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.