Jerry Lawler is not just a WWE superstar or a WWE legend–he is one of the few icons in the wrestling world that transcend McMahon’s company and date back to the golden age of wrestling. Long before he joined the WWE as a part time competitor and announcer, he was raising hell in Memphis, Tennessee and other small promotions. He was the guy who made wrestling infamous, brawling with celebrity Andy Kaufman on the Late Night with David Letterman show.
Well Jerry Lawler was in the fight of his life, and this time it wasn’t the Junkyard Dog (RIP), Kaufman (RIP) or Randy Savage (RIP). It was a real life heart attack, and one that almost ruined Monday Night RAW. Lawler collapsed at the announcer’s table off-camera. The WWE announcer team kept the audience updated, bringing updates live. Lawler underwent an angioplasty and within two days was able to breathe and react to doctors.
Lawler was returned home within a week and there were no apparent signs of brain damage. Three weeks later and Lawler says he is doing great! The sixty-two-year old told ESPN, “I honestly think I could go into the ring and wrestle right now. That’s how normal I feel. I know it wouldn’t be wise to do that. But I’m improving on a daily basis.”
While it’s always a question of “legit” (real) or “angle” (scripted) when you’re watching an episode of WWE TV, this one was deathly real. The same night Lawler suffered a heart attack he wrestled in a tag match and didn’t seem to have any problem. However, within the two-hour show, he began slumping over at the announcer’s table and paramedics were called.
Lawler’s tenacity is not in question. He later told the press that doctors assured him that he was lucky–only one in 260 people survive this type of heart attack. “The funny thing about this heart attack is I didn’t even realize it was happening. I just passed out.”
Naturally, WWE fans are sending wishes from all over the world. And since we’re talking about Jerry Lawler here, you can rest assured he will be back soon. He’s already talking about returning sometime in October. Buy your WWE ringside tickets and welcome the King back!