Jerry Lawler has opened up about the the source of the ill-feeling that has plagued his relationship with former ECW head honcho Paul Heyman.
The King was speaking exclusively to Inside The Ropes for issue 2 of the Inside The Ropes magazine when he discussed the root of what caused a fallout between himself and Heyman. For Lawler, it all started with the Special Counsel’s fear of heights:
“What it all boiled down to was that we booked this scaffold match in Louisville, Kentucky. Jerry Jarrett had had a scaffold match there one time and it sold completely out. So we booked this scaffold match, and [Heyman] and his guys were going to be in it against me and [Bill] Dundee and somebody. And we built this thing up to where it’s ready to sell out, and he’s making the interviews every week, and we’re getting ready to do the match, and then he comes and he says, ‘Well, I can’t go up on that scaffold: I’m scared of heights. I just can’t do it. I can’t go up there.’ And I’m, like, ‘What do you mean you can’t do it? How can you make these interviews, and now we’ve got a sell out and you’re going to tell me you can’t climb up on the scaffold and do the match?’ So, I think something happened there . . . I may have hit him.”
Jerry Lawler was non-committal over striking Heyman but thinks some sort of altercation took place:
“Honestly, I really — and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. If I could remember the details, I would tell you, but there may have been some sort of an altercation there that caused the hard feelings over the years. That’s sort of what it went back to. But I can’t remember exactly what happened. I may have hit him.”
Lawler then revealed that Heyman was behind his return to the commentary desk while acting as Executive Director for Raw:
“Over the years, we’ve been cordial whenever we’ve been around each other. Of course, when he was in charge of RAW, that’s when they brought me back and I was doing commentary. He called me up one night and said, ‘I don’t want you to think that I don’t want you on the show. There’s nobody that’s a bigger fan of you than me, and I always have been.’”
One other thing that Jerry Lawler thinks has helped inflate the perception of the dislike between the two was his constant disparaging of ECW in the nineties. Although as Lawler points out he was the only WWF star that crossed over during the ECW invasion to work a show for the company:
“Another part of the thing that perpetuated the feeling that we didn’t like each other was me doing the ‘Extremely Crappy Wrestling’ thing when [his] ECW did their invasion [of the WWF in 1997]. Again, that was just me playing a character. People asked me if I really hated ECW. If you remember back, I was the only WWE star that went over and worked their pay-per-view for them.”
Lawler’s ‘feud’ with ECW continued all the way into ECW One Night Stand in 2005. At the event Lawler was defeated by Tazz with a little bit of help from Joey Styles.