Raw airs in the early hours of the morning in the UK, so when I was asked the next day ”Did you see what happened on Raw?!” I shut myself off from Twitter/FaceBook/etc. so I wouldn’t be spoilt by what I assumed would be an exciting angle or interview.

When both commentators stopped talking during the Bryan/Kane vs. Prime Time Players and saw all the crowd stood up and staring at something off-camera, I thought ”ah, this must be it.” and then after a few minutes ”Wow, they’re going for the worked shoot when Bret Hart is there? Shit, he must be thrilled.”

Wrestling companies over the years have indulged in the practice of Worked Shoots (an angle that is supposed to look real and not be part of the show…but is) that when something legitimate happens like this, all I think is ”Oh they’re doing a good job of making this look real.” It didn’t help that Lawler has been feuding with CM Punk and given WWE’s insistence on making Punk a heel by completely changing his character around, it wasn’t out of the realms of possibility that Punk would come out and gloat as a stretchered Lawler was whisked away to the nearest ‘medical facility.’

Checking online and realising that this was in fact real was jarring to say the least. Although Lawler has been on auto-pilot since 2002 (although he became the default best commentator on TV last year when everybody else was Cole, Taz, Tenay, whoever-commentates-on-NXT-and-Superstars and Booker T), he was truly The King on the mic as a regular wrestler from 1993-1995 and a stunningly entertaining commentator from 1995-2001(ish). Wherever he was burning people with quick quips like ”Is that your face or did you neck throw up?” or getting behind Vince McMahon and Triple H in the funniest ways possible during the Attitude Era, Lawler’s been producing cherished memories for decades and I hope younger fans don’t think that the man creating background noise you hear on TV is a legend in his own mind.

Some people have asked me if they should have stopped the show or not. I would have thought the best way to deal with the situation would be to show repeats of classic matches (involving Lawler and Bret, seeing as he was at the show) and stopped. That way, they produce something for the TV audience without coming across as monsters. Sadly by the looks of things, WWE really has no back-up plan for situations like this other than ‘hope it doesn’t happen.’ I’m not going to criticize WWE or the wrestlers or whoever for continuing, but you’d think by now they’d have SOME plan.

God knows what this is going to do for Linda’s campaign. ”Why are you having 62 year old men who doesn’t get annual health check-ups wrestle on a regular basis?”

Anyway that’s my take on things. Best of luck Lawler.

  • roadhog29389

    Well Said, Maffew

  • Jordy Verrill

    I know it’s going to be brought up by the media or somebody, but I really don’t understand the logic behind the “Why is he wrestling at 62?” train of thought.  The way he wrestles is really nothing more than a cardiovascular workout… it’s not as if he’s taking giant bumps or doing anything crazy in the ring.  It’s no different than any 62 year old man who runs a couple of miles everyday… I’d say keeping active in the ring has been good for him, and may have helped keep his heart troubles at bay until now.

    • ultrabeast

       Well he did drop 2 top rope punches in his tag match.

      I reckon that counts as pretty high impact for 62 years old really, and that move in particular is way beyond a cardio workout, just for the repeated shock to the body.

      I dont know yet what his actual condition is. He had a ‘heart attack’ which could be one of several things. Heart stopped pumping for  x reason, heart became clogged for X reason (cholesterol plaque,blood clot etc), heart damaged somehow, artery dislodged and blocking the vein,,,,,

      A lot of these can be caused by impact too. Think kids being killed by cricket balls to the chest, or punches to the chest that stop or damage the heart…

      But even saying all that, I do agree that having him wrestle at that age is no problem if hes up for it, and Ill be totally honest, I was literally thinking during that match ‘Gee, King really does move pretty fast and well for an old guy’.

      I shit ye not I actually thought that, luckily I wasnt watching with friends like I usually do, and had said that outloud, for the later derision by my ‘buddies’.

      Anyway, he must have been pretty fit to move like that, Ive seen people younger than 62 that can barely get out of a chair without lots of huffing and puffing, so Im not going to give any support to the idea ‘Lawler shouldnt have been in the ring’. Im just backing up his perfomrance really, which Im usually pretty impressed at when he has the odd match.

      Compare for instance him and Hulk Hogan….

      • ultrabeast

         Oh and Get Well King.

        I think he might actually log into Botchamnia you know, so probably actually worth leaving a get well message on here.

        Maybe he only comes on when theres a new Botchamania, and maybe hes expecting to be in the next one, with the snorting sound that replaced the commentary while he was in the grip of the attack….

        I also postulate that in a few weeks we will be praying for his return once weve had a few episodes with guest commentators like Layla (who quite hilariously continually tries to cover up her English accent).

        UNLESS they make the move and put Regal in there to have a proper go.

