Early this month, WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King Lawler" received a lot of criticism when he called Akira Tozawa's senton a "Ramen Noodle Moonsault." It didn't take long before frustrated fans took to social media to confront Lawler for his comment, that many saw as racist.
On his podcast The Jerry Lawler Show, Lawler addressed the elephant in the room but he did not seem apologetic about his said comment a few weeks back. Instead, he gave an in-depth origin of how he came up with that name/idea.
"I said the words, 'Ramen Noodles' on RAW and the next thing you know, the Internet blows up, and I'm a big racist," Lawler mentions. "So, let me go back and explain what I was doing; being racist was the furthest thing from my mind. It all boils down to back in, I think, 2016. There was a time when I was doing commentary with Mauro Ranallo, right? It was new to me when they put the two of us together, I had never worked with Mauro before. He's a ton of fun to work with. He's got such energy and has done all this [commentary for] boxing, and did Japan wrestling stuff. He's such a brain. He has all of this knowledge of wrestling stuff and moves...
"That is what happened to me in 2016. I was sitting there and we were calling a match," Lawler began. "Of course, Mauro calls out of the blue, this guy does a move - I've been in this business for 50 years, and I didn't know these crazy moves, right? This guy does a move and Mauro says there's the Orange Crush Tiger Bomb, blah, blah, blah, senton. I'm thinking in my mind, 'Somebody is just making these crazy names up, right?' 'Cause, like I said, I've been around forever and I've never heard them been called that. I sat down, back in 2016, and I wrote down some - I just made up some names of what I thought would be funny moves to say back to Mauro. When he called one of those moves it was a real thing that was supposed to be over in Japan. Then I'd say something like, 'Oh, there's the Ramen Noodle Moonsault.' Then Mauro would say, 'Oh King, there's no such thing, blah, blah, blah.' Then, we would just go on. I was doing it to play devil's advocate with Mauro. I'd say, 'Oh my gosh, there's the Ramen Noodle Moonsault.'"
Lawler mentioned that if he would've made that call with his former broadcast partners, Michael Cole or Jim Ross, they would've brushed it off and just thought Lawler was kidding around. But with Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips, he believes that they haven't reached a point on commentary where they're comfortable with each other.
"If I was still doing commentary with Michael Cole or JR [Jim Ross], we had the chemistry to where each of those guys would have known I was making a foolish - making a fool out of myself by claiming like I knew what this unbelievable move was. Then Cole or JR would've said, 'Aw King, you know better than that.' With Byron [Saxton] and Tom [Philips], we don't have that chemistry yet, we've been only working with each other for a little bit. When I said that, they didn't even acknowledge it. They just went out there and kept talking, and then I kept talking and next thing you know, I didn't think anything of it either."
Before concluding the interview, co-host Sean Reedy believes Lawler was just trying to portray what an old heel commentator is supposed to be like; old fashioned and out of touch with the modern age of pro wrestling.
"That's the part," Lawler agrees. "That's where me, Bobby Heenan, Jesse Ventura, all of the heel commentators do that sort of stuff and the joke is on yourself."
You can listen to Jerry Lawler's full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Jerry Lawler Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.