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How Jerry Lawler’s wrestling career inspired Memphis football to bring back its ‘Turnover Belt’

Jerry LawlerGrowing up in Tennessee, Mike MacIntyre was a wrestling fan. One of his favorites to watch? Jerry “The King” Lawler. So what better way to celebrate takeaways than combine his childhood passion with one of Memphis’ more recent traditions.

 

In his first season as Tigers defensive coordinator, MacIntyre has brought back the Turnover Belt in grand fashion.

It all started during a team meeting with WWE music blaring from the speakers. For a brief moment, MacIntyre pretended he was Lawler, making a grand entrance. You would have thought the players won the national championship.

Jerry Lawler The King.jpg

“I know Memphis is a wrestling capital of the world with Mid-South Wrestling in the Mid-South Coliseum,” MacIntyre said. “Saturday mornings, you’d get up and watch it while you’re watching cartoons. I thought of that, they liked it and went with it.”

The belt made three appearances in Saturday’s 37-24 win against Arkansas State. Xavier Cullens got it first after a second quarter interception. Next was JJ Russell after he forced a fumble recovered by Cole Mashburn. Finally, Sylvonta Oliver had the Tigers’ third takeaway with an interception.

“When I saw the belt, I was like, I got to get my hands on it a lot,” Oliver said. “I got to create turnovers to have that belt in my possession.

Jerry Lawler The King

The Tigers are no strangers to wrestling-inspired gimmicks. In 2017, they had a “Takeaway Belt” and the next season, they added a blue Ric-Flair inspired Turnover Robe.

Lawler hasn’t been shy about supporting his hometown. When ESPN’s “College GameDay” picked Memphis and was live from Beale Street last season, Lawler was the celebrity picker and had a friendly exchange with analyst Lee Corso after Corso picked SMU to beat the Tigers.

Coach Ryan Silverfield embraced the belt’s return, especially when all three turnovers came after a dreadful first quarter Saturday.

Jerry "The King" Lawler Says The Media Is Creating The Coronavirus Panic

“If you can’t appreciate a good championship wrestling belt, then shame on you. You probably shouldn’t be around me too often,” Silverfield said.

“When you get three turnovers, I don’t care what the heck they have. They can have a turnover pencil, backpack, rope, belt. As long as we get to see some turnover object out there, I’m all fired up for it.”

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How Jerry Lawler, wrestling inspired Memphis football to bring back its ‘Turnover Belt’

Jerry LawlerGrowing up in Tennessee, Mike MacIntyre was a wrestling fan. One of his favorites to watch? Jerry “The King” Lawler. So what better way to celebrate takeaways than combine his childhood passion with one of Memphis’ more recent traditions.

 

In his first season as Tigers defensive coordinator, MacIntyre has brought back the Turnover Belt in grand fashion.

It all started during a team meeting with WWE music blaring from the speakers. For a brief moment, MacIntyre pretended he was Lawler, making a grand entrance. You would have thought the players won the national championship.

Jerry Lawler The King.jpg

“I know Memphis is a wrestling capital of the world with Mid-South Wrestling in the Mid-South Coliseum,” MacIntyre said. “Saturday mornings, you’d get up and watch it while you’re watching cartoons. I thought of that, they liked it and went with it.”

The belt made three appearances in Saturday’s 37-24 win against Arkansas State. Xavier Cullens got it first after a second quarter interception. Next was JJ Russell after he forced a fumble recovered by Cole Mashburn. Finally, Sylvonta Oliver had the Tigers’ third takeaway with an interception.

“When I saw the belt, I was like, I got to get my hands on it a lot,” Oliver said. “I got to create turnovers to have that belt in my possession.

Jerry Lawler The King

The Tigers are no strangers to wrestling-inspired gimmicks. In 2017, they had a “Takeaway Belt” and the next season, they added a blue Ric-Flair inspired Turnover Robe.

Lawler hasn’t been shy about supporting his hometown. When ESPN’s “College GameDay” picked Memphis and was live from Beale Street last season, Lawler was the celebrity picker and had a friendly exchange with analyst Lee Corso after Corso picked SMU to beat the Tigers.

Coach Ryan Silverfield embraced the belt’s return, especially when all three turnovers came after a dreadful first quarter Saturday.

Jerry "The King" Lawler Says The Media Is Creating The Coronavirus Panic

“If you can’t appreciate a good championship wrestling belt, then shame on you. You probably shouldn’t be around me too often,” Silverfield said.

