Jerry Lawler/CM Punk/Paul Heyman Segment: No Surprise, No Issue, No Problem
One minute everyone is counting days for WWE to drop PG content after Linda loses her campaign. Now WWE apparently has crossed the line with the segment involving CM Punk/Paul Heyman/Jerry Lawler. Fix your moral compass and decide what direction you want to go.
I know some people have more delicate taste. I know some people have had heart attacks. I know some people lost or nearly lost a loved one to a heart attack. I respect and understand all of those situations. However, you're still watching an entertainment show and you have a remote that changes channels.
Jerry “The King” Lawler is old school, I'd expect him to come right back and want to contribute to the show in every way possible.
He got his ovation. He got to say thank you and speak for a few minutes. I am not shocked at all he would want to use this emotional segment as a great catalyst to generate heat on the company's top heel six days before a pay-per-view.
There's no way of knowing for sure what Lawler was told and what was done on the fly. Don't know if he knew CM Punk and Paul Heyman were going to mock him having a heart attack. If I had to bet, I would think he was clued in, but with the organic and spontaneous nature of how wrestling creative comes together―anything is possible.
Bottom line, he obviously knew Punk was scripted to come out and use the heart attack to get heat in some way. If he's okay with it, that should be a meter for you to control your anger.
Jerry Lawler was involved in one of the most elaborate worked feuds ever with comedian Andy Kaufman. He poked fun at Stu and Helen Hart being near death at all times when feuding with Bret Hart.
Let's not forget Lawler mocking and spitting whiskey in the face of Jake “The Snake” Roberts in 1996 per storyline as Roberts was attempting to remain sober in one of his life long battles with drinking.
Maybe if a national audience watched Roberts drink himself to near death they would feel more connected to the incident since they almost watched Lawler's final moments on national television. Nonetheless, CM Punk and Paul Heyman were being ruthless bad guys. We need that.
A common theme and complaint is a lack of talented bad guys. Characters that aren't watered down to the “PG” crowd. Some of the best programming for the context of good guys, bad guys and drama in wrestling is art imitating life. The blend of real life to television. Especially in this day and age of reality television and everybody knowing everything.
Matt Hardy gets fired after behind the scenes drama with his ex-girlfriend and Edge―use it. WWE brought Hardy back to great attention and he feuded with Edge.
Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart really didn't like each other for a while. We watched that play out in front of us for one of the most memorable feuds ever.
CM Punk was mad at WWE. We all loved watching that play out in front of us.
All different situations, but the bottom line to the Lawler segment last night is the heart attack happened. Thankfully he's alive. You can't change that it happened so why not use it to help further stories. Use it to help have a character be hated and only make the audience want to see him get beat up even more.
There would have been a bigger issue or outcry if Lawler hadn't yet fully recovered or if he wasn't even present in the building for the segment.
He was there, he's old school, he wants the show to go on. I'm sure he was thrilled just to be back performing and being involved in the storyline. That's what he's spent his life doing and he thought he might not get another shot to do it again.
If they wanted Lawler to come back, smile, say thanks and sit down―it would have happened at the top of the show. They saved it for the turn of the hour, which is one of the first key segments they map out in the writers' meetings. This should have been your indication that something more was coming.
To those of you upset, all I can say is I'm sure you have some anger or dislike toward CM Punk and Paul Heyman―that's what your supposed to have. If you say you're not mad at them and you're mad at WWE for coming up with it then you're being too smart for the situation.
Reality is, Punk and Heyman agreed to do it or perhaps they even came up with it. Let them have their heat. If this is done right, Lawler in some form will get his redemption and pay off. I'm not suggesting he should wrestle, but it doesn't mean he can't do something small that costs or influences the outcome of a CM Punk situation.
WWE isn't going to drop the PG rating, but I fully believe they will walk the line and do some things to get people talking. Do things that create a buzz. Last night was a solid point of that.
Again, Jerry Lawler is an old-school wrestling guy and remembers that the buzz of people talking leads to tickets sales, pay-per-view buys and success. Long live the King.
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