3/29/2001 12:07:00 AM

Wrestling Observer Live 3-28 with Jerry Lawler

by Tom Ryan

WOL Recap 3/28
Hosts: Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez
Guest: Jerry "The King" Lawler

Dave says Shawn Michaels was originally was supposed to be on Raw, but his segment was pulled do to time constraints. He then showed up at the Smackdown tapings and his segment was once again pulled, not because of time constraints, but because they didn't think he was in condition to pull it off. Dave says he was supposed to be at Wrestlemania, but now he isn't so sure. Dave says he'll try to look into it over the next couple of days.

Matches for Smackdown include Justin Credible/X-Pac vs. APA, Chris Benoit/Test vs. Kurt Angle/Eddie Guerrero, Rhyno vs Matt Hardy, Trish vs. Ivory in a bra and panties match and William Regal/Big Show vs. Kane/Chris Jericho. Shane McMahon also showed up backstage talking to different wrestlers, Steve Austin called out the Rock leading to a pull-apart and Hunter and Undertaker continued their angle. Bryan says the best thing about
Smackdown was that Vince fired Debra, which means she is out of the main event. Dave says he thinks that Angle/Benoit stuff is all Paul Heyman. He thinks they are doing a great job getting the submissions over. Dave points out that Wrestlemania is $39.95.

Dave praised Mauro Ranallo. He is the announcer for Matrats and he worked in Calgary as well. Dave says he is the best announcer out there next to Jim Ross and he does a great job getting guys over and calling moves.

Dave talks about how its going to be slow news-wise for the next few weeks. Bryan says once the WCW show starts up there is going to be a lot to talk about. Dave says that show better be good.

E-mail asks what will the WWF do to keep WCW fresh in everyone's mind for 6-8 weeks. Dave says they will have to do teases on Raw and Smackdown. Dave doesn't think WCW talent will be showing up on WWF TV besides Shane, but it might be a good idea. Dave says this whole thing is a work in progress, and the last thing called that was the XFL. Bryan says at least this time Vince is
jumping into something he knows. Dave says they are starting with one strike against them with the time slot they got.

Dave really thinks they should send Rock over to WCW. He is not working house shows anyway, and even though he is not a better worker than Hunter, Rock elevates people better than Hunter. Plus he might be the one guy people will tune into see at 11 p.m. Saturday nights.

E-mail asks if the UFC ever tried to run in New York before and what the problems was. Dave says Extreme Fighting tried to run a show in New York a few years ago, but the New York Times wrote story after story about how this shouldn't be allowed in New York and eventually the mayor got involved. It was quickly banned after that. Dave says UFC was scheduled to run a show in
Niagara Falls a little while after, but the night before the show after a court fight they had to fly everyone to Alabama.

Dave says if he was Vince, he would talk to Goldberg. But it doesn't make sense for Goldberg to give up his current deal if Vince isn't going to pay him a lot.

Dave reminds everyone WOL will have a special show after Wrestlemania from 12-1 a.m. Eastern time.

E-mail asks to shed some light on Kevin Nash's contract. Dave says Time Warner could have forced Nash to go to Nitro, but nobody did. Dave says both Goldberg and Nash said no when they were asked. Dave says he was glad Sting said yes to coming in for one night, no matter what the reason was.

Jerry Lawler joins the show. Dave asks Jerry his thoughts on these last 10 days with the WWF buying WCW. Jerry says everything has been a blur for him the last month. It started for him a couple days after No Way Out and it has continued on through these last couple of days. He says he has seen things he
would never thought would happen.

Dave asks how much of the shows Jerry watched on Monday. He said he caught a little bit of Nitro and that was it. Dave says how strange it was to see Vince McMahon talk about guys like Jeff Jarrett, Lex Luger and Dustin Runnells like he was firing them on TV. Jerry says Vince can write his own ticket right now, which is what he has always wanted. Vince always liked to
put some realism in his storylines and that is what he is doing there.