  • Vince B

    What does linda have to do with WWE?

    • She’s married to and files join tax returns with the CEO of the company. She resigned from the board, but still claims most of her income from the company.

      • Kyle Warne

         Bingo, if she wants attacks on the WWE to be unfair she can’t take any money from them, that’s the reality

  • Tunney’s Barnet

    For some time I have been uncomfortable with the whole WWE approach to injuries. Every time a wrestler, sorry superstar, needs a break for whatever reason, an injury angle comes up with all kind of gory details on wwe.com (concussion/broken arm/lacerated kidneys etc) IMHO this totally devalues the times when a superstar is legitimately injured. The videos of Trips recovering from a torn quad, twice, was genuinely admirable and inspiring. Trips recovering from a broken arm, twice, at the hands of Lesnar is not so inspiring when those injuries were clearly works. I feel a bit betrayed if you know what I mean.
    I think the distinction between real life and WWE scripts is uncomfortably blurred and has been for a while, especially involving Twitter. Maybe it’s a conscious attempt to get at marks.
    Anyways, Get well soon King.

    • Wow. You’re pissed that they adhere to kayfabe. This is wrestling. It’s ALL supposed to be real. 

      If Lawler had a heart attack in Memphis in ’75 they not only wouldn’t have stopped the show, they’d have immediately had whoever he was feuding with take responsibility for pushing him so far his body failed and I’m better and always have been and the moment Lawler returned they’d have jumped right into an incredibly heated feud and sold out every show for a year. 

      Maybe it’s just because I’m a cynical bastard but as soon as I received word that Lawler wasn’t going to die I’d have had Punk cut a motherfucker of a promo on him being old and past it and I’m the best in the world and I caused your heart to fail I’m so awesome. Maybe THEN Punk could get some heat and I’m pretty damn sure Lawler would be cool with it since he’s business. 

  • The best part of that video is when Owen Hart chimes in and agrees with Lawler. 

  • neverAcquiesce

    To me it comes down to the Owen Hart voice. I have no problem with injury angles because this is, after all, wrestling, and it’s part of the presentation. It’s when they do the super serious, quiet, slow-talking desk announcement as part of the angle that bothers me, as, when situations such as Monday night happen, our first thought isn’t, “God, I hope he’s alright,” but instead, “Is this an angle?” WWE can’t have their cake and eat it too, as much as they want to.

  • Uncle Cletus

    “Some people have asked me if they should have stopped the show or not. I would have thought the best way to deal with the situation would be to show repeats of classic matches (involving Lawler and Bret, seeing as he was at the show) and stopped.”
    Fine as far as it goes, but what do you do with the 20,000 people who have paid to get into the arena for a 3 hour wrestling show?

    • Honestly? Not a clue.

      • Morrison18

        they could have shown the Matches on the titantron as well

    • Randomguy1155

      I think they handled it well,they could have got all worked up about it but what would that have done but scare a bunch of children. And you also make a good point, i dont think people who pay for wwe price tickets want to just sit around and watch videos.

    • Humanoid

      Considering that the crowd was (understandably I should say) very quiet after the Lawler incident, I don’t think too many in the crowd would have been unhappy if they’d stopped the show, and maybe offered partial refunds. Or even thrown out some matches with no angles.

      • Kyle Warne

         That is just it, throw out some matches without angles, have a glorified house show if you have too

  • No

    In this instance, something seemed off. There was heavy breathing followed by a snort on the commentary. Cole went quiet. Darren Young had Bryan in a headlock for FIVE MINUTES. The show was using weird camera angles, Little Naich kept looking over toward the booth. This led me to believe that it was real.

    When Cole announced it and I realized that they went out of their way to NOT show the medical staff, that confirmed that it was a shoot. Remember, if it is part of an angle, it WILL be televised. “Subtlety” is not in the WWE’s vocabulary.

    After that, I think they handled the rest of the show just fine, when you consider there really is no “right” way to handle this. They have set the precedent that the show will go on. I guess that’s their plan. Had they stopped, some fans would have complained, “Jerry would WANT the show to go on”. I’m just saying that it is lose-lose for the WWE. Someone would have complained no matter what they did.

  • It’s funny, my initial thought was “Oh wait a minute, I’ve seen this before….And if this is work, YOU ARE COMPLETE ASSHOLES FOR DOING THIS WHILE BRET’S THERE!”, thankfully it was real….I mean…errr..not thankfully?..You get what I mean.

  • 3 Count

    Lawler corpsing? Send for the man!

    In all seriousness, I hope Lawler makes a full recovery.

