JR's Thoughts on Jerry Lawler and the Montreal Raw

What an amazing and unreal 24 hours it has been with the major heart attack suffered by my long time partner and friend Jerry Lawler live during Monday Night Raw. It feels like a bad dream but unfortunately it isn't.   

I was watching Monday Night Raw as usual when fans at the arena began Tweeting that something was wrong with the King at the announce table. The more that I read these shocking Tweets the more helpless that I felt because I wasn't there in Montreal to help my dear friend.

Michael Cole's updates had me trembling.  

For Jerry Lawler to be sick is highly unusual. Being a 62 year old man, the King has been as fit as any one that I've known. He wrestles several times a month on the indy circuit and still plays in his Memphis softball league on Wednesday nights. Jerry is also 'young at heart' which isn't new news.  

Plus, my long time partner and traveling companion has never smoked, drank alcohol or been a drug user. In a rough and tumble business, Jerry Lawler has essentially been an iron man since the 70's. 

But  even self acclaimed 'Iron Men' aren't bullet proof even though many of us think that we are.

Trust me, we aren't.

I'm not sure what caused Jerry's heart attack but it could have been genetic, Jerry's Dad died of a heart attack at a young age, or something that has been brewing for a good while. I don't know. In any event, suffering a massive heart attack is obviously life changing. 

I know of what I speak on this matter as I lost both my parents at the age of 64 of heart attacks one year a part. Heart ailments are equal opportunity killers that care not who they attack. 

Neither of my parents were in a position when their heart attacks occurred to get the immediate medical help that was available to Jerry in Montreal. My Mom died in mere minutes while we were in London for a PPV and my Dad held on for a few hours before he could fight no more. For the record, Dad passed on the night that LOD returned to Monday Night Raw. Funny how one remembers info like this. 

Based on the information that I have, Jerry was extremely lucky to have been at a WWE event when his attack occurred. The immediate care that the trained professionals provided Jerry likely saved his life. 

I shutter to think what the outcome would have been if Jerry had been wrestling on one of the indy shows that he was often booked. Heck, even driving to the arena or sitting in a restaurant might have proven fatal based on the hand that The King was dealt in Montreal Monday evening.

The last report that I received is that Jerry was in stable condition and getting excellent cardio care in a Montreal hospital. All of Jerry's vital signs are stable according to WWE.com. This is the information that we need to hear at this time and is positive. Tomorrow is another day and, God willing, will be an even better day for The King.  

It might be a few days before all the needed medical information on Jerry's condition is processed but because he got immediate care from WWE doctors and EMTS, the King of Memphis chances of recovering seems good. 

I tweeted today @JRsBBQ that I have spent many hours since Monday night not only awake but thinking of all the hours that Jerry and I have spent together since the early 90's, the miles that we have traveled together, and the great times that we've shared.

I came to the conclusion that those times aren't memories but merely a prelude to the future where more memories will be made.

Jerry is a strong willed man who is amazingly active and competitive. I truly feel that he will battle through this recent challenge and come out healthier and even happier on the other side of his convalescence. 

I say with all sincerity that I feel that Jerry and I have not taken our last road trip nor have we commentated our last match together. There's a Cracker Barrel in our future and another karaoke concert in the rental car where King sings with a British accent to a Beatles tune not to mention him bemoaning his beloved Cleveland sports teams, the Indians and the Browns.

Jerry Lawler was my most favorite broadcast partner of all time and his talent made me better. Compared to him, I was "brown shoes at a formal wedding." 

But even better than our professional relationship and success, The King and I are true friends in a challenging profession where those are hard to come by.

Also, I want to say to all the talents who performed during Monday's ordeal that I am very, very proud of your professionalism. 

There aren't adequate words to express the stellar job that Michael Cole did sitting at the broadcast desk that can be, from my own experience, extremely challenging to navigate on live TV during catastrophic moments such as Monday night. 

For men like Bret Hart, CM Punk and John Cena to deliver as they did in the final segment of Monday Night Raw was nothing short of extraordinary. I am proud of each man and the entire WWE team for responding in the face of immense adversity that faced them in Montreal.

Get well soon Jerry.





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 Much love and prayers for the The King Jerry Lawler!  

Hello J.R.

I would like to share a story about the first time I met The King.My friend and I were heading to Al N Ann's Collectibles in McHenry Illinois (cheap pop!)for an autograph signing he was hosting.It was an unsanctioned WWE signing so Jerry told us a LOT of stories the world may never get to hear.He was so down to earth and knew a lot about comics!! Best of all it was because of him that a friendship between the owner and I have been established.I So it's with a heavy heart that I sit here wishing I could help but not being able to.I will continue to pray for his health and that his family and friends are fine as well.Now if sometime in this lifetime I could just meet you......take care!!

Many prayers going out to jerry and his family!  J.R., I have been a big fan of yours for many many years, the love and support you show is uncanny...my hat is off to you my friend!

Hi JR.