Dave says the WWF and WCW are probably going to start feuding and that in the past these types of things have almost always failed. One that did work was Jerry Jarrett's promotion, which Lawler worked for, vs. Randy Savage's promotion back in 1983-1984. Lawler said like the WCW/WWF situation, that feud stemmed from real life. He says the other side did everything they could
to belittle them, going as far as offering challengers to wrestlers in Jarrett's promotion. Eventually the other side ran out of money, so they called Jarrett to make an angle. Lawler says it was just one night of interpromotional matches and it basically sold out Rupp Arena in Lexington. He thinks if it had continued on and on people would have gotten tired of it.
Jerry says with the Internet now, people know that this Shane vs. Vince thing isn't a real situation, so it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Dave talks about how if Eric Bischoff had bought WCW, he probably would have contacted Jerry to come in. Jerry says it was never his or Stacy's intention to go anywhere else. Jerry says he never contacted WCW, and quite frankly he wouldn't even know who to contact anybody there if he wanted to. Jerry says
right now there is no other option out there besides the WWF. Jerry says Vince has pretty much made it clear that he won't be having him and Stacy back.

Bryan asks if Paul Heyman ending up in his seat on Raw the very next Monday was a coincidence or was there anything to that. Jerry says he has been getting about a 1,000 e-mails a day and a lot of people have theories. Jerry has his own ideas and has expressed them on www.kinglawler.com. Jerry says the one thing that he is almost certain about is that what the WWF told them
the reason Stacy was being let go - her poor attitude - was not the truth. He thinks there has to be something else to it, and there have been a lot of theories, but he has no idea what the real reason is.

Dave asks Jerry if the WWF ever came to him to extend an olive branch and take him back. Jerry says unofficially there was, but then the next day it was officially pulled back.

Jerry replays the sequence of events during the week he and Stacy left the WWF in Feb. They did the No Way Out PPV show on Sunday in Las Vegas and then the Raw the night after. Tuesday at the Smackdown taping in Tucson, Jim Ross called him into his office and told him that Vince wanted him to give Stacy his release. Jim said the reason Vince gave him was that Stacy was becoming tough to work with because of her attitude. Jerry told J.R. that he was leaving if Stacy was being let go, so he went and told Stacy and they were going to leave. On his way out they stopped in Vince's office and Stacy asked what she did to get fired. Vince told them he's not sure and that is more of a talent relations issue, meaning Ross. Jerry told Vince he was going if Stacy was going, and Vince shook his hand and thanked him for his services.

Jerry says people have told him that he should ask for his job back and it'll be there, and its his fault for walking out. So what Jerry does is he reads a letter that he faxed to the WWF and Jim Ross the Saturday after he was let go and Stacy was fired. Jerry says Jim Ross read the letter and told him that
Vince himself read it, but there has still been no response.

(The following comes directly from the letter). The letter starts out saying that he wished him and Stacy want to go back to work for the WWF and if Stacy's attitude is a problem, she will change and personally apologize to everyone she offended. The only problem he can see was between Chyna and Stacy. At one time Stacy and Chyna were very close, but when Chyna and Hunter
had their problems, it appeared that Chyna and Stacy grew apart, culminating in Chyna asking that Stacy not have a part in her program with Eddie Guerrero. The letter says if Chyna had a problem with Stacy, Stacy would have no problem getting involved in a different angle or waiting for creative to come up with something for her to do. Jerry also realizes that perhaps Stacy
wasn't the problem at all, maybe it was him. Possibly NBC was upset with him for his XFL commentary, or maybe Vince wanted to simply make a change. Either way he has seen people with attitude problems get second or third chances and would like the opportunity to rectify any mistakes he may have made. He doesn't want to work anywhere else and the WWF is like family to him. Is
there anyway this could be fixed, possibly even turned into an angle. Jerry concludes the letter saying he will always consider Vince a friend and will do anything he can for him. He then left numbers where the WWF could contact him (end of letter).

