Jerry Lawler found himself in some hot water with WWE fans a couple of weeks back when he made his return to the commentary desk for Monday Night Raw. During a match between Austin Theory and Akira Tozawa, "The King" said Tozawa hit a "Ramen Noodle Moonsault" when he hit a diving senton off the apron onto Theory. WWE never released a former statement, though the company did cut the comment from its YouTube highlight and the replay on Hulu.
Lawler declined from acknowledging the comment on social media, but he did address it straight up on a recent episode of his podcast, The Jerry Lawler Show. Lawler claimed he had now intention of it being a racist comment, only that he was playing "devil's advocate."
Jerry “The King” Lawler on his “Ramen Noodle Moonsault” line.
Lawler basically claims it was a setup for Tom/Byron to make a fool out of him since he’s the heel, but his newer partners didn’t catch on. pic.twitter.com/BJwcDzjxM4— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) April 26, 2020
He said the name came from when he was doing commentary with Mauro Ranallo on SmackDown back in 2016 and quickly realized just how moves he didn't know the names of. He said his plan would be fore Ranallo to say the name, then respond with a crazy different name and be shouted down for it (since he's playing the heel commentator role).
"I wrote down some names of what I thought would be funny moves to go back at Mauro when he called one of these moves [from Japan] and I would say something like, 'there's the Ramen Noodle moonsault'. I was doing it just to play devil's advocate with Mauro," Lawler said. "If I were still doing commentary with Michael Cole or [Jim Ross', we had the chemistry to where each one of those guys would have known that I was almost making a fool out of myself by claiming like I was acting like I knew what this unbelievable looking move was. Then either Cole or JR would have said 'oh King, you know better than that.'"
He then went on to say he doesn't have that same chemistry with Tom Phillips or Byron Saxton, who he currently shares the commentary desk with. Lawler has been commentating for WWE off and on since the late 1990s, but he returned to the role at the Raw commentary desk on a full-time basis back in late September alongside Vic Joseph and Dio Maddin. Joseph was eventually replaced by Phillips, while Maddin willingly left the role to restart his in-ring career.