“When you get three turnovers, I don’t care what the heck they have. They can have a turnover pencil, backpack, rope, belt. As long as we get to see some turnover object out there, I’m all fired up for it.”

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Jerry “The King” Lawler has revealed his favorite moments of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Jerry Lawler and Steve AustinAhead of the new installment of the popular WWE Network series, the company has released a special sneak peek video where “The King” shares some of his favorite “Austin vs. McMahon” memories from the infamous WWE Attitude Era in the late 1990s.

 

During the discussion, Lawler spoke about a few of his favorite particular segments that saw “The Texas Rattlesnake” raise hell like only he could as he made his life’s mission to be a thorn in the side of the WWE Chairman.

Jerry "The King" Lawler Says The Media Is Creating The Coronavirus Panic“So many of your moments were my favorites to call, I’ll never forget the bed pan,” Lawler told Austin on “The Broken Skull Sessions” appearance. “Oh my gosh, when you came in and blasted Mr. McMahon with the bed pan, and of course, he’s got nothing on, oh, that was one of my all time favorites.”

Lawler concluded, “I loved that.”

From there, he moved on to his number one favorite all-time Austin vs. McMahon moment.

How Stone Cold Steve Austin Got His Ring Name -- The Steve Austin’s Uncommon legacy“But my main favorite with you was when you can in with the beer truck,” Lawler said. “Poor Mr. McMahon, he’s drowning. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, Mr. McMahon’s drowning!’ That was the greatest of all time.”

 

He added, “Doing it was fun but having that soundtrack for the people at home to listen to, to put along with what we were doing, it kind of raises the stakes. So, thank you for everything you’ve done for me.”

How Stone Cold Steve Austin Got His Ring Name -- The Steve Austin’s Uncommon legacyWatch the sneak peek video from the new episode of The Broken Skull Sessions with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin interviewing Jerry “The King” Lawler below, and subscribe to the WWE Network today to watch the complete episode starting this Sunday, September 6, 2020.

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Jerry “The King” Lawler has revealed his Favorite Moments of Steve Austin

Jerry Lawler and Steve AustinAhead of the new installment of the popular WWE Network series, the company has released a special sneak peek video where “The King” shares some of his favorite “Austin vs. McMahon” memories from the infamous WWE Attitude Era in the late 1990s.

 

During the discussion, Lawler spoke about a few of his favorite particular segments that saw “The Texas Rattlesnake” raise hell like only he could as he made his life’s mission to be a thorn in the side of the WWE Chairman.

Jerry "The King" Lawler Says The Media Is Creating The Coronavirus Panic“So many of your moments were my favorites to call, I’ll never forget the bed pan,” Lawler told Austin on “The Broken Skull Sessions” appearance. “Oh my gosh, when you came in and blasted Mr. McMahon with the bed pan, and of course, he’s got nothing on, oh, that was one of my all time favorites.”

Lawler concluded, “I loved that.”

From there, he moved on to his number one favorite all-time Austin vs. McMahon moment.

How Stone Cold Steve Austin Got His Ring Name -- The Steve Austin’s Uncommon legacy“But my main favorite with you was when you can in with the beer truck,” Lawler said. “Poor Mr. McMahon, he’s drowning. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, Mr. McMahon’s drowning!’ That was the greatest of all time.”

 

He added, “Doing it was fun but having that soundtrack for the people at home to listen to, to put along with what we were doing, it kind of raises the stakes. So, thank you for everything you’ve done for me.”

How Stone Cold Steve Austin Got His Ring Name -- The Steve Austin’s Uncommon legacyWatch the sneak peek video from the new episode of The Broken Skull Sessions with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin interviewing Jerry “The King” Lawler below, and subscribe to the WWE Network today to watch the complete episode starting this Sunday, September 6, 2020.

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Why Does WWE Seem DETERMINED to Try to Get One of Its Legends Killed

Meltzer’s Classics: Ric Flair vs. Barry WindhamWWE’s decision to keep working Ric Flair into storylines is reckless due to Flair’s age and COVID-19 dangers.
WWE has reportedly had up to two dozen employees test positive for the coronavirus recently, forcing the promotion to start taking the pandemic seriously.

 

 

However, there is still one thing happening in WWE that is inexplicable. While the company sent Jerry “The King” Lawler home for his safety when the pandemic began, this has not stopped it from bringing in “Nature Boy” Ric Flair to work an angle with Randy Orton.

This decision makes no sense. Flair is 71 years old and almost passed away a few years back. In August 2017, after complications from a blockage in his bowels, doctors placed Flair in a medically induced coma. This medical problem resulted in kidney failure, and he was in the hospital through September 21 before returning home. According to John Hopkins Medicine, some people who tested positive to COVID-19 showed signs of damage to their kidneys, with 30 percent of hospitalized patients in China and New York suffering severe kidney damage.

Meltzer’s Classics: Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham

Furthermore, the CDC reports that people aged 65 and older are at a higher risk for severe illness. The disease is also harsh for people with heart or lung disease and other medical conditions. Eight out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States are people aged 65 or older.

At the moment, the only reason that Flair is showing up in WWE is to help push Randy Orton’s “Legend Killer angle.” Flair showed up first before the Edge vs. Randy Orton match at Backlash and said that he picked Orton as the greatest wrestler today, believing Orton would win the match. When Christian came out to confront Orton on Raw, an unsanctioned match resulted, one in which Flair came out and hit Christian with a low blow to allow Orton to deliver the punt kick.

Flair next showed up when Big Show confronted Orton on Monday Night Raw. Flair backed Orton once again, and this caused Big Show to tell Flair that he lost all his respect for him as a man and as a legend. However, this wasn’t the end, as Flair showed up again for the third week in a row on Monday Night Raw, there to try to take out Big Show.

Yes, it makes sense that Flair would be there to sing the praises of Orton. They were partners in Evolution and if anyone is going to call Orton the best wrestler today, it might as well be the man that many fans consider the best of all-time. Flair was perfect for that for that role. That said, the second that the COVID-19 positive tests hit WWE, the company should have pulled the plug on Flair’s part in this storyline. There isn’t anything else he needs to do unless Orton plans on turning on him too.

Ric Flair credits his WrestleMania 18 match with The Undertaker

There is the fact that Flair has reportedly said he is more than happy to show up and take part in the storyline, but the choice should not belong to Flair. As long as he keeps showing up, Flair takes the risk of contracting COVID-19. Even if it is his choice to continue, WWE has a responsibility to its talents. Flair has the right to do what he wants, but WWE has to ensure the company does not get the The Nature Boy killed by sending him out every week on Monday Night Raw.

Scott Steiner and Ric Flair

There is no word on whether or not WWE has put strict rules into place to protect Flair from anyone who might be a risk. So far, fans have watched him interact with Orton, Big Show, Zelina Vega, Andrade, and Angel Garza. It is nice to know that Flair interacted with his daughter’s fiance, Andrade, on Raw, but there is no reason he should be there at all. Until there is a clean bill of health in WWE again, no one Flair’s age should be out there performing, whether they want to or not. WWE has to take better care of its talent — it’s just not worth risking the death of one of its legends to promote an angle that’ll be forgotten in a month anyways.

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Jim Ross explains why WWE put Jerry Lawler on commentary instead of Randy Savage

Jim Ross Comments On Jerry Lawler's StrokeJim Ross explains why WWE put Jerry Lawler on commentary instead of Randy Savage. Vince McMahon wanted Randy “Macho Man” Savage on commentary, but Randy Savage wanted to wrestle.

 

Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are arguably the most popular commentary team in WWE history.

They have called many matches together, but apparently they were not going to be on commentary together. On a recent episode of Grillin JR, Jim Ross provided an explanation as to why Vince McMahon put Jerry Lawler on commentary.

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler speaking

Vince McMahon wanted Randy “Macho Man” Savage on commentary, but Randy Savage wanted to wrestle. Savage eventually left the company for WCW and that is the only reason why Jerry Lawler started working as a commentator.

“The only reason that Jerry got on Raw was because Savage walked. And it was one of those old classic deals, we didn’t know they were gone until they were gone-type deal, and you know, subterfuge in wrestling and the mistrust and the paranoia. And all the normal bulls**t.

Jim Ross with Jerry Lawler

And so when they realized that Savage was not going to be at the taping that night, on site, it was suggested that Lawler do it. You know, it might have been Bruce that suggested it, I don’t know who did it.”

Jim Ross is now working for AEW and the two are working for different companies. Perhaps one day we might see them on the same commentary table again.

