HARDEMAN COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Jerry Lawler told WMC Action News 5 on Monday that he was overwhelmed by the support he's received from the Mid-South as he and his loved ones cope with the loss of Brian Lawler.
Brian was Jerry's son. He followed his father's footsteps into the world of wrestling, having his most successful stint as the persona Grandmaster Sexay.
Brian died after reportedly hanging himself in the Hardeman County jail.
He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors tried unsuccessfully to save his life. Jerry Lawler said he was thankful he was able to give his son one last kiss before his heart stopped beating.
Hardeman County Sheriff John Doolen issued a statement the day after Brian's death.
"Mr. Lawler, resident of Hardeman County, was arrested for third offense DUI, driving on a revoked driver's license and felony evading arrest," Doolen wrote.
Doolen said Lawler was placed in a cell by himself because of his "notoriety."
The TBI said Lawler was found Saturday hanging in his jail cell, and he died at Regional One Medical Center on Sunday.
Doolen said because the sheriff's department had no indication that he was suicidal, he was not on suicide watch.
When deputies realized what had happened, Lawler was given CPR and rushed to the hospital where he later died. He was 46 years old.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the circumstances around Lawler's death.
WWE released the following statement on Brian Christopher's passing:
WMC Action News 5 Chief Meteorologist Emeritus Dave Brown worked wrestling broadcasts for 35 years. He was there when Brian first got his start in the ring.
"He was quite successful. When he made it to WWE, he stayed there for several years," Brown said.
Brown mentioned how successful Lawler was at getting the crowd behind him--something he picked up from his father.
"He did come in with a lot of energy," Brown said. "Of course, he watched his dad. His dad has always been able to just take over a room when he walked into it, and Brian got a little bit of that. Especially when he was being a bad guy, he really brought it on and got the crowd up and screaming.
Lawler joined WWE (then-WWF) in 1997 and was best known as part of Too Cool, an extravagant team of dancing wrestlers who liked to have fun. They reached the height of their success with a stint as WWF Tag Team Champions. The group lasted until 2001, but would make their final return with a match on the NXT brand in 2014.
Lawler was known for his high-flying moves and his little red wagon that debuted on WMC Action News 5.
"He was pretty much a showman even behind the scenes," Brown said.
Brown was there when "Too Sexy, Brian Christopher," as he was called at the time, got his start long before he became a star with WWE as "Grandmaster Sexay" in the 90s.
Brown said the promising wrestler long battled with personal issues.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Lawler was arrested eight times in Tennessee since 2005, with charges ranging from multiple DUIs to assault.
"He had several issues that caused him problems and I'm sad for that," Brown said.