Jim Ross Gives His Thoughts On Controversial Raw Angle; Discusses His Broadcast Future

Jim Ross has a new blog entry on his official website where he gives his thoughts on Jerry Lawler’s return and the angle that followed. He also talks about his broadcast future and what the plan was all along. Below is an excerpt:

The plan all along was for me to simply sit in for the King, do color commentary and not play by play, and keep Jerry’s seat warm until he was well enough to return to the announce table. I never heard anyone in WWE ever discuss King, Cole and me ever doing a three man announce team but that rumor or sentiment sort of took on a life of its own in some fan’s eyes.

Was the post, Lawler verbal presentation my favorite aspect of RAW? No. The King’s return was the highlight of the show for me personally. But just like any other entertainment entity all content is subjective. Some folks will like some things more than others and there are some who will downright despise specific aspects of a broadcast.

It can be a blessing or a curse that wrestling fans are so passionate that when they like something they REALLY like it and when they don’t…well they have NO issues voicing their disgust and displeasure.

I’ve gotten somewhat used to criticisms over the years especially since the advent of all the various forms of social media. However, I remain steadfast in believing that all fans/consumers have a right to express their opinions, whether I agree with said opinions or not, notwithstanding a right to turn the channel if so motivated.

You can read JR’s latest in its entirety at this link.

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  • buffcop1

    I have been a 30+ year fan of all things pro wrestling and 2 things involving Jerry Lawler have disturbed me. The verbal assault angle they took immediately following the death of his mother and the mocking of such a serious event as his heart attack where a man laid clinically dead within feet of his announcing chair really has me disgusted. I understand the heel role CM Punk is playing but there has to be other ways to get boos and jeers than to undermine the importance of life in the manner in which WWE did and has done in the past. I don't know who is responsible for these type of spots on TV but it makes me sick to see them played out the way they are. It is sports entertainment and there is NOTHING entertaining about making light of someone dying in my opinion. I don't take very many stands on really any issues but this is one where I had to speak my mind.

    • Bault16

      Their heels, it worked. You’re a mark.

      • Jim

        First of all THEIR should’ve been THEY’RE which stands for THEY ARE so I will take your comment with very little thought if you aren’t even able to use correct grammar. I am not a “mark.” I just think making light of a man who DIED ringside is taking it too far. As a person who ha performed CPR on people and brought them back as well as performed CPR on ones who don’t make it, the emotion that goes into saving a life only to have it mocked for the sake of ratings and storyline? Ya I’m sure the family would be a ok with that. Give me a break. That’s what is wrong with our society these days. The inability to differentiate between what is entertaining and what is flat out immoral. Again, a 30+ year dan of all things wrestling so I am well versed in every angle / story ever and this one as well as mocking Jerry Lawler the very night after his mom passed away is SICK – wonder what you would think if someone made fun of your family’s passing. Just sayin’

    • Ken

      You're a 30+ year mark, sunshine.
      If someone looked in the dictionary for the definition of a wrestling mark there'd be a picture of your gormless face grinning back at them.
      You don't like the angle, fine. You're entitled to not like it. Getting all bent out of shape over it like you seem to be from your post makes me wonder if you do remember that IT'S ALL A STORY.
      Phil Brooks and Paul Heyman the people were not mocking Jerrold O'Neil Lawler the person (yes I Wikipediad that last bit). C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman the characters, who are currently arrogant, uncaring, selfish, egotistical heels, were mocking Jerry Lawler the character, in a scripted segment designed at all levels to elicit an emotional response, to get people to cheer Jerry, and Mick Foley also, and to boo Punk and Heyman. Pops and heat, my friend, and cheap ones at that.
      Honestly, do you get that worked up over the storylines in other TV programmes? Did you go grab a tub of Hagen Daas the other night when Rick's wife died giving birth to her kid in Walking Dead? Did you stand up in the middle of the cinema and shout "NO HE CAN'T DIE!" when Darth Vader killed Obi Wan in the original Star Wars (my dad did that, the noob)? Did you get angry when Ned Stark was beheaded in Game of Thrones? Or when Spartacus' wife was killed by Batuatus?
      No, you didn't, because they're characters in a story, just as C.M. Punk is, just as Paul Heyman is, just as Jerry Lawler is, Mick Foley, Ryback, Cena, VKM, whoever, whoever else, whoever after that, and so on and so on.
      Watch the show, like the bits you like, don't like the bits you don't like, when the logo comes up at the end of the third hour go do something else and forget about the bits you didn't like. Don't obsess. Don't attribute a storyline with more real world importance than it deserves. Show some dignity in your real world and internet activities.
      Don't be such a mark in other words. You'll likely find your day to day life a lot more pleasant to live.

      • Ken

        Firstly I liked the angle for what it represented – a brief return to edgier storylines that blur real life and wrestling. It's an artistic appreciation. It happened, I move on. Had it not happened, I'd move on also. I'd not go to the internet praising it for its ingenuity or whatever and neither would I whine and moan. Unfortunately since so many other people were whining and moaning I felt a need to argue the opposite. It's not being a mark, it's others being a set of overemotional oversentimental jackholes, and it's far too prevalent within the world. The only person who had a right to complain about the Jerry Lawler angle is Jerry Lawler, and he didn't.
        I'm not a mark about wrestling. If anything I'm a mark about life.

