Okay. There are many things I don’t want to confess because of just sheer personal embarrassment — and this is one– but here it goes.
I. Like. To. Watch. Wrestling. There. I said it.
And yes. I know it’s “fake.”
But I love it. I loved it from the Wrestlemania III – Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan era to the NWO infiltrates WCW era to the Stone Cold vs. Vince era to the Attitude Era to today. To this day, it remains as one of my biggest guiltiest pleasure.
This past Monday, something happened. Jerry “the King” Lawler (a commentator) suffered a heart attack — live on air. I heard about it, and started watching WWE Raw (I usually record it to skip the boring parts). It happened during a match that I wouldn’t normally watch. I told my wife what happened and her reaction was just like my initial reaction, “Yea, right. It’s all fake, you know.” Had I read about it on some wrestling site, I would’ve believed that it was part of a storyline. But, I read the news tidbit on a TV website that never talked about wrestling.
Here’s the morbid thing, though. I kept trying to pinpoint when it exactly happened. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Volume up. Play.
There’s audible breathing and wheezing. At least that’s what I think it is. Then the commentary goes silent. And you see staff running around the ring. Michael Cole (the play-by-play commentary) is silent and stuttering– which even in wrestling, the commentators rarely stutter. And then, you see the entire crowd stop watching the match and start looking towards the announcer’s booth. Later chants of “Jerry” are filling the arena — all the while a match is still ongoing.
Then later in the broadcast, Michael Cole tells us what happened and that “this is not part of tonight’s entertainment.” He looks visibly shaken. And there’s no commentary for the rest of the night.
I never thought I would be this morbid. But, I guess, it shouldn’t come off as too much of a surprise, because I rubberneck during traffic accidents. I try not too…. but you can’t turn away.
What is it in us that makes us wanna look and see things like traffic accidents and such?
What’s the saying about train wrecks and how we can’t look away?
I hope that WWE and former wrestlers start realizing that you shouldn’t put your body through that much stress when you hit a certain age. Jerry was involved in a storyline with CM Punk, and actually wrestled earlier in the show. Jerry, I think, is 62 years old.
As fake as you think wrestling may be, these people put a lot of stress and damage on their body.
I last read that the King may have suffered brain damage. I hope that’s not true. And I hope that he is able to make a speedy recovery. Here’s to the King and his family and friends.