During Monday night’s broadcast of “Monday Night Raw”, WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler suffered a medium to severe heart attack following a match in Montreal’s Bell Centre.
Lawler, who had just competed in a tag team match alongside Randy Orton against WWE Champion CM Punk and 2012 Money in the Bank winner Dolph Ziggler, returned to the announce table after the match to continue calling the show. However, during the next match, he began to sound muffled and was breathing heavily. Michael Cole continued to call the rest of the match by himself, but the audience was clearly focused on Lawler off to the side of the ring.
Twitter users inside the arena revealed that Lawler had begun convulsing and seizing in his seat before finally collapsing on the floor. EMTs, who remain on standby during sporting events, responded immediately and removed Jerry via stretcher.
Recent backstage reports indicate the entire incident happened in less than a minute.
Backstage, EMTs had to perform CPR on Lawler to get his heart to start beating again before rushing him to a Montreal hospital. After an entire match of silence, a visitbly shaken Michael Cole returned to the air to update the fans on the condition of Lawler, announcing there would be no commentary for the rest of the night.
We now know that Lawler did indeed suffer a heart attack, but is in stable condition. Within an hour of the incident, he was already breathing on his own and his heart was beating on it’s own. Furthermore, we know he was responding to light, however it’s unknown if this means he’s actually conscious or simply that he’s responding to external stimuli.
There’s been no further comment aside from this, though several wrestlers and talent have posted their get well soon wishes for Lawler.
Jerry “The King” Lawler, 62, began his career as a professional wrestler in Memphis in the 1970s, where he won the title “King of Wrestling” in 1974 and famously feuding with comedian Andy Kaufman in the 80s. In 1992 he came to the WWE, then WWF, where he feuded with Bret Hart after Hart’s King of the Ring win, a feud which ended with Lawler being crowned “Undisputed King of the World Wrestling Federation”. Despite a short 10 month absence from the WWE in 2001, Lawler has remained with the WWE since, where he first commentated on a match in 1993.
Lawler has never truly retired from active competition. In addition to a current feud with CM Punk and a Wrestlemania 27 feud with Michael Cole, he’s been known to wrestle independent circuits, and still features heavily in his native Tennessee.