Wheel of Fortune contestant tackled by Pat Sajak breaks his silence on the bizarre moment
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The Wheel of Fortune contestant who was tackled by host Pat Sajak has revealed how he really feels about the viral moment that left viewers stunned.
The long-running game show took an unusual turn this week when the 76-year-old TV legend decided to show off his wrestling moves no one knew he had.
It all started when the episode’s star player, Fred Jackson, revealed one of his many talents is working as a professional wrestler.
Jackson guessed countless words correctly and beat two other contestants to the final round. Sajak - who has hosted the show since 1981 – took note and jokingly asked the two unfortunate contestants if they wanted him to ‘body slam’ Jackson.
“Just because he’s a professional wrestler… You want me to body slam him for you? I can do that,” he teased.
Little did viewers know, Sajak would (sort of) remain true to his word.
Jackson won a total of $45,700 after guessing the final phrase correctly and after sweeping through all the rounds, Sajak was in shock.
As Jackson flexed his biceps happily after guessing the final phrase, his father joined him onstage and stood and watched as Sajak grabbed his son from behind and put him in an odd headlock called the ‘chicken wing’.
While most viewers thought the moment was hilarious and asked Jackson why he didn’t body slam Sajak, others were more concerned.
Now, Jackson has revealed that he wasn’t harmed during the moment and it was all in good fun. In fact, he actually loved it and called it one of the highlights from the whole show.
“As a pro wrestler and as a guy of showbiz and as the guy he was putting in that hold, I loved that moment. L-O-V-E.” he told TMZ.
“That was one of the biggest highlights of the show. So, for me personally, to see it from my perspective, seeing the criticising that he gets online is a little unfair. Like, I was the one who was put in the hold and I was perfectly OK with it. In fact, I loved it.”
He added: “I don’t think they [viewers] should get any more upset than I’m getting because I was the one who was like ‘affected’ in that kind of way.”
Jackson said the viral moment may not be everyone’s sense of humour and defended Sajak against any criticism online.
“To call it cringe and to call for his retirement, like… taking it a little bit too seriously, I think.”
Jackson explained that the moment played out exactly how it appeared on TV and he tried to ‘counter’ Sajak and ‘actually have a wrestling match’.
“But he had me so tight that I wasn’t going anywhere,” he recalled. “He is way stronger than he looks.”
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