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Jerry Lawler

جمعه 21 بهمن 1390 09:19 ب.ظ

نویسنده : MR WRESTLING

Jerry O'Neil Lawler (born November 29, 1949) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, wrestling commentator, musician, businessman, commercial artist and film actor, known throughout the wrestling world as Jerry "The King" Lawler. He is currently signed to WWE, working on its Raw brand as the color commentator and occasional wrestler. He also wrestles and occasionally commentates for the Memphis Wrestling promotion.

Lawler has held 164 championships throughout his career. Overall, Lawler has held more championships than any other current WWE performer, though he has never won any WWE championships since joining the company.

[edit] Professional wrestling career

[edit] Early career (1970-1992)

While working in Memphis, Tennessee as a disc jockey, Lawler's artistic ability attracted the attention of local wrestling promoter Aubrey Griffith.[2] The two made an agreement in which Lawler would give Griffith free publicity in exchange for free wrestling training.[2] Lawler debuted as a wrestler in 1970 and won his first championship in September 1971 by winning a battle royal.[2] He soon won the NWA Southern Tag Team Championship under the managerial service of Sam Bass with partner Jim White.[2] In 1974, Lawler began feuding with Jackie Fargo, who had been his trainer and mentor. This led to a match for the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship. On July 24, 1974, Lawler was booked to win the belt and the title of "King of Wrestling."[2][4] While Lawler began his career as a heel, he became a face after splitting from Bass at the end of 1974.[2] On November 12, 1979, while working in the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA), Lawler defeated Billy Graham to become the CWA World Champion.[2] In 1980, his career was put on hold due to a broken leg, but he returned to the ring after several months.[2]

In 1982, Lawler began a notorious feud with comedian Andy Kaufman.[2] At the time, Kaufman wrestled women as part of his skits and had declared himself the Intergender Heavyweight Champion.[2] On April 5, Lawler, who had taken exception to the skits, wrestled Kaufman in Memphis.[2] During the course of the match, Lawler delivered two piledrivers to his opponent, sending him to the hospital.[2] On July 29, Lawler slapped Kaufman in the face on an episode of Late Night with David Letterman.[2][5] Kaufman responded by throwing his coffee on Lawler.[2]

Years later, Lawler appeared as himself in the Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon; the movie revealed that Lawler's feud with Kaufman had been kayfabe (staged). Lawler later claimed that not only was his entire feud with Kaufman staged, but the two were actually very good friends.[citation needed]

On March 7, 1983, Lawler won the AWA International Championship by defeating Austin Idol.[2] He defeated Ken Patera on July 25 to begin his second reign as the International Champion.[2] Lawler became the NWA Mid America Champion on April 12, 1984 when he was booked to defeat Randy Savage for the title.[2] In 1985, Lawler traveled to Japan, where he won the Polynesian Pacific title on January 25, 1986.[2] He later returned to the United States, where he defeated Bill Dundee on July 29, 1986 to begin a new reign as the AWA International Champion.[2] Lawler feuded with Tommy Rich, Austin Idol, and Paul E. Dangerously throughout early 1987.[2] The animosity began after controversy over an AWA World Championship title shot involving Nick Bockwinkel.[2] During the feud, the trio defeated Lawler in a steel cage match and cut his hair, which caused a riot in the Mid-South Coliseum.[2]

Lawler won the AWA World Heavyweight Championship from Curt Hennig.[2] During his reign, Lawler feuded with World Class Championship Wrestling's Champion Kerry Von Erich.[2] He defeated Von Erich on December 15, 1988 at Superclash III to unify the two titles.[2] Soon after, Lawler's issues with Verne Gagne led to his departure from the AWA.[2] In 1991 and 1992, while working in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA), Lawler teamed with Jeff Jarrett in a match against The Moondogs over the USWA World Tag Team Championship.[2]

[edit] World Wrestling Federation (1992–2001)

Lawler began his WWF career in December 1992 as an announcer on WWF Superstars of Wrestling.[2][6] From 1993 to 1995, he feuded with Bret Hart and the rest of the Hart family. The feud began at King of the Ring when Lawler interrupted Hart's victory ceremony and attacked Bret.[2][7] Lawler claimed that he was the only true king in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and the two were scheduled to wrestle at SummerSlam to settle the dispute. At the event, however, Lawler came to the ring on crutches and claimed that he could not wrestle because of injuries suffered in a car accident.[8] Hart faced Lawler's "court jester", Doink the Clown instead, and beat him by submission. Lawler then attacked Hart, revealing that he was not injured.[8] Hart defeated Lawler by submission but refused to release the Sharpshooter. As a result, the referee reversed the decision and awarded the title of "Undisputed King of the World Wrestling Federation" to Lawler.[9]

Simultaneously, in a form of cross-promotion, Lawler engaged in a bitter feud with Vince McMahon (who at the time was never acknowledged as the actual owner of the World Wrestling Federation) back in the USWA. There Lawler played the babyface to his hometown Memphis audience, whereas McMahon (who had always played face in the WWF) was being portrayed as a smug heel intent on dethroning Lawler as the king of professional wrestling. As part of the cross-promotion, McMahon, Bret and Owen Hart, Giant González, Tatanka, and "Macho Man" Randy Savage would begin appearing on USWA television to further the feud. While the program continued in the USWA, the feud between Lawler and McMahon would not be acknowledged on WWF television.

