WWE Hall of Famer and Raw color commentator Jerry “The King” Lawler addressed his controversial remarks made during a match between Akira Tozawa and Austin Theory. Jerry Lawler spoke about his recent match commentary, which was seen by many as racist.
Following a somersault maneuver performed by Tozawa, who is of Japanese ethnicity, Lawler jokingly referred to the move as a “Ramen Noodle Moonsault.”
The remark led to a sea of backlash on Twitter from many who deemed the comment to be racist.
Speaking on his Dinner with the King podcast (h/t Cagesideseats.com), Lawler chalked up the awkward moment to a lack of chemistry with his broadcast colleagues.
“I would say something like, ‘there’s the Ramen Noodle moonsault,’ and [former broadcast partner Mauro Ranallo] would say, ‘oh, King! You know there’s no such thing!’ And we would just go on,” said Lawler.
“I was doing it just to play devil’s advocate with Mauro. If I were still doing commentary with Michael Cole or JR, we had the chemistry to where each one of those guys would have known that I was almost making a fool out of myself by claiming like I was acting like I knew what this unbelievable looking move was. Then either Cole or JR would have said ‘Oh, King! You know better than that!’
“With Byron and Tom, we don’t have that chemistry yet. We have only been working together for a short time so when I said that, they didn’t even acknowledge it so it kind of went out and they just kept talking and I kept talking. I didn’t think anything about it either.”
Lawler continues to face scrutiny for his insistence to work through a global pandemic despite being 70 years old with a heart condition.
Though the ongoing coronavirus-related shutdown is global, Lawler represents the personification of the most high-risk individual as it pertains to suffering a severe illness from COVID-19.
Lawler remained defiant in his pursuits to tough it out as he defended his controversial decision on a recent episode of Dinner with the King:
“I got the call saying Vince was a little concerned because then the word was really, real strong about—at that time…of course, I think it’s changed since then…they were saying that this coronavirus is mostly striking the older individuals,” said Lawler.
“I will be heading back down next Monday to the Performance Center and be back, once again, a part of Monday Night Raw. I don’t like to sit home and watch Raw and not hear ‘The King’ on there somewhere.”
Lawler’s recent faux pas in the age of social media outrage has only compounded preexisting demands to have him removed from commentary.
Legendary manager Jim Cornette, who resigned as color commentator from NWA Powerrr in November for making his own controversial remark, recently defended Lawler’s comments:
“So now people are mad at @JerryLawler for telling a joke. Now I understand why modern wrestling sucks, because most modern wrestling fans are such whiny little [expletives] they don’t DESERVE good wrestling. How do these people go out in public without breaking out in tears?” #WHINE