WWE Hall of Famer and announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler was arrested on domestic assault charges Friday morning in Memphis, Tennessee.
Lawler, 66, and his 27-year-old fiancée, Lauryn McBride, were both arrested after a dispute in his home. According to the affidavit, the two were involved in an argument that turned violent. The two told different stories to investigators, which is why both were arrested until facts could be cleared up. McBride said that Lawler was the aggressor, accusing Lawler of hitting her on the head and pushing her against a stove. According to CBS WRED in Memphis, McBride says Lawler “got an unloaded pistol, put it on the kitchen counter and told her to kill herself.” Due to the conflicting reports, both were arrested until facts could be determined, and Lawler was released around 11:30 a.m.
Despite the confusion, WWE quickly put out a statement, saying that they had suspended Lawler after the incident. “WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, and per our policy, Jerry Lawler has been suspended indefinitely following his arrest.”
WWE’s domestic violence policy was put into place in October of 2014. At the time, the Ray Rice domestic violence case in the NFL was dominating headlines, and WWE was lauded for taking the initiative in putting a policy in place. According to the policy, when a superstar is arrested, they will automatically be suspended, and if convicted, they will be immediately terminated.
This isn’t the first time that Lawler has found himself in legal trouble over the years. In March of 1999, while he was running for mayor of Memphis, he was charged with reckless endangerment after an incident involving a police officer in Memphis. According to the officer, Lawler had been issued a ticket. In response, Lawler threw the ticket at the officer, and then ran over the officer’s foot. Lawler would eventually plead guilty and paid a fine. In 1993, Jerry Lawler was accused and arrested for raping a 15-year old girl. However, the charges were later dropped.
Besides the announcement of his suspension, WWE hadn’t made any comments regarding Lawler or his role on the commentary team. Lawler was currently serving as the color commentator of Smackdown, working with Mauro Ranallo and Byron Saxton. Even if the charges against him are eventually dropped, chances are that he will miss time. WWE could go with a two-man booth for Smackdown, or they could add someone to the booth like Booker T, who had previously served on the commentary team, or Corey Graves, who is currently doing color commentary on NXT.