It’s been a very busy week as we prepare for WWE’s “Premiere Week” next week that will see the company go through some major changes on Raw and Smackdown. One of those changes for Raw is the announce team.
It was announced by WWE yesterday that the new Raw announce team will be Vic Joseph on play by play (replacing Michael Cole, who was moved to Smackdown), NXT wrestler Dio Maddin as an analyst and Jerry “The King” Lawler is also back. Lawler, who will turn 70 years old in November, was a surprising choice to make a comeback on the announce team after he was replaced on Smackdown in 2016. While there was no official reason given for why Lawler was removed on Smackdown, the belief was due to his age. Now he’s back. Lawler is the most experienced announcer in WWE because he’s been in that role since he joined WWE in 1992 and really became the main heel color analyst over the last 25 years.
Lawler did a recent interview with the Memphis Commercial Appeal to talk about the process of returning to a commentary position in WWE.
Lawler on how he found out that he was back on the Raw commentary team:
“I got a call about it Tuesday morning from Kevin Dunn (WWE’s executive vice president of television production). He said, ‘I’ve got a proposition for you. It may be good news, and it may be bad news.’ He knows I don’t like to travel a whole lot anymore, so that was the bad part. I said, ‘What’s the good part?’ He said, ‘We want you back on Raw. He told me it’s for however long I want to do it, so that sealed the deal.”
That means it may be a short period of time where Lawler is on Raw because there have been reports that WWE will be trying out replacements for the announcer position on Raw.
Lawler on why Vince McMahon made the call to bring Jerry back to Raw:
“It was (Raw’s executive director) Paul (Heyman’s) idea to put Vic and Dio on Raw. Apparently, what I was told, Vince (McMahon) said, ‘You can’t throw these two new, young guys on our flagship show. Call King.’ That’s how it happened.”
That’s not a surprise since McMahon values Lawler as a veteran voice that can get across the message that WWE wants with their storylines.
Lawler on why he’s confident about his Raw return:
“All I’ve been able to think about is what Vince told me when I first started over 25 years ago, ‘It’s live TV — nothing can go wrong.’ I feel real confident it’ll be like riding a bike. I’ll treat it exactly the way I always have — like I’m watching the show in my living room with my neighbor. The name of the company is World Wrestling Entertainment. And I’ve always thought the commentators are an important part of the entertainment.”
Best of luck to Lawler in his Raw return. It will probably months and last less than a year if I had to guess, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing to hear him again.