  • Abusoru007

    The only issue with your idea is that they wouldn’t have the matches with them. It would take some time to get things together. Should they have stopped the show? I don’t know. I think in the end, it should come down to whether the performers think they’ll be able to go out there and do something. In a way, I think it was a good thing that the last thing the crowd saw that night wasn’t Lawler being stretchered out. But that’s just my opinion.

  • Vince McMahon could explode in the middle of the ring and have his organs land all over the crowd and the show would still go on because he would somehow will it from beyond the grave.

  • Lil jimmy

    I love how Lawler’s career goes back to 1993 in your write up lol

  • ZC3

    ” whoever-commentates-on-NXT-and-Superstars”

    You clearly haven’t heard Regal’s commentary. And why aren’t you watching NXT? Best WWE show by far.

    • Who was before Regal and JR?

      • Cole, Matthews, Striker, Grisham were the regulars, IIRC.  I’m sure there were a couple of others that guested for a few minutes.

        Regal is gold.  Him correcting Saxton’s pronunciation of Norwich last week was hilarious.  He’d outshine anyone on the table at the moment, no matter the brand or company.

  • Ralphus

    The show must go on. When you’re a performer, that is always key. It may seem terrible, but really it’s not. Sitting there and agonizing over it isn’t going to make him any better. Plus it’s what Lawler would have wanted, I’m sure.

  • Codster9

    Jerry Lawler: “I would read your mind, but the print’s too small.”

  • NoobhunterD

    king, be a heel when u return!

    • Naitch


  • CleverTrousers

     Top notch Maffew

  • Hitmonchan

    Take notes Punk. Jerry’s heart knows how to break kayfabe.

    • InverseTwo

       You are an idiot and not as funny as you think you are.

      • Hitmonchan

        Yeah, you’re right. Jerry wasn’t as funny as Owen because Jerry lived.

        In all seriousness, though, I don’t take wrestling seriously anymore and it’s sad that Jerry’s ebbing health was the highlight of RAW because it was real. The CM Punk reference was posted because he can’t get a decent fanbase unless he “shoots”, thus why Paul Heyman’s involved in his storylines.

        I think my mind crashed with Angle’s car.

      • Hitmonchan

        Yeah, you’re right. Jerry wasn’t as funny as Owen because Jerry lived.

        In all seriousness, though, I don’t take wrestling seriously anymore and it’s sad that Jerry’s ebbing health was the highlight of RAW because it was real. The CM Punk reference was posted because he can’t get a decent fanbase unless he “shoots”, thus why Paul Heyman’s involved in his storylines.

        I think my mind crashed with Angle’s car.


    I think they do have a plan and that’s sticking by the time honored tradition of “the show must go on”. I think it’s terribly insensitive to analyze what WWE should have done during a live show that fans paid to see while a man unfortunately has a heart attack on air. It’s easy for us to say “they should have done this or that”, but Vince is in the big chair for making tough decisions. Of course some people are going to criticize the decision to keep the show going, but I think most people agree that Vince did the right thing and we shouldn’t be focused on the decision either way. 

  • Naitch

    On a side note, I’m glad the Brother Love video was removed. Anyway, the show had to go on and as hard as it was for everyone working that night to perform, as well as the live and TV audience to watch, the fact is that the entertainment industry has always done its up-most to deliver what they had planned and promised.

    I personally work in the music industry and although I’ve never been in a situation like this, I have been in a position where violence has broken out in a crowd and a show has had to be delayed. Cancelling was seriously considered at the time but it was decided that the rest of the crowd deserved what they came for. It’s a risk but you’re there to perform, you have very little information about what’s going on and you’re focused on achieving what you set out to do.

    I had Raw on DVR, watched it on Tuesday morning and as soon as the crowd lost interest in the tag match I checked the wrestling dirt sheets because I thought maybe a fight had broken out or a fan had fallen ill. It must have been terrifying watching it live and having no information.  

    I’ve rambled but my point is that the show had to continue. It lost its importance proven with Vince being with Jerry and Michael stopping commentary but the fact is that the show was concluded and Jerry is getting better. I personally can’t wait for The King to make his return.  

    • Hitmonchan

      Twitter in 1999: #RIPOwenHart is trending.

      • InverseTwo

         Shut the fuck up.

  • I was at the 96 King of the Ring in Milwaukee when Lawler was trashing all those people. It was him vs Warrior and the infamous Austin 3:16 interview pretty epic night all in all.

  • Maturedsinner

    “Hope that doesn’t happen” is the backup plan for a majority of entertainment companies unfortunately.

  • Kyle Warne

    William Regle and JIM FREAKING ROSS are the commentators on NXT–I give them the edge over Lawler, still, I was mortified watching raw

  • So what happened?

  • Tomas Luchador

    Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack and WWE considered stopping the show. Owen Hart died in the middle of the PPV and they still continued the show. WTF?