Home Feature news WWE fan tackles pro wrestler on live TV after apparent catfishing

WWE fan tackles pro wrestler on live TV after apparent catfishing

Not everything in pro wrestling is predetermined or scripted.

Case in point: A pro wrestling fan attacked a WWE Superstar on live television on Monday after it looks like he fell for an internet scam.

But it wasn’t the wrestler who scammed the fan. It was evidently an imposter, pretending to be the WWE Superstar. The fan was a victim of what appears to have been a catfishing.

If you were watching WWE Monday Night Raw last night, you may have caught an odd moment involving pro wrestling superstar Seth Rollins after his match.

As Rollins was making his way up the entrance ramp in order to get to the backstage area, another individual suddenly barreled into the athlete, spearing him down to the floor.

This happened on live TV. And while the television cameras quickly cut away once they realized it wasn’t part of the show, the scuffle still happened in full view of the packed crowd at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

Footage captured by smartphones all over the arena quickly made its way online showing just how long the fan held Rollins on the floor, pulling at his hair, as referees and security guards attempted to pull the man off of the pro wrestler. A few fan videos from later show the man being escorted out of the arena.

According to ESPN, 24-year-old Elisah Spencer was arrested Monday night and charged with “attempted assault and attempted violation of arts and cultural affairs (disrupting a live sporting event).”

An Instagram account allegedly belonging to the fan quickly started spreading on social media. Based on years of images and videos, and a history of Rollins-related posts, the account does indeed appear to belong to the suspect.

When Mashable reached out to Spencer, he initially responded, saying he would provide a statement, but did not respond to future messages.

In a video posted to the Instagram account from inside the Barclay’s Center before WWE Raw went live, Spencer can be seen discussing his plans for the night with a group of people sitting in his section that he seems to know.

“I know how I’m going to do this now,” Spencer, who doesn’t appear on camera, can be heard saying. “When he comes out, ‘choo’, knock him out.”

Spencer, who is holding the camera, also shows his COVID-19 vaccination card on camera a few times with his name displayed.

In an Instagram Story posted today, Spencer claims he “used to be cool” with Seth Rollins “until a business deal went the wrong way.”

Spencer followed up by posting a slew of screenshots via Instagram Stories that he claims shows his interaction with WWE’s Seth Rollins via chats on online platforms such as WhatsApp and Google Hangouts.

Spencer posted a 2019 conversation between himself and the fake Seth Rollins.
Credit: Whatsapp screenshot posted to Instagram

In these messages, Spencer appears to believe he is actually engaging with the real Seth Rollins. It’s clear that he’s not. 

Spencer does not appear to realize he is being catfished.

Catfishing is when someone pretends to be someone else online. A bad actor will often target an individual and make them believe that they are talking with someoone whose identity they’ve stolen.

For example, while the WhatsApp account displays the username Seth Rollins, that’s not even the performer’s real name. In fact, Spencer himself appears to know in his Instagram videos that Rollins’ real name is Colby Lopez. 

A post from Spencer's Instagram account.

Spencer posted a screenshot of his contact with “Seth Rollins.”
Credit: Instagram screenshot

In messages that Spencer says are from 2019, the Seth Rollins account asks Spencer if he can borrow money as he’s trying to get in touch with his wife, fellow WWE Superstar Becky Lynch. 

A WhatsApp screenshot from Spencer's Instagram account.

The catfishing scam from the fake Seth Rollins on WhatsApp.
Credit: Whatsapp screenshot posted to Instagram

It’s unclear what reason the Rollins account gives for why he’s asking a stranger online to send him money. It’s also unclear if Spencer sent him the money and, if so, how much. However, the messages follow patterns often found in online money order and bank check scams. 

WhatsApp screenshots posted by Spencer on Instagram.

The fraudster begin his scam in these screenshots posted by Spencer.
Credit: Whatsapp screenshot posted to Instagram

In a separate conversation, the Rollins account tells Spencer that he will send him a check. These scams usually work as follows: Spencer would be told to cash the check and send a certain amount to another individual. As for the extra leftover sum? Spencer could keep it, a reward for helping out Rollins. The scam, however, is that the check is fake and Spencer would be on the hook for whatever money he sent to the individual whom the scammer asked him to send it to. And a version of this seems to be what actually happened. 

Spencer calls Rollins out in a screenshot.

Spencer appears to catch on to the scam, albeit too late, but still appears to believe he’s talking to the real Seth Rollins.
Credit: Whatsapp screenshot posted to Instagram

It appears Spencer did follow through with cashing or depositing the check sent to him by the Rollins account. In subsequent messages, Spencer tells the Rollins account that he’s going to the police because the checks turned out to be fake. He even claims his significant other was arrested due to the fraud.

Spencer's messages calling out the scam.

A screenshot posted by Spencer details how he allegedly found out the checks were fake.
Credit: Whatsapp screenshot posted to Instagram

In Spencer’s Instagram videos of the event, he and his companions all appear to believe that Spencer has legitimate dealings with the real Seth Rollins. They even speculate as to what Rollins’ reaction will be when they see Spencer, as if the pro wrestler knew him and what he looked like.

While Spencer was arrested, booked, and will be facing charges for tackling the real Seth Rollins at a live event, it’s seems clear that he is a victim in this situation as well.

The past few years have been particularly revealing as to what people believe just because they saw it online. From huge global issues involving QAnon conspiracy theories and disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines to smaller events like a pro wrestling fan thinking his favorite superstar scammed him on WhatsApp, it’s clear there’s a major disconnect when it comes to media literacy and the internet. 

But for now, it seems people will continue being fooled and scammed by bad actors online.

In fact, this isn’t even the first time someone was apparently catfished by a scammer pretending to be Seth Rollins.

In a 2019 radio interview, the WWE wrestler spoke about how he’s aware of the many imposters who try to scam people by pretending to be him. In one specific incident, a woman showed up twice to the real Seth Rollins’ home, claiming they were in a relationship based on conversations she had with a fake.

“Anything can happen in the World Wrestling Federation,” was one of the WWE’s favorite slogan during the 90s wrestling boom. 

Turns out, anything can still happen in the WWE.

Most Popular

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Implementing Your Rapid eLearning Design

Costly Mistakes To Avoid When Implementing Your Rapid eLearning Design Everybody’s allowed to make mistakes from time to time. You know what they say, “to...

Universities should better support students fleeing persecution (opinion)

This fall, my alma mater recently announced that it was welcoming three refugee students from Afghanistan as part of the incoming class. That announcement...

Sustainability school faces backlash over fossil fuel funds

In May, Stanford University announced it would open a new school funded by a gift of $1.1 billion from private equity billionaire John Doerr, the...

Report finds faculty diversity isn’t meeting student needs

Faculty diversity is positively associated with student success across a variety of metrics. Black and Latino students are more likely to graduate when they...