You can't keep a good man down!
Sometimes, unfortunately, you may need to. Such is the case with professional wrestling legend and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) commentator Jerry Lawler. For those of you Cagesiders just waking up from your coma (a common side effect of reading anything penned by Keith Hairless), "The King" was carted off Raw last week when his ticker stopped tocking on live television.
It was the closest of calls.
Fleet-footed medical personnel were able to resuscitate the Hall-of-Fainter and get him to the hospital without a moment's delay. So you would think Lawler, who finally found his way back to Memphis this week with his heart in a sling, would accept defeat, unlace his boots and call it a career.
Wrong. The caliph of Coca-Cola is not only expected to resume his announcing duties, but his in-ring obligations, as well. Yes, you heard that right, Jerry Lawler is "absolutely" not done as a wrestler -- despite being older than the remote control, Charlie Brown and the Hydrogen bomb.
But don't take my word for it.
Looking ahead to the future, Lawler says he's thought a lot about returning to wrestling, changing his schedule, and changing his diet. Lawler says WWE's doctor told him "this is going to have a major effect" on his wrestling schedule and it will be "months before even thinking about getting in the ring."
Asked if he will wrestle again, though, Lawler emphatically replied, "Yeah, absolutely." He did not say whether he's had a conversation with WWE officials yet about whether they will clear him to wrestle again, though, which would limit Lawler to independent appearances.
Lawler said he mainly attributes the heart attack to genetics, but also recognizes his diet of fried food and needing to exercise more may have contributed. Lawler noted his father had seven heart attacks prior to dying at the age of 59 and his brother has had open heart surgery. He said he had faced the possibility that "probably something was going to happen," but his Memphis doctor told him that his lifestyle of no drinking, no smoking, and no drugs helped him avoid a serious "cardiac event."
That's an excerpt from today's presser (via PW Torch) in response to his future as a performer, and it should concern you. Particularly if you were one of the millions (and millions) of WWE fans spot-welded to the television (or computer screen) when his kingdom had (almost) come.
Let's just go ahead and say it: Jerry Lawler is lucky to be alive.
From his earlier comments, it sounds like he's looking forward to changing his diet and getting back into shape, which is all well and good. But giving up fried food and hitting the treadmill is not a vaccine for heart attacks, it's a lifestyle you embrace to maintain basic health.
Or to fit into this new "LONG LIVE THE KING" T-shirt for a cool 30 balloons, which was probably made for 42 cents by a six-year-old Mexican in the basement of Titan Towers. In fairness to Vince, Jerry didn't die and Linda's campaign is very expensive. Sometimes you do what you gotta do.
But I digress.
He can continue to live a full and productive life enjoying (most) of the things he was doing before last week's game changer. But getting back into the ring? I thought it was a terrible idea before the heart attack. After? Sounds a little suicidal.
I'm sure he'll be medically cleared to compete, even if he shouldn't.
You can show me the latest test results that say he's all patched up and good to go, but I've been around the fitness world long enough to know that a man in his sixties who underwent heart surgery to save his life shouldn't be brawling inside a steel cage with guys half his age.
That's not a degree talking, that's common sense.
I know there are plenty of fans who probably think I have no business telling a performer what they can and can't do, or how they should live their life or continue their career. Maybe I don't. But then don't be appalled when I simply shrug my shoulders the next time said performer is taken away on a stretcher, because he was either too proud or too dense to get the message the first time.