Bizarre Video Shows Pat Sajak Wrestling "Wheel of Fortune" Contestant
Some viewers were baffled, but others said that the stunt was all in good fun.
Tuning in to watch Wheel of Fortune is an evening ritual for millions of Americans, with the beloved game show first premiering almost 50 years ago. Since the early 1980s, fans have also come to know and love Pat Sajak and Vanna White—the show's longtime co-hosts—who oversee gameplay while contestants spin the wheel and solve word puzzles. But during a recent episode, Sajak left some viewers baffled when he tried to wrestle one of the contestants. Read on to find more about the strange incident.
Fletcher-Jackson played a "perfect game."
During the Tuesday, March 21 broadcast of Wheel of Fortune, Fred Fletcher-Jackson was crowned the winner after playing a "perfect game." In a clip posted on the show's Instagram page, Fletcher-Jackson is shown solving the bonus puzzle phrase "His mind is wandering," officially sweeping the competition.
Fletcher-Jackson is clearly overwhelmed about winning: He puts his hands on his head as Sajak shows a card awarding him an additional $40,000, asking the champ if he "wants some more money." In total, Fletcher-Jackson took home a whopping $75,800.
Sajak surprised Fletcher-Jackson with his moves.
Ahead of his victory, Fletcher-Jackson revealed that he was a drama teacher, bar trivia host, and a professional wrestler. He said he gets paid "very little" for wrestling, and he mostly does it "for the fun," but upon solving the last puzzle, Fletcher-Jackson took on an unexpected opponent—Pat Sajak.
In the clip, Fletcher-Jackson exchanges an emotional hug with his father, and Sajak then races up and puts the winner in a fake headlock—which some fans identified as the "crossface chicken wing" wrestling move. Fletcher-Jackson goes along with the bit, reaching for his own neck and pretending to be in pain.
While seemingly all in good fun, fans were split on social media, with some amused and others confused.
Many viewers found the incident hilarious.
Sajak has since gone viral, as social media is now flooded with opinions about his wrestling attempt. In the comment section of Wheel of Fortune's post, viewers said that Sajak's move at the end "was so funny" and that his stunt was just "a little horse play."
"I couldn't stop laughing at what Pat did at the end! That was way too funny!" a comment reads.
Another added, "No business like show business, gotta love seeing Pat having a good time after all these years."
Still, other viewers had questions. "What was with Pat at the end?" a commenter wrote, also including the crying laughing emoji.
"Don't fall Pat," a separate comment reads, while another added, "One slip and Sajak could've broken his own hip."
Fans came to Sajak's defense, noting that you needed to see the whole episode for context. "It's not really that bizarre if you had actually watched the show," a March 22 tweet reads. "I'm no Pat Sajak fan, but he was trying to be funny. The guy and [his] wife are wrestlers. Joked about wrestling the entire show."
Fletcher-Jackson actually gave Sajak kudos.
In a post-episode interview with Sajak's daughter, Maggie Sajak, Fletcher-Jackson said he was shell-shocked after winning, having truly achieved his dream. Toward the end of the conversation, Maggie also asked for Fletcher-Jackson's opinion on her father's wrestling moves.
"What do you think about my dad's wrestling skills?" Maggie asked in the interview, which was also posted on Wheel of Fortune's Instagram page.
"He got me," Fletcher-Jackson said. "Genuinely, I was trying to counter his hammerlock that he had me in, I was trying to get behind him and I wasn't going anywhere."
Maggie said she expected her dad would be "very proud of himself" and happy to hear that he'd bested Fletcher-Jackson. In response, the Wheel of Fortune champ laughed and said that Sajak should, in fact, feel proud.
Best Life was unable to reach Sajak for comment on the incident.