The game show business can get pretty intense, but it typically doesn’t resort to fisticuffs — at least, it didn’t until the perennially ornery Pat Sajak decided to kick things up a notch in a March 2023 “Wheel of Fortune” episode. The shenanigans coincided with the appearance of Hawaiian-shirted show champion Fred Fletcher-Jackson, who introduced himself as a bar trivia host, drama teacher, and professional wrestler, which he said he mainly does for the fun of it.
When Fletcher-Jackson started to rack up Ws, Sajak teased that he could body slam the contestant to help the other players out. Later on, he escalated the joke by grabbing Fletcher-Jackson and placing him in a fairly benign attempt at a wrestling maneuver called a “chicken wing.” Ever the performer, the contestant whose wrestling name should definitely be FFJ played along with the gag, pretending to be helpless against Sajak’s slick martial arts skills. Although most viewers loved it, a few took offense at the unprofessional take on wrestling, like the Twitter user who complained that “even in jest, laying hands on a guest, and in surprise, is in poor taste.”
Fletcher-Jackson, on the other hand, couldn’t have loved the bit more. Speaking to TMZ Sport, Fletcher-Jackson said the move wasn’t staged, and Sajak actually had something of a firm grip on him. According to FFJ, “I loved that moment. Like, L-O-V-E in capital letters. That was one of the biggest highlights of the show.”