The Kat Who Married a King
By Len P. Feldman
Newlyweds and WWF stars Stacy "The Kat" Carter and Jerry "The King" Lawler fight all the time - just not with each other.
Veteran wrestler Lawler, 50, is best known for his comical ringside commentating on WWF Smackdown!, Raw Is War and Sunday Night Heat. He's also famous for his 1982 feud with the late comedian/actor Andy Kaufman. Lawler re-created the stunt with Jim Carrey for the 1999 movie Man on the Moon. Most recently, Lawler has stepped back into the WWF ring to go to war with wrestler Taz (Pete Senerchia), according to the WWF storyline.
Carter, 30, first came to the attention of WWF fans as the beautiful Miss Kitty - assistant to wrestler Jeff Jarret. When she became female wrestler Chyna's (Joanie Laurer) assistant, Carter turned in her skimpky dresses for skimpy leather outfits, donned a black wig and became The Kat. Now she wrestles in the women's division.
Carter and Lawler met at a softball game in their native Memphis, TN, 11 years ago and have been together ever since. But they only recently tied the knot. Though they're on the road at least four days a week and together almost all the time, they seem like a happy couple.
Still, one wonders how the head-slammin' world of the WWF can affect a marriage. Relaxing backstage before a recent WWF event at Madison Square Garden in New York, The Kat and The King took a moment to share their thoughts on love and wrestling.
You've been together for 11 years, but Jerry, you only brought Stacy into the WWF in mid-1999. Stacy, what did you do all those years?
The Kat: Shopping. [laughs]
The King: For a long time she was just a drain on me.
The Kat: Hey! Wait a minute!
The King: Just lately she started pulling her weight. No, for a long time we were just boyfriend and girlfriend, so to speak. But then I saw the opportunity to involve Stacy in the business when they started using more females ... basically scantily clad women. That sort of thing is always nice to look at. I asked her if she was interested and she was.
She became a WWF fan favorite, especially after she bared her breasts during an evening-gown match on the WWF: Armageddon live pay-per-view event.
The Kat: That wasn't planned.
The King: When she won the match, she was going to do a little bit of a show just for the arena - not for the TV audience - and there was some miscommunication: Somebody didn't tell the director which shot to take. She [thought] the camera was shooting her from behind.
But Jerry, as Stacy's then-fiancÚ, how did you feel about even the arena audience seeing her topless?
The King: I don't know ... I think she's very attractive and has a very beautiful body. I think that something like that is almost like a work of art. It doesn't hurt for it to be shared.
The Kat: Shared is not the word. Shown, but not shared.
What are the pros and cons of having a "significant other" in the WWF?
The Kat: Well, you don't have anything to go home and tell the other person about. That's for sure.
The King: That is probably one of the cons - the fact that you tend to be around each other almost all the time.
The Kat: This work of art you don't want to be around all the time?
The King: No, no. Don't get me wrong. No. There are advantages to it. A good thing for me is that she handles all the travel arrangements I used to be responsible for, and that takes a load off of me.
The Kat: You have a travel partner. You're never alone on the road. And he doesn't have to pay as much in taxes because I do the expenses now.
Though wrestling is a staged show, it is still potentially dangerous. Is it difficult for either of you to watch as the other is being knocked about in the ring?
The King: If you go out there and think about getting hurt, you will get hurt.... It never enters my mind that I might get injured in a match. And I don't feel that Stacy's in a [dangerous] environment. It's a controlled situation. Now if she had no training at all, I would probably feel a little bit concerned, but ... I don't worry about her.
Stacy, do you ever worry about Jerry?
The Kat: Early on I did, but he's so experienced and knows exactly what he's doing. Like Jerry said, I really don't think about it.
Are wrestlers more creative in the bedroom?
The Kat: Well, we do have a four-poster bed.
The King: Yeah, it's sort of like a wrestling ring in there. I'll tell you one thing ... sometimes I'll see her on [television] wearing a certain outfit or wig and I'll ask her later on to duplicate that look just for me at home. I love it when she wears the black wigs. I think that looks really seductive.
The Kat:: Sometimes I have to model them at home before I wear them on TV.
The King: Yeah. That's the most fun.
Is your Kat persona different from your Mrs. Lawler persona?
The Kat: Not at all.
The King: Kat's pretty cool. I certainly don't want her to become what most people's perception of a typical housewife is. I would want her to remain being the Kat and a little bit mysterious.