They were always fun, but I thought that since J.R. and I almost became synonymous with those reads that the Skittles people would have at least sent a few boxes of Skittles our way. I can honestly say that Just For Men did send me a box of hair color, because just up until we started doing Just For Men commercials, when you talked about “50 Shades of Gray” it wasn’t a book, it was my head.
So we got some product from that sponsor, but Skittles never came through. They never gave us any candy. I was always really disappointed about that. Any time I read an on-camera or on-air commercial, I should get some free product, I would think.
In 2007, you were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. How did it feel to have that honor bestowed upon you?
I’ll never forget earlier in that year when Vince McMahon came to me, called me aside one day and said, “King, we’re going to induct you into the Hall of Fame this year,” and I went, “No!” He went, “What?” and I said, “I don’t want to,” and he said, “What do you mean you do want to?”
I had always associated hall of fames with baseball or football, and you didn’t get inducted until years after your playing career was over. I was just associating the WWE Hall of Fame with that. He said, “Why would you not want it?” I said, “I’m not through wrestling; I still want to go out and compete and perform.” He said, “This doesn’t mean that your career is over by any means; we just want to recognize what you’ve done up to this point, not only wrestling but commentating, as well.”
When he explained it to me in that respect, then of course it was a tremendous honor, and to have a major motion picture and entertainment star like William Shatner come to Detroit, Mich., to induct me into the Hall of Fame was an awesome night.
I was so excited. It is such an honor; it’s an elite few who are in the WWE Hall of Fame, to be included in that, I don’t know what to say other than it’s probably the best honor I’ve had in my entire career.
Is it hard to balance your WWE schedule with still working independent wrestling shows?
Not at all. I don’t like to make a major issue out of this because I try to stay under the radar and not make waves, but I probably have the best gig in the WWE. I literally have a one-day-a-week gig. It’s going to be a three-hour-a-week job to go out and do Monday Night Raw and then one weekend a month to do the pay-per-view. That’s the extent of my job with WWE.
I still enjoy climbing in the ring and doing it as much as I did when I started 42 years ago. I still do it fairly regularly. If I’m not wrestling at a WWE live event, I’m going out and doing independent shows on weekends. I still average wrestling – climbing into the ring and wrestling – about two times a week. I still enjoy that as much as I ever did.
What do you see in your future?
People come up and say, “Any plans to retire? When you going to retire?” I always say when they quit paying me, I’ll look around and probably say, “Well, I guess I’m retired.” But as long as someone still wants my services, either as a wrestler or as a commentator, I don’t see any reason you’d quit doing something that at one time I would have paid them to let me do.
I feel like the most fortunate guy in the world in the fact that I’ve had a great career and had a very financially successful career by doing something that I absolutely love to do. Most people, unfortunately, have to go out and work at a job they really don’t like just to make ends meet. I’ve had the lifelong good fortune of getting to do something I absolutely love and getting paid to do it.
As long as I’m physically able, I’d like to continue to do this. As a matter of fact, I’d like to be on the 2,000th episode of Monday Night Raw; I’d love to be there still doing the show.”
To listen to the full interview with Jerry Lawler in its entirety, listen to Episode 17 of From the Rafters Radio, presented by Ring Posts, All American Pro Wrestling and My 1-2-3 Cents, at aapwrestling.com/ftr-radio.html or on iTunes.