        Secondly, I do sincerely apologise for the spoiler regarding the Walking Dead, however I do have to point out that the event I'm referring to occurred TWO EPISODES AGO. That's almost two weeks now. If you're not going to keep up with the show as it airs then that's your choice and you're entitled to make it, but if you're choosing not to keep up you can't expect everyone else to not refer to something that occurred two weeks ago. Life doesn't work that way, unless you avoid the internet altogether.
        Please avoid the internet altogether.

        Thirdly, and now I am going to be a c**t of the highest possible refinement, all Hell broke loose in the prison because the zombies got in after one of the other inmates tried to escape, using bolt cutters on the chains on one of the gates, leading to the group becoming seperated.
        Lori, Maggie, and Carl got trapped in a boiler room in the prison. Lori started giving birth but s**t went wrong and Maggie had to do the C-section. The kid survived but Lori didn't. Carl had to put a bullet in his own mum's head to stop her returning as a walker.
        Meanwhile in Woodbury it turns out that the Governor uses walkers with their teeth pulled out as additional dangers during prize fighting contests between the guards. What most don't know is that he has a collection of walker heads preserved in jars, and is secretly harbouring his zombie daughter in a secret room in his house.
        Also, at the end of the most recent episode a few days ago, Rick was going through the prson on a killing spree to vent his anger at Lori's death (because he really did still love her despite the appearance otherwise) and he found the place where Lori had died, and while he was there a phone started ringing, which came as something of a surprise. We don't know who was on the other end yet as the episode ended just as Rick answered, but I'm eagerly looking forward to the next episode to find out, and I'm actually going to watch it when it's on.

        Now that, my friend, assuming this gets posted, is be being a complete and total utter Grade-A c**t.
        You're welcome.

    • Andrew

      I agree completely and WWE should be banned from tv for this

  • Andrew

    I disagree with bault16. Disagreeing with the way an angle is played out makes no one a mark no more than you being okay with it makes you the judge of who the “marks” are.

  • Jim

    And Ken, you actually proved my point. You are referencing TV shows – 100% fiction based. What we are talking about here are real life human situations. So going with your line of thinking and rationalization, it’s ok to mock the passing of his mother and his clinically dead status because it’s to get cheap heat correct? Then why stop there and make up some sick jokes about Owen Hart’s death after he fell to his death. Go ahead I’m waiting to hear those jokes. They would be hilarious. Just think of the heat those guys could’ve received. They could have taken credit for loosening the cable that cause him to plummet to his death. Heck there could never be more heat on someone than actually causing the death of someone right? It’s just for cheap heat right? Where do you draw the line Ken?

    • Ken

      In fiction I don't draw the line, and WWE is fiction.
      In real life I wouldn't go up to Bret or Jerry and make jokes about their real life tragedies. I have far too much respect for them to do anything like that.
      In fiction I have no problem with one character going up to another character and making jokes, because it's fiction. No one gets hurt because they're not real.
      That's why I referenced TV shows, because the WWE is a TV show. Jerry Lawler the announcer is a character on the show, played by a real life person of the same name. Punk's a character. Cena's a character. J.R. is a character. Vince is a character. Miz is a character. The ring announcer is a character. They're all characters. Attach yourself emotionally to characters, fine, but remember that they are just that when they appear on screen.
      The angle concerned was one character mocking the events that occurred to another character. Those events might well have coincided with real events but they aren't the same thing. The WWE does a good job of mixing the real with the fake. Clearly some people have a lot of trouble knowing which is which.

      • buffcop1

        Trust me, as a cop I have NO PROBLEM dscerning between fact and fiction. I've been decorated with a medal of valor, 2 life saving awards and countless unit citations and meritorious conduct awards over my 15 year career. Your theory Ken, in principle, makes no sense. You are saying that Jerry Lawler is a character and all of the other guys are characters. YES, we get attached to the characters which is what makes us boo and cheer at various spots within a match. Owen Hart was a character. Owen Hart died in the middle of the ring so in your theory, Owen Hart's "CHARACTER" was killed off the show. But Owen Hart the human lost his life. His son lost a daddy. His wife lost a husband. They didn't lose a CHARACTER. If Jerry had died and never returned, his family would have suffered the same loss. They wouldn't have lost a character. Yes it is entertainment and yes they portray characters but when those characters cross over in the real life realm, you throw the character moniker out the window and focus on what is important. Character or not, a human loss of life is the single most tragic experience I believe one can go thru.

