Anything can happen in World Wrestling Entertainment
What a Monday Night Raw, huh? We complain about the three hours, but admit it you STILL want to see the talents from some of the best in professional wrestling. We cheer. We boo. Heck, we even complain on various message boards about how awful Raw has been in recent weeks. But still, we watch because (as Vince McMahon and other people said years ago) “Anything can happen in the WWE (or World Wrestling Federation for the “WWF” fans)”. We watch.
Last Monday Night, we saw a catastrophe. We were about to see the “unhappy ending” that many professional wrestlers suffer at the end of their lives. However, we saw a miracle. For those who believe, we witnessed a blessing. One of the best wrestlers of all-time, Jerry “The King” Lawler suffered a heart attack, just mere minutes after competing in a match.
In the match, Randy Orton and Lawler defeated CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler. After the match, we watched Kane and Daniel Bryan defeat Titus O’Neil and Darren Young to be the #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship. But I watched fans turn away, so I did what many fans would usually go to for news. I went to Twitter. I read tweets about Lawler collapsing at the table, a screen capture of him at 10:08pm (give or take a few minutes) clutching his chest. It was bad. The commentary was eerily silent. This became real. Like many wrestling fans, I did not care what happened the rest of the night. Still, I watched. Not for Cena’s end promo. Not for Sheamus and his Brogue Kick Ban. I watched only for what happened to Lawler. I watched patiently, prayed when I heard that he had to get CPR, when he went to the ER. Pro Wrestling did not need another horrible news story. There is, sadly, too many of them. Even Michael Cole, who rightfully broke out of his character, broke down. The viewers were feeling exactly how Cole was feeling. When Cole broke down, maybe some fans broke down with him. However, at the end of Raw we hear relief in Cole’s fan and voice. But the recovery was still uncertain.
Now, let’s fast forward. It is 9:31pm on September 13th. Three days after the heart attack, Lawler is in a picture on Twitter (which was earlier in the day) with eyes wide open and smiling. The results from scans came back fine. He is moving around, communicating, and so much more just days after he suffered a life-threatening instant. To those who gave out the millions of thoughts and prayers, they were answered. Heck, some people say that he can go back to wrestling. It’s crazy how wonderful he recovered. And just like the possibly tens of thousands of matches, Lawler kept fighting, pulled the strap down and fist dropped death right to the mat! (Credit Ricky Langston for the previous thought).
After I wrote my lesson plans for the upcoming school day. I dropped my pen and I thought about so many scenarios. What if Lawler did not make it and Raw continued? What if this happened AFTER Raw in a hotel room? Thank goodness the What-If’s never happened. Lawler is a one-of-a-kind man who loves what he does when wrestling.
So, under our breath a few days later we whisper “Thank goodness he is alive”. Lawler has another chance of life. If he comes back in any capacity after this scare, imagine the roar from the crowd? Imagine if he wanted to make a quick one-minute appearance on Raw on October 15th Smackdown October 16th in Memphis, Tennessee. I am sure if Lawler gets a microphone, he would thank so many people from the fans of the WWE Universe to his fans over his 40+ year career to these very special people.
WWE Doctors – These people (I don’t know if they are all men or a couple women doctors are there as well) responded in a second’s notice the moment Michael Cole demanded help. The WWE Doctors were top notch throughout this event.
Montreal EMTs – The alertness of the EMTs should be commended as well. The combination of the WWE Doctors and the medical personal in Montreal made this an International recovery. They deserve a round of applause, a thank you, and even a Gold Star.
All involved backstage – They don’t just plan this. The superstars, production, and leaders did all they could to keep the show flowing smoothly. Sure, it may be controversial but in pro wrestling “The Show Must Go On” (unless the worst happened, which thank goodness it didn’t). From Vince to Triple H to CM Punk, Bret Hart, John Cena, and many others. They handled this professionally.
And finally (and in my opinion the reason for this happy ending).
Michael Cole – We can rip on his commentary and his character. He did a great job at making people hate him. But here is the spoiler alert for my Mr. V column readers.
MICHAEL COLE IS MY PICK FOR COMMENTATOR OF THE YEAR
Without the rushed judgment of Cole, Lawler may not have made it. Cole did not care about the consequences when he saw Lawler slouched holding his chest. As in the Fox News interview, he stated that he “turned off his mic” and immediately screamed for help.
Cole was not protecting his job or himself, he did the great thing of all. He protected one of his best friends. Admit it, we all wish we have more friends like Michael Cole was to Jerry Lawler. As my friend Doug Lackey stated, it was “#ClassActCole” all the way.
I Am Sorry, Michael Cole (Here are my Gold Stars)
Over the months and years, I ripped on Cole (just like many others) for his work in the WWE. After September 10th, I admit I was wrong 100% about Michael Cole. Not only is Michael Cole out of Eternal Detention or any detention for that matter. He is the first man I am going to think of when giving a Gold Star (along with the scores of people that saved Lawler’s life).
We are all human beings. We all have jobs. We also have friends. Cole is a human being who kept friendship and his job seriously. Not many people are like that in the world anymore. After all these years of doing my column, I admit mistakes. Ripping on Michael Cole consistently was my biggest mistake. I know Cole does not read this, but I am sorry.
As a columnist, I could let it go. However, as a parent and teacher I realized how foolish my words are when I would rip on Cole. As of this moment, no more. There is no reason.
So let’s all just say thank you to these people who made what could be a tragedy a miracle. Lawler is recovering, and that is the boost that pro wrestling needed. (as of 10:09 PM 9/13 on Tout, he thanked all for the well-wishes).
This column came from my heart. Speaking of which, this year I am doing the American Heart Association “Jump Rope for Heart” event. They ask on the fundraising paper who you will jump for. I jump for my grandfather who I lost due to heart issues as well as all my family and friends who either suffered heart ailments and even death. But this year I will also jump rope (along with my students) for Jerry Lawler.
Keep fighting Lawler. You are a true inspiration. And to those who rescued “The King”, Thank You.