Thoughts and prayers going out to Jerry Lawler, his family and friends. Based on my personal experience, (I had an acute myocardial infarction  in March 1999: 50% of the people who have this type of heart attack die from the first one), there are emotional steps that the King will probably face on the road to recovery. The first will be disbelief/denial that he had a heart attack. No matter that he's laying in a hospital, it just won't seem real, almost like a "how could this happen to me?" type of thing. Next will come anger, anger about having had the heart attack and how it will change his life. FInally, and most men who have heart attacks face this, will come grief and/or fear. This is perfectly normal. With me, it was "Will I be able to work again?"; "How will I support my family?". That is the most critical time for his friends and family to be around him, to offer him encouragement and support. With the King, it could be compounded by the fact that having the heart attack may be the end of his wrestling career. This of course depends on how much damage was done to his heart. In my case, 20% of my heart is dead. However, it doesn't mean that he can't continue to live a fulfilling life. I was able to return to construction work after my heart attack. It all depends on how his recovery goes. That, as you know from your own medical experiences, takes time, and there is no exact timeframe for recovery...it varies from individual to individual. What The King needs most of all is to recover, rest and recuperate. While I'd like to be able to send this to Jerry personally, I not only know that I can't, but I also know that at this point in time he doesn't need fans, no matter how well meaning, to bombard him with get well messages at this point in time. His main focus has to be recovery, and fans will understand that. However, if you feel that sharing my story with Jerry might help him through the recovery process in some small way, please feel free to do so.

Scott Anderson

 Hope you get well King! everyone in my house is praying for you! 

I've had the privilege of seeing many wwe shows here in Montreal live (at the forum and the bell center). But I had never witnessed anything like what happened to Jerry during the live broadcast. It was a frightening scene to say the least. My prayers are with you Jerry, we love you and please pull through !

My thoughts and prayers are with Jerry and his family . Jerrys match earlier in the night was one of his best i've seen in years. Alot of time givin to tell the story and he showed everyone HOW IT'S DONE ! Fantastic exchange with Hart ...Punk  & Cena to end the show. No commentary needed. Once Jerry gets to watch the show.....he will be proud . Get well very soon KING.

I believe on Monday night Michael Cole showed what an extraordinary human being he really is. The entire world is proud and in awe of what a true professional he really is. Oh by the way , Jerry hope you feel better.

Today we are all cole miners

Great blog. Hope King pulls through this.

My thoughts and prayers are with you Jerry!

One of the interesting things about all of this is the criticism that Jerry was still allowed to wrestle at the age of 62.

What most people don't know is it was a lot more common in the past for wrestlers of this age to be active.  Thesz, Blassie, The Sheik, Wild Bull Curry, Abdullah the Butcher, Luis Martinez, Bobo Brazil and many others were still very active at this age.  It just isn't that unusual in wrestling, or at least wasn't in the past.

The criticism is unfounded.  The problem that Jerry had could have hit him anywhere.  As strange as it may sound, it probably happened to him in the best place possible, as there was immediate care available to him.

The other interesting thing is how the mainstream media seems to be fascinated with the outpouring of affection towards Jerry.  Obviously, they don't understand the bond we wrestling fans have with wrestlers.  It's unlike anything in any other form of entertainment or sport.

We love you Jerry, and we know you'll be back.  We can't wait!

Great Blog JR. When the whole ordeal happened on Raw and realized what was happening, I wondered what you was thinking. The King has been my childhood hero and this big kid still idolizes the King to this day. We are all so thankful that King didnt suffer any brain damage and is recovering. My thoughts and prayers will be with Jerry everyday til i get to hear his voice again.

                                                         Sincerely, Jeremy Zirnheld

                                                              Louisville, KY

TheBrack Jeremy Zirnheld

I was devastated when i seen the whole ordeal go on, on live tv. I started thinking about when i was 5 years old when i met my childhood hero Jerry Lawler and then i thought about what your reaction would be. Excellent Blog JR, u couldnt have said it any better. I still follow Jerry's wrestling career to this day and we are all very thankful that our prayers are working and King didnt suffer any brain damage. My prayers will still be with Jerry, cant wait to hear his voice again on Raw!

 I have been critical of Michael Cole's character in the past as a commentator but the position he was placed into on Monday night was next to impossible. His professionalism in handling those updates earned him a new fan. Even if he goes back to his old character he's earned a fan.

The feeling in the pit of my stomach as the events unfolded on Monday night was one that I hadn't felt while watching wrestling since that fateful night in Kansas City in 1999. I'm so thankful that the ending is going to be better than that night.

I look forward to that night when the King's music hits, he hits that stage and gets an ovation that rips the roof right off the building! Get well soon Jerry - you have millions pulling and praying for you!

 I applaud you on your very well-written blog entry, JR. Jerry Lawler has always been a part of my life -- not personally -- but as a role model and a positive motivation for the sport that I love so much. He, alongside yourself, has called so many amazing matches and moments, ranging from Rock and Austin at WrestleMania XV to The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXV. An episode of Monday Night RAW from 1993 on just isn't the same without the King's voice bellowing out from the announce table or the middle of the ring. Whether it was his bickering with you back in the day or you both somehow winding up wrestling someone in a tag team match, you could still feel the close friendship and professionalism between the both of you. There is no other commentary team that has the chemistry that JR and The King have had. The King's voice has been part of the inspiration coming from my TV screen that's been calling me as far back as when I was a child to do anything I can to be in the world of professional wrestling. My prayers are with Jerry, and also with you, as this is clearly a difficult time of hardship for such a dear friend of yours. 

God Bless,

Fan and Friend, Blake Smith

 I have never felt anything more emotional than what I felt watching the events unfold on Monday's show. I have watched raw for years the king has been a part of my life for so long it's almost like he is family. 

He has been an inspiration and a mentor to many. My best wishes and prayers go out to him and his family. I cannot wait to hear his voice on the air again calling the shots on Monday's again.