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  Mar. 11, 1999



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Wight aquitted of assault


By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

Paul Wight, the giant-sized World Wrestling Federation superstar has been found not guilty of assaulting a wrestling fan last summer.

"I'd pretty much felt the deck was stacked against me because of my size. When you tell somebody that you were startled and you had to defend yourself when you are as big as I am, people look at you as if you have two heads," Wight told WB11 News as he left the Long Island court room visibly relieved the ordeal was over.

Judge Thomas Feinman dismissed the charges against Wight Wednesday, placing the blame on plaintiff Robert Sawyer saying he was "irrational" and "out of control" that night. Sawyer had admitted in previous testimony that he was drinking at the Nassau Coliseum house show before following a group of wrestlers to the Marriott Hotel.

Wight said Sawyer had insulted him at the front desk and that after he blew him off, the enraged fan went into the crowd filling the lobby and began making "loud, lewd comments and gestures". Wight testified that when he tried to calm the 6-foot-6, 224-pound fan down, Sawyer verbally and physically provoked him. Wight responded by punching Sawyer breaking his jaw.

Sawyer, a wannabe pro wrestler according to his friends, claimed that he never touched Wight but witnesses testified otherwise saying Sawyer lunged at Wight challenging him to a fight.

"When I'm at the arena and I'm portraying a bad person, then, when I leave for the night and if am covered in tobacco and eggs and trash...you know what? I'm a happy man because I've done my job and evoked an emotion. But in the lobby of the Marriott? That's not appropriate," Wight told WB11 News reporter Frank Ucciardo.

Wight is to be the guest ref during the WrestleMania 15 main event of Steve Austin versus The Rock on March 28th.

April 27, 2001: More on the Big Show