Michael Cole has spoken to Fox News’ ‘Fox and Friends’ about exactly what happened this past Monday on the WWE RAW 3-hour live broadcast when Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler suffered a heart attack during a tag team match mid commentary.
Cole, who plays a heel for the most part on camera, was visibly shaken when he addressed the audience after Lawler was taken away from the ringside area within moments of collapsing mid sentence. Cole revealed in the interview that it was Vince McMahon’s idea to continue RAW without any commentary as a show of respect for Lawler and that no one knew whether he would live until positive word reached them just before the show went off the air.
The Q&A session went as follows:
Fox News: I heard that his heart had stopped beating and he had to be revived. Correct?
Cole: I’m not quite sure about that because I was actually ringside when this happened. We were calling the show; we were live. I was looking at my monitor; Jerry was looking at his monitor. And, all of a sudden, I heard snoring on the air. For a split moment, I thought it was part of the entertainment. I thought that he was out – like, sleeping. Then, I looked over and I realized that his head was on the table and his arms started to shake; I knew at that point that there was an issue.
I don’t know if it’s my news background or what it was, but instinctively I jumped up and hit my mute switch because I didn’t want people at home to see what was happening. I started screaming for our doctor, Dr. Samson who is at ringside for all of our events, and our production assistant and they were immediately with Jerry, brought him to the floor, security jumped over the barricades, about half-dozen men carried him to the side of the arena, put him on a stretcher, and they got him to the back. Thank God for Dr. Samson and the Montreal EMTs.
Fox News: He wasn’t just commentating; he was actually wrestling that night, too.
Cole: Yeah, he had a match probably about 20 minutes before that.
Fox News: How old is he?
Cole: Uh, 62-years-old.
Fox News: Is he too old to be doing that?
Cole: No, I don’t think so. And, I’ll tell you why. He passed all the physical exams that were needed to participate, number one. Number two, Jerry Lawler has been doing this 42 years, he loves it, and he’s like a kid – it’s all he ever wanted to do. But, more importantly than that, he wrestles 100-150 times a year. Not just for us, but for independent organizations around the world, so he wants to do this and he’s in the shape to do this. And, he wouldn’t be in this business if he didn’t love it.
Fox News: How much more of a show did you have to do after this happened?
Cole: An hour. (sigh)
Fox News: You had to do an hour then by yourself?
Cole: What happened is we completed the match – I just continued calling it when Jerry had collapsed. We went to commercial break. We made the decision during the break that out of respect for Jerry that we weren’t going to do commentary anymore. So, the show went on and the matches continued, but it was just silent. Then, I would give an update at the bottom of every segment before commercials to what we knew about Jerry.
It didn’t look good for Jerry for a while, and then the last thing we heard was that he was starting to respond to light and his heart was beating on its own right before we went off the air on Monday.
Lawler’s former wife Stacey Carter and son ‘Grandmaster Sexay’ Brian Christopher (Lawler) have both commented to the media that Lawler has no brain damage and is breathing for himself, but no further updates have yet been made available.
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