The Internet is buzzing about Randy Orton being attacked by a fan in a WWE ring in South Africa. The WWE can’t keep up with the number of videos and have even embraced the story themselves. Yet once the dust settles I think everyone involved should consider themselves lucky.
In case you don’t know the story or haven’t seen the video, Orton was celebrating a win over Big E. Langston on the second rope after a match on the WWE South Africa tour. A fan came in the ring, paused for a few seconds (what seemed like minutes), and then gave Orton a low blow similar to the way Ric Flair used to deliver them. Orton sold it for a few seconds, security hit the ring, Orton got up as if nothing happened and kicked the fan as he was being escorted from the ring. I’d post the video but it’d probably be removed from YouTube before you got a chance to watch it.
According to a news report the fan was arrested and taken to jail after the match. Talk about a great Locked Up Abroad episode! 20-year old Tshepo Sekhabi calls himself “Jozi, the wrestling machine” (it’s still not as bad as Michael McGuillicutty) and told the media that he quit his job to attend the show, hates Orton, and thought that the attack could lead to a big wrestling career. Sekhabi is a trained kickboxer and independent wrestler according to Dave Meltzer.
“I just don’t like Randy Orton,” he said. “This was an opporutnity for me, so I got up there and made a name for myself.”
I am surprised that these kinds of incidents have not happened in the past to a larger degree, especially abroad. How many angles have we seen in pro wrestling where a “fan from the crowd” comes in the ring and it leads to a story? If you weren’t smart to the business you would probably think, especially if you were confident in your self-defense skills (as I am sure a kickboxer would be) that attacking a WWE star would be the best way to get yourself into the business. Stupid yes, but it’s not that farfetched of a thought.
This could have been much worse, especially when you are talking about a kickboxer. What if he waited to and landed a roundhouse kick on Orton when the Viper turned around? He would have KO’d Orton, would have made one of the biggest WWE stars look silly, and probably became something of a pseudo-celebrity overnight. Quite frankly he’d probably get booked immediately on independent wrestling shows and who knows what some desperate promoter would do with him over here.
The WWE is playing with fire with their security situation. There is no way that guy should have gotten anywhere near the ring. Even if he got into the ring he should have been jumped immediately. This was nothing. Even after CM Punk had an incident in the crowd a few months back, you still have guys like The Shield who walk through the crowd unassisted. It is almost as if nobody has learned their lesson here.
If this is not an angle the WWE is only opening themselves up to bigger and far more dangerous situations by promoting this story on their website. It’s one thing for TMZ.com to promote the story but it’s another thing to promote this attacker to the entire WWE Universe. Why wouldn’t some maniac read that story, see how easy it was Sekhabi to get in the ring, and try it him or herself to either make a name, get publicity, or think they could get into the business?
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