Jerry says he has heard nothing back from the WWF, until today, when they got their official releases. Dave points out it came right after they bought the competition. Dave asks how big he thinks that Chyna thing is? Jerry says he isn't sure. At one time Chyna, Hunter, Stacy and he were always very close friends. He says in his opinion, the problems started in Feb. 2000 when Stacy and Jerry got engaged. Shortly after that Chyna and Hunter broke up, so Chyna and Stacy didn't have much in common anymore. Eventually, Chyna wanted Stacy out of her storyline with Eddie.

Jerry talks about the angle he came up with involving Stacy and the Right to Censor. He came up with the idea just to give Stacy something to be involved in and it was never his intention for him to have anything culminate at Wrestlemania. It might be possible that someone felt it was infringing on the proposed Wrestlemania match for the women's championship. Jerry says he knows Chyna was involved in conversation with Ivory and Stephanie that day at the Smackdown taping in Tucson.

Dave asks about the Jerry appearing on Memphis TV and thus having the WWF pull out of their developmental deal. Jerry thinks its vindictive and spiteful and doesn't see how them appearing on TV affects the WWF developmental deal. Jerry says Bruce Prichard called Randy Hales and asked him not to put Lawler on the show. Randy told Bruce he did that the week
before when he was asked, but Jerry helps the ratings and they want him on. Prichard told him if Lawler goes on, the developmental deal is off. That same day Jerry got a call from Jim Ross expressing his feelings that their chemistry on Raw would be tough to replace. He said he and Kevin Dunn were
going to have a meeting with Vince to see if Lawler could come back. Lawler asked if there was a way for Stacy to stay on the roster, because if she wasn't at TV she wouldn't get paid anyway. Then if something comes up for her, they can bring her back. Ross said they would bring it up. Jerry then told Ross about Bruce Prichard calling Randy Hales. Ross told him not to
worry about that. So Lawler felt good about that. Friday comes and Randy Hales calls him and told him that Bruce called him again that they would pull all their talent if Lawler goes on. So Lawler called Ross and Ross told him that the meeting didn't go too well and that Dunn was supposed to call him. So Jerry calls Kevin Dunn and Dunn tells him that Vince thought the
hurdles were just too high after what Jerry did to the WWF. Jerry asked what exactly he did, and Dunn told him that he walked out on Smackdown right before the tapings and then posted the WWF telephone numbers and e-mail addresses on his website. Jerry said you can change an e-mail address in 15 seconds and you can call information to get the phone numbers. Jerry says he
has been in the business over 30 years, but he can't get their thinking. He thinks there is still something there that they haven't told him.

Caller asks about wrestlers getting together and either demanding a union or walking out collectively against Vince McMahon. Jerry says that will never happen. He doesn't think they could ever get enough guys together to go against a Vince. He says wrestlers, more than almost anybody look out for themselves only, and that probably includes Jerry himself. Wrestlers aren't like air traffic controllers, which he says also got replaced, they can easily be gotten rid of. Jerry says wrestlers are made by promoters through the vehicle of TV, and nobody is indispensable. Dave says especially now nobody is going to walk out when there is no place else to go. Caller asks if he follows the ratings since Jerry left. Jerry says he looks at them on the Internet, and knows there was major disappointment over the 4.7 rating Raw got Monday - the Monday before Wrestlemania with this huge story going on with the WCW purchase. Jerry says he is not naive enough to think that he is
the sole reason ratings are down, but he thinks he was a part of it. He thinks the chemistry him and J.R. had was something that is tough to replace, and it's like the saying goes, you don't know what you have until you lose it. He says that he and J.R. had a way to get things over without shilling, and now you have two guys who are like used car salesmen screaming at you. Jerry
says kinglawler.com got 42,000 hits on the day the story came out he was gone and people told him they wouldn't watch Raw and wouldn't buy the PPV's. He thinks the way they were released turned a lot of people off.

Jerry talks about how his Memphis territory was able to last longer than most when Vince went national. He says one of the reasons was that Vince took all the stars from all the territories except since he was a part owner of the company, he never left. Dave says when Jerry went to the WWF in 1993, it was a big deal because he had been a critic of theirs in the past. Jerry said people in the WWF understood that he said those things because he was trying to keep his company alive. He says he didn't think it was Vince's intention to run these companies out of business, but they were hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Jerry says a lot of fans in Memphis didn't know what to think when he went to the WWF, so he had to go on TV to explain what he was doing. Jerry says there was a time when that Saturday morning show used to get a 20 rating. Jerry says more people watched that show than any prime time show in Memphis. Jerry thinks wrestling is now a prime time show. Jerry says the
other company in Memphis, MCW, did a 0.3 rating and that is where the WWF talent is working.

