Every time I feel nostalgic and go back into the archives of the Attitude Era (YouTube, essentially, since the WWE Network is still taking an age to put up a lot of the best moments), all I can hear in my ears, besides the hot crowd, are the amazing tonsils of JR as well as cackling, sycophantic, lecherous heel who was so good at being irritating and pissing everyone off who was rooting for Stone Cold.
I find it a little sad then that when Brock Lesnar was massacring John Cena last Sunday, I was welcoming the absence of his commentary.
And why did he not speak?
Because the character of Jerry "The King" Lawler has become so one dimensional that when it came to this extraordinary match, where the status quo was simply upended and torn apart, he had nothing to say.
And that's the nub of the problem with having Jerry Lawler on commentary now. Michael Cole is not the best play-by-play announcer but he is actually getting better since his horrible heel turn mercifully ended. JBL is a former WWE Champion and covers both heel commentary as well as expert commentary (I tend to think that he's at his best when he focuses on the latter with a leaning towards an "ends-justify-the-means" mentality).
The King, on the other hand, has seemed more and more like a cheerleader for one superstar: John Cena.
In all the other matches on SummerSlam, King was happy to commentate and talk about both the heels and the faces. When Lesnar was tearing Cena apart it was like Lawler had decided to sulk in his corner.
Now, this is not all Jerry's fault. A lot of this has to go back to Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn, who obviously think that by having Lawler fawn over Cena it will turn some of the crowd. But in reality, it only emphasizes the fact that Cena is a champion of the establishment.
This isn't helped by the fact that Mr. Hustle Loyalty and Respect's chief advocate on the announcing table seems to have trouble showing women wrestlers the slightest bit of respect (though he has far too much loyalty to really old jokes). This is problematic for a VP of Talent who is doing his darndest to put women wrestlers over and make them relevant again.
Perhaps SummerSlam has given the WWE the break it needs to start winding down the King's career. Give him a grand send off, send him into the sunset and have him host special panel shows on the network. But when Roman Reigns or whoever else starts his reign on top, let's not have someone who is more interested in crawling than calling.