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Pat Sajak Put A Wheel Of Fortune Contestant In A Headlock (But All In Good Fun)

"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak has endured his fair share of online criticism over the years. He's even poked fun at himself in the past, referencing his tendency to accidentally insult people or unexpectedly walk off the set. But he's never, to our knowledge, physically tackled any of the contestants on his show. Until now, that is.

During a recent episode, Sajak welcomed a contestant named Fred — a self-described trivia host, drama instructor, and pro wrestler. While not at the level of fame as, say, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Fred still enjoys the sport and even made some money from it. So, naturally, Sajak decided to tackle him. Well, sort of.

After Fred dominated the puzzles, Sajak asked the other contestants, "Just because he's a professional wrestler, you want me to body slam him for you?" Then, later in the episode, Sajak proceeded to engage Fred in a half-hearted headlock that morphed into an awkward hug. But Fred definitely sold it.

Fred played along with the faux body slam

Though the "body slam" that Pat Sajak promised never actually materialized, Fred certainly played up Sajak's attempt at one. Fred grunted and mimed a seizure, even as Sajak playfully danced around him. While the overall effect was silly, Fred and Sajak seemed to have a good time. It was all rather unprecedented, as Sajak had seemingly never tried to body slam a contestant before.

Noting the novelty of seeing Sajak engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a contestant, fans of "Wheel of Fortune" began joking about Sajak's body slam on YouTube. "Just hope he never trys [sic] that with Vanna," wrote one commenter, while another joked that Sajak might perform open heart surgery on the air if he ever meets a contestant who's a cardiologist.

All in all, fans appeared to embrace the fun of the surprise tackle and refrained from directing criticism at Sajak. Meanwhile, Sajak may have fewer opportunities to revive his wrestling career in the future, as he has previously signaled an interest in retiring. After all, the 76-year-old has been in the game for over 40 years now. Putting professional wrestlers in headlocks can get tiring after a while.