As noted, a man hit the ring and was quickly tackled by security as AJ Styles was taking his time making his exit following the win over Akira Tozawa on Monday. The camera cut to the tackle, but then quickly and awkwardly cut to the crowd as RAW went to the planned commercial break. RAW returned from the break and Vic Joseph mentioned that the officiant was the man trying to get into the ring before the show went to the commercial, confirming that the the man tackled was actor Rick Malone, who first appeared last week as the wedding officiant for Lana and Bobby Lashley's big wedding ceremony. Malone was brought back this week to finally declare Lana and Lashley as new husband & wife. Lana, who helped wipe Malone's jacket clean and straighten him back up on camera, ended up running him down on the mic and dismissing him after he made the marriage "official" in the storylines. It was clear to some that Malone was the man tackled as soon as it happened.
In an update, Reddit source looselipsbackstage, who has revealed several mostly red-brand related WWE scoops over the past 3 months, noted in a new post that the tackle to the officiant was a part of the RAW script used on Monday.
The script reportedly included a line that read like this for the segment:
"IN-ARENA: An Unidentified Man (The Wedding Official) is attempting to get in the ring when he is confronted by security..."
It was noted on Monday and Tuesday that Malone hit the ring before he was supposed to, and that security tackled him as they weren't aware due to a breakdown in miscommunication, and thought he was just some random person doing a run-in. It was also noted, via PWInsider, that security was eventually informed by another WWE crew member that Malone was an extra, and authorized to be in the ring, and that's when he was released to move forward with the segment. Now we're hearing how that is not what happened, according to this new report, as WWE had the incident scripted.
Regarding Malone's WWE future, he noted on Tuesday that he's not sure if WWE will call him back for a third booking. A Facebook user asked him on Monday night if he will reprise the character at other upcoming RAW events and revealed that the whole gig just came together in a little more than a week.
Malone wrote back, "I honestly have no idea; this whole thing just came together in a little more than a week"
As we noted before at this link, Malone took to Facebook on Tuesday to comment on the segment. He did not indicate that the tackle was planned, but he was in really good spirits about the whole thing. One friend mentioned possible hazard pay for the gig, but Malone did not respond to that comment. Malone said it was just a misunderstanding, and joked that he was just trying to do his job.
There's no word yet on why WWE planned the tackle with the officiant, but it could be another way to add more realism or something edgy to the show, an idea they started several months back but apparently have dropped again for the most part.
Malone continues to re-post links to articles and videos on the segment, enjoying the fame as he appeaers to be semi-retired. For those who missed it, below are shots of the tackle from Monday's RAW at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, and a few of Malone's original posts: