Joey Chestnut Puts Protestor in a Headlock in Insane, Unaired Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Footage
History repeated itself at the 2022 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest when reigning champ Joey Chestnut took home his 15th win, but the competitive eater was briefly upstaged by a masked protestor while chomping his way to victory.
In a shocking moment from the Monday (July 4) event, a person dressed in all black and wearing a Darth Vader mask rushed the stage where Chestnut and his co-competitors were eating hot dogs for sport. The protestor made their way over to Chestnut and briefly held up a sign reading “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar” — likely referring to pork producer Smithfield Foods.
But their stunt didn’t last long. Seconds after the protestor flashed their sign, Chestnut had them in a headlock and threw them down to the ground in apparent frustration. The moment, which was captured on film but not broadcast on TV, had some Twitter users comparing Chestnut to John Wick and crowning him a “hero.”
“Joey Chestnut choke-slamming a dude mid-competition and barely breaking stride is legitimately one of the most impressive athletic feats in human history,” one user tweeted.
Another added, “Joey Chestnut just choked tf out of a protester. U! S! A!”
After the protestor faced Chestnut’s wrath, they were apprehended by security and escorted out of the event, per TMZ. Sources from the New York Police Department told the outlet that three people have been taken into custody after the incident, but have yet to be officially charged.
Despite the unusual interruption, Chestnut managed to down 63 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes, securing his status as king of the competition. His 2022 count was slightly lower than last year, when he managed to consumed 76 hot dogs and buns, but considering he was competing on an injured leg and had to throw a protestor down, we’d say his final number wasn’t too bad at all.