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By Mike Johnson on 2024-05-07 12:00:00 sat down yesterday to speak with WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler about a number of topics, including his health, his long run in the business and the big legends gathering in his honor in Evansville, Indiana this weekend.

On his health today: "I'm doing fine doing very good and thanks for asking about my health.  it's been quite a bit of controversy there about my health. I've had some health problems going back about seven months now. I had a stroke spent some time getting over that and But I feel like now I feel like it feels like a good time to get back out on the road again a bit.  So that's what I'm starting off with this big event in Evansville.  Day to day,  physically for me is feeling good.   Getting around my house, everything's fine and dandy, but just the little things that that I take me longer to do some things than I used to But as far as look and feel I feel and feel  as good as I ever did."

His WWE Annnouncing Run Ending: "One other thing that a lot of people wonder about, my career has probably ended with the WWE and that's it's just one of those things that goes with my getting over with all the stuff that happened with the stroke and it was my, my just sitting behind a desk and doing it commentating on a match again was the extremely difficult."

His run with Jim Ross: "Sure, it was as big for Good ol' JR as it was for me.  We just went out, did our job every week and we just did what we did best and it always turned out good. I just saw something in a magazine just the other day that it said Who would agree that the jobs Jerry that Lawler and Jim Ross were as important to the business as the Rock and Triple H and guys like that.  There was a big deal and people voting on that and and, I just read a bunch of comments and people said, yeah we forgot about their importance in the business.  We were very important for [WWE] during that time."

Why his chemistry with Bill Dundee worked: "That's a great question. And I don't know if I think my answer would be different from the, from Bill's, but it was just something about the two of us are the gosh, I don't know if I should say camaraderie or whatever, but when they put it again in the green whether we partners or whether we opponents just it just worked out so well and I've looked back and  Ricky, Billy and I have looked back and we faced each other.  Over 500 times  and that's just that's just and we even Bill  really got into the who won the most  amount of times and it was like 250 to 250  in rounds of wins  each other in our careers. And it's just. something about Bill. And it's sometimes I'll say, I'll shake hands with him every chance I get, and we're good. We're good buddies with when we go to the partners.  But then there's always that there's that something between the two of us that we never really Completely get along. So that's just it's just a deal there between Bill and I. That's it's always going to be there."

The level of heat he was getting from fans during the Bret Hart feud in 1993: "It may have come to [WWF's] mind to dial [the heat] back, but was just that things work out perfectly with my character and working with Bret "The Hitman Hart" and his family to get him involved. It just all came together to where when I said some things about his parents...oh my Gosh, I still remember those days, I said, 'I can't wait to see Mr. and Mrs. Hart,  they turned out more tragedies than Shakespeare.'  Just little things like that really get Bret.  Then his parents, they'd be there and to react to some of the things that I said.  It just really worked and the heat really got in there and the fans.  They just could just just couldn't get, Gosh, I can't say it can't get any more heat than we were getting there.   It was like you said, some of the old Memphis matches and but that's one of the things at the time it made Bret really upset by some of the things I had said and I felt it in some of the matches with the working with him. But, fortunately later now that the years have gone by, he really appreciates that time and the heat that I had against him."

The importance of Memphis Wrestling: "Yeah it's, Oh gosh, I don't even know how the best way to say it, but it's it's so many memories and so many stars came out of the Memphis area.  I'm talking about late seventies, early through the seventies, through the eighties and nineties, so many stars came out of this Memphis area.  I've just looked at a magazine yesterday. And it was a picture of The Master of Pain, which was, of course, we will know would go on to be The Undertaker...we had so many big names that came out to, came through Memphis in one way or another, and went on to be  major stars in this business."

WMC TV Studios: "Well, you're right when you say the perfect fit.  When you would just walk into the station and they go to say, Hey, let me take you on a little tour and they will take you around and show you a couple of men and women's bathrooms, which turned out to be the locker rooms for the guys getting ready to wrestle.  We'll check in and show you the newsroom and then they say on Saturday mornings all that stuff is taken out and a ring is put in there and just a  short amount of amount of fans allowed in there but it just was the right size and the right style of place for live wrestling show.  Lance Russell and Dave Brown were right there outside and these two guys there were for their so many years in Memphis wrestling that It was just a natural thing. It just it, the wrestlers that came into the weekends and weekends out it just all, it all worked out no, no matter what."

Having his art on display this weekend in Evansville: "It's gonna be neat. It's gonna be neat for me, especially to see some of this stuff up close again. Some of this stuff is being brought in that I've not seen since I first did it.  It's gonna be, it's gonna be neat.  The one thing that's different about it for me is, that since the stroke over seven months ago, I have not been able...It just affected the right side of my body and I don't have any control over my right side to draw, to paint to to even sign an autograph.  I try to do as I could, but it's not there is like it used to be. So that's one of the cool things about it. It's art. So it's going to be there for all to see."

Mick Foley's early years in Memphis: "It's amazing. I can honestly say that when I first saw Mick, just knowing them as Mick Foley and he just like I said, when he first started, it was just there was just something about him that he had the talent and the and the looks and everything.  He just got his heart and his, the start, stop, and his start, oh gosh his career got started here in Memphis.  He just went on to the big things in the WWE and his career is never stopped and it's it's been a big thing. The biggest thing ever [at that point] for Mick Foley was being here in Memphis."

Favorite Talents to Wrestle: "Wow, that's a tough question  I'm going to bring it down to two, two individuals. One of them is no longer with us and I miss him every time I see one of our matches or something or highlights was the lumberjack big big Joe LeDuc.  He was just tremendous. He was so much bigger than me and all of that kind of stuff, but was a great athlete and we had some great matches.   So he was one of the, one of the greats and then the other one was still with us and that's Superstar Bill Dundee.  I don't know what more I could say about this guy. I've been in the ring with him over 500 times and he's still was one of the best athletes."

His excitement for this weekend's gathering: "Oh man, I'm so excited.  Just so excited about seeing all of these guys that I haven't seen in over years. And some of the guys...THe Godfather as a guy that I look back, I had the first match that he ever had as a wrestler there in Memphis.  Then he went on to become the Godfather and all this kind of stuff and just so many guys that I'm looking forward to seeing again on the road again.  It's going to be awesome. It really is."

There will be a celebration for Lawler in Evansville, Indiana this Friday and Saturday 5/10 and 5/11 featuring a number of Memphis Wrestling legends and more appearing, including Austin Idol, Bill Dundee, Mick Foley, The Steiners, The Hardys, Ron Simmons, Lex Luger and Jimmy Valiant.  The 2-day event will feature a  VIP show on Friday May 10 and convention Saturday May 11 with "Museum style exhibits with legendary, ring-worn items, wrestling artifacts, championship belts, recreated television settings, awards presentation, Wrestling Costume World Championships, photo-ops, autographs, collectibles, LIVE podcasts, Q&A sessions, historic video show and much more."  It is also advertising that the artwork of Jerry “The King” Lawler will be showcased and feature some forgotten treasures and never before seen art pieces in this once-in-a-lifetime event.  There will be a VIP Roast on Friday as part of the event.  

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