‘Have Fun – Will Travel’: Slobberknocker Sessions Is Cathartic For JR, Jerry Lawler & The Fans

Whether it’s Martin & Lewis, Lennon & McCartney or peanut butter and jelly, some pairings have innate chemistry. For wrestling, no announcer tandem may be more associated with the said science than Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross.

In one of their potential final appearances (the fellas still have one more show together in Las Vegas during Starrcast II) JR and the King convened at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City on Saturday for Slobberknocker Sessions, an early afternoon of wrestling talk that covered all aspects of the past, present and future of the business. All of it was laced with the patented quick-twitch wit that made the duo famous had the packed house crowd taking their wrestling education medicine with a shooter of comedic timing.

Everybody in the crowd was pretty much VIP buyers and JR made plenty of time to talk with attendees, take pictures and sign autographs while voices of Glenn Frey and Don Henley rang through the room as the place began to fill (nothing beats a little “Doolin-Dalton” & “James Dean” in my editorial opinion).

I sat off to stage-right as two fans who also happened to be from the Pittsburgh area gave me details about their very busy weekend. Both had JR’s book and both were as eager as the rest of the audience to hear what the King and JR had to say about several aspects of the business.

Speaking of Lawler, The King rolled in after the VIP session due to previous commitments at WrestleCon. He didn’t first step into the room until that familiar music of royalty played. He and JR both got huge pops as they took the stage in what ended up being a vast variety of tales and opinions both from the audience and from the featured players.

King broke the ice by saying that he suggested to JR to wear an AEW shirt while the Memphis legend donned a WWE logo so they could make the internet explode.

“Creative” was a heavily focused topics on the fans’ end of questioning and Jim and Jerry both gave their takes on what was needed to right the WWE ship of heavy-scripting and 50/50 booking. Lawler also gave his reasoning as to why WWE went the route of the scripts, but talked about how he once saw the odd sight of Ric Flair looking at lines written for him by a writer rather than The Nature Boy naturally having a hard time keeping his alligators down.

This topic went hand-in-hand with the discussion of big breakout stars in today’s WWE. JR and King both echoed the sentiment that talent doesn’t get to be themselves anymore and it diminishes a wrestler’s star power.

When asked if he felt that Vince McMahon intentionally held talent down because of a potential shift in leverage between talent and management, JR flat out said, “No.” Ross also stated that while he did enjoy the John Oliver segment on Last Week Tonight while most of the points made in the news piece were salient, he was not a fan of how they portrayed Vince as a man who doesn’t care about his workers.

Today’s state of WWE commentary was also a large topic of discussion as JR described WWE’s current intentions of making their teams more like narrators rather than giving the in-ring action a sports-like feel. JR used the example of  announcers talking about how a wrestler’s title history gets the attention rather than if he or she current taking an ass whoopin’.

King brought up a hilarious story regarding when he recently did guest commentary for the men’s Royal Rumble match. In trying to carefully wade through WWE’s PG vibe, made a comment on the disgust for Baron Corbin and had one-liner in reference to his dog’s poop.  Thinking he flown too close to the sun, Lawler began to hear Vince over the headset: It was the only time Vince turned on his mic to talk to Lawler, but the Chairman from Gorilla just did it to tell him that he was “on fire tonight!’

The crowd weren’t the only people asking about story time as JR wanted Lawler to tell the “Kerry Von Erich story.” JR says how great of a tale this is and Lawler did not disappoint in sharing his 1988 SuperClash 3 battle with the late Texas Tornado. The plasma flowed a little too much for everyone involved and Lawler became the recipient of a bloodbath that would make Gangrel blush. JR loved every bit of it.

Next was Lawler’s turn to get JR to spin a yarn and it was a gem about Vince on commentary. The phrase “say it….” will never be the same for those in attendance. King in turn was cracking up as JR delivered an impressive rendition of the Vinny Mac gravel. The two left for the lobby together as both readied themselves for the post-show meet and greets.

And that’s truly what was the best part of Slobberknocker Sessions was seeing the adoration and appreciation that the two legends have for one another (Even with JR’s  late 1950’s Richard Boone references). To see that chemistry and genuine friendship come to fruition in front of a live audience was subtly heartwarming if you happened to be searching for it. In a genre that gets a great deal of focus on it’s dour dire straits, the in-person pairing of King and JR is a cathartic experience for those whose attitudes have been hardened by WWE’s current course of direction.

If you happen to find yourself in Vegas this May, don’t miss the two’s potential last appearance together. You’ll have fun, and you will travel.

This editorial was written by Dominic DeAngelo and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Dominic’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post and follow him on Twitter @DominicDeAngelo and listen to his Get The Tray Tables podcast exclusively on the WrestleZone Radio feed.

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