"(That's not saying much. What a mean-spirited feud that one was, for no real reason. Jake was trying to deal with his problems and be honest about it, and Vince let Jerry mock him endlessly on national TV for months.) "
Yeah, but Jake was pulling the pious clean-living, holier-than-thou Christian gimmick both as a character and in real life so he could do well-paid Christian speaking engagements while still drinking like a fish, so it's not like either side had clean hands.
Granted, but as fans we didn't KNOW that. The storyline was Jake coming back and confronting his problems, only to have Lawler endlessly rag on him for months, and then they had a match where Jake lost. It didn't make you want to see Lawler get his comeuppance or turn Jake into a bigger babyface, it was just an uncomfortable and mean-spirited bit of bullying from Vince. Just because he could. There's a world of difference between an off-hand comment from Lawler on one show that builds to one match, and MONTHS of comments on shows that had nothing to do with Jake. It seemed low class to me then and even moreso watching it now and knowing that Jake was doing even worse than he seemed to be. Like, if he's that much of a trainwreck, why not send him away to get help instead of putting him on TV week after week and letting him destroy himself?