Unlike many in-ring ‘attacks,’ which are often part of wrestling storylines, this particular intruder was not part of the story as WWE legend Hart, joined by his niece and WWE wrestler Natalya, daughter of Hart’s deceased former tag-team partner Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, was addressing the crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Hart was making an acceptance speech as one half of the legendary wrestling tag team, ‘The Hart Foundation,’ which was being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
But during Hart’s address to the packed crowd of appreciative wrestling fans, one member of the crowd leapt the barrier, entered the ring and attacked Hart.
A host of people, led by former UFC star Browne, then stormed the ring to aid 61-year-old stroke and cancer survivor Hart.
Browne went straight for the attacker, separating him from Hart and landing some heavy punches, while WWE superstars Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods moved swiftly to move Natalya from harm’s way.
And as the attacker was being dragged away, WWE star Dash Wilder made sure the unwanted intruder regretted his actions, with one final punch to the face.
Browne has been content to sit in the background after stepping away from the octagon following his defeat to Alexey Oleynik at UFC 213. He married Ronda Rousey in August 2017, and has been a regular presence at ringside as his wife has embarked on a hugely successful wrestling career.
But after seeing the fan leap into the ring to attack the beloved Canadian wrestling legend, his instincts took over and he was first to arrive to help keep both Hart and Natalya safe from the attacker.
Hart appeared unharmed in the incident and shared a photo on his Instagram wearing his two WWE Hall of Fame rings.
Meanwhile his attacker, named as Zachary Madsen from Nebraska, was taken to the 78th Precinct in New York, but no details of charges have yet been released.