When tragedy strikes the wrestling world, it’s difficult to assess the situation. The WWE tries so hard to script believable and shocking storylines, so when someone actually gets injured or something goes horribly wrong, it’s often hard to figure out whether the situation is real or all just part of the week’s entertainment.
There was nothing fictional about Jerry Lawler‘s scare on Monday night’s episode of WWE Raw.
Lawler, a former WWE wrestler who’s long been a commentator for the brand, collapsed and suffered a heart attack while at the announcer’s table during Monday’s show in Montreal. The ringside medical crew rushed to Lawler’s aid and placed him on a stretcher before bringing him backstage, where they performed CPR. Lawler was then taken to a local hospital and is now believed to be in stable condition.
Fellow WWE commentator Michael Cole was the one who broke the news of Lawler’s collapse to the viewers at home. The incident occurred during a tag team match featuring Kane, Daniel Bryan and the Prime Time Players, and Cole tried his best to continue to provide commentary throughout the match, but it’s now clear that his focus was understandably elsewhere. Shortly thereafter, Cole broke the news, telling fans that Lawler’s collapse was not part of the night’s entertainment.
The show continued after Lawler’s collapse, with Cole providing a few updates throughout the remainder of the telecast. That was the only commentary for the rest of the evening, though, as a visbily distraught Cole informed the audience that no more play-by-play would be provided out of respect for Lawler.
Lawler’s condition improved before WWE Raw went off the air, and the WWE released the following statement shortly after.
“Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler suffered a heart attack while commentating during last night’s broadcast of Monday Night Raw in Montreal. We are hopeful Jerry makes a full recovery and returns to WWE in the near future. Our thoughts are with Jerry and his family.”
As mentioned, Lawler has long been a broadcaster for the brand, but he’s returned to the ring in recent weeks as part of a feud with WWE champion CM Punk. Lawler actually wrestled in a tag team match earlier in the evening on Monday, picking up a victory alongside teammate Randy Orton. The 62-year-old was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
It’s good to hear that Lawler’s condition has improved, because Monday’s situation was startling, to say the least. It was reminiscent of the time commentator Jim Ross broke the news of wrestler Owen Hart‘s tragic death during a live pay-per-view event, and the Twitter world was immediately very active in wishing Lawler well and lauding the effort of a clearly rattled Cole.
The whole situation is even scarier when you consider this tweet sent out by Smith Hart, brother of both Owen and Bret Hart, who happened to be part of the night’s event.
According to my friend Jeremy Prophet who was backstage at RAW, Jerry was clinically dead for 20 min before being brought back by defibrilat
— Smith Hart (@SmithHart1) September 11, 2012
There were also plenty of others on Twitter who wondered whether what was happening was all part of a developing storyline. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Let’s all wish Lawler the best as he looks to overcome this unfortunate and near tragic experience.
The videos below, while somewhat disturbing, sum up the troubling scene.
Thumbnail photo via Wikipedia/Jerry Lawler
Things always get a little rowdy when the Chargers and Raiders square off.
Why would I want to waste my time running around and getting in shape. I get over to Minute Maid [Park], I’ll crank it up and get it over 90 for a contender. We’ll knock them right out of the playoffs. That would be the fun. Pitching against somebody that’s not in contention wouldn’t be any fun for me.
–Roger Clemens, once again addressing whether he’ll pitch in the majors this season
Jim Ross tried to put to rest any talk of Lawler’s collapse being part of the script.
4 skeptics, @jerrylawler heart attack was REAL. NOT showbiz. He’s in cardiac ICU in Montreal. My friend will ‘kick out.’ Believe it.I do.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) September 11, 2012
Not exactly the most graceful celebration.