The following is a recap of a recent Jerry Lawler personal appearance. The recap comes courtesy of D.J. Peckens and ProWrestling.net
Jerry “The King” Lawler was the guest of honor at Friday nightâ€™s hockey game between the Dayton Gems and the Evansville Icemen at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Hara Arena was host to a number of wrestling pay-per-view events in the mid-1990â€™s, namely WCW Great American Bash 1995, WCW/nWo Souled Out 1998 and ECW Heatwave in 1998 and 1999. Needless to say, the arena itself has seen its share of better days, but it was cool to be in a building that has a touch of wrestling history.
Lawler was signing from 6:30-7:15 PM before dropping the puck prior to the 7:30 faceoff. The doors opened at 6:30, and it was a mad dash to where the autograph session was taking place inside the arena. Being that I was at the front of the line to enter the arena, I was fortunate to be one of the first people inside the building and took off right for the room were Lawler was signing. I was first in line for the signing itself, and a huge line of people followed in tow. Lawler was wearing a Dayton Gems jersey created just for him, and the team was to wear special red Jerry “The King” Lawler jerseys that would be auctioned off following the game.
I was the first to meet him, and after shaking hands, he asked me where I was from and asked me how many WWE events I had been to since I started going to shows. I got him to sign a custom 8×10 picture that I had taken of him at Monday Night Raw in December 2008 from Pittsburgh, PA â€“ as well as a 5×7 that was provided by the team. As an avid sports autograph collector, I can attest to the fact that The King has a beautiful signature. Both autographs looked very nice. If you collect autographs and donâ€™t think you would have the opportunity to meet Lawler in person, I recommend that you check out his website to see if he has any signed artwork or photographs for sale.
The King displayed some of his trademark humor, of course, while examining the photo I brought for him to sign. In the picture I had taken, you could see Lillian Garcia in the background of the photo. Lawler said, “I notice Lillianâ€™s in the ring there,” and I responded, “You have a pretty good eye for those Divas, donâ€™t you?” He replied, “Iâ€™d recognize those legs anywhere!” Funny.
I complimented him on the excellent work heâ€™s done over the last few months, especially Sunday in his match with The Miz and Monday during his confrontation with Michael Cole. He genuinely appreciated my “kind words.” I also told him, “I canâ€™t wait to see you and Cole at WrestleMania in what I hope is a â€˜squash match.'” The King said that “We donâ€™t really know if the match is going to happen, so I hope Iâ€™ll find out sometime next week.” Since the match isnâ€™t officially on the WrestleMania card yet, Iâ€™m guessing heâ€™s just towing the company line for now. He added, “We really want it to be like it was with Andy Kaufman, where you really wanted to see me get my hands on him.”
Finally, I got my picture taken with him and added in a “Go Tribe!” in closing, which The King got a kick out of considering he is a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan. Overall, The King was very gracious with his time and seemed like a legitimately down-to-earth, nice guy. It was an absolute pleasure to meet him and talk for a handful of minutes. Hard to believe this was the same guy who was a major heel 15 years ago, but the character who made derogatory comments about every member of the Hart family couldnâ€™t be any further from Jerry Lawler himself, a true gentleman in every sense of the word!