Since 2006, ClubWWI has featured thousands of hours of audio and James Guttman's interviews with hundreds of the business's biggest stars. But in 2011, out of all our guests, one shoot had the star power, honesty, and timing to put it above the rest. It wasn't a runaway, but both staff and readers agree...
ClubWWI.com Interview of The Year is...
Jerry "The King" Lawler
February 18, 2011
Memorable Quotes include:
The First Time He Spoke About The Possibility of Fighting Michael Cole: "All I can tell you is that the majority of comments and emails and communications with all the fans, that seems to be the one thing that everybody wants. Michael Cole has got everybody just completely ticked off. They want to see him get his and it seems they want me to be the one to do it. It's amazing because almost every correspondence I got about my mom from wrestling fans they'd say something like, 'Dear Jerry, we're really sorry and send our condolences on the loss of your mom and hope everything works out and please, by the way, punch Michael Cole in the mouth.' Who knows? I think that might be an interesting match."
The Biggest Match of His Career Three Days Later Against The Miz For The WWE Title At Elimination Chamber: "It couldn't unfold any better. If that were the case, if I were to win Sunday and be in WrestleMania as the WWE Champion, it's like a dream come true. To me, that would be better than a Rocky movie. It would be absolutely amazing. We'll have to see how that unfolds. That's what I have the opportunity to do and - gosh - you couldn't ask for a better opportunity."
Speaking For The First Time On The Passing of His Mother, Which Kept Him Off Raw That Week: "It has been an extremely tough week and I want to thank - if any of your listeners were some of the thousands, literally thousands, - I was amazed at the emails, texts, facebook friends and that sort of response from so many people with their condolences and sympathies and that sort of stuff. It meant a tremendous amount to me."
(See Below For All Staff Responses)
"For the simple fact that for the very first time (as far as I know) Jerry Lawler spoke about his true feelings on ECW and the fact that he's still so unbelievably good that people never really even questioned it until he said it, makes Lawler's interview my favorite of the year.
- Rob Rose
"Jerry Lawler has always been my favorite ClubWWI.com guest since his first interview a few years ago. The timing of this one was perfect. Jerry wasn't on Raw that week and no one expected to hear from him again until the pay-per-view that Sunday. Luckily, the Insanity got him before then and we got a really good interview that was not only my favorite of the year but maybe favorite ever.
- "The Teeth"
"I had to choose between Haku, Billy Gunn, and Jerry Lawler. Haku was a rare one with some really amazing stories and Gunn had the now famous apology to Triple H. But Jerry Lawler's pre-Elimination Chamber interview gets my vote. It's audios like that which make me proud I'm a member of the site.
- Joseph Polk
All Staff Comments and Votes:
Mike Johns The Return of Club OJ "
Orlando Jordan gets a chance to explain his side of the scandalous gimmick in TNA that pretty much got ripped apart here last year."
Canadian Bulldog Jerry Lawler "Lawler is just one of those interviews (along with Jesse Ventura, Eric Bischoff and Jim Cornette) that I could hear over and over again without getting bored. The fact that this was his third time on the Club was even better -- Lawler sounded more at ease than before; no small task considering his mother had just passed away! Kudos to JG for landing such a big name, in the middle of his biggest WWE angle to date. If you've never heard a ClubWWI interview, this may very well be the one to start with."
Corey Letson Jerry Lawler "
It was kind of a mix of just getting him at a time where..wow. His mother had just passed, they were using him to elevate The Miz into a believable champion. Lawler just gave an interview that was really worth hearing. Listening to him talk about what was happening with him in WWE at the time and stories of his mom were great. He cared for her a lot and with everything coming up for Jerry in the months following it was just nice to hear from him as himself."
RD Lee Stevie Richards "Now of course, I am a little biased on this one being his friend and all but still, I thought his positivity, honesty and humor made this a must hear interview."
Matt Dawgs Billy Gunn "Mainly because it was a chance to listen to Gunn open up about his mistakes in his departure f
rom WWE. To hear him be open and honest about wanting to apologize to HHH for the negative comments he made about him in interviews following his release and about his difficult times in his life. It was the first time
he has spoken from the heart about it in any interview, anywhere."
James Bullock Haku "There a lot of reasons this was the
ClubWWI.com Interview of the Year, but the biggest is the fact it’s Haku. Haku! One of the greatest monsters of the 80’s that wasn’t 6’8” and weighed over 350 lbs. He was athletic. He was scary quiet. He was dangerous. And he had a reputation of being one of the toughest men to ever live. When it was revealed that the legendary, almost reclusive Haku was being interviewed, I hoped we would somewhat delve into the lore that is Haku. What I didn’t expect was this humble man who understands who and what he is/was in this business. Haku held nothing back in his admittance that, yes, he has been in some situations that us normal people couldn’t handle, let alone stomach (no nose, anyone?). When I first clicked the link to listen to the interview, I had a lot of hope of what I’d hear, but didn’t expect to gain a great idea of who the man behind the myth that is Haku. All thanks to
Merc Mero on Glacier's "Breaking The Ice"
"In the industry known as chatshow television, when you get a guest that doesn't do many interviews, they'd be referred to as a "good get". Marc Mero was this site's "good get". As someone who had led the apparent crusade against wrestling with his "death list" to much mockery and ridicule, Mero gave a good account of his point of view and James didn't softball him, making for one of the more no
teworthy and interesting interviews this year."
Kevin Wallace Haku "Fantastic interview with what appears to be one of the nicest guys in the business who could bite your nose off in the blink of an eye."
When we first introduced this category this year, I thought this was going to go to Billy Gunn easily. There were a lot of favorites and some big quotes, but I knew this one was a frontrunner. My interview with Billy was one of the first before his big Internet return and featured the much talked about "Triple H apology". But when the votes started rolling in for Jerry Lawler, I remembered the timing and circumstances behind it and couldn't agree more.
Jerry Lawler was one of my favorite guests of all time. I devoted a big part of my second book (Shoot First...Ask Questions Later) to him. What makes Lawler such an amazing interview subject is that years of commentary has made him aware of everything said to him. There are no missed jokes or moments. Even off hand comments that most people would gloss over are caught by him and responded to with wit. It makes for a good back and forth and some solid stories come out.
I almost didn't do this interview. Originally, I was looking to interview one of the stars from a show in Indiana that Jerry was working. The King had just appeared on the site last year for an interview, so I hadn't thought about asking him back yet. When he offered to return, I jumped at the change. Just two days away from the biggest match of his WWE career (vs. WWE Champ Miz at Elimination Chamber) and just four days from a rare missed Raw show due to his mother's passing, Jerry had plenty to talk about and I was honored he chose to do it on ClubWWI.com. The interview went great and ended up being just as important as it was enjoyable. It was a tough year to choose from, but as always, Jerry Lawler remains the King.