|View single post by srossi|
|Posted: Tue Oct 14th, 2008 04:04 am||
Sean Oliver, who promoted the Iron Sheik Roast this past Saturday in Monroe, New Jersey, issued the following statement in regard to two incidents that took place during the event:
I'd like to thank all the talent, crew and most importantly, the fans, that made initial supposition that pro wrestling can operate in the arena of mainstream entertainment.
There are a couple of issues that I would like to address, lest they overshadow the greatness of the evening. The Scott Hall incident, which has now grown to mythic proportions, is probably what you're hearing most about.
Somewhere in the middle of the show, Scott entered the ballroom in what can only be described as an altered state. I make no assumptions about exactly what altered his state, I will assume it was an overwhelming excitement about the magnitude of the gala event.
Irrespective to that detail, Hall wandered around the crowd for a bit, heckling, booing, and being generally disruptive. His attempts to get noticed by the fans worked, and now the crowd was catcalling and egging him on. The show has now been disrupted for no apparent reason. When Scott stood on our camera platform beside me, I asked him if he wanted to take the stage and do a set. That would be the more appropriate way to get himself on the show. He declined, stating he didn't know The Iron Sheik well enough.
As Hall continued to hurl comments at the stage, he got an unfortunate opportunity to further get himself involved in the act. Comedian "Roundboy" Jimmy Graham made an ill-conceived joke toward a member of the show, and that joke tastelessly referenced Owen Hart's tragic passing.
I knew Graham had made a mistake the minute it came out of his mouth, and Graham knew it about 15 seconds later, as Scott Hall made his way to the stage and made great attempts to manhadle the performer. Security did a great job keeping all parties safe and after about 10 minutes of fracas, Scott Hall left and brought his actions to the lobby, where he would now be in the company of NJ State Police. He was not arrested.
We did not pre-screen the comedians' material. The comedians are national performers, with television and major comedy venues to their credit. There was no reason to. Had we screened them, I would have advised Graham to omit the Owen Hart reference. But that is hindsight.
In a private, closed door conversation after the show, Jimmy Graham profusely apologized to me and I believe this was heartfelt. Jimmy is a talented comedian whose act is predicated on pushing the envelope. He made an error in judgment.
The final incident of note was an altercation between The Iron Sheik and Brian Blair. Brian's role in Sheik's life has taken a comical twist in recent years and I think all parties involved, Brian included, felt that there was much more posturing than poison behind The Iron Sheik's vitriol. Brian was hit by the Sheik as he attempted a handshake after the show. Brian did not retaliate, and I feel his anger would be better directed at me.
In exchange for having him be a part of the show, I guaranteed his safety (Brian is an elected official in Florida who is going to be making a gubernatorial run.) and the safety we had made preparatory plans for involved the public and any political protesters at the venue, as there are a few controversial issues in the Florida race. I did not expect harm to come Brian Blair's way via anyone on the dais. The Sheik had also told me that he would be "professional." I suppose, based on a pro wrestler's definition of the aforementioned, he kept his promise.
I spoke with Brian at length after the event. He is fine. He is upset. But he is okay. Despite my repeated offerings to keep the altercation off the final DVD, he has instructed us to include it. I thank him for his professionalism.
The two stains on the evening are behind us and the road ahead is paved with great fun and opportunity as we roll on toward Ring Roasts II, based on the overwhelming fan support for Friday night's event. The reviews are rave, and the annual event will grow.
I reiterate my thanks to all involved, and all who attended.
Last edited on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 04:06 am by srossi
This thread was great before AA ruined it.