Over the last week, there were a pair of issues at separate independent wrestling shows in Toronto involving Buffalo-based wrestler Roscoe Black (Lakeem Bradberry) and two fans.
Black wrestled on Thursday’s Union of Independent Professional Wrestlers card at the Tranzac Club and appeared at the Super Showdown VII event that Smash Wrestling promoted last Friday at The Met.
On Thursday’s show, Black wrestled Rip Impact and was approached by a fan seated ringside after the match. The fan, who had been drinking, got close enough to Black, who responded by shoving the fan and then heading to the back. The fan got up and returned to his seat for the duration of the show.
At the Smash Wrestling event, Black was doing a run-in and messed up on a powerbomb spot, which led to members of the audience calling attention to the missed spot. Black was knocked into the crowd and tried to intimidate one of the fans by swatting his hand and made contact. A representative at Smash Wrestling informed us that after the show, both the fan and Black were apologetic and spoke after the show.
POST Wrestling reached out to several parties, including Roscoe Black on Friday and he spoke about the incidents at the Union and Smash Wrestling shows.
POST: Let’s start with Thursday and what happened after the match with the fan – I just saw him get up and walk towards you – did he make contact with you first?
Lakeem Bradberry (a.k.a. Roscoe Black): He was very determined to get a high five from me. I said “no” as I walked back to the locker room through a side door. I keep walking and feel someone behind me. I turn and put my hand on his chest to keep him from following me. He stumbled back and fell on his butt.
POST: I saw him just go back to his seat – was that the end of it on Thursday or did you speak later?
Bradberry: Outside when leaving we had verbal back and forth when I was leaving the building. He wanted an apology. I didn’t want to give him one at the time and that was the end of it.
POST: Moving to Friday, what provoked that incident at the Smash show?
Bradberry: At Smash, I was making a run in to cause (Daniel) Garcia his match with (Kevin) Bennett. After that I was going to give him a power bomb to lay him out. I messed up the power bomb bad. I felt completely embarrassed that these 2min I had to get myself over I had messed up already. Especially after watching this long week of guys at their top game in the same building. We finally hit the power bomb. The fans chant “that was shit” which to be honest I agreed with. After that I yell at the fan and two fans seem to be more loud than the others in this moment. Me and Bennett get knocked out of the ring near the fans. I walk over and get in his face. I swipe at him and accidentally strike his face. In that moment I instantly snap back to being me and realize I’ve messed up. We go to the back and immediately after the show go talk to the fan with Smash management. I take all of the blame and give an apology to him and his family that was accepted. I’ve even talked with the fan after to see if he’s ok and to apologize again for the incident.
I was glad he wasn’t hurt, and his family was ok too. I didn’t realize how many people were affected by it and that makes me feel horrible. I don’t want anyone to feel unsafe when I’m around period.
Again, I apologize for anyone made to feel uncomfortable or uneasy by any of this. I love wrestling, I’m also thankful to union and smash for the opportunities I’m being given and I hope last week doesn’t stand in the way of me contributing positively to those promotions.
On Friday morning, Smash Wrestling issued the following statement on the matter:
Last Friday at Smash Wrestling’s Super Showdown an incident occurred after the show where new roster member Roscoe Black struck a fan when trying to intimidate in character. Immediately after the segment/show ended the performer came out to check on the fan for his regretful actions along with an apology which was accepted.
The reason for this post is not for the fan in question but for the remaining fans who expect to come to an event feeling safe. We want to stress to fans that since our inception one of our two primary rules at Smash Wrestling has been to not touch the fans. We will continue to reinforce this rule every show and follow up with internal discipline on this particular incident.
POST Wrestling reached out to Union promoter Anthony Kingdom James, who issued the following statement to our outlet:
In regards to the brief incident between Union worker Roscoe Black and a fan at our August 8th event in Toronto, The Union of Independent Professional Wrestlers is disappointed that this interaction took place. Following Roscoe Black’s match with Rip Impact, a fan approached Roscoe from behind and made physical contact with him. This is something fans should never do. Roscoe reacted instinctively, turning and shoving the fan. Making this kind of physical contact with a fan can only be deemed acceptable in cases of self-defence.
We have reviewed the video of the incident. Although, we are not pleased that this happened, neither party was physically harmed, and we consider the matter closed. With our next event at the Tranzac Club scheduled for Friday December 6th, the Wrestlers Union resolves to take better precautions to ensure that our wrestlers stay safe and that our fans, including those who partake in a beer or two at the bar, can enjoy the show without incident.