Joe Black Addresses Fan Incident At IWE Event

On May 14, Joe Black was involved in a fan altercation at Intense Wrestling Entertainment.

Following his main event bout against Anthony Henry, Black smacked the baseball cap of a fan, leading to the fan throwing a headbutt and a brawl breaking out.

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According to Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam, who was in attendance, numerous eye-witness accounts said the fan was "mouthing off" during the contest, but it was unverified what was said.

Speaking to Wrestling INC, Black gave his side of the incident.

“[Black's manager Tyreeke] is doing the typical things a manager does, you know, he’s talking crap to the people, he’s choking the babyface, blah blah blah. So this gentleman, who was the person who headbutted me, actually said to Tyreeke, he called him a racial slur. So Tyreeke whispered to me, ‘Watch out for this guy’. So I ignored it, kept working the match, and getting my heat. He then said something racial to me, which I really don’t want to repeat, but I let it go, cause at the one show before, a couple shows before this, a fan actually stepped over the barricade and got on the apron because he thought he was part of the show. And I didn’t even antagonize this fan, because I was a babyface and he just decided to step over the barricade. So I didn’t want to take away the match Anthony and I were having so I ignored it, kept getting my heat from everybody else. At the end of the match, Krule comes out and we set up an angle off this match. I’m walking around the ringside. At this point, this gentleman [front row fan] mouths to me the same racial slur he called Tyreeke. So, at this point, I flipped his hat off and I kept walking. He got up and then he headbutted me in the face, which prompted my response to hit him back. This gentleman kept saying things. At this point, it was pretty much diffused and a lady that was sitting near him said he was being obnoxious the entire night. He was drunk, like not a ‘couple drinks’ drunk, but he was plastered. And he was sitting front row and apparently he was being obnoxious to the other talents, too," said Black.

He continued by saying, "So my intention was never to go and assault this fan. He tried to spin it and say that I made contact with his face when I flipped his hat off and his glasses flew, which if you look at any of the angles of the video, there is no way I touched this guy. I flipped his hat off and then, you know, he’s trying to make it seem like the reason he attacked me was because I made contact. It was the bill of his hat flipped up and that was it. He was being racist to me and Tyreeke, the response that just flipping his hat, to me, was tame. I’m still in character, I’m still the heel persona. I didn’t stop and curse at this gentleman, I didn’t call him out. I just flipped his hat off.”d

Addressing comments that said Black assaulted the fan by knocking his cap off, Black pointed to other incidents where wrestlers have engaged with fans without fans responding in the same manner as the fan at the IWE event.

“If it is then, you know, grabbing a sign out of a fan’s hand and ripping it up, that’s a form of assault, too. If you’re slapping a drink out of a fan’s hand, and you’re actually making contact with them to do that, that’s a form of assault. I just tweeted out a video of MJF, to open dialogue about it, of MJF flipping a guy’s hat off. This guy [in the MJF video] didn’t even say anything to him. He just walked by him, being the heel that he is, flipped his hat off and kept walking. So if that doesn’t cause an uproar, then why are the rules different for me when I do it? Especially when this fan is saying racial things to me, and I let that go and I could have escalated to something so much more. All I did was something I’ve seen heels do for 15, 20 years of watching wrestling. I’m going to flip your hat and be a smartass and keep walking. And to take it a step further, MJF, who has been one of the best heels in the business in the last several years, he does the same thing at an AEW taping, where he actually grabs the hat off the guy’s head and throws it across the arena. So, I mean, he’s in a major company. I would think if that doesn’t cause an uproar, if Tony Khan didn’t come out and say, you know, we shouldn’t do things like this, and everybody laughed at it, it’s funny. Why is it funny when he does it, but it’s assault when I do it? It just seems like it’s not equal," he said.

Elsewhere during the interview, Black addressed comments made by Jim Cornette.

He concluded by saying that his experiences in wrestling over the last 13 years have overall been positive.

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