce the situation, he took matters into his own hands; the way I believe any person could.
Again, I’m not saying Jericho did the “right” thing, I just believe he did what he felt was necessary to protect himself in a situation where he was outnumbered. For those who have seen the clip on youtube, you can hear Jericho shouting throughout the whole thing for the security to do their jobs. In a case like this where you feel the people in charge of protecting you aren’t doing just that, then you’d feel compelled to defend yourself.
There have been countless times in the history of wrestling where fans have tried to attack the performers, and when it takes place in the ring than all bets are off for those fans. When it comes to the street however those “performers” become real people again and have the right to defend themselves like anyone else.
Wrestling fans are truly a dedicated breed. We are constantly reminded of how wrestling is scripted, fake, and not a real sport. Yet, the strongest and most dedicated fans are always there to stand by and take the hit. Well then, as fans who deal with that constant criticism, shouldn’t we more than anyone else have an idea of what the wrestlers themselves go through? And if that’s the case, than shouldn’t we have a bit more respect for them when they’re “off the clock?”
I guess for some fans, performing 300+ days a year isn’t enough. Sacrificing time away from their families to please us just doesn’t cut it. Then I guess I’ll leave you with this question. In the grand scheme of things, who was really crossing the line?