Jerry Lawler Reflects On The Night He Nearly Died Ringside At WWE Raw

One of the scariest moments at a WWE event occurred on the night of September 10, 2012, when color commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a cardiac arrest during a live broadcast of "Monday Night Raw" from Montreal's Bell Centre. Ten years later, Lawler recalled the near-death experience on the "Johnny Dare Morning Show." He used the conversation to correct a misconception regarding what occurred.


"I always like to try to set the story straight, because everybody says that I had a heart attack," he said. "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."


Lawler recalled that WWE's company doctor was seated next to him and commentator Michael Cole when "I just fell over out of my announcer chair, basically right in front of him, so, he realized something went bad, was wrong." The doctor immediately applied CPR, which Lawler said saved his life.

Cause and Effect

According to The Bleacher Report, Lawler was moved to the backstage area, where EMTs worked to revive him. Some backstage reports stated Lawler was clinically dead for roughly 20 minutes before being revived.   


As for the cause of the cardiac arrest, Lawler attributed it to a match he had earlier in the evening when he teamed with Randy Orton against CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler body-slammed Lawler and rammed his elbow into his chest 10 consecutive times.

"And 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 said.

Lawler went to the announcers' table 10 minutes after the match, but said his heart "was just off rhythm" from the blunt trauma of Ziggler's pounding. Lawler added that he does not remember losing consciousness, recalling how he was commenting on a match one moment and was in a hospital room within the blink of an eye.


"There was no warning, no feeling of going to sleep, nothing," he said. "It was just like all of those three days of my life were just gone and I didn't even remember."

Lawler said that the only discomfort he experienced after the incident 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."

The Hall of Famer said he never thinks about the incident "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."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Johnny Dare Morning Show" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.