The Miami Herald has a new interview with Jerry “The King” Lawler. Here are a few hilights.
Getting the commentating gig after Randy Savage left to WCW: “When the Monday Night Wars really got started, I was already there basically as a wrestler. Macho Man Randy Savage was doing the color commentating with Vince McMahon, and I was doing the wrestling on Raw. In the midst of the Monday Night Wars, several guys jumped ship and left WWE without notice and showed up down in Atlanta for WCW, and Macho Man Randy Savage was one of them.
“I’ll never forget we were about an hour away from going on the air live, and at that time WCW went on the air an hour before us. I remember Vince was looking around, ‘We need to find Randy. We’re going to go over what we’re going to have on the show.’ Suddenly somebody came in and said, ‘Vince, you need to turn on your TV,’ and he looked, and there was Macho Man Randy Savage, walking onto WCW. He left, jumped ship, without telling anyone.
“So Vince came to me and said, ‘King, can you help me out and do color commentary tonight, and by next week I’ll find somebody else to do it full time.’ So I agreed, and I’ve been there ever since.”
Editor’s Note: Lawler seems to be remembering this incorrectly. Savage’s contract with WWF expired in October of 1994, and he left the company. Vince McMahon wished Savage well on RAW, and Savage would go on to make his WCW televised debut months later, in December of 1994.
The Monday Night Wars: “There was a lot of pressure, but to me, and I think to everybody in the WWE, that made it even more fun. The rivalry that we had. We not only had the rivalry in ring in our own company, but then there was that extra pressure of real-life rivalry going on between two companies. There was a lot of professional pride involved. Every week you wanted to do your best to try to beat them in the ratings. It was touch and go there for a while, but when DX arrived on the scene, we finally got the upper hand and never looked back.
“When DX invaded WCW, that was not only unheard of, it was almost unthinkable to do something like that. To have the nerve and the intestinal fortitude to show up at your opposition’s live TV show in battle gear, no less, and actually try to force a confrontation, that was just something that had never been done before. I think that really was a turning point in the Monday Night Wars. That made people realize that our catch phrase about Monday Night Raw was really true, and that was anything can happen on Monday Night Raw.”
Getting the term “puppies” from a possibly returning DX member: “I actually got to give credit to a guy who I think will be returning on the 1,000th episode. It was a member of DX, Road Dogg [Jesse] James. I believe he was talking to Sable at the time. DX was in the ring, and Sable was in the ring, and somehow I believe Road Dogg said, ‘Hey, show us your puppies.’ It kind of floated by. No big deal at that point and time, but then I started using the word a couple of weeks later, and it just stuck.”