Phil Strum of The Poughkeepsie Journal has an interview up with WWE commentator and Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler.
Here are some highlights.
On working independent events:
“Believe or not, I probably wrestle on events like this ? one of the other wrestlers asked me earlier in the evening ? I probably do about 100 of these a year. I do most weekends and a couple of times a week. Then, of course, I do Monday Night RAW and then usually on Friday and Saturday, I’m usually doing these independent-type shows. Without a doubt, my favorites are Northeast Wrestling. I’ve had a relationship with Michael O’Brien, the guy that runs these shows and promotes these events, for the past, going on seven years. He does a terrific job. As you could see tonight, complete sellout here in Newburgh. It’s almost like that every event I go to. That makes it fun and worthwhile. Nine out of 10 of these type events are fundraisers for different charities or different organizations or schools or clubs or sports teams. It’s not only a chance to go out and have a good time, but hang out with some wrestling fans…and wrestle.”
On not getting to wrestle at WrestleMania this year:
“I would have certainly loved to have been. That’s the one thing that has eluded me, I guess, in my WWE career, even though I’m in the Hall of Fame. As a matter of fact, when they first contacted me in 2007 and told me that they were going to induct me into the Hall of Fame, I said, “No. No.. Don’t do it. I don’t feel like I’m worthy of being in there and I said, plus I feel like that means your wrestling career is over’ because I was thinking like baseball or football hall of fames. They said, oh no no. It doesn’t mean that at all. I said, “I’ve never even wrestled on a WrestleMania.’ That’s the one thing I haven’t had the opportunity to do. But I’m still hopin’. Maybe next year. It is something that would probably be the final jewel in my little wrestling crown.”
On how much preparation he puts into his broadcasts on Raw:
“I don’t want to make it sound trivial or anything, but I honestly don’t do a lot of preparation. I work that way intentionally. This is the way I’ve always looked at this. Vince McMahon or the WWE or the powers that be may look at it entirely different, but I’ve always approached my job not that I’m a commentator or an announcer, but I’ve always approached my job as a wrestler, sitting out there, talking with an announcer or a commentator and giving my views or my reactions on what I see in the ring. I’m there and I can give a different insight than the announcer because I do that for a living as well. I don’t feel like I have to or what preparation I can do. I don’t want to be too prepared in that I want my reactions to be natural and honest. I want to be seeing something for the first time without having any pre-arranged notions of what I’m about to see or what may take place next or anything like that. I feel like my color commentating is more honest, so to speak, the less I prepare.”
On some of the younger WWE commentators:
“Every one of them ? talented guys. I don’t mean this as any kind of derogatory remark or anything, but when I look at them, I just think, it’s almost like they’re trying too hard. When I look at them, I think they need to kind of loosen up a little bit and have more fun at it. If the commentators are enjoying what they’re doing, it’s going to be a better broadcast. The fans watching ?that’s going to come across on the screen. They’re going to feel that enjoyment and that fun. I just try to keep in mind, that hey, this is supposed to be entertainment. People are supposed to have a good time watching this. Supposed to have fun watching this. So I try to have fun doing it. I think the young guys need to get that attitude, as opposed to having the attitude ? oh my gosh, if I screw up. I can’t screw up. This has got to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Most of this is live TV. It’s a wrestling show. It’s not brain surgery. It’s not life or death. I’ve always had the opinion, you can screw up. What the heck. Anything can happen on a WWE show.”
To check out the full interview, click here.