On this week’s episode of Dinner With The King, Jerry Lawler discussed his experience at the Raw 25th Anniversary show at the Manhattan Center this past Monday night.
On fans in attendance being upset with what was presented to them and how WWE handled the situation:
“I think what happened was it wasn’t fully explained, I don’t know what the fans that came there expected to see, it probably wasn’t fully explained, exactly how the show was going to go down. I didn’t even realize there would be… When something wasn’t going on at the Manhattan Center, they had a huge screen and monitors there where people could watch what was going on at the Barclays Center.
“I think at first, some fans realized ‘We’re not going to get to see in person a lot of these people that had been advertised,’ when someone is at the Barclays Center and they started showing all these different guys. They started to complain and feel uncomfortable and everything.
“I’m not sure, but I think Triple H is the guy who made a call over there and said ‘Hey, we’ve got to give these people more over here.’ So what they started doing, they started sending some of the superstars that were primarily, originally just booked to be at the Barclays Center, they started sending them, putting them in a car service or limos and sending them over to the Manhattan Center. So by the end of the night, the people at the Manhattan Center got to see a ton of the superstars.”
Lawler then listed all the wrestlers the people in attendance got to see, including an appearance by The Undertaker, the reuniting of himself and JR at the broadcast booth, and of course, attending a show being held in a venue that holds such historic significance to WWE.
On the difficulties the announce team faced:
“There was actually a lot of pressure. I know JR and I could just feel it. It didn’t feel comfortable because there was just so much going on that you didn’t have a lot of preparation time. We didn’t get to spend a lot of time with our crew that was going to be working with just JR and I.
“The monitors in front of us, they did a lot of things, like you saw the old IcoPro sign they brought back. I guess they couldn’t bring back the old school monitors like we used to use 25 years ago, but what they did, they found these old school monitor cases, and they sat those in front of JR and I, and inside those cases were small monitors that we had to watch the show on.
“It was tough getting everything done in a short time to try and make that show what everyone expected it to be. I thought, all in all, I was certainly pleased with our part. I just wish we’d been able to do a bit more, but other than that, I thought it went off well.
“A lot had changed in that chemistry between JR and I and all of the sudden you’re under the gun to make it just seem like it did 25 years ago in an instant and that’s hard to do. I certainly don’t think it was bad, but I think if JR and I continued to work together and do shows a little more often, it would be right back to where we were from the get-go.”
Regarding a picture that circulated online that appeared to show Lawler and JR sleeping at the announce table:
“Our monitors were small and they were down at the lower part of the desk. This picture was taken during a commercial break. The headsets were a little different. I don’t know what the deal was with the chairs, but they were not comfortable, they were not the chairs that were ordinarily used. So during the show, while we were doing the commentary, in order to see the monitor right, I would have to sit up straight and almost lean forward to be able to watch the monitor.
“So then, when a commercial break came, I would take that opportunity to kind of sit back and really, just sort of stretch my back. JR was texting. I don’t know how he does it. JR multitasks. He’ll be texting while he’s doing the broadcast, so that’s what he was doing. Throughout the entire show, he did a lot of texting or maybe tweeting. I did a little bit myself.
“But anyway, somebody catches that one particular shot and then they put it out on the internet and man, it was all over the place… I know JR was real sensitive to it. It upset JR because that just wasn’t the case. I mean, good gosh, nobody went to sleep during the broadcast of the 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw.”
In regards to using the term ‘Puppies’ during the broadcast:
“I didn’t ask anybody at all and I told JR right before the commercial break, right before I said it, I said ‘Hey, I’m going to say “I’m waiting for the puppies,” and I think it would probably be good if you ‘d just say “Don’t start that,” or something, because I really wanted to give JR deniability and protect him in case there was some kind of repercussion.
“So sure enough, I said ‘Hey JR, I’m waiting for puppies,” and just like that, there were no girls on the screen. I just said the word ‘Puppies,’ and JR, of course, he did it just right. He said ‘Don’t start that.’ Then immediately, I heard in my ear, they said ‘King, they asked to stay away from the “puppies” comments.’ So, that was my one and only time to say ‘Puppies,’ but at least I did say it.”
The episode also included discussion on the Royal Rumble as well as the announcement of the relaunch of the XFL. To check it out, visit Dinner With The King.
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