WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler has reflected on one of the scariest moments in Raw history when he nearly died live on the air at the commentary desk.
Back in September 2012, Lawler was on the call alongside Michael Cole when things went very wrong, very quickly. The King suffered a cardiac arrest live on the air with many fans watching live on television fearing the worst.
Speaking on the Johnny Dare Morning Show, Jerry Lawler reflected on that night in Montreal and makes clear that he didn’t suffer a heart attack and explains how lucky he was to have survived his ordeal:
“I always like to try to set the story straight, because everybody says that I had a heart attack. In reality, it was not a heart attack. It was a cardiac arrest, which are two totally different things. A heart attack is when you have clogged arteries and blood clots or something that stops up your veins or your arteries and that sort of stuff, and then your heart is damaged by a lack of blood flow or you can die from that.”
“But cardiac arrest is when, for one reason or another, your heart just suddenly stops beating. And only seven out of 1,000 people that have cardiac arrest survive, and the only ones that do is if they have immediate care because, technically, as soon as you have the cardiac arrest, your heart stops, and you’re dead.”
Doctor Michael Sampson – the current AEW ringside doctor – was at ringside on Raw on the night and he immediately began work on reviving The King that ultimately saved his life. Lawler added:
“I just fell over out of my announcer chair, basically right in front of him, so, he realized something went bad, was wrong.”
Jerry Lawler had competed on the night in question in a tag team match that pitted himself and Randy Orton against CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler. During the bout, Ziggler dropped ten elbows on The King’s chest, something that he thinks may have contributed to his cardiac arrest:
“I swear to God, I’ve told this story a million times, after the fifth elbow that he was dropping on my chest, I said to myself, ‘Whatever happened to the days that we used to do this and not kill each other?'”
Lawler continued by explaining the only lasting pain came from broken ribs as a result of the CPR performed on him and says he never thinks about that night until others mention it because he has had no heart issues since:
“[The only discomfort Lawler had was] A very sore chest because they actually fractured one of my ribs doing the CPR stuff … because it happened so fast and I have no memory of any pain or any bad feeling about it. When I came back to, it was like it never even happened to me.”
“Until somebody else mentions it to me. I haven’t had any problems with my heart at all since then. So, no, I don’t even think about it anymore.”