- (Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
Just eight months after a nearly fatal heart-attack, WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler has been cleared by physicians to wrestle once again.
Lawler will be making his return to the independent wrestling circuit May 25 with 72-year-old Dory Funk Jr., who is also in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Lawler had collapsed on live television while doing commentary for WWE's flagship show, "Monday Night Raw" on Sept. 10 in Montreal, Canada.
During the show, the cameras were quickly cut away from the paramedics while they ran to the announcer as his panicked colleagues attempted to remain in character and continue with the show.
The 63-year-old legend was declared clinically dead for 20 minutes as doctors rushed to resuscitate him.
Lawler had wrestled a match earlier that night with fellow superstar Randy Orton, but showed no immediate ill effects in the half hour following the match.
The King returned to WWE commentary after two months of recovery, and a return to the ring was imminent despite how fans and family may have felt.
"The one thing I've not done since the heart attack is get back into the ring and wrestle," he explained to WMC-TV. "And, Lauryn (my wife) says that I've been, the one thing that's different about me since the heart attack, she says, 'You're depressed. You're going through depression.' Which I don't feel it. I don't think it. But, yeah, I certainly do miss the wrestling and I do want to go back and do it some more."
Lawler is not the first serious life threatening injury to occur on a live WWE broadcast. Owen Hart fell from the rafters during a pay-per-view event and lost his life upon impact, while wrestlers Stone Cold Steve Austin and Droz suffered broken necks. Droz remains paralyzed to this day.
Wrestlers like Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and Jeff Hardy have had public bouts with painkillers as a result of wrestling injuries.