For a kid to go up to a wrestler and ask if it's fake, this I can understand because we all probably underwent that "revelation period" where the light bulb eventually went off and we realized it was scripted. By the time you are in your late teens, however, you should have enough wherewithal to know to refrain from asking the question.
For a full grown man like Stossel, with the cameras and lights, to go up to a wrestler and ask the same question and put him on the spot with an "I gotcha" type question.... I can see how it would be taken in an extremely insulting manner. That same level of slap that Dr. D dished out, was probably received by Dr. D himself many times in the ring. Not to mention the countless other wide range of injuries that so many of them have taken from this "fake" sport.
Stossel really came across as a condescending, know it all, little prick in my opinion. I wonder if he ever regrets doing that piece? Such an unnecessary news report.
From different accounts of what happened that night, it sounds like the 20/20
crew had put in a long day and was more than a little perturbed that they couldn’t get to interview Hogan, which had been the original plan.
But, aside from following him down the street in Manhattan for a few minutes earlier in the day, Vince had kept Hogan under lock and key.
So, I think that Stossel was, at that point, a bit frazzled, which is still no excuse for such unprofessional conduct in approaching anyone, but especially a guy like Schultz, which is even stupider.
To this day, Schultz emphatically insists that Vince put him up to that stunt.
Regardless, they canned him shortly thereafter.
The funny thing is that most intelligent people didn’t need “the curtain to be pulled back” to know it’s a work. Like Eddie Mansfield said, “You’d be stupid to believe it’s ‘real.’”
The piece was done to expose and possibly hurt the business, but I think it had just the opposite effect. Vince’s TV numbers saw a sharp spike after the segment aired because it got more people interested in it.
And, I’m not suggesting that Stossel deserved the minor little assault, but certainly, his lack of journalistic integrity was disappointing.