During last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw, WWE superstar C.M. Punk — one of the promotion’s more popular wrestlers — was doing a segment with Vince McMahon that involved him standing, unprotected, in the middle of the crowd. Wrestlers do this from time to time: venture into the sweaty masses to hit each other with ladders, throw each other through tables, or, in this case, look panicked as their boss’s ‘roided visage rains down threats from the middle of the ring.
Something went wrong during this particular segment, though. As McMahon addressed Punk, he appeared to turn around and clock a fan in the face. Since Punk has a history of “worked shoots” (interviews that are made to look like an unplanned break with character, but are actually part of the show), most fans initially thought this was something fake, made to look real.
Now, it’s not as clear. YouTube video would later emerge showing Punk being abused by the fans as McMahon delivered his speech, something which wasn’t as apparent during the TV broadcast. As an increasingly annoyed Punk is shoved (and shoved hard) by an increasingly unruly group of people, a man (who doesn’t look like he was part of the initial shoving) caught the brunt of it.
Here’s how it looked on TV. It happens very quickly at the beginning of the video…
And here’s how it looked from the stands:
The fan in question has filed a police report, which is further evidence that this wasn’t part of the show (or further evidence that the WWE will go to the greatest of lengths to make you think that this wasn’t part of the show).
In any event, assuming C.M. Punk really did hit a fan in the face, and the fan didn’t know he was about to be hit in the face: where was security? As Deadspin’s Tim Burke notes, the WWE didn’t do the best job in the world of securing the area around Punk, and having one of their wrestlers venture into a (possibly drunk) crowd is a good recipe for said wrestlers to break character… and someone’s nose.