Before Raw went off the air last week, CM Punk struck a fan in the face. On live TV. This was after a series of hits from separate fans, due to him running into the stands. As of the time of this posting, CM Punk has not been reprimanded from the WWE (primarily because he's the biggest thing going in the WWE while John Cena's out with injury). The question remains: should he be? Also, why did this happen? Who's the blame? Where does the WWE go from here?
Off the rip: you can't blame Punk. We all know that pro wrestling is "sports entertainment"; a fan hitting a performer is akin to not liking a play and striking the lead actor. Or throwing your drink at Ron Artest. We can't openly say that Punk was wrong in his action. As you can see in the above video, Punk was struck several times by fans in the stands. When we've seen this happen before during matches, where fans jump into the action and strike or attempt to strike a wrestler, that wrestler (and security) waste no time putting that person in their place:
You can't fault the WWE on the actions taken in these times. Pro Wrestling is a pre-determined form of entertainment; think of it as a live-action movie, complete with elaborate fight scenes. The wrestlers are working in a situation where they know what their opponents are going to do. Throw a fan who is overstepping their boundaries - who knows what someone in that state is going to do? And with Punk getting hit from the back in the kidneys numerous times, it's hard to fault him for striking back - even if it was the wrong guy. Even if it's on live TV. Hell, with the way his heel persona is going, it would've looked weird if he hadn't taken action.
The problem lies in WWE scripting that he'd run into the stands and not having adequate security there. Mind you, Creative has been in a slump (hence Vince McMahnon's role on last week's Raw), and they literally are revising the show's script during the broadcast. Who knows if that was an additive to the final segment? Still and all, the onus is on the WWE to protect their talent in situations like that - ESPECIALLY in situations like that.
The main question is: where does the WWE go from here? As we stated earlier, Punk has too much juice to be removed from TV right now. He's top dog, like it or not. Is the WWE providing proper security in these sequences enough? What about the guy who hit Punk but didn't get hit? Where's the punishment for him?
End of the day, if you're a fan and going to a live show (be it on Raw or a house show), don't touch the talent. Enjoying yourself, booing/cheering and just getting engrossed in the storylines is what wrestling is all about. If you try and "take it there" with these trained professionals, don't get salty if they put you in your place.
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