Jerry 'The King' Lawler has surgery after heart attack - KPTV - FOX 12

Jerry 'The King' Lawler has surgery after on-air heart attack

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Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a heart attack during a live telecast of WWE Raw on Monday. (Source: CNN) Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a heart attack during a live telecast of WWE Raw on Monday. (Source: CNN)
Jerry Lawler, 62, gained notoriety for his feud with actor/comedian Andy Kaufman. (Source: shstrng/Flickr) Jerry Lawler, 62, gained notoriety for his feud with actor/comedian Andy Kaufman. (Source: shstrng/Flickr)

MONTREAL, CANADA (RNN) – WWE wrestler and commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler underwent a heart procedure Tuesday after collapsing during a live television broadcast.

His ex-wife, Stacy Carter, tweeted at 10:15 a.m. ET the 62-year-old had a stent and balloon "put in," likely meaning an angioplasty to open narrowed arteries. She stated Lawler was still heavily sedated and she would update when she knew more.

Girlfriend Lauryn McBride wrote on Facebook late Monday that Lawler suffered a heart attack but was in stable condition and breathing on his own.

During an episode of WWE Raw, Lawler suffered a heart attack while doing commentary for a match. Neither he nor announcer Michael Cole could be heard on the broadcast for an extended time, and much of the crowd's attention veered away from the ring to the table where the two sit.

Fans in attendance cheered "Jerry, Jerry!" as emergency staff tended to him. Cole came back on the air to explain Lawler had passed out, been moved for treatment and had to receive CPR.

He also made clear Lawler's collapse was not part of any storyline for the show.

"This is not – it is not part of tonight's entertainment," a visibly emotional Cole said. "This has happened."

"The King" has been a mainstay in professional wrestling since the 1970s. Already a favorite in the Memphis, TN, region in 1982, he became gained fame nationwide for his "real" rivalry with comedian Andy Kaufman.

One of the feud's most famous moments came on Late Night with David Letterman, when both were guests and Lawler slapped Kaufman.

The star of Taxi and Saturday Night Live stormed away after an on-air tirade. He claimed he would sue NBC and turn it into a 24-hour wrestling network.

Many mistook the entire situation as genuine, and the public was not let in on the joke until 1999. Lawler did not speak in-depth about the hoax until the release of his book, It's Good to Be the King … Sometimes, in 2002.

Lawler joined the WWE in the early '90s and enjoyed popularity as an in-ring performer and commentator.

While mostly retired from wrestling, he has occasionally gone back to it. He performed in a "steel cage match" on the Aug. 27 Raw and a "backstage brawl" Sept. 3.

The WWE released the following statement:

"Jerry 'The King' Lawler suffered a heart attack while commentating during last night's broadcast of Monday Night Raw in Montreal. We are hopeful Jerry makes a full recovery and returns to WWE in the near future. Our thoughts are with Jerry and his family."

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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