Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler Reflects On Famous Feud With Andy Kaufman
You've seen Jerry on TV for many years, and he'll be part of Wrestlefest 23 coming to Danbury this Friday night, but do you remember when Jerry "The King" Lawler and Andