Photo of Michael Cole via Wikimedia Commons.
Tragedy struck last night (Sept. 10, 2012) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at WWE Monday Night Raw, as Jerry Lawler collapsed at the ringside commentary desk for still unknown reasons.
There have been reports from those in attendance, such as Arda Ocal of The Score, who have stated Lawler was sitting slumped over and started convulsing before being attended to by WWE medical personnel. He was unconscious and taken out on a stretcher to the backstage area, where CPR was performed.
Not long after this went down and WWE figured out the situation, ringside announcer Michael Cole gave an update stating that Lawler was taken to a local hospital and was being treated there. He also stated he would no longer be doing commentary for the rest of the show in observance of Lawler's absence and his condition at the time.
There is currently no word on whether that decision was made by Cole or by Vince McMahon.
All throughout the remainder of the evening, Cole would periodically give updates to Lawler's condition, starting with the fact that he was breathing on his own and going off the air with the announcement that his condition had reportedly "stabilized" and he was responding to light. He was also being taken in for a CAT scan on both his chest and head.
As of this writing, there have been no further updates from WWE.
Cole has often been lambasted by the pro wrestling fanbase for his abrasive style, though most of that is by design, or just for the fact that he's not Jim Ross, who so many adore. But it should be pointed out expressly that he was admirable in the way he handled the entire situation tonight, from reportedly shooing cameras away so they wouldn't catch a glimpse of Lawler while he was going through whatever he was going through to his emotional delivery of the first update.
Cole was asked to keep WWE fans appraised of a dire, life-and-death situation involving a good friend of his who had collapsed right next to him during a live broadcast watched by millions of people every week, not even mentioning the tens of thousands who were in attendance at the Bell Centre. He was the picture of professionalism and struck just the right note during a time that so many were eagerly awaiting updates on the condition of such a beloved figure in the pro wrestling world.
We will continue to pass along any updates to Lawler's condition as soon as we get them and want to say again that we hope that everything turns out to be okay and he makes a full recovery.