Lawler is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Glenn Moore.
Lawler opens today’s show by speaking about Terry Funk’s work in the USWA many years ago. He points out that Funk was simply fantastic back then, and still is today for that matter. Moore adds that when you take into consideration Funk’s ability on the mic, he has to be up there in terms of the greatest performers of all time.
Lawler agrees, and thinks a talent’s work on the mic is more important than what they can do in the ring, because it’s what separates Superstars from the rest of the pack. The ability to talk people into the seats is a huge deal in the wrestling business, and someone who can talk on the mic will almost always be more successful than one who struggles with that skill, despite their abilities in the ring.
Lawler talks about the changing landscape of professional wrestling. He points out that unlike in years past, today’s fans want to be a part of the action. He believes that mindset started when fans began doing the wave at events, and now things have progressed to beach balls and things of that nature. He’s not sure how WWE is going to ban beach balls, joking that maybe fans will have to walk through a beach ball detector.
He also points out that it used to embarrass him when fans would chant for him and Jim Ross during matches. He notes that it’s always nice to hear fans chant your name, but he’d always feel bad for the talents in the ring because he knows that must have been a discouraging thing for them.
Lawler admits that he’s never really liked the “This is Awesome!” chant. He notes that he’s not really a fan of chants during matches in general. Moore points out that the “You Deserve it!” chant always struck him the wrong way as well.
Moore points out that Mick Foley and Jeff Hardy both informed this past week that they’ll donate their brain to medical research when they die. Lawler can’t even comprehend having to make that decision. The idea of someone slicing his skull open and taking out his brain makes him uneasy, but he notes that this is great for medical research.
Lawler doesn’t believe he’s ever had a concussion during his 40 year career in the business. He believes that the recent outcry regarding concussions is on par with the rest of today’s society where people try to pass the blame for things. He thinks that anyone who decides to wrestle or play contact sports needs to understand the risks they’re taking and should take responsibility for certain injuries they might sustain.
Moore recalls one match during the attitude era between The Rock and Mick Foley, where Foley had his hands handcuffed behind his back and Rock proceeded to strike him multiple times over the head with a chair. Lawler points out that was Foley’s idea, and that’s part of what made him famous. WWE has never suggested that a performer take that kind of punishment in a match – that was Foley’s idea and he’s not out complaining about it to everyone.
Lawler mentions that he considers the business to be more dangerous today than in years past, even with WWE taking certain precautions to prevent injuries. The high-flying style that seems to have taken over the business is very high-risk in his opinion, and the possibility of injury escalates when you’re diving through the air multiple times during a match.
Lawler talks about his sale of the USWA and the ultimate failure of the company. He points out that the people who bought it didn’t have any idea of how to run a wrestling company and when they ran it into the ground they tried to sue for their money back. He pointed out to the jury that this was similar to someone buying a car and driving it into a building when they hadn’t drove before, and then demanding their money back from the car dealership. He does admit that it’s sad that the brand suffered the fate it did.
Lawler speaks about William Moody (Paul Bearer), pointing out that it’s been five years now since his passing. He mentions that he knew Moody years before working with him in WWE, and it was very sad when he passed. Moody’s wife had passed shortly prior to his passing, and Lawler truly believes Moody died of a broken heart because he really missed his wife.
That sums up today’s episode of Dinner With the King. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!