One of the greatest pleasures of sports is buying the ticket to be a part of the crowd. Nothing can really match the intensity of your football team driving in the fourth quarter or setting up that last-second shot that could win the game.
However, your ticket allows you the opportunity to enjoy a sport in a different atmosphere than from your sofa. You can cheer and scream within reason, stomp your feet, and do so many things that aren't socially acceptable in any other environment. With all that included in a live experience, you'd think that would be enough of an experience.
However, for some, they need a more direct impact.
This was seen tonight on Raw, as WWE Champion CM Punk escaped a beating from a trio of men that included John Cena, Ryback, and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. He decided to escape through the audience, but this led to a bit more (unexpected) action from the champion.
CM Punk assaulted a fan after being shoved and smacked by what appears on video to be a group of rowdy fans. He threw two punches that landed on an unfortunate nearby fan. Whether or not this fan was actually the primary culprit is the subject of much debate.
However, one thing that seems abundantly clear-cut is that CM Punk should not be seriously punished for his actions.
In any social situation, awareness of surroundings is key. If a person were to be greeted in their neighborhood by a group of guys wearing matching clothes with baseball bats, it would be a safe bet that the New York Yankees aren't playing a pickup game in your neighborhood.
In this case, a fan was clearly shoved into a known volatile professional wrestler. He puts his hands up to express innocence.
Yet, he comes closer to the situation as he finds his seat. This is where he was made an example out of, whether rightly or wrongly. In an area where Punk is shooting fans dirty glares and is being suddenly moved by antsy hands, the fan approached the situation obliviously. Because of this, he was at the brunt of a right hand that was thrown to provide an example.
It should also be noted that with Punk's monster heel run, security should be very aware of the potential for these situations. Instead of giving a decent buffer, it would likely be more advisable to be standing as close as possible to the wrestler.
Unfortunately, security in Sacramento was willing to tighten up their defenses as soon as a situation actually occurred, but apparently didn't bother to plan ahead otherwise.
In this situation, Punk made a knee-jerk reaction that he felt was necessary. In a crowd full of people laying unwanted hands on him and security obviously not providing enough protection for both the crowd and the wrestler, the native from the mean streets of Chicago took action.
This action provided a stern example of how fans should conduct themselves and the consequences of stepping out of line.
While the person on the receiving end of the blow may likely not have been the real culprit, there are two things that are clear. He did make contact with CM Punk at one point or another.
But, most importantly, CM Punk got his point across.