      • buffcop1

        So again, I'm asking you a simple question and would love to see your response. Jerry Lawler dies ringside and is brought back with thanks to God for having him in the perfect position to receive the medical help needed to afford that outcome. So it's ok to make jokes becuase he was saved. HOWEVER, if he wouldn't have made it and would have passed away, would the WWE still be doing an angle with CM Punk where he makes light of it and is now the best in the world because he actually KILLED a man so everyone fear me because you might be next if you dare get in my way. Maybe Punk attends the funeral and urinates on the gravesite to REALLY get the heat. That is an answer I want to see from you Ken and I will put this to rest. He lives so they make jokes and turn it into an angle. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS CLINICALLY DEAD FOR SEVERAL MINUTES. But that is ok to you correct? But if he would have remained deceased, that is where you draw the line between what is ok to angle and what makes it real??? They make medication for those kind of conditions ya know Ken.

        • Ken

          Okay.
          Firstly I find it amusing that you're talking about this and yet you credit a fictional fairy tale character with saving a real man's life. Talk about not being able to distinguis between fantasy and reality.

          Owen Hart died in real life, the character gets killed off. Since the death was public they have to write the character off in the same way as the person died. I have the utmost sympathy and compassion for Owen's family. As in any case when someone in real life dies there's a period of time where respect is shown, but at some point that period ends.
          You know, when people make a joke about something tragic and then ask "too soon?" Whatever the situation there's a time when things become okay to joke about or parody.
          Had the WWE hypothetically made Owen's death into an angle somehow within, say, the first six months or so that would have been very cheap. Had they hypothetically done so after, say, a year then I'd have no problem with it.
          Now that's just hypothetical. Owen wasn't involved in any storylines or rivalries that would realistically warrant writing his fall into a storyline.

          Eddie Guerrero. Let's take him as an example. Now we all know that he died and how and when, and for years after that his death has been used in storylines and angles by his family and by other Latino wrestlers. If his death can be used in storylines so frequently and obviously then why not others' deaths? What's good for one is good for another.
          Continuing with Eddie, you recall that many years before he died he had a car accident while employed by WCW… piled his car into a tree or something, went soaring through the windscreen and landed hard, with the irony that not wearing a seatbelt that day saved his life (with the additional irony that getting hooked on drugs after that ended up killing him). When Eddie returned after that his situation, serious injury, and near death were mocked by several other people in WCW with the reference that he now had the record for the world's longest frog splash. No one complained then, or was that just because social media was less prevalent in society?

          Do you recall the storyline where the Big Show's dad died and the Big Boss Man showed up at the funeral and stole the casket and dragged it off with Show hanging onto the back end of it getting dragged along too? That's surely worse than urinating on a grave, so I'd have no problem had the Punk storyline gone that way, because it would be a character doing it, not a real person, and I highly doubt they'd use the real grave somehow, just a representation of it.
          I can't actually recall if Show's real life dad died or not, but mocking a character's death/family's death is nothing new for wrestling. It's a heel thing to do, so some heels do it.

          In TNA the Zema Ion character incorporated breaking the Jesse Sorenson character's neck into his gimmick, even though the real person behind the Jesse Sorenson character suffered the same injury. Chris Benoit was dubbed the Crippler for years after he injured Sabu in a match. Old school ECW, the Pit Bulls, specifically Gary Wolfe… his broken neck was incorporated into a storyline. Things like this happen all the time.

          Had Jerry died, and had Punk's character referenced it as you say, I still don't think I'd have been apalled or offended by it, because it fits with the personality of the character concerned and is internally consistent with the fictional world they've created, and because it would be a character doing it, and because I'm smart enough and rationally minded enough to know that in real life… note those three words IN REAL LIFE… in real life Phil Brooks would have nothing but respect and sympathy for Jerrold O'Neil Lawler.

          For what it's worth, the definition of death has changed drastically over the last few decades. He was clinically dead for several minutes, but clinically dead is not the same as dead dead.
          Death is irreversible. It's final. Having no heartbeat and not breathing for several minutes is not irreversible these days given the right circumstances and the right medical science applied. People come back from that all the time. Death hasn't been what most people think it is for many many years now.
          For what it's worth, everyone dies. Jerry will die one day. You will die one day. I'll die one day. Our kids will die one day. So will their kids, and theirs, and so on and so on until there's no one left to die. It happens. It's part of life by definition, much as some people prefer to think otherwise.

          • Ken

            For clarity, by the way, had someone not within the WWE made the type of comments or behaviour that Punk did, say some smart-rear comedian/late night talk show host/sports entertainment detractorwhatever, or if Punk had made those comments in an off-screen forum, for example a radio interview or Twitter post or anything else that could be considered 'non-canon', I'd likely be joining everyone else in verbally ripping them a new one simply because it wouldn't be clear whether it was meant in-character or not. If it's on screen in the WWE it's in character, unless it's specifically indicated otherwise.

          • Ken

            Okay well I'm going to sleep now. Early start tomorrow. I'll assume that since I've seen no further response from you that you conceded the loss and that I R TEH WINNARRRR as the saying goes.

            I may check back tomorrow, I may not.
            Tata.

          • Ken

            I checked back.

  • http://g Bruno

    It’s obvious Jerry lawler gave his approval for the segment. However, cm punk could get boos using different methods. The rock never lacked any means to make the crowd boo him. Then again, cm punk is nothing compared to the rock