As most of us have learned over the last decade, there is no such thing as privacy in a public forum. With the proliferation of cel phone cameras and video recorders coupled with easy broadcast on sites like YouTube, no one who leaves their home seems to have any expectation of privacy. Even when you're working, it's hard to expect any privacy as Christian Bale recently found out after someone uploaded audio of him having a meltdown against someone on the set of Terminator: Salvation.
The latest instance is the alleged assault by Chris Jericho on a female fan after a house show in Victoria, British Columbia (that's Canada for those of you scrambling for an atlas). The incident was apparently captured by someone with a camera phone and quickly uploaded to YouTube. There's also a story from Victoria news channel CHEK-News and a blurb over at gossip site tmz.com
Naturally, the incident has everyone asking themselves Wha' Happened?
Since there's video of the incident and at least one independent new story, it makes better sense for people to watch and decide for themselves what happened. Rather than speculating like some of the newzboys, my audience is bright enough to watch and come to their own conclusions. You don't need me telling you what happened when you can get a good idea all on your own.
There are two questions that are going through my mind right now. First, is this real or a work? It could well be coincidence that this happened two days before the WWE was set to begin a big angle between Chris Jericho and Ric Flair (and possibly Mickey Rourke after the Academy Awards are doled out). However the WWE LOVES to play the media and naturally, a staged incident like this could be a great way to get people to tune in to RAW tomorrow. I'm not saying this incident was a work nor do I have any inside evidence (or claim to have any). It's just that my ample gut says you have to take everything involved with the WWE with a grain of salt.
The second question is (assuming the incident was real)whether Jericho's found his exit blocked while he was in the truck he was driving from the arena. A lot of people have wondered why Jericho exited his vehicle when there was a mob outside of it. Unfortunately, the video footage doesn't show if the fans were swarming in front of Jericho's truck or if there was some other obstacle preventing him from getting away. If Jericho had a clear path to drive away, any raising of self-defense is going to be difficult (in my unsolicited legal opinion) to sustain if it's shown he could have just driven off and left the mob behind. Generally speaking, a person has what is called a duty to retreat when faced with imminent harm. It's difficult to raise a defense of self-defense if a prosecutor can show that you could easily have escaped a potentially harmful situation. However if it's shown that Jericho's vehicle was surrounded and he couldn't drive off, I think he'll have a much easier time arguing that he tried to defuse the situation and that he was justified in defending himself.
One can't help but wonder what the hell the security people were doing when this happened. Looking at the video footage, they seem as helpful as a screen door on a submarine. In the event this incident is real and there's any lawsuit filed against Jericho, you'd have to imagine Jericho's attorney(s) adding the security people on as a defendant due to what looks like incompetence. If I was Jericho's attorney (and NidiaFan Legal Services stands by to assist Mr. Jericho with all of his legal needs), I'd argue that he was forced into that situation due to inadequate and negligent security.
In the meantime, expect this story to be all over the papers, TV, and the Internet over the next couple of days. If it's a staged incident, Vince McMahon is going to be cackling himself silly at Titan Tower. If it really happened, you know he'll make the most of it in a storyline. UPDATE: As reported by the good folks over at PWInsider, the WWE issued a statement to TMZ.com explaining Chris Jericho's side of the story.
Mike Rickard II is the author of Wrestling's Greatest Moments (published by ECW Press), a look back at the greatest matches, angles, and feuds of the last thirty years. The book is now availble for pre-order through amazon.com