WWE’s relationship with Hall of Fame announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler became strained over the summer when he was arrested for domestic assault, causing the company to briefly suspend him. That suspension was lifted in short order when the charges were dismissed, but Lawler has spent the past several months mostly away from the announce desk and has instead been rounding out pre-show panels on WWE Network. That’s about to change, however.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer confirmed with WWE that Lawler and fellow Hall of Famer Lita have been removed from regular programming for the foreseeable future. In addition, they have been transitioned from full-time announcer/commentator/on-air contracts to standard Legends contracts. They will likely still be brought back for future “special occasions,” but they will no longer appear on pre-show panels before Raw, Smackdown, or pay-per-views.
Those weren’t the only changes to the Raw pre-show this week, as former host Scott Stanford is also out, and the format was changed from a half-hour show to just 10 minutes.
Lita had been brought back as a regular on-air personality beginning with her stint as a trainer on the reboot of Tough Enough last year, and had been all over WWE Network panels and programming this year. Lawler, meanwhile, had been removed from the Smackdown announce desk following July’s WWE Draft (which came shortly after his arrest), and had been relegated pretty much exclusively to those pre-show panels. This latest move could mean that his announcing career in WWE, in all likelihood, is at an end.