On September 10th, 2012, Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a heart attack at the announce position after competing in a match on Monday Night Raw. Lawler, by his own admission, was pronounced clinically dead on that day for 20 minutes. Seven years later, even though Jerry still competes regularly on the independent circuit, WWE will not clear him for physical altercations on their television product.
Speaking about this come back on a recent edition of his podcast, The Jerry Lawler Show, the 2007 WWE Hall Of Fame class inductee revealed that he spent a lot of time when he first came back trying to convince WWE it was safe for him to compete and even said he wishes he could use his real-life bout with death as a quip at the announce desk when face-to-face with heels like Brock Lesnar, or more recently, AOP.
"I wanted to tell those guys, the AOP guys when they were coming over to the table or when Brock Lesnar was coming over the table, I just wanna say, 'guys I beat Death. I'm not afraid of you,'" Jerry began. "But, yeah, coming back from the heart attack was, I don't like to say heart attack, coming back from the cardiac arrest, I just kept trying to convince everybody that I was okay and ready to come back. And still to this day, you know, the people in the WWE still feel like that's not the case. They worry about me. They keep me on the no-touch list and all of that kind of thing."
Jerry would go on to say that he understands why the company will not clear him and acknowledges that it would be a PR disaster for the company should something ever happened to him in their ring ever again.
He continued, "You know, the doctors told Lauren (Lawler's girlfriend), 'we can't clear him to go back into the ring because he's like a liability to the company.' Whereas I told Lauren, 'well, you gotta understand. You know, here I am. I had a cardiac arrest and died on network TV. Once I'm back and ready to go again, if they grant my request and they say, okay, we'll let you decide what you think is best and they let me go out there and wrestle again. If something did, God forbid, something did happen again, it would be like a PR disaster for the company. Twitter would blow up.'"
While you won't see him in the ring on WWE TV anymore, Jerry can still be heard calling every Monday Night Raw on USA Network.
If you use any of the above quotes, please credit The Jerry Lawler Show, with a link to Fightful for the transcription.