|Jerry "the King" Lawler at Rent One Park, May 2010
This post is more about my thoughts on the original "king" of wrestling, Jerry Lawler. Before last night, I had never realized "the King" had never been in a match for the WWE(F) title. I did know that he has never competed in a Wrestlemania.
So last night's title shot at the Miz was a first for Lawler, but I think we all knew the Hall of Famer was going to simply be putting over the new champion, which at this stage of his career was the only thing to do.
But I am disappointed that Lawler, a former AWA world champion never at least competed for the world title during his early days in the WWF. Instead it always seemed he was being used to put over other guys. And not even the younger crowd all the time.
The King of the Ring tournament on pay per view always featured Lawler in some way. At least in the early days. In 1993 he attacked Bret Hart during the Hitman's coronation ceremony that set up their feud. Then 1994, he put over "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and in '95 Hart got revenge again in a kiss my foot match. The Ultimate Warrior took it to the King in 1996. In 1997, Lawler made it into the tournament, but lost early to Mankind.
Lawler spent all of his time in the WWE behind the mic. He was always primarily presented as an announcer and not a wrestler. Of course, we all knew his history from the Mid South, AWA, and USWA; but he was utilized very rarely in the WWE ring. I never really understood why. Early on when he arrived, he could have been included in a Wrestlemania, especially in the mid 90's when the talent pool was a bit dry.
I like the King. I like the Miz more though, so of course I'm glad he retained the title last night. Lawler still looks great for 61. I know he still works a lot on the independent circuit and in Memphis. I saw him wrestle back in May on an independent show. He showed Kevin Throne why he's still the King.
So I'm happy Jerry Lawler finally got his WWE title shot. Now I just hope he can get on a Wrestlemania card too.