The Hart Family (Bret, Owen, Bruce, and Keith) were scheduled to face a team captained by Lawler in an elimination match at Survivor Series. However, Shawn Michaels had to take Lawler's place because Lawler was facing legal troubles.[2][10] As a result, the feud between Lawler and Vince McMahon back in the USWA was also abruptly discontinued. Lawler did not face Bret Hart at another pay-per-view until the first In Your House, when he beat Hart after Hakushi and his manager Shinja interfered.[11] This set up a "Kiss My Foot" match at King of the Ring 1995, which Bret won.[7] As a result, Lawler was forced to kiss Bret's feet. The feud took one final turn when Lawler introduced his "dentist" Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.. After Hart defeated Yankem by disqualification,[12] however, the feud quickly disappeared.

Following the end of his legal troubles which kept him out of Survivor Series 1993, Lawler eventually returned to the WWF at WrestleMania X, which was also the first WWF pay-per-view he ever commentated at. During the main event of the night, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper served as special guest referee for the second WWF championship match. During this Lawler began making disparaging remarks about him. Lawler would continue to berate Piper on later episodes of Monday Night Raw, including bringing a skinny kid into the ring dressed as Piper and forcing him to kiss his feet. This ultimately led to a match between the two at King of the Ring 1994 which Lawler lost.

In the fall of 1994, Lawler initiated a feud with Doink the Clown. Lawler popped the balloons carried by Doink's midget sidekick, Dink.[13] After Doink and Dink retaliated, Lawler introduced a midget sidekick of his own, who he named Queasy.[13] In the following weeks, Doink added two more sidekicks, Wink and Pink, while Lawler introduced Sleazy and Cheesy.[13] This led to an elimination match at Survivor Series 1994, which Lawler's team won.[14] After the match, however, Lawler's team turned on him, joining with Doink's team to attack Lawler.[15]

Lawler at a book signing in 2003

In late 1994 and early 1995, Lawler wrestled briefly in Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) while still continuing to commentate sporadically for the WWF.[2] During his absences, Shawn Michaels filled in for him as color commentator on Monday Night Raw. He defeated Tony Anthony for the promotion's top title in January 1995.[2] By 1996, Lawler wrestled occasionally on WWF Superstars where he would take on jobbers while holding a microphone in the ring to, essentially, "do the commentary on (his) very own matches" while occasionally serving as the official cornerman for Isaac Yankem D.D.S. After a brief feud with the Ultimate Warrior, Lawler began feuding with Jake Roberts after making fun of Roberts' drug and alcohol problems.[2] The two met in a match at SummerSlam 1996, which Lawler won. After the match, Lawler poured Jim Beam whiskey down Roberts' throat.[16]

In 1997, Lawler became heavily involved in the working relationship between the WWF and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). In interviews and commentary, he referred to the promotion as "Extremely Crappy Wrestling".[2] His frequent insults toward ECW eventually led to the promotion "invading" Monday Night Raw in February 1997 and ultimately to a match with ECW wrestler Tommy Dreamer at ECW's Hardcore Heaven pay-per-view in August, which Dreamer won.[17]

In mid-1997, Lawler entered the King of the Ring tournament for the first time and advanced to the semi-final round where he was defeated by Mankind. By the fall, the WWF introduced a new "light-heavyweight division" to compete with World Championship Wrestling's cruiserweight division. Lawler's son, Brian Christopher, was one of the major superstars in the division, although the WWF played up an angle where both Lawler and Christopher would deny their family relationship, even though the two would aide each other in matches and so on.

By 1998, Lawler rarely wrestled in the WWF and focused on commentary. Despite their feud in the USWA in 1993, by 1998, Vince McMahon had turned heel in the WWF for the first time and left the announce position, to which Lawler began praising McMahon's name on commentary as part of his own heel persona, much to the chagrin of Jim Ross. It was McMahon's departure from the commentary team which led to the strong on-screen chemistry between Lawler and Ross in subsequent years. This played a key role in a change of Lawler's character; although he still supported the heels, he showed a sense of right and wrong, and would condemn actions of heels when they went too far. This began when Lawler surprisingly attacked Tazz when he started bullying Ross. At SummerSlam, The King wrestled Tazz in defense of Ross.[2] With the creation of the XFL in 2001, Lawler was given the job as an announcer for the new football league.[18] Lawler claims that he never wanted to announce for the XFL, but that he agreed to it after McMahon and Kevin Dunn asked him.[18]

In February 2001, Lawler's then-wife Stacy "The Kat" Carter was released by the WWF, and Lawler quit the company in protest.[18][19] In his account, there was no clear notice as to why she was fired; when Jim Ross broke the news to him, he stated that the Creative Team simply said that Stacy had "an attitude problem."

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