Jerry Lawler Collapses: Why He Means so Much to WWE and Monday Night RAW

Mark PareCorrespondent IISeptember 11, 2012

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For those of you that have been wrestling fans all their life, I think I speak for all of you when I say we were horrified and feared the worst for Jerry Lawler on Monday Night Raw in Montreal, Quebec.

In the time that I have watched it, I have never felt as weird or cold than when I was watching the live broadcast on TV and there was no commentary.  I wasn't aware of what was going on but when I went on Facebook and started hearing about what was going on, I almost balled my eyes out.

From the early days of Lawler feuding with Bret Hart, to the Attitude Era and all the puppies that came along with it, Lawler made (and still makes) WWE programming entertaining and informative at the desk every Monday night and whether you love him or hate him, you can't deny that fact.

The wrestling business can be a brutal one.  Now, I'm not here to bash the constant travelling lifestyle and place blame on it for what happened, so it's imperative that you keep that in mind.

The fact is, that lifestyle and how dedicated Lawler is to that lifestyle is exactly why he is so important to the WWE and Monday nights.

Not only is he a seasoned veteran at the announce table, but he also gets in the ring and performs on a part time basis.  Alone, that should show his value, but it goes much deeper than that.

Lawler is so beloved in the WWE Universe.  Every time he steps in the ring, a resounding "Jerry" chant fills the arena in unison.

Lawler has so much experience in the wrestling industry and even though he hasn't won a WWE Championship, he has earned a TON of respect throughout the wrestling world.

As much as I would want to talk about his time before WWE, the main point being stressed is how important he is to us in the WWE.

Monday Night RAW isn't the same without him behind the mic, his wisdom, entertainment value and nostalgia can never be replaced.

Of course, WWE will receive criticism for continuing with the show, but when is the company not part of some controversy when something bad happens to someone during a broadcast?

Michael Cole handled the situation with a heavy heart but like a professional nonetheless.  It's never easy to do anything in terms of broadcasting when something serious has happened to someone you care a lot about, especially when it's all happening right beside you.

As a broadcaster myself, the job comes with all the obstacles and when you are on the air and stuff is happening, you don't have much time to work with and you have to handle the situation for a ton of people.

When something serious is happening, the viewers are hanging onto every word you say and considering that it was Lawler, someone Cole has known for a very long time, that is the standard that we all should follow.  Sticking to the facts, letting what is on screen dictate the story and making sure Lawler is okay.

You can't teach respect but Cole earned a ton of mine.  He looked noticeably shaken, delivering that message at the end of the show but as the true pro that he is, Cole did it with courage, class and the knowledge that there is a job to do despite everything.

When it comes down to Lawler, he probably won't win a WWE Championship but he is a staple on the flagship show of the WWE, Monday Night Raw.

Lawler suffered a heart attack and was breathing on his own when the broadcast ended.

With all the early and untimely death in the world of wrestling, people assumed the worst.  Most of us that were kids in the 90's grew up with seeing Lawler at some of his best times, including turning to the mic behind the desk.

When he did that, the WWE changed for the better.  The announce team of Lawler, Jim Ross and Vince McMahon led us to the Attitude Era and during that, who was behind the mic?  JR and "The King".  That was my childhood, as a die-hard wrestling fan.

With so many fans turning off in the PG-13 era, Lawler remained a constant voice for the WWE, a piece of the good old days.

We're praying for you Jerry, we all are.  Just like Cole said at the end of RAW:

"Jerry, beat this thing. Get 'em King."


If you have any comments and well wishes, feel free to leave them down in the comments section and be respectful, that should go without saying.

Stay locked on Bleacher Report throughout the coming days as we monitor the condition of Jerry "The King" Lawler.

Mark Pare is a Featured Columnist. You can follow him on Twitter, and don't forget to check out his sportswriter page.