A pro wrestling fan allegedly jumped into the ring and brandished a loaded firearm at one of the grapplers at an indie show in Ringgold, Georgia.
The incident occurred during an American Wrestling Federation match between heel Paul Lee and “Iron Mann” with about 150 people in the audience.
When the wrestling industry or followers use the term “shoot,” they definitely don’t mean this kind of dangerous intervention.
Cops have identified the fan as Patricia Anne Crowe, 59, who they say did not appreciate Lee’s trash talk which is part of his wrestling stagecraft.
During the match, Lee had tied Iron Mann to the ropes with tape and was hitting him with a chair (keeping in mind that this is all orchestrated in the pro wrestling environment) when Crowe allegedly entered the ring with a knife to cut him loose so he could escape from Lee’s onslaught. She then allegedly pulled a gun from her purse and pointed the 38-caliber revolver at Lee and Robbie Rude, the AWF commissioner.
Lee and/or another individual disarmed the woman and kept her at bay until Catoosa County sheriff’s deputies arrived, WrestlingInc reported.
“Another spectator, Joshua Justice, told investigators he grabbed Crowe’s arm and motioned for security to escort her out of the building,” the Times Free Press added.
Woman pulls gun on wrestler during match in Rome, Ga. – WTVC https://t.co/nFEze1Ih8J
— Rome Daily News (@RomeDailyNews) June 10, 2016
Perhaps pro wrestling got too real for the fan who was more or less a regular at the monthly AWF show, Northwest Georgia News explained.
“According to police Cpl. Chris Faulk, Crowe admitted she pulled the gun on Lee because of the banter the two had engaged in. ‘Ms. Crowe did indeed pull the gun on Mr. Lee because of the way he’d talked to her,” Faulk said. ‘She said, ‘he was talking mean to me, and I got mad. I guess I just let my temper get the best of me and I pulled my pistol on him.'”
Charged with aggravated assault and reckless conduct, Crowe was released from jail on Monday evening, June 6, but will no longer be permitted to attend any AWF indie shows.
Paul Lee, who goes by the nickname “The Real Nature Boy” perhaps in honor of patterning his act after 16-time World Champion Ric Flair (see clip embedded below), expressed concern about the amount of bail. “I think it should have been a higher bond than that. She pulled a gun on me in front of kids and everything….it was just crazy.”
The AWF promotion intends to install metal detectors at the entrances in time for the next monthly show.
“She had that thing loaded with one in the chamber and the safety off. All it would have taken was for her to get shaky with that thing and it could have fired,” Lee added about the incident where he was held at gunpoint in the middle of the ring.
Lee survived being stabbed by an audience member in 1992, but as far as audience participation is concerned,”fans usually don’t get involved though, they usually just watch.”
“Professional wrestling is scripted entertainment, with pre-determined winners and losers. It is 2016 and absolutely everyone knows this. Well, maybe not everyone,” the GiveMeSport website quipped about the incident.
— WellsMania (@WellsMania) June 9, 2016
“If Lee can generate this type of heat in 2016, then the guy is being wasted on the independent scene,” ProWrestling.Net observed.
So far, no cell phone video of the incident where a fan allegedly brought a gun to a pro wrestling fight has emerged on social media, but presumably, it’s just a matter of time. Watch this space for an update on this disturbing encounter.
[Photo via Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office]