WWE star Jerry 'The King' Lawler has heart attack during Monday Night Raw, in stable condition, agent says
WWE Hall of Famer and Monday Night Raw announcer Jerry "The King" Lawler collapsed while broadcasting the program Monday, and according to play-by-play announcer Michael Cole was given CPR in the back of the arena.
A clearly shaken Cole made it clear that the incident was "not part of the entertainment."
Early Tuesday morning, Lawler's agent, Don Murry Grubbs, tweeted, "It's been confirmed that Jerry Lawler did suffer a heart attack tonight on Raw. He is in stable condition but still needs your prayers."
Lawler had wrestled earlier in the evening in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in a tag-team match with Randy Orton against Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk.
After his match Lawler returned to the broadcast position and apparently collapsed during the tag-team match between Kane/Daniel Bryan and The Prime-Time Players. Cole announced a couple of matches by himself before announcing to the TV audience that Lawler had been stretchered to the back.
Later, at 10:39 p.m., Cole reported that Lawler was receiving oxygen but breathing on his own and was being transported to an area hospital. Cole announced that the show would continue but out of respect to Lawler no further commentary would take place during the evening.
At 10:54 p.m., Cole announced that Lawler was in an isolated portion of the emergency room at a local hospital, was responding to light stimuli from doctors and was awaiting a CAT scan.
Right before the show ended, at 11:13 p.m., Cole announced that Lawler's condition had "stabilized," according to the hospital, he was breathing on his own and his heart was beating on its own.
Around midnight, Grubbs responded to a Newsday email with, "I do not know any further details at this time other than he is breathing on his own. Keep him in your prayers."
Lawler, 62, is best known for his early '80s feud with late comedian Andy Kaufman, earning Lawler pop culture status that extended way past his roots as a Memphis-area wrestling star. The height of the feud included Lawler slapping Kaufman on "Late Night With David Letterman."
WWE last experienced a moment like this at a televised event when Owen Hart was killed at Kemper Arena in Kansas City in 1999 when he fell 78 feet into the ring while trying to rapel down as part of his Blue Blazer gimmick during the "Over the Edge" pay-per-view. Lawler was announcing that show and left the broadcast position to check on Hart's condition in the ring.
In 2007, a scheduled Monday Night Raw show in Corpus Christi, Texas turned into a tribute for Chris Benoit after he, wife Nancy and son Daniel were found dead in their suburban Atlanta home the day of the show. It was later determined that Chris Benoit had killed his wife and son before taking his own life.
Top stars of the wrestling business quickly tweeted works of encouragement to Lawler. WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels tweeted: "I've just heard about Jerry Lawler!! Time for prayer everybody!! We're here for you King, God Bless!!" The hashtag #PrayforLawler was trending on Twitter.
Lawler's longtime broadcast partner and fellow Hall of Famer Jim Ross tweeted, "I'm shaken by the news of my friend Jerry Lawler's medical emergency in Montreal. Hands shaking. Prayers for the King. I feel helpless."
Cole ended the show with "Jerry, beat this thing. Get' em, King."
Follow Josh Stewart on Twitter @JoshNASCARWWE.