Did The CM Punk-Jerry Lawler Heart Attack Promo Cross The Line?


While I am sure that the WWE wanted a lot of buzz the week before Survivor Series 2012, I don’t know if this is the buzz they were looking for. Thousands of fans are outraged over a segment on Monday Night RAW and it is time to ask whether the WWE went too far with its Punk-Heyman-Lawler segment.

[adinserter block=”2″]To give you some background on it, Jerry Lawler returned to RAW Monday after having a heart attack several weeks ago. Lawler returned to a standing ovation and compared his situation to the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The feel-good segment went from one of the greatest moments in RAW history to one of the most infamous.

CM Punk and Jerry Lawler interrupted Lawler. Punk proceeded to cut a scathing promo on Lawler, including telling Lawler that he would have beaten him to death had Lawler not left the ring. The promo was capped off with Paul Heyman mocking a heart attack. It was at this moment that fans went ballistic in the social media world with outrage and disappointment.

I jumped into the social media debate on Twitter taking the side that it wasn’t nearly as disgusting as some people had dramatized. My point of view was that Jerry Lawler not only had to sign off on it, I would not be surprised if it was his idea. I watched Memphis wrestling for years and this is something Lawler would have done in a second in his own promotion. Lawler loves wrestling and I could easily see Lawler looking at the angle and seizing the moment. I don’t know this to be true but it is just a hunch.

This all goes back to the whole debate fans have when Jim Ross would get mocked or bullied for years on RAW. Fans would get angry and disgusted over it yet Jim Ross continued to show up and cash his check weekly. My take was that as long as Jim Ross signs off on it, who am I to complain? Nobody is forcing anyone to do what they don’t want to do.

In the case of Lawler this isn’t a guy that needs a job and will do whatever is asked. Lawler is known for being smart with his money and saved well. Lawler has a fun job but he has walked out before when conditions dictated it. Who am I to get outraged over something pertaining to Jerry Lawler when Lawler gave the okay and participated in the angle?

Was it tasteless? It certainly was. Did the WWE really need to do this? CM Punk was getting over just fine as a heel. It wasn’t as if he needed the angle to boost his heat, although I am sure he got a great boost. Punk was also involved in a controversial angle regarding his family earlier in the year. This is a guy that obviously likes an edgy angle. Everyone could have said no and it was certainly tasteless, but it was hardly what I call crossing the line.

The biggest hypocrisy to me is that a lot of the same people outraged over the angle are the same people that complain all of the time that the WWE needs to return to the Attitude Era, or got excited when Linda McMahon lost thinking that the company would move away from being PG. You can’t have it both ways. That angle could have been ten times worse in the Attitude Era.

[adinserter block=”2″]As a wrestling fan you either have to come to grips that you are watching a fictitious story or you’re in for nothing but grief. If you survived watching through the Eddie Guerrero angles, the Katie Vick storylines, or even watching Michael Cole degrade Jerry Lawler’s deceased body just days after she passed away, you aren’t going away now. The WWE knows this and will continue to push that envelope from time to time crossing into that bad line of taste.

Did they cross the line? I don’t think so at all. I like a little realism in my wrestling. I would probably be critical if they didn’t do this. Why would someone like CM Punk not come out and cut a promo like that on Jerry Lawler? Wouldn’t it look kind of ridiculous if he didn’t?

I honestly don’t know how you could have expected anything different.

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  1. Eric, I've got to agree with your point that this type of angle was commonplace and actually amplified during the Attitude Era. Was this any more tasteless than Shawn Michaels doing a promo with his schlong bulging out of too-tight athletic shorts during the height of DX in the late 1990s. How about when Miss Kitty went topless on PPV (sure, most of us loved that type of tasteless angle)? Or going back further, how about when Ultimate Warrior was puking all over the camera lense after Papa Shango cursed him. My point is the WWE has been in the tasteless department for decades. Even thinking about this on my own blog, I didn't have a hard time coming up with tacky angles from the 1980s – http://tinyurl.com/d7yb99r . Doing stuff in poor taste is Vince McMahon's MO.

  2. That whole segment was just disgusting!!! Vince needs to get his head out of his ass. Like Dan said… They should have just let the fans enjoy having Lawler back. I cannot stand Punk anyway.. Not the nicest of people to meet In person either… An utter ass actually. He is NOT the best in the world

  3. This was TACKY period! There are others lives who have been affected by a heart attack in their family. This was just a poor way of doing this without being curtous to others who have had family members pass on in this fashion. SMH Randy Orton your the only reason I even tune in anymore after all these years.

  4. I though it was very wrong. This was one time the WWE should of just welcome Jerry back. Bringing CM Punk in and doing and saying what he did and doing it for ratings [sucked]. It was a real heart attack. Not a story line. I was glad to see Jerry back and it should of been a happy and feel good time. I am also a Viet Nam Vet. IT HURT!

  5. It was tasteless and interesting at the same time. The thing with that is Lawler had a look on his face like he wants revenge. If the WWE were wise they would find a way for the King to cost Punk the title.


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