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  Apr. 1, 2001



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Lawler not bitter over fallout with McMahon
By JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun
  The reason for the failings of the upstart football league was in its initial approach, assessed ex-XFL announcer Jerry (The King) Lawler.

 "It's not football enough for football fans and not wrestling enough for wrestling fans," Lawler said from Memphis, Tenn., earlier this week.

 "It was not a bad idea originally. The idea was to present football in the same way as WrestleMania and bring that showmanship to football. (XFL founder Vince McMahon) maybe underestimated just how sacred football is to football fans. He really should have stuck to his guns and captured the WWF fans and let the football fans come along later."

 Lawler, who will be at the World of Wheels at the Winnipeg Convention Centre today, was not speaking out of bitterness towards McMahon after their recent parting of ways, however.

 "I worked with Vince for nine years and never had a bad word to say about him," said Lawler, 50.

 Lawler resigned from McMahon's WWF -- and the XFL -- after a dispute involving his wife, Stacy Carter, a.k.a. The Kat. McMahon had decided to can The Kat due to claims that she was being difficult.

 "I don't think it was Vince's decision at all," Lawler said. "It had to be someone complaining about Stacy and he's been under a lot of pressure lately with the football."

 Lawler, who remains confused over the situation, said McMahon was still sending him cheques.

 But that doesn't mean the whole ordeal is a hoax, he insisted.

 "A lot of people have e-mailed me to say it's one of the greatest hoaxes in wrestling," said Lawler, who has continued to wrestle and make personal appearances at independent shows. "But, if it is one, they didn't let me in on it."

 While Lawler is still hoping to hear from McMahon, he has no love for actor Jim Carrey. Lawler appeared in the movie, Man in the Moon with Carrey, who played late comedian Andy Kaufman.

 Lawler is renowned for slapping Kaufman on Late Night With David Letterman. But the slap was a set up.

 "That was the thing that basically surprised even people in wrestling and it ended up being embarrassing," Lawler said. "Nobody except Andy and I knew what was going to happen, even Letterman."

 But, Carrey took an instant disliking to Lawler on the set.

 "I had more problems with Jim Carrey than I ever did with Andy Kaufman," Lawler said. "He was a big jerk. He treated me like we were mortal enemies. But Andy and I were friends."

 It came to a head during a scene when Lawler was supposed to give a stunt double a pile driver and Carrey tried to make Lawler give it to him instead.

 "I told the director what he was planning to do and Carrey got so upset, he spit in my face," Lawler said. "So, I grabbed him by the neck. Then he had a sore neck and went to the hospital for a while.

 "When he came back, he was nicer to me. But then I realized that we were about to shoot the Letterman scene and I guess he was hoping I'd take it easy on him. But I held nothing back. I slapped him so hard he went up over the back of his chair."

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  • SLAM! Wrestling interviews Jerry Lawler, April 1999


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