Jerry Lawler says his Akira Tozawa joke was not racist, got him banned from WWE

Jerry Lawler says his Akira Tozawa joke was not racist, got him banned from WWE
Bryan Ke
By Bryan Ke
October 15, 2021
During a virtual signing with K&S Wrestlefest over the weekend, Jerry “The King” Lawler reflected on the controversial name he gave to a Japanese wrestler’s move that got him removed from his long-time role as commentator from “WWE Raw” in April 2020.
What happened: Lawler, a WWE Hall of Famer, defended his dubbing of a high-flying wrestling move by Akira Tozawa as a “Ramen Noodle Moonsault” during a match between Tozawa and Austin Theory. He alleges Tozawa told him days later that what he said was not racist, according to Post Wrestling.
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  • He said about the incident, “So then one day I’m doing Raw and Tozawa is in the match, right? And Byron Saxton – Tozawa does some kind of (move) and then we’re on live, you got to remember we’re on live and now Byron says, ‘Oh there it is! The spinning dragon’ something and I’m just thinking, ‘Oh, you made that up,’ right? And so the next thing, he goes to the top of the rope and he flies off and I looked at Byron and I said, ‘Oh look, there’s a ramen noodle moonsault.’ What is racist about that?” 
  • The moment Lawler was referring to was when Tozawa performed a cannonball move off the apron in the match that took place in the Performance Center during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aftermath: Lawler said he faced online backlash for his “funny” and “ridiculous” comment, which eventually got him pulled from the commentators’ desk.
  • He also added that Tozawa spoke to him a week later and said, “It’s nothing racist. I eat ramen noodles every week.”
  • “I gotta be careful though. This is so crazy. Just saying ‘Mr. Fuji,’ if you’re trying to use a Japanese [accent], that’ll get you in trouble today. I mean that actually happened to me. That’s probably why I’m not on ‘Raw’ right now,” Lawler said.
Featured Image via K & S Wrestlefest (left), WWE (right)
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