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Jim Ross Recalls Ric Flair Taking Jerry Lawler Promos Personally, Going on Radio Rant Against Lawler

November 10, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Ric Flair Jerry Lawler Memphis

– On the latest Grilling JR, Jim Ross recalled the time that Ric Flair took comments by Jerry Lawler personally and lashed out at Lawler during a radio appearance in 1989. Flair was doing a radio appearance in Albany and when a fan called in and asked about a possible match with Lawler, Flair went off on Lawler and said that he didn’t consider Lawler and his USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship on the level of Flair and the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title, and ended the tirade with “Jerry Lawler is a disgrace to professional wrestling.”

It’s important to note that Lawler was not in an storyline with Flair and there was no payoff or angle set between the two, though they had feuded in Memphis previously in the mid-1980s. JR said that the comments were due to offense that Flair took over comments Lawler had made on Memphis TV in promos about Flair.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:

On if Flair took Lawler’s comments personally: “Absolutely. He wasn’t setting up for an angle, or for another match. He was offended that Jerry would make some of his — you know, Lawler’s promos from a quality standpoint are hard to beat. And Lawler just, as a heel or babyface — and especially, especially in Memphis — he was incredible. Not that he wasn’t incredible in other places, but Memphis, that’s where the throne was for the King. Memphis, Tennessee. So I think sometimes Jerry, because he had the autonomy, he didn’t have a … he wasn’t being filtered, I should say. No filter for the King in Memphis. And then sometimes none of us have filters, that we kind of go into business for ourselves and it’s not always the right decision. I’ve done that myself, on this show. But I think it was personal, and Ric took it personally.”

On the similarities between the two: “Quite honestly, if you really want to get down to brass tacks, those two guys are about as highly skilled as anyone I’ve been around in pro wrestling. And they have so much in common away from the ring, quite frankly. Partying, enjoying the ladies, things of that nature, even though Lawler don’t drink.”

On the feud going beyond the ring: “So I don’t know, I just think it’s personal. Because we weren’t going anywhere with it, not that that wouldn’t have, that might have been the best match of the night, Lawler vs. Flair if it had ever come about. It didn’t come about on the national stage, but it came about several times in Memphis, and I’m sure some of those promos leading into it were offensive to Naitch.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.