THE NOT-SO-GREAT CANADIAN FAN DISASTER
So there I was, enjoying the hell out of the RVD/Eddie Guerrero ladder match last night. I was already happy as a breast-feeding baby at getting to see Benoit again, and as a whole, I'd really enjoyed the entire show.
And then it happened.
A bald-headed fan in an Edmonton Oilers jersey decided to run into the ring and push the ladder down while Guerrero was still on it. For a split second, I thought it was Austin. Then, when I realized it wasn't, I got that sick, scared feeling in the pit of my stomach. Security was quick to act, but not quick enough; the damage had been done. Eddie, thank goodness, was able to leap off the ladder before the fan reached it, and even managed to get a shot in before he was hauled out of there by security. Even worse, the fans actually cheered the guy as he was hauled out of the ring and, no doubt, out of the building as well.
RVD and Eddie are to be highly commended for their ability to put the incident aside and not only continue the match, but still make the match a terrific one to behold for everybody.
This was one of the worst fan-interference incidents that I can remember. We've seen a few guys hop the barrier, we've seen a few guys roll onto the apron and into the ring before getting caught, but I cannot remember an incident in recent history where a fan was actually able to get in the ring and attempt to injure a performer before security could catch him. I felt awful for RVD and Eddie having to deal with the guy, and I was embarassed for Canadian wrestling fans everywhere - even more so after I heard fans CHEERING this idiot - becuase I could guess what was coming.
After Raw ended (and I had calmed down slightly), I went in search of Mr. Z online, as I was very interested to see what his thoughts were. I wondered if he'd had the reaction that I was sure many other fans had; that basically being "Oh man....stupid f*&kin' Canadians!"
I didn't see him online last night, so I waited for Chris' Raw Report, where I unfortunately got my answer:
Guerrero climbs the ladder...but SOME FAT UGLY IDIOT CANADIAN IN A HOCKEY JERSEY hits the ring and shoves the ladder over - Guerrero saw it in time and leapt off, landing on his feet - Hebner hits the ring and grabs him from behind, taking him down with a little help from a genuine right hand from Guerrero - Security swarms and takes him out of the ring as the fans cheer louder than they have for this match...which says a lot about them.
Don't get me wrong I did not find this paragraph unfortunate because I think Chris was wrong. I found it unfortunate because I think he's right. I wonder how much the reputation of not just fans in Edmonton, but Canadian fans everywhere suffer becuase of the actions of one person? I don't know if I'll ever know that.
I do know that the damage done by this fan was more than just what happened last night. I know that the flow of the match - the suspension of disbelief on the part of the fans, if you will - was utterly destroyed by this moronic act. I know that while the WWE will be able to show highlights of the match in video packages and what-have-you, we will never see this match on any WWE compilation video they ever release, even though it was definately good enough to earn a spot on one. I know that the WWE will no doubt increase security around the ring, thus slightly taking something away from the fans who paid to be up close to the action. And, I know that there will be a few people whose opinions of Canadians took a Downward Spiral as a result of this.
I take some comfort in knowing that the majority of people out there will realize that this was the act of one guy - a guy who just happened to be wearing an Edmonton Oilers jersey. A guy who, if Eddie had managed to deliver a solid beating to, I would have felt absolutely no remorse for. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If you run into a WWE ring during a show and get seriously hurt by one of the performers, that is just too damn bad. You won't find any remorse from me, and I certainly hope you won't find any remorse from anybody else. I await the time when a fan decides to interfere in a match involving a guy like Ken Shamrock - a guy who can snap any appendage on your body he feels like without any effort. Maybe that's what it'll take to get these idiots to realize that running into the ring during a show is a profound act of stupidity.
We Canadians are a funny bunch. We're pretty much like Rodney Dangerfield on a global scale - we just want a little respect. And I take comfort in seeing guys like cfgb and Llakor and E.C. Ostermeyer (...at least, I *think* E.C.'s Canadian....are you Canadian, E.C.? If not...you are now, buddy!!) who do such a great job when they write columns and recaps. And when I write, I can only hope it's as good as them and all the other folks at [slash]. In a way, we are representing our country when we write, and I like to think that we all do a pretty good job at that. But, despite all this lovely Canadian goodness I've just mentioned, this incident will be stuck in my head (and probably the heads of many fans) for awhile. I'm still pissed about it - as a fan, as a Canadian, and as a person who greatly respects what WWE performers do.
So, if you happen to find yourself at a live event, and a fan interferes, I ask you - show your disapproval. Boo like crazy, chant "you suck" or "you fucked up", I dunno; it's up to you. But show your disapproval, and show it big-time. Becuase when you do, chances are you'll be making a bigger statement than you think.