Jerry Lawler was arrested recently and charged, along with his girlfriend, for domestic violence.
WWE, his employer, was quick to act by suspending "The King" from his regular commentary duties for an indefinite period of time.
On June 17, the company issued this statement.
"Jerry Lawler was arrested at his home Friday morning by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office in Memphis, Tenn.Any fans of the former Memphis wrestling giant making a return should probably hold those hopes in check. There are rumblings that this could be the end of the line for Lawler, and it may have nothing to do with his sketchy history with women.
"According to a police report, Lawler and his girlfriend, Lauryn McBride, were taken into custody and booked on alleged charges of domestic assault—bodily harm, a misdemeanor.
"WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, and per our policy, Jerry Lawler has been suspended indefinitely following his arrest."
#JerryLawler has been suspended indefinitely following his arrest. https://t.co/oVViLif4q4Jerry Lawler has had three unsuccessful marriages, the last of which was to former WWE diva Stacy "The Kat" Carter. Aside from that and his flipping out over "puppies" during the Attitude Era, "The King" has been at the center of his share of controversies, the most notable of which were rape allegations of a 15-year-old in 1993.
— WWE (@WWE) June 17, 2016
The accusations caused him to miss that year's Survivor Series.
In defense of the wrestling legend, those charges were later dropped after the girl admitted to fabricating the incident. Not Lawler's fault, of course; but, he was also arrested once for tearing a ticket up, throwing it at the officer who gave it to him, and running over the officer's foot.
Things have been quiet for Jerry Lawler on the legal front until this latest arrest, but he has also had a history of heart problems that make his dependability somewhat questionable.
Add to that the fact that he doesn't really compute with the image that WWE is trying to develop around their product, and you have the perfect opportunity for the McMahons to hand "The King" his walking papers.
They've already shown that they are willing to walk away from old school "pro rasslin'" guys like Lawler and Jim Ross, and with the drive to build a more youth-oriented product, it is difficult to see where Jerry Lawler fits into that moving forward.
If it turns out that the McMahons aren't prepared to release Lawler at this time, fans can expect a reduction of duties and perhaps a makeshift "retirement" into a WWE Legends contract, at which point, the still-active Lawler may choose to walk away on his own.
WWE already has a number of commentators who would be ideal for filling Lawler's role on SmackDown. The current setup is Lawler, Mauro Ranallo, and Byron Saxton.
Removing Lawler from his duties would open up a slot for "heel" commentator Corey Graves, whose work at NXT is widely praised by fans.
As for Jerry Lawler, he is likely to be okay financially regardless of what the WWE decides to do with him pending the outcome of the domestic violence arrest.
A 2012 report via WrestleZone on pro wrestlers' net worths revealed that Jerry Lawler was worth around $7 million.
He could also be a hot commodity on the booming wrestling podcast scene. With his star power and his inside knowledge on how the proverbial cheese is made with WWE, he would instantly attract millions of listeners, compelling guests, and wide advertising support similar to what Jim Ross and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin have been able to rake in with their podcasts.
Jerry Lawler Out Of Jail, Court Date Set https://t.co/TVvbHHPz58 pic.twitter.com/vlVYWUvOtGBut, what do you think, readers?
— WhatCultureWrestling (@WhatCultureWWE) June 18, 2016
Is it time for Jerry Lawler to go, or would you like to still hear him on SmackDown commentary? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via WWE]