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On this week’s ‘Dinner With The King’ with WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler and Glenn Moore, they are joined by former WWE Doctor, Dr. Michael Sampson, to discuss The King’s cardiac arrest, which happened five years ago this week. Dr. Sampson is responsible for keeping Lawler alive, as The King calls him a “hero.” This is the first interview they have had together on the same show since The King’s cardiac arrest in Montreal in 2012.
The King also discusses leaving Florida before Hurricane Irma hit, and gives an update about the status of his condo in Fort Myers. He then talks about WWE superstars making more appearances at independent wrestling shows this year, including AJ Styles over the weekend in Georgia.
He explains the process on how these happen, and why they don’t happen regularly (35:25 mark of show):
“When you sign a contract with WWE, it’s pretty much exclusive. However, WWE wrestlers are, technically tax-wise, considered independent contractors. In that sense, you are really truly, supposedly, work wherever you want to. But it’s just an understanding, and it’s in the contract, that WWE will basically keep you booked where you’re not available to do anything else. I think they call them “third-party appearances.” That’s been a long-standing thing that if somebody else wants to book, say for instance AJ Styles, I’m sure what they did was call the office and made an offer. Then the office will look and see if it’s a viable thing; if AJ isn’t working that night. So say you have an independent show, and you call WWE, and you say you want John Cena. If he’s available, and they tell you what his fee would be; if you are still conscious, if you haven’t fainted, and you say you can pay that, they call John and tell him they have an offer for him and if he would accept it. And why you don’t see WWE superstars at these shows, the reasons are money, it’s prohibitive for a promoter to be able to pay these guys what WWE is asking. And usually when these shows happen are on the weekend, when WWE are running their shows. Or a day off; days off are few and far between. They relish a day off; they wouldn’t want to do a third-party appearance on their day off.”
After Dr. Sampson’s interview, The King talks about death, his burial plot, and not having a will. Some highlights from this morbid conversation:
Not having a will (1:21:03 mark of show):
“You know what, I’ll be perfectly honest with ya, I’m telling the world this right now. No, I did not [have burial plans]. And I don’t even have a will. I really got to do that. I’ve just always been under the assumption that when you make out a will, you’re betting against yourself.”
The King’s burial plot (1:23:05 mark of show):
“They wound up selling me a plot. They also sold me a, not a monument or a marker, but a thing that covers your grave. And I’m going to be buried next to Isaac Hayes; they literally have a celebrity row at Memphis Memorial Park. Yes, I’ve gone out there a couple times and just looked at the ground, the plot. Lauryn [Jerry’s fiancé] and I have gone out there a couple times, and I’ll say, “This is the spot.”