WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart was tackled by a fan who jumped the barricade and ran into the ring during the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony Saturday night at Barclays Center in New York.
Hart was accepting induction as part of the Hart Foundation. He was standing at the lectern inside the ring when a fan slid under the ropes, rushed him and tackled him to the floor. Hart was standing next to his niece Natalya Neidhart as the Hart Foundation — the tag team Hart was in with his late brother-in-law Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart — was being inducted into the hall of fame.
Ronda Rousey and her husband, Travis Browne, along with wrestlers Drew McIntyre, “Big Show” Paul Wight, Braun Strowman, Titus O’Neil, Beth Phoenix, Edge, Curtis Axel, TJ Wilson, Drake Maverick, Heath Slater, Shane McMahon, Dash Wilder, the New Day and others piled on the attacker before he was taken away by security. Fans in the crowd chanted “lock him up” and obscenities as the attacker was being escorted out.
Hart appeared to be uninjured and continued his speech once order was restored. Hart continued to be in good spirits after the show, talking about what had happened with family and friends at their hotel Saturday night.
The ceremony, shown live on the WWE Network, went to black while security removed the 26-year-old, identified by police as Zachary Madsen. He faces two counts of assault, one count of trespassing and a misdemeanor charge of violation of local law.
“An over-exuberant fan surpassed our security at ringside and made his way briefly into the ring,” WWE said in a statement. “The individual has been turned over to the proper authorities.”
Neidhart and Davey Boy Smith Jr. discussed the incident on Twitter:
I’m so proud of my uncle @BretHart tonight during our HOF ceremony. Bret is a cancer survivor, a stroke survivor and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He didn’t deserve to be attacked or have his moment or my dad’s diminished. We got it back on track. Thank you, guys🙏— Nattie (@NatbyNature) April 7, 2019
Glad I was able to help my Uncle @BretHart tonight at the WWE Hall of Fame. 👊🥊 That “fan” was lucky I was being held back. As Rickson Gracie said “If we fight for money, I’ll stop hitting you when you ask me to. If we fight for honor, I’ll stop hitting you when I feel like it”— Davey Boy Smith Jr. (@DBSmithjr) April 7, 2019
Times columnist Arash Markazi contributed to this report.