As Delirious chased Aries through the crowd during the six-man-tag main event pitting Aries, Kenny King, and Rhett Titus against Jerry Lynn, Delirious, and heavyweight champion Tyler Black, one fan thought it would be a good idea to shove a chair in Aries' path. Aries, who is known to have a short fuse when it comes to belligerant fans, disagreed, and responded by hurling the chair at the offending fan, striking him.
It was one of those "unfortunate" incidents that seem to be following "A-Double" around lately. In fact, it was the third such incident for Aries in the past two years. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured. The fan shouted a few obscenities at Aries before being removed from the building and the situation was over as quickly as it flared.
When this type of incident occurs, I immediately think of that famous snake story. You remember the one where the well-intentioned, if not naive, traveller encounters a dying snake on the road, takes the snake home, and nurses it back to health, only for the snake to bite him.
"How could you," asks the traveller, "after all I've done for you? I saved your life." The snake then explains, "Hey cousin, I'm a snake. You knew that when you picked me up. I'm just doing what snakes do."
Had this fan pursued some type of legal action against Aries or ROH, that little parable probably wouldn't have made for a robust defense, despite its logic. But it does speak to the stupidity of fans who think the price of a seat includes an invitation to join in the action. What kind of reaction should fans expect when they engage or try to injure a testosterone-fuelled athlete who is focused on doing his job and wrapped up in the heat of the battle?
Personally, I support Austin Aries' decision to hit back, for the following reasons:
In the crowd, wrestlers are exposed, and must show that they are willing and able to hurt anybody in the audience who might get carried away. In ALL cases of male-on-male aggression, I advocate a swift, decisive, and disproportionately violent response.
Let's face it, some fans are beyond obnoxious and need a chair or fist to the head to cool them out. They must be taught that despite paying for admission, they are still guests of the promotion and should act accordingly. Fans must also be made to realize that the people sitting next to them bought tickets to see Aries wrestle other members of the ROH roster, not the jackass to their left or right. In both cases, the message is: Touch the wrestlers at your own risk!
The fan who threw the chair on Friday night got the attention he wanted ... and was very lucky he didn't get more than a chair to the face in return.