Remember when Chris Jericho had an incident with a couple of fans that broke into a fight? The media covered this briefly and then it died off. While the whole thing has blown over now, it has opened up a couple of issues: Fan Behavior and Media Coverage.
Is this the first time there has been an altercation between a fan and a wrestler? No. Back in the “old school” days, before wrestling was mainstream, altercations between fans and wrestlers were almost common occurrences. Anyone remember the early ’90 bar fight that saw Jake ‘The Snake’ end up in jail?
I have witnessed a few altercation personally, all started by the fans. These altercations are usually caused by the fans taking what a wrestler says in the ring, or on TV, seriously, or for some reason the fan believes he can take out the wrestler – sometimes it is both.
Apparently both are the case in the Chris Jericho incident if any media reports and witness statements are true. If you look it up on line, there are a number of people from the event who said that the fan in question, and the girl with him, took what Jericho said in the ring seriously. If that lead to this incident, than that is on the fan.
Wrestlers say what they are supposed to say to get the fans involved. The faces go for the big pop; the heels go for the heat. Jericho is a heel and an expert at getting heat from the fans and knowing exactly what buttons to push.
Unfortunately for Jericho this one fan took it far too much to heart. Unfortunately for the fan, Jericho hit back when jumped. Unfortunately for Jericho, one of the people who jumped him and he hit back was a woman. While I can never condone hitting a woman, she did jump Jericho first and he defended himself.
The media jumped on this story quickly. The first headline I saw (on a Sunday Morning) was “Pro Wrestler Hits Woman” with a negative angle on Chris Jericho. Media outlets were covering this story as if Jericho had gone out of his way to start this issue, mostly because he got out of his car when he probably shouldn’t have.
However, the media quickly dropped this story when fan-taken cell phone footage hit the internet and media outlets (like TMZ). It seems that once the footage showed that Jericho was defending himself, and he could be heard calling for security to do their job, it wasn’t news anymore.
Wrestler attacks fan – News. Fan attacks wrestler – Not news, I guess. This is fair and balanced?
It’s a shame that Jericho found out how good of a job he is doing by being attacked by a fan who took things way too seriously. It’s a further shame that it seems the media couldn’t be bother to tell the truth.