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Jerry Lawler officially announces date & venue for 50th Anniversary Celebration

Jerry LawlerThe following was sent to us: Jerry “The King” Lawler Officially Announces Date & Venue For 50th Anniversary Celebration – USA Championship Wrestling TV

 

For immediate release:

(Jackson, TN) – On this episode of USA Championship Wrestling, from the fabulous Studio 45 in Jackson, TN, WWE Hall of Fame member, Jerry “The King” Lawler & USA Championship Wrestling owner, Bert Prentice reveal the date & venue for the Jerry Lawler 50th Anniversary Celebration, taking place on Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at The Ballpark in Jackson, TN.

Jerry Lawler The King.jpg

They also announce that WWE legend Glenn Jacobs, (aka Kane) will be a part of this monumental event.

(Video): Jerry Lawler Announces Date & Venue For 50th Anniversary Celebration:

Also on this episode, “The LVR Boy” Matt Riviera calls out USA Championship Wrestling commissioner, Herb Simmons regarding the main event of the Jerry “The King” Lawler 50th Anniversary Celebration. We also hear from “The Queen of Wrestling” Kacee Carlisle.

Jerry Lawler Wins CWA Heavyweight Title

Jerry “The King” Lawler & USA Championship Wrestling owner Bert Prentice reveal the date & venue for the Jerry Lawler 50th Anniversary Celebration, taking place on September 26 at The Ballpark in Jackson, Tennessee. They also announce that Kane will be a part of this event.

– The USA Nework is doing a Twitter tournament designed to crown the greatest superstar in SummerSlam history.

Legends, Hall of Famers, Champions… those titles are cool, but we’re more interested in who is the greatest Superstar in #SummerSlam history.

Vote for your picks in the thread below — — USA Network (@USA_Network)

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Jerry “The King” Lawler officially announces date & venue for 50th Anniversary Celebration

Jerry LawlerThe following was sent to us: Jerry “The King” Lawler Officially Announces Date & Venue For 50th Anniversary Celebration – USA Championship Wrestling TV

 

For immediate release:

(Jackson, TN) – On this episode of USA Championship Wrestling, from the fabulous Studio 45 in Jackson, TN, WWE Hall of Fame member, Jerry “The King” Lawler & USA Championship Wrestling owner, Bert Prentice reveal the date & venue for the Jerry Lawler 50th Anniversary Celebration, taking place on Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at The Ballpark in Jackson, TN.

Jerry Lawler The King.jpg

They also announce that WWE legend Glenn Jacobs, (aka Kane) will be a part of this monumental event.

(Video): Jerry Lawler Announces Date & Venue For 50th Anniversary Celebration:

Also on this episode, “The LVR Boy” Matt Riviera calls out USA Championship Wrestling commissioner, Herb Simmons regarding the main event of the Jerry “The King” Lawler 50th Anniversary Celebration. We also hear from “The Queen of Wrestling” Kacee Carlisle.

Jerry Lawler Wins CWA Heavyweight Title

Jerry “The King” Lawler & USA Championship Wrestling owner Bert Prentice reveal the date & venue for the Jerry Lawler 50th Anniversary Celebration, taking place on September 26 at The Ballpark in Jackson, Tennessee. They also announce that Kane will be a part of this event.

– The USA Nework is doing a Twitter tournament designed to crown the greatest superstar in SummerSlam history.

Legends, Hall of Famers, Champions… those titles are cool, but we’re more interested in who is the greatest Superstar in #SummerSlam history.

Vote for your picks in the thread below — — USA Network (@USA_Network)

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Jerry Lawler Interferes in USA Championship Wrestling Match — Jerry Lawler to leave the promotion

Jerry Lawler THE KINGJerry Lawler appeared during a recent episode of USA Championship Wrestling TV by interfering in Matt Riviera’s match with Brandon White.

 

Here’s a synopsis of the episode:

“On this episode of USA Championship Wrestling, filmed at the fabulous Studio 45 in Jackson, TN, WWE Hall of Fame member, Jerry “The King” Lawler winds up interfering in “The LVR Boy” Matt Riviera’s match with Brandon White, as the bad blood between Lawler & Riviera continues to rise.
Jerry The King Lawler

Also on this episode, Commissioner Herb Simmons addresses the brutal attack on USA Championship Wrestling owner, Bert Prentice, at the hands of Bert’s nephew, Jake Law last week. We hear from Gunner Laine, and Jake Law reveals his new identity, as well as his new manager.”

