wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Could MJF Be Sued for His Tequila Spot?

March 27, 2023 | Posted by Ryan Byers
AEW Dynamite MJF Image Credit: AEW

Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary pals, to Ask 411 Wrestling. I am your party host, Ryan Byers, and I am here to answer some of your burning inquiries about professional wrestling.

If you have one of those queries searing a hole in your brain, feel free to send it along to me at [email protected]. Don’t be shy about shooting those over – the more, the merrier.

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Bryan asks a question that is timely upon his asking it but will probably no longer be timely by the time this column runs:

I don’t know if MJF throwing alcohol on a kid was planned or not. Pro wrestling uses plants (see the Emmy award winning Secrets of Pro Wrestling Revealed), but if the kid wasn’t in on it, can his mom sue? I know baseball and hockey tickets have disclaimers saying they aren’t liable for balls or pucks hitting you, but this was a deliberate act. I know he’s a heel and the objective is to hate him, but this almost crosses over to real life legality. What’s your opinion?

The answer is that, in all likelihood, she could sue, but there probably wouldn’t be anything worth suing over.

If you intentionally touch somebody without their consent or cause another object (like booze) to touch somebody without their consent, you’ve committed the tort of battery, and you can be sued for committing that tort. That’s pretty cut and dry.

However, in order to recover money in a lawsuit, you have to prove that you’ve actually suffered some sort of financial harm. If somebody punches me in the face and it breaks my jaw, I can sue them for my medical bills, my pain and suffering, and any other damages that I may have suffered. In most jurisdictions, though, you can’t just sue for pain, suffering, and embarrassment. You have to first suffer a physical injury, and only then can you recover for pain and suffering.

That’s the problem with a potential lawsuit on behalf of the kid who was the victim of MJF’s spilled drink. Yes, he was technically the victim of a battery, but, as far as we know right now, he wasn’t harmed by it in a way that can result in financial compensation in most states. At best, he could be awarded what are referred to as nominal damages, in which the court says the plaintiff is entitled to a dollar or two to acknowledge that there was a wrong, albeit one that did not result in significant harm.

Also, disclaimers on the backs of tickets aren’t likely to do much here. Those sorts of disclaimers are meant to protect against liability for accidental injuries or injuries caused by negligence and would not normally impact liability for an individual’s intentional actions – and MJF’s actions here would be considered intentional insomuch as he intentionally threw the liquid at the kid, even if he didn’t know what type of liquid it was.

And, as always, this is meant to be general commentary and not legal advice. If you have a legal question about a situation that you find yourself in, please consult your own attorney and do not rely on something you ready in an internet professional wrestling column.

Tyler from Winnipeg is keeping it pretty basic:

Have you see the 2019 Royal Rumble?

I don’t think so.

Eric just can’t take it anymore:

I understand wrestling has its own set of internal rules, some not based on reality (like turning around when hitting the turnbuckle, or flips adding damage points on a move). Watching the Elimination Chamber PLE got me thinking: How realistic is the finish of a wrestler passing out due to the pain of a submission, like Liv did at the event, or most famously Stone Cold did to the Sharpshooter? I understand knocking someone out from a strike, or passing out from a sleeper or chokehold. But like a leg or arm submission causing someone to pass out?

I already tackled a legal question, so I may as well do a medical question now, eh? Anybody want to throw something in regarding scripture while we’re at it?

Anyway, it is physically possible for a person to pass out due to pain. It’s called a vasovagal syncope, a condition in which pain (or other extreme stimulus) results in the blood vessels widening quite a bit. Widening blood vessels lead to a drop in blood pressure, and a sudden drop in blood pressure can result in a loss of consciousness.

The school of medicine of the University of Pennsylvania has more details.

Shaun has the look that drives the girls wild:

What was the first wrestling DVD produced?

On October 26, 1999, the WWF released two wrestling DVDs that are the first that I could find record of existing. One of them was Wrestlemania XV. The other was a feature on Steve Austin entitled “Hell Yeah: Stone Cold’s Saga Continues.”

Not an exciting answer, but it’s the answer.

Rex is the master and ruler of this part of the column:

Why didn’t Psycho Sid ever come back to WWE to wrestle long term or short term after WCW went out of business?

It’s a combination of the WWF/WWE not being particularly interested in Sid and Sid not being particularly interested in a continuing wrestling career.

You have to remember that, two months before WCW went under, Sid had suffered a gruesome broken leg on the company’s Sin pay per view, and reports at the time were that he would be out of commission for six to eight months. As a result, he was not going to be available immediately when the WWF started putting WCW talent on television. There were some stars of WCW who showed up later on, including Goldberg and the nWo, but Sid was never really a priority, in part because he was not thought of highly in the company after his previous run and in part because he was never that big of a difference-making star.

The other factor is that Sid just wasn’t wrestling that much post-WCW. It’s not clear whether that’s totally due to lack of big league interest in him or whether it’s more attributable to his own preferences, but you can’t find a year after 2001 in which he had more than nine matches.

Lee in Liverpool is mic’ed up:

Can you name all the announcers who have provided play-by-play on Monday Night Raw?

I don’t have to, because Wikipedia already has a list.

That being said, the list has been flagged by Wikipedia as having “an excessive amount of intricate detail,” so you might want to save it before the whole thing gets deleted for not being proper for inclusion on an encyclopedic website.

