Jerry Lawler spoke for the first time Monday as the investigation continues into the death of his son, former professional wrestler Brian Christopher Lawler.
Jerry Lawler told WHBQ over the phone that he was with his son during his final moments in the hospital.
He said he rushed back to Memphis, Tennessee, from North Carolina on Sunday morning after getting the word that his son was in the hospital.
He spent hours at Regional One with family and friends around his son’s bed.
He said it was not easy, but he said he was “glad to hold his son’s hand when his heart stopped beating around 3:30 p.m.”
Lawler said his family has been so appreciative of the support from friends and fans. He said they have heard from thousands of people.
Lawler told WHBQ that the visitation and funeral service will be Friday at Hope Church on Walnut Grove Road. The visitation starts at noon and the service will begin at 2 p.m. CDT.
He was the son of wrestling royalty, but Brian Christopher Lawler blazed a path of his own.
The younger Lawler wrestled professionally for years under the nickname "Grand Master Sexay."
He was confident, flamboyant and loved to put on a show. People in the wrestling community nationwide shared stories online.
One professional wrestler recounted the time his brother asked to dance with Brian. After the match, the man wrote, “Brian pulled my brother in the ring to do the word. Such an awesome memory.”
The wrestler Rikishi took to Instagram to say he will miss Brian’s infectious smile, laugh and “his passion to entertain each and every person he came in contact with.”
Brian Lawler had several run-ins with the law since 2009. He was charged earlier this month with his third DUI offense and evading arrest.
The Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office said they had no indication that he was suicidal.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, he was found hanging in his cell and never recovered after being rushed to Regional One.
Jerry Lawler spoke only briefly of the investigation, saying, “There may be more to this than meets the eye.”
The TBI called him this morning and asked him not to comment further until their investigation is complete.
Meanwhile, the wrestling community and Lawler family continue to grieve.
Fans across the country are remembering the man in the ring who brought smiles to so many.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.