Friday, April 6, 2007

Ex-Pro Wrestler & PRIDE Fighter Sean O'Haire injured in fight.

By Ben Crites

A former professional wrestler was seriously hurt in a fight outside a Hilton Head Island bar on Friday night, a Beaufort County sheriff's report states.

Sean Christopher Haire, 36, who won the World Championship Wrestling tag team titles in 2000 and 2001, told deputies he was attacked while walking up to the Hilton Head Brewing Co., according to the report.

Haire said he was going to the aid of a friend who was attacked by three unknown males when a 28-year-old Hilton Head man punched him in his left eye, knocking him into nearby bushes.

The blow fractured Haire's orbital lobe in three places and resulted in other fractures to his face and skull, the report states. Vision in his left eye is impaired, possibly permanently, and his injuries will require extensive plastic surgery, doctors told deputies.

Haire has obtained a warrant for the arrest of Juan Brantley on assault charges, according to sheriff's Capt. Toby McSwain.

Witnesses to the incident dispute Haire's allegations and say Brantley was acting in self defense. Haire's roommate said Thursday Haire's lawyers had instructed him not to talk about the incident.

Dave Robertson, general manager of the Hilton Head Brewing Co., said Haire had on several occasions tried to start a fight with Brantley.

Robertson and an employee of the bar, who asked not to be named, said Haire came into the bar to start a fight with Brantley and was kicked out prior to the dispute outside.

In an earlier report filed with the Sheriff's Office, Brantley told deputies Haire threatened to beat him up at another island bar on March 17.

Assault allegations have previously been made against Haire to the Sheriff's Office, according to reports. The outcome of those cases was not immediately clear Thursday.

Haire, a Hilton Head High School graduate, began wrestling in WCW in 2000 and later for World Wrestling Entertainment after its owner, Vince McMahon, bought WCW from Turner Broadcasting in 2001.

He wrestled as Sean O'Haire and called his finishing move the "Seanton Bomb," a diving flip where his back struck a prone opponent on the mat.

He left wrestling in 2004 to focus on mixed martial arts fighting in Japan and recently had been training locally, according to a fan Web site.


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