Jerry says there is no lack of work out there, and he and Stacy are booked every weekend through June. He says they had to turn down trips to England and Japan. He says people don't realize how many independent show there are out there. He says while Wrestlemania is on Sunday, he is going to be up in Winnipeg for an appearance making about the same amount of money he would
have at Wrestlemania.

Caller asks Jerry what he thinks the end result of the WCW/WWF thing will be. Jerry says he thinks him doing this interview is going to get him a lot of heat and probably will close the door on him getting back into the WWF because they don't want him talking about it. But he thinks Vince having control of all of wrestling is like a dog chasing a car. He's got it, but now
what is he going to do? Jerry says Vince is not even No. 1 now, he just is wrestling and that isn't necessarily good. Jerry says a lot of people in the WWF worked hard to make the WWF no. 1 again. He says when Nitro used to go to break people would tell him and J.R. in their headsets because they knew people would be flipping over. They made a concerted effort to make people stay with Raw.

Caller asks what Jerry thinks about XPW? Jerry (like most people) has no idea who XPW is. Dave and Jerry say if you don't have national cable, it's really tough for people to know who you are. Jerry says people have been writing him asking who Paul Heyman is, because they never saw ECW before.

Dave asks if Jerry has heard anything about Jerry Jarrett started something up. Jerry thinks Jarrett wasn't necessarily looking to start up something to compete with McMahon, he was looking like Eric Bischoff to purchase WCW. But once AOL pulled the TV, there was no reason for him to try and purchase WCW.
Jerry thinks without a doubt that WCW could have been turned around with those time slots, but gross mismanagement put that company out of business.

Dave says he has never seen such a comedy of disorganization that existed in WCW the last three years. Jerry says you would have to be TRYING to ruin the product to do what they did. Jerry speculates that somebody might have been purposely ruining the product to lower the company's value so they could eventually buy it. Dave says a lot of people who have been in wrestling a
long time have suggested it. Dave says there were a lot of people working hard in WCW, they just didn't know what they were doing.

Jerry says inflated egos and inflated contracts killed WCW. He said Vince McMahon has the ability to create new stars, which WCW didn't have. He says a company should never have too many stars, which is what the WWF has right now. Jerry says don't think for a second that guys like the Rock, Steve Austin, Triple-H and Kurt Angle don't realize that if they are out of the
WWF, they are out of the business. They are going to do everything they can to keep their spots and aren't going to be willing to help elevate guys.

Caller asks if Jerry is planning any kind of lawsuit. Jerry says not that at this time, and he really doesn't think has anything to sue over. He and Stacy have some royalties due, but he doesn't see any problem there. Jerry says a lot of people have compared his situation to Bret Hart's, but he thinks they are completely different. Jerry says when Bret left he walked into a $2 million deal with WCW, he and Stacy were let go with no job to fall back on.

Dave asks who was Jerry's favorite and least favorite wrestlers to work with in Memphis. He says his he always loves working with Bill Dundee and he really enjoyed working with Terry Funk as well. Dave asks about Leon Spinks? Jerry says he had fun with him and whenever he fought him he said to himself "I can't believe I'm in the ring with somebody that beat Muhammad Ali."

Dave wishes Jerry luck, and Jerry says he'll be keeping everyone up to date on what is going on with him and Stacy at www.kinglawler.com.

Guest schedule: Jerry "the King" Lawler on Wednesday, Brock Lesnar on Thursday and Darryl Peterson (Man Mountain Rock/Maxx Payne) on Friday, no guest Monday, Tom Zenk on Tuesday, Chris Cruise on Wednesday, Tony Jones on 4/5 and Donovan Morgan on 4/6.