USA Championship Wrestling star offers Jerry “The King” Lawler $50,000 to leave the promotion

Jerry Lawler Wins CWA Heavyweight TitleUSA Championship Wrestling star offers Jerry “The King” Lawler $50,000 to leave the promotion. The following was sent to us: Matt Riviera Offers Jerry “The King” Lawler $50,000 To Leave USA Championship Wrestling, for immediate release:

 

(Jackson, TN) — On the latest episode of USA Championship Wrestling, filmed at the fabulous Studio 45 in Jackson, TN,

“The LVR Boy” Matt Riviera has a HUGE proposition for WWE Hall of Fame member, Jerry “The King” Lawler, as Riviera offers Lawler $50,000, and a cupcake, to leave USA Championship Wrestling. Will “The King” accept?

Jerry Lawler vs Matt Riviera

(Video): Matt Riviera Offers Jerry “The King” Lawler $50,000 To Leave USA Championship Wrestling:

Also on this episode, Lucky P. Larson talks about his new charge, “Flawless” Jake Lawless, and Danny Dollar comments on “Flawless” Jake Lawless’s attack on USA Championship Wrestling owner, Bert Prentice.

Matches include: USA Tag Team Title Match: Brothers of Seduction (c) vs. Jason Genesis & Honcho Hensley

Matt Riviera

“The LVR Boy” Matt Riviera (w/ Boyd Bradford & Ron Ratcatcher) vs. Big Gravy

“Flawless” Jake Lawless (w/ Lucky P. Larson) vs. A.C. Riley

USA Championship Wrestling TV returns, celebration plans for Jerry Lawler’s career

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Jerry Lawler talks Kamala’s paint when the gimmick started — Lawler says he does the makeup on him

James Kamala Harris and Jerry LawlerWWE Hall Of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler was interviewed on Monday’s Busted Open Radio. Lawler is the person who gave James Harris the Kamala gimmick back when Harris was working in the Memphis territory.

 

Here are a couple of highlights from the interview:

Lawler talked about Kamala’s paint when the gimmick first started: “For the first 6 months every night, I would have to paint the makeup on him. I would paint his face and the teeth over the mouth. It took him about 6 months before he was comfortable before he started doing the makeup himself. I was glad when he finally learned how to do it himself. But he was perfect at it (performing the gimmick).

James Harris aka Kamara
Rise and fall: James Harris, aka Kamara the Ugandan Giant, once wrestled WWF headliners like Hulk Hogan, but has since lost his legs to diabetes and is living in rural Mississippi in poverty

Lawler talked about the lost art of selling: “As far as selling, my philosophy has always been if you get two guys in a match that are trying to outsell each other, you’re going to have a great match. That is what I always enjoyed doing in my matches. I would sell.

If you look at some of the most important people or some of the biggest stars in the business, when you think of Hulk Hogan, you think of him showing the guns and Hulking up and all that kind of stuff. But, if you go back and really watch Hulk Hogan’s matches, he sold.

Jerry Lawler Wins CWA Heavyweight Title

I mean he sold probably 80% of the match until he got to the point where he Hulked up, made the comeback and then the finish. I think that’s the thing that is lost today. Matches have become moves and highspots rather than selling and telling a story.”

Kamala reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 a few days before his death

ESPN’s Jason King reports that he spoke with Kamala’s wife and she noted that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

King says Kamala’s wife believes that he likely contracted the virus from one of his weekly visits to the dialysis center and he had been hospitalized since Wednesday night. She also noted that he seemed fine and in good spirits this morning but then he went into cardiac arrest and then passed away.

James Kamala Harris BOOK
Harris saw great success in the pro wrestling world, but says he was paid only a tiny fraction of his banner name opponents

Kamala had been dealing with health issues over the last decade or so. Obviously, with his age and health issues, he would have been more likely to have had more serious issues than most people with the virus. The fact that he likely contracted the virus at a medical center makes this story more tragic.

Again, we send our deepest condolences to Kamala’s friends and family.

Chris Jericho donates $5,000 to help pay for Kamala’s funeral and family expenses

As it was noted earlier, a GoFundMe was set up to help James “Kamala” Harris’ family with expenses and to pay for his funeral.

The fundraiser has surpassed more than $22,000 in just 24 hours since it was started and the biggest donation so far has come from AEW’s Chris Jericho, who donated $5,000. Other big donations include $2,500 from Impact Wrestling executive Scott D’Amore and $2,500 from Pro Wrestling Tees owner Ryan Barkan