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The Rooney slap: Was it for real?

Wayne Rooney slaps King Barrett, a professional wrestler who had insulted him in front of his young son. (From WWE video)

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Professional wrestling is known for being carefully planned, but did a wrestler's insults cause Wayne Rooney to go off script?

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The Rooney slap: Was it for real?

Many professional wrestlers are football fans and, it appears, football players can be wrestling fans as well.

Sometimes this can lead to trouble. British pro-wrestler King Barrett is a big supporter of the Preston North End football club and he was angered by Wayne Rooney's apparent dive during an FA Cup match won by Manchester United 3-1 last February.

Barrett was in Manchester yesterday for a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc) match and Rooney was in the front row of the crowd. Before the match, Barrett took the microphone and spent about a two-minutes insulting the Manchester United star to the delight of the crowd.

Later, as you will see in the video, Rooney got his revenge.

Professional wrestling, of course, is known for being carefully scripted (the word "fake" is often used.) But was this a case where the action was real? Was Rooney really angry and did he act spontaneously? What do you think?


Transcript

Sheamus (Barrett's wrestling partner). Don't worry mate, you'll going to get to fight very soon, but before you do there are just a couple of things that I would like to say to Wayne Rooney.

Wayne, I want you to take this in because standing in this ring right now are two men who can only be described as championship material...which, of course is more than can be said for Wayne Rooney and Manchester United this season.

I don't like the way you're looking at me Wayne. You're looking at me like you've got some sort of a problem with me. You know Wayne, I would offer to have you step inside this ring, so we can fight this out like men.

I would offer but I would hate for your little boy to sit there and watch his own father fail because, let's face it, he gets to experience that every single time you step onto a football pitch.

Note: Barrett was interviewed after the match and threatened to follow Rooney to Old Trafford, the Manchester United stadium, to finish their dispute.

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