When Michael Cole promised to interview someone from Jerry Lawler’s past, my initial thought was that it would be a big swerve. After all, there have been many times recently when WWE has promised something significant but failed to deliver.
From the John Cena and Alex Riley firings to the many inconclusive match endings every week, I had my reasons to be skeptical. I was half-expecting a midget dressed like King or his former wife The Kat to make her return.
Michael Cole emerged from the “Cole Mine” to announce the return of a member of Jerry Lawler’s family, and that person turned out to be no other than his son, Brian Christopher, aka “Grand Master Sex-ay.”
I was watching Raw Is War with several people who were in their late teens and early twenties who had no idea who Brian Christopher was. I explained that Brian Christopher was a former WWE Superstar and part of the tag team “Too Cool,” who were tag-team champions at one point, but I could not effectively explain why he chose to boogie all the way to the ring.
Too Cool always danced for comedy and raw entertainment, and not skill, but it was pretty cringe-worthy to see The Grandmaster dust off those moves that were neither cool nor sex-ay. He proceeded to badmouth Lawler, which made Jerry call his son a bigger screw-up than Charlie Sheen. Brian Christopher then went to the announce desk to slap his father and say that he was ashamed of being The King’s son.
The great Jim Ross made an appearance to call Michael Cole, among many things, a rat bastard. After both Ross and Cole were about to fight, Jack Swagger jumped King and went into the ring to assault Jim Ross. Jerry Lawler tried to make the save, but he was quickly taken down by Cole and Swagger.
Michael Cole promised to commit regicide last night, and he may have succeeded. We all know that professional wrestling is choreographed, but it still had to be tough for Jerry Lawler to watch his son make a fool of himself last night.
The look on Lawler’s face when he was slapped and talked down to by his son expressed many things. I saw a flash of anger that morphed into a combination of sadness, pain and a sense of pity. The King looked like he wanted to crawl under a rock. The pain of the ankle lock Jack Swagger slapped on him must have paled in comparison to the pain and embarrassment Mr. Christopher caused himself and his father.
However tumultuous their relationship may have been, it had to be agonizing for Lawler to see his son exploited to the extent he was last night. As a father of two very young boys, nothing would break my heart more than to see one of them have a moment that Brian Christopher last night. As a father, you never wish to see your children fail or fall short of their potential, whether trying out for a sports team or an audition for a show.
I’m sure The King wanted to fight back, verbally and physically. I know part of him must have thought that he was undeserving of the scorn he received last night. But what if part of him thought he did deserve it? Was that the reason he didn’t fight back?
It’s easy to label parents good if their kids are successful or bad if their kids are failures—and nobody labels parents faster than people who don’t have children of their own.
It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized that, true, some parents have more money, better jobs, give better advice and are generally better equipped to raise kids, but there is one thing all parents have in common, the ones that give a damn anyway: A lot of parenting is hoping, wishing and praying.
You tell them to be good, and you hope they listen. You wish they end up more successful than you are, and you pray they don’t screw up big enough end up in the news. That’s the tightrope parents walk every day. You can give the soundest advisement and make the most money in the world, but most of a child’s life is spent away from the parent.
Most of the time, kids won’t tell you when you really mess things up. They tell you when they are angry or when you are not giving them what they want. But they almost never tell you about the scars inflicted, probably by the parent or loved one unintentionally, until it is too late. Often scars cannot be avoided, especially if you are a single mother or a father that travels a lot, like I’m sure Jerry Lawler did when Brian Christopher growing up.
The tension expressed between Jerry Lawler and his son last night is not unique, but shouldn’t it be?