Adam has a hat on a hat and a belt on a belt:

With Mike the Miz making comment of being the only two-time WWE Grand Slam Champion and Dolph Ziggler recently winning the NXT Title, it got me thinking: Who is the closest to being the WWE Super Ultra Mega Most Stupendous Champion?

For this I mean who is closest to winning it all? Winning everything the WWE has to offer? From what I can think of this would include the below:

WWE Championship, Universal Championship, Intercontinental, US, Raw and Smackdown Tag Titles, NXT Title NXT North American. NXT Tag Titles, Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, King of the Ring, Elimination Chamber, 24/7 Title, and if there is any other major title/event you can think of that I may have missed. If I had a guess it would be either Finn Balor or Kevin Owens as both have had high level runs at both a main roster and NXT level.

Similar question for the women’s titles for the Raw and Smackdown Titles, Tag Titles, NXT Women’s and Tag Title, Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, Queen’s Crown, Elimination Chamber, and 24/7 Title. Taking a guess here and I would say Asuka.

Assuming that we are talking only about current championships and not going back retroactively to times when the promotion had a different lineup of belts, the answer may actually be Seth Franklin Rollins.

Rollins has been a: 1) WWE Champion, 2) Universal Champion, 3) NXT Champion, 4) Intercontinental Champion, 5) United States Champion, 6) Raw Tag Team Champion, 7) Money in the Bank winner, and 8) Royal Rumble winner. He’s also a Slammy Award winner, if you think that counts for anything (and I don’t).

On the women’s side of the coin, I cannot imagine anybody doing much if any better than Asuka, who has held the Women’s Title for all three brands and the Women’s Tag Team Titles in addition to winning both the Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank. She also won the first season of Mixed Match Challenge, which may be her most prestigious accomplishment in all of professional wrestling.

Joel took a break from fighting fungus zombies to send in this question:

I was 12 during the build up to Wrestlemania III and all of my friends and myself thought there was no way that Hulk Hogan could ever beat Andre the Giant. Then, they made sure that we all thought that when they made a special larger belt for Andre because the normal one wouldn’t fit him (because of course he was going to win!)

My question is: Am I remembering that correctly, because I never see it mentioned when talking about WM3, and since most angles in wrestling are reused multiple times over the years, has this ever been done since?

Yes, this absolutely happened. You can see Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon discussing the massive custom belt in this clip from Prime Time Wrestling:

To my knowledge, this exact angle has never been replicated.

Night Wolf the Wise has people coming and going:

1. There are a few wrestlers down in NXT who are ready to be called up to the Main Roster. The problem is WWE has a stacked roster (249 wrestlers I believe the count is now). My question is who would you release to make room for the NXT call ups?

I’ve periodically received these “who would you release” questions over the years, and they always make me uncomfortable, because I don’t want to advocate for anybody losing their jobs.

However, I was asked the question, so . . .

I feel like the company has tried and tried and tried again with Baron Corbin and never gotten much of a return, so it may be time to call him a lost cause.


Dolph Ziggler ran his course years ago.

Aside from a one-off comedy gimmick playing his own brother a year ago, Elias Samson hasn’t been productive for quite some time.

I’m sort of baffled that Dana Brooke has been around as long as she has.

Ditto Tamina.

I haven’t been able to tolerate Bray Wyatt or his brother/uncle Bo Dallas for years, but I readily admit that’s probably based more on personal preference than anything else on this list.

To a certain extent I can understand keeping Jinder Mahal around for whatever credibility he may have as a former WWE Champion, but he doesn’t do anything for me.

2. Which wrestlers on the main roster would you send back to NXT if any at all?

“Sending a wrestler back to NXT” typically means that you think that they need more seasoning that they could get from extra time in developmental, after which they will return to the main roster.

I don’t think that there are any such performers in current WWE. They’re either good enough to be on Raw or Smackdown or there’s some flaw with them that leaves me thinking they shouldn’t be in the promotion altogether.

I do think sending main roster wrestlers to NXT for limited runs is a good idea because it freshens up the show and allows developmental talent to work with more experienced performers, as was the case with the New Day’s recent Tag Team Title run. I would continue to do things like that if I had full control of WWE, but I can’t think of anybody from the main roster who I would send to developmental for more, well, development.

Big Al conned Ted Turner out of a ton of money:

Why is there so much hate against Eric Bischoff? Every time he does a podcast or makes any comments the 411 section erupts with insults thrown at him.

It’s hard for me to explain why the 411 comments section hates Eric Bischoff because I don’t spend a lot of time participating in the 411 comments section. However, I can certainly ask them to answer your question.

Have at it, comment section.

If I were to speculate, I would say that it has to do with two things. First off, Bischoff has never had much charitable to say about internet or “smart” fans in his shoot interviews/podcasts, so some of it is probably 411 readers being salty because the Bisch has talked down to them. Second, I have noticed some residual anger towards Easy E because the narrative is that he and Hulk Hogan “ruined” TNA back during their run with the promotion. I’ve never gotten that one, because TNA was terribly written and booked well before either one of those two men showed up.

We’ll return in seven-ish days, and, as always, you can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected]. You can also leave questions in the comments below, but please note that I do not monitor the comments as closely as I do the email account, so emailing is the better way to get things answered.

article topics :

AEW, Ask 411 Wrestling, MJF, Ryan Byers