Lawler finds inspiration for crown battle at home
Jerry "The King" Lawler didn't have to go far to find inspiration and motivation for his royal rumble with King Booker. A trip home to Memphis, Tenn., helped him focus on teaching the arrogant monarch a lesson.
In a city that Lawler helped make a mecca of sports-entertainment, he competed in a independent match the weekend prior to his battle with Booker. The response from the fans that grew up watching The King battle legends such as Curt Hennig and Kerry Von Erich helped energize Lawler, who hadn't stepped in the WWE ring for more than nine months.
"All this week when I was back home in Memphis … all the fans came up to me. They're all saying, ‘Show Booker who the real king is,'" Lawler explained. "That's their attitude and I realize that's what's expected of me."
And that encouragement showed. The revitalized legend impressed many fans and Superstars alike with his showing against King Booker, pounding the former World Heavyweight Champion with powerful right-hand punches. Lawler won the match as Booker got disqualified for not following the referee's commands. (WATCH)
Despite the impressive showing, Lawler stressed that this battle with Booker is not about who should wear the crown. It's about respect, plain and simple.
"I was looking to show Booker why these people have called me ‘The King' for all these years," the WWE Hall of Famer explained. "I don't know if Booker thought ‘he doesn't wrestle as much as I do' or ‘he's just mainly a commentator' and so he's going to take me lightly and think I don't deserve any respect. Well, I think that's probably his mindset, and so I just wanted to go in there and set him straight."
And for the naysayers in the locker room that whisper that Lawler should abdicate his throne to the stronger King Booker, the Memphis monarch feels that he's still able to hang tough with today's Superstars.
"I still feel good every time I go in the ring," Lawler said. "I still feel when I go in the ring that I still can compete on the certain level. When I ever get to the point that I don't think I can, hey, maybe I will hang the crown up … But I don't feel that way about myself right now.
"Right now, I think I can hold my own with Booker, and that's all I think about when I go in the ring."