TO professional fighter who received a headlock from «Wheel of Fortune» host Pat Sajak believes fans of the long-running game show should put the 76-year-old host aside after receiving backlash from viewers over the bizarre television moment.
Fred Fletcher-Jackson’s victory on Tuesday sparked a bit of controversy online when Sajak, who has hosted the popular game show from 1981, he placed the contestant in a seemingly innocent headlock, known in wrestling circles as a crossover chicken wing, after correctly answering the bonus round question.
However, for Fletcher-Jackson, who said he enjoys wrestling despite being paid «very little», the playful moment between him and Sajak was «one of the highlights of the show».
‘WHEEL OF FORTUNE’ HOST PAT SAJAK ADDRESSES THE CONTESTANT IN A BIZARRE MOMENT THAT HAS DISTURBED FANS
«As a professional wrestler and as a show business man and as the guy I was holding, I loved that moment. LOVE in all capital letters,» he told TMZ Sports in an interview published Friday. «That was one of the highlights of the show. So for me personally to see, from my perspective, seeing the criticism that it gets online is a little bit unfair.»
He continued: «It was me who was put in the cellar and I was perfectly fine with it. I actually loved it. So I don’t think you need to get any more upset than I am getting because I was the someone who was ‘affected’ that way».
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Fletcher-Jackson added that she can understand those who don’t appreciate that kind of «humour», but said some of the criticism was unfounded.
«If it’s not your sense of humor, I can understand it. Everyone’s sense of humor is different, but to call it shame and call for retirement is taking it too seriously, I think.»
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After winning a perfect game and taking home $75,800, Fletcher-Jackson praised Sajak’s wrestling moves, telling the outlet, «He’s stronger than he looks.»
«I’ve been in enough hammerlocks in my wrestling career and I know it doesn’t really hurt necessarily, but he had me pretty tight and my arm wasn’t going anywhere.»