Jim Ross discusses his broadcast partnership with Jerry Lawler

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September 04, 2012

Jim Ross reflects on his broadcast partnership with Jerry "The King" Lawler.

Without question, Jerry “The King” Lawler is my most recognizable partner and my favorite to work with over the years. We endured several things together that reach far beyond merely signing on and subsequently saying “good night everybody” at the end of the show.

Two of my three bouts of Bell's palsy came during my tenure with Jerry as did the untimely and sudden death of both my parents at age 64. Jerry’s unfortunate departure from WWE came during that time as well. Uniquely and unlike most wrestling friendships, we stayed in touch on a regular basis during that time in support of each other.

That’s what friends do — support each other as best that they can no matter the circumstances.

As much as Jerry and I have in common, we are also very different. However, that unique combination of personality traits contributed to our chemistry, which I feel was as natural and real as any broadcast team ever and right alongside that of Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

“The King” and I clicked from day one and I couldn’t tell you exactly why — even if you threatened to take away my Oklahoma Sooner football season tickets. It was simply natural chemistry.

In the early days, Jerry was an antagonist, which was arguably his best casting. “The King’s” quick wit is perfectly suited to be an antagonist, but at the same time, he’s so funny that it is hard to hate Jerry Lawler as the villain — especially at this stage of his long career.

I was happy to accept the role of the straight man and become the butt of many of “King’s” jokes, some of which he would conveniently repurpose.

As time went on, the team of J.R. and “The King” became more popular largely because of our tenure and the outstanding product that we had the opportunity to broadcast. At that point, Jerry naturally became more of an entertaining fan-favorite although I never became immune to the occasional jokes that “The King” would throw at me. Bottom line is that the combination worked and if we went back working together tomorrow at the announce table, it would work again simply because we were blessed with chemistry and we legitimately enjoyed working together.

That’s the exact feeling I got when we sat down to do commentary for the Attitude Era portion of THQ’s “WWE ’13” video game available in October. It was as if we had never had the proverbial interruption of service.

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