On Monday night in my former hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, WWE presented the always-fun “Old School” edition of RAW. The show saw the return of several past WWE Superstars, legends and Hall Of Famers, and as expected, was a fun stroll down memory lane.
One person who fits all three categories (Superstar, Legend and Hall Of Famer) that was absent from participating during the show was “The King” himself, Jerry Lawler.
As we covered here at eWrestlingNews.com throughout most of Monday evening leading up to the big event, Lawler was dealing with some medical issues.
According to sources, Lawler’s son, Brian Christopher, who returned as Grandmaster Sexay alongside his “Too Cool” running mates during the show, noticed that his father wasn’t looking too hot backstage on Monday afternoon. Christopher reportedly told WWE management that his father looked ill and was throwing up due to some stomach issues. WWE management then encouraged Lawler to go the hospital to get checked out, fearing that his heart complications could be returning.
As it turns out, all was basically well with “The King” and he was out of the hospital and back in the Baltimore Arena approximately 45 minutes before “Old School RAW” went on the air. As a precautionary measure, WWE prevented Lawler from doing his usual Monday night television commentary duties. Instead, WWE used this as yet another opportunity to promote their stupid WWE App.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying WWE purposely held Lawler off commentary to promote their App. What they are guilty of, however, is using Lawler’s medical situation to do exactly that. Whether or not the WWE App promotion played into their decision to keep him off of commentary, which I don’t feel it was, the fact remains that the decision was made to encourage fans to download the App to find out how he was doing.
For most of you reading, you were already aware that Lawler had been hospitalized and was out of the hospital and back in the building by the time “Old School RAW” went on the air. If you’re a casual weekly viewer of WWE RAW that doesn’t live on wrestling websites on the internet, however, you were finding out about Lawler’s issues for the first time during the broadcast.
So looking at things from the perspective of these casual types of fans, here’s basically what likely went through their mind. First and foremost, Lawler isn’t at commentary. They’re told that he had medical issues, and there were rumors on the internet about heart complications. This would immediately jog the fans memory that this same guy, not even a year ago, had a legitimate heart attack and nearly lost his life during a live WWE RAW telecast. The fans were then told, for exclusive updates on Lawler’s condition, download and check out the WWE App.
Am I the only one who finds this approach to be rather disgusting? Are they really that desperate to promote their stupid App that badly that they would plug updates on a real-life situation involving the health of a guy who less than a year ago came within minutes of dieing during a live broadcast? There are a million other ways they could have handled this situation.
The fact is they felt the best option was to quickly inform fans that Lawler’s condition wasn’t serious, but inform them that there were some issues earlier in the day, and to find out what happened, go check their App. Come on, guys. Shame on you.
Luckily all’s well that ends well. Lawler seems to be in good health, WWE got their dumb plug out of the way, and we can all move forward. Perhaps things could have been worse. They could have had CM Punk come out and fake a heart attack or something crazy like that. Nah, they wouldn’t go that far. Whoops! Wait a minute. They would. And have. Ahhh, you have to love World Wrestling Entertainment.
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