Too Real, Producer Tells World Wrestling
PHOENIX (CN) - A producer sued World Wrestling Entertainment and its star "Big Show" (Paul Wight Jr.), claiming the wrestler choked him and hit him in the face during an interview for the WWE website.
Andrew Green sued Paul D. Wight Jr. pka Big Show and World Wrestling Entertainment, in Maricopa County Court.
Green claims that another WWE producer told him to get an interview with Wight after his Jan. 27 match at the (nonparty) US Airways Center in Phoenix.
Green said his job was to do post-match interviews with wrestlers, which were posted to the WWE website or to YouTube.
He claims Wight initially refused to do the interview, until Green told him that WWE senior vice president Eric Pankowski wanted the wrestler to do it.
"In response, Big Show stated with the use of profanely indecent language that if Green wanted an interview then he would give him one, and to turn on the camera," the complaint states.
It continues: "Big Show toward Green enraged, shouting obscenities, and waving his fist in Green's face. Big Show then grabbed Green by the collar and throat, striking Green in the face and backing him up against a trunk while declaring 'You son of a bitch ... Are you having fun right now ... Don't even come up to me again ... I don't give a shit who you are'." (Ellipses in complaint.)
The attack was videotaped, Green says, and "Upon information and belief, Big Show was not feigning his emotional outburst at the time of the attack."
Green claims the wrestler asked him to redo the interview, and "said that he would respond by just walking away."
So, Green says, he reshot it like that.
But then, Green claims, "Triple H," a wrestler and WWE official, was asked to watch the interviews, and told Green to shoot it a third time.
"Triple H asked Big Show to muster the same emotional level for the third interview as he had with the original shoot, that being the attack. In response, Big Show said that he did not think he would be able to do that because his emotions in the original shoot had been real," the complaint states.
Green claims they shot the third interview, but VP Pankowski found "it lacked the emotional impact of the original shoot" and decided to post the original shoot to the WWE website.
The video remained on the website until Jan. 29, and got more than 100,000 page views, according to the complaint.
Green claims he was unable to continue working after Jan. 29 because "he was uncomfortable working around Big Show and the other wrestlers, nervous, and had 'a ton of anxiety' as a result of the attack."
Green claims that WWE "encouraged its wrestlers, including Big Show, to act in a violent and threatening manner both inside and outside of the wrestling ring relative to their appearances and participation in staged wrestling events as a means of entertainment."
Green says in the complaint that WWE had previously "suspended or terminated Big Show's employment because of his behavior, including his engagement in violent and/or unlawful and/or improper activities outside of the wrestling venue."
Green and his wife seek damages for assault and negligence.
They are represented by Hartley Bernstein with Bernstein Cherney in New York City, and George Mueller in Phoenix.