Sampson says it was just a stroke of luck that he was sitting right next to Lawler that evening when the cardiac arrest occurred. If this cardiac event would have happened anywhere else or even later that evening when Lawler got back to his hotel, he most certainly wouldn’t have survived.
Sampson says after he noticed Lawler slouched over at the announce booth he immediately made his way to him and he knew something was wrong right away. They got Lawler to the backstage area as Sampson administered CPR the entire time. Lawler’s pulse was returning off and on at this point, so Sampson was thinking positively that things could work out for the best.
Lawler says that even though he doesn’t have any serious long-term effects from this cardiac event, his throat and vocal chords were somewhat damaged from when the doctors inserted a breathing tube down his throat. It has left him with a raspy voice, but he considers himself lucky that that’s the only thing he has to complain about after that event.
Dr. Sampson points out that the repeated elbow blows to Lawler’s chest in his match earlier that evening against Dolph Ziggler might have thrown his heart off rhythm, ultimately causing his heat attack. Lawler says he certainly doesn’t blame Ziggler and they’ve talked about it on several occasions since, but when Ziggler was delivering those elbows during the match Lawler actually thought, “Whatever happened to the days when we did this and didn’t try to kill each other”. He says it was the hardest elbows he ever felt in his 46-year career.