Wheel of Fortune contestant Fred Fletcher-Jackson had a huge reason to celebrate when he became the second player in a few months to solve all the puzzles of a recent episode and walk away with a huge salary. However, the most memorable moment of the professional wrestler’s experience came after the bonus round, when 76-year-old Pat Sajak applied his own wrestling technique to the participant, wrapping his head in the so-called “chicken wing”. It was an unexpected game for the long-time host, whose fans were not all viewers. Now Fletcher-Jackson himself is speaking out against the negative reaction that Sajak has faced.
Pat Sajak was sharply criticized for how he mistreated a professional wrestler in the March 21 episode of “Wheel of Fortune”, with some tweeting that “laying hands on a guest and off guard is bad taste”, and some media sites reporting that the host “grabbed” or “attacked” on the participant. However, Fred Fletcher-Jackson had a different opinion, he said that Sajak’s attack was the highlight of his evening. He said TMZ:
As a professional wrestler and as a showbiz guy-and as the guy he kept in the hold—I loved this moment. L-O-V-E in capital letters. It was one of the highlights of the show. So for me personally to see, from my point of view, to see the criticism he gets on the Internet is a little unfair. I was the one who was put in the hold, and I was quite happy with it, in fact, I liked it.
Fred Fletcher-Jackson argued that if anyone should be upset by Pat Sajak’s act, it should be him, since he was the one who had chicken wings, but since he LOVED (in capital letters) it, no one else has any reason to be concerned. The participant continued:
So I don’t think they should be more upset than me because I was the one who was kind of “affected” in that way. If it’s not about your sense of humor, I can understand that everyone’s sense of humor is different. But calling it “cringing” and calling for his resignation, I think, is taking it too seriously.
Pat Sajak mentioned retirement several times, as he has been leading the Wheel of Fortune for more than 40 years, but how terrible would it be for him to leave because of the negative reaction to such a hilarious moment? Fred Fletcher-Jackson also said that Sajak is “stronger than it seems”, and if he managed to escape from the capture, he would like to confront the owner and hold a wrestling match. I’m actually a little glad that didn’t happen, because I wouldn’t want to see a septuagenarian trying to hit a folding chair in the face or something like that.
If you missed the amazing performance of the participant or the amazing wrestling technique of Pat Sajak, you can see the full montage below:
Knowing that the player liked Pat Sajak’s move, I feel fine thinking he was pretty brilliant, especially the way he played into the festive mood after the contestant answered each puzzle correctly. It was certainly a nice change of pace compared to the often harrowing rounds of terrible guesswork we see in Wheel of Fortune.
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