Wrestling legend Jerry 'The King' Lawler recovering from stroke in Florida hospital

Jerry "The King" Lawler was rushed to a Fort Myers hospital after suffering a stroke, according to multiple media outlets and friends of the legendary wrestler.

Lawler, 73, owns a condo in the south Fort Myers area and had been out to lunch with friends when he became ill and was rushed to the hospital on Monday. Lawler's longtime friend Dave Brown told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that he spoke to Lawler via FaceTime early Tuesday afternoon and was very encouraged that he is recovering from a stroke.

“Some of the initial reports were just horrible, so I feel much better than I did 18 hours ago when I felt like I got hit in the face with a shovel,” said Brown, a former meteorologist in the Memphis area, where Lawler is from. “I was incredibly encouraged after I did a FaceTime. Jerry was alert. He talked to me. He could only say a couple words at a time, which is pretty normal. But (he) was able to move both legs and both arms.

“I feel very optimistic that he’s eventually going to recover.”

Brown became friends with Lawler when he served as an announcer for the long-running Saturday morning "Classic Memphis Wrestling."

After his wrestling career, Lawler became one of the top color commentators for the WWE and recently appeared on WWE's Royal Rumble on Jan. 28. He also appeared in Punta Gorda at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center on Saturday signing autographs.

Back in 2012, Lawler had a scare after wrestling in a tag team match and later announcing during an episode of WWE Raw. He took a heart attack during the show and was declared clinically dead for 30 minutes before being revived.

Jerry Lawler's career highlights

Jerry "The King" Lawler greets the audience at a Northeast Wrestling card in Poughkeepsie on August 16, 2019.
Jerry "The King" Lawler greets the audience at a Northeast Wrestling card in Poughkeepsie on August 16, 2019.

∎  Lawler made his pro debut in 1970 and between 1970 to 1992 he performed in over 20 different wrestling federations and associations, according to Jerry Lawler's official website. He's credited with winning 168 championships.

∎  He rose to national fame in 1982 with a fake feud with comedian Andy Kaufman, which resulted in him famously slapping Kaufman in the face during a taping of the "Late Night with David Letterman" show.

∎  In 1992 he joined the WWF and has become one of the top figures in wrestling, serving as a wrestler and commentator for over 20 years.

∎  He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996 and WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.

Other professional wrestlers were also sending out well wishes including Paul Orndorff and Ric Flair.

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Pro wrestling icon Jerry "The King" Lawler rushed to hospital