No one was happier to learn Jerry The King Lawler will return to WWE Monday Night Raw than Jim Ross.
Lawler, 62, who nearly lost his life from a fatal heart attack during Raw on Sept. 10 in Montreal, will be at Raw on Nov. 12 in Columbus, Ohio.
“Jerry’s cardiologist and our doctors are not going to allow Jerry to come to work and start traveling again until they’re 100 percent sure he’s ready to roll,” Ross said, “because travel does take a lot out of you.”
Ross, 60, one of the best lead commentators in wrestling history, filled Lawler’s chair during The King’s miraculous recovery.
“I’m taking it a week at a time,” Ross said prior, “and I’m having a blast.”
Prior, Raw lead announcer Michael Cole teamed with Lawler at the broadcast table as Ross worked a lighter schedule, mainly calling the main events during WWE NXT tapings at Full Sail University in Winter Park, near Orlando. It’s a transition.
Not only were Ross and Lawler an excellent broadcast team and WWE Hall of Famers but they’re also friends.
“I speak to him, and when we don’t talk, we text about everyday or two,” Ross said. “He is doing great. He’s feeling great. He’s the luckiest man in the world, quite frankly. I don’t know where else he could have been, unless he was actually sitting in a doctor’s office, when that heart attack occurred, that he would be alive today.
“Thank God WWE has two full-time physicians who travel with the team, and Dr. Sampson was right there at ringside, watching the matches in the secured corral area, timekeeper area as I understand it, and as soon as he saw Jerry come out of his chair and fall to the floor... So Michael Cole got their attention.
“Good thing for Michael Cole doing that because I’m sure they didn’t know and thought it could be part of a storyline. They wouldn’t know, yea or nay, but Michael with a sense of urgency got the doctor over, and once the doctor saw Jerry had no pulse, he started CPR immediately.
“The EMTs are in the building, obviously. So I was told Jerry was hit with the [defibrillator] paddle seven times to generate a heartbeat. What I was told by more than one who were there that he was clinically dead for 15 minutes. So it was horrific.
“I was at home in Norman [Okla.] and watching on TV. I don’t know if I’d ever felt a sense of helplessness. I don’t know how many hundreds of hours Jerry and I have broadcast together and coupled that with all the hundreds of hours we traveled together, it’s like having an older brother.
“It’s like in the movie ‘Stripes’ when Bill Murray calls Sgt. Hulka the big toe. Jerry was always the big toe of the team. So I’m so thankful he’s alive.”
• Ross joined Lawler and Cole to call the classic End of an Era match between Undertaker and Triple H in Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels the guest referee at WrestleMania 28 Miami.
“Last year I wasn’t on TV much, and to get to Miami, I think I was told Friday or Saturday before the event, ‘Hey, we got a match for you to call. It’s Triple H and Undertaker with Shawn [Michaels] as a referee in Hell in a Cell.’ That was a big honor for me -- one of those bucket list type matches -- especially when I hadn’t been that busy up to that point. I always enjoy going to WrestleMania, and that was a big added bonus for me.”