20/20 reporter John Stossel gets smacked to the ground when he asks WWF wrestler "Dr. D (death)" Da...
20/20 reporter John Stossel gets smacked to the ground when he asks WWF wrestler "Dr. D (death)" David Schultz if wrestling is fake.
On December 28, 1984, Schults' encounter with Stossel happened while Stossel was backstage at Madison Square Garden doing a story about professional wrestling's secrets. During an interview Stossel told Schults that he thought pro wrestling was fake and Schults' response was to slap Stossel twice, knocking him to the floor each time. The attack, which attracted a large amount of media coverage, was later aired on national television (as well as currently appearing on websites such as YouTube and Break****) including ABC News which reported that the network had received more than 1,000 calls from viewers inquiring about Mr. Stossel's health.
Marvin Kohn, a deputy commissioner at the New York State Athletic Commission, had been present at the arena during the incident and immediately suspended Schultz for his actions. Although called by Commissioner Jose Torres to come to a hearing before the Commission, Kohn later reported that Schultz had written letter to the commission admitting "that he had acted improperly and apologized both to the commission and to Mr. Stossel" and further stated "I intend the commission to know that I did not intend to hurt John Stossel. I apologize to the commission and to John Stossel."
Stossel later claimed he was unaware of Schultz apology and would pursue his action in court although commented he would be "less likely to sue" if the aftereffects of his injury disappeared.  However, Stossel eventually filed a lawsuit against the World Wrestling Federation, and settled out of court for $425,000.
Although he has consistently maintained that World Wrestling Federation officials told him to hit Stossel, Schultz was fired. Many industry insiders believe, it was not because of his actions against Stossel, rather, Schults was fired for challenging Mr. T to a fight backstage at a WWF show at Madison Square Garden.