Jerry “The King” Lawler, a WWE Hall of Famer and Memphis native, was taken to a Florida hospital Monday after having a stroke, according to longtime friend and former WMC-TV chief meteorologist Dave Brown.
Brown informed The Commercial Appeal that the famed professional wrestler is recuperating from a stroke in a Fort Myers hospital. According to Brown, Lawler went for Florida last week to attend the Old Time Comic Show’s “Heroes Meet Horror Con” on Feb. 4 in Punta Gorda and intended to spend this week at his Fort Myers apartment.
Brown said he talked with Lawler, 73, early Tuesday afternoon through FaceTime and was quite encouraged.
“Some of the early reports were simply awful, so I feel considerably better than I did 18 hours ago when I felt like I was smacked in the face with a shovel,” he added. “I was quite encouraged after doing a FaceTime. Jerry was on guard. He spoke to me. He could only pronounce a few words at a time, which is rather typical. However, he was able to move both legs and arms.
“I am extremely confident that he will finally recover.”
Brown met Lawler while working as an announcer for the long-running Saturday morning wrestling show “Classic Memphis Wrestling” with Lance Russell.
Lawler, who will be inducted into the Memphis Sports Hall of Fame in October 2022, has recently appeared for WWE. On January 6, “Friday Night Smackdown” was staged at FedExForum in his hometown. Lawler made a brief appearance before the Fox broadcast of the show started. Lawler was a panellist on the annual Royal Rumble kickoff show, and he later provided guest commentary during one of the bouts.
On Tuesday, notable wrestlers expressed their worry for Lawler by posting words of support on social media. Ric Flair was among them, tweeting, “We are praying for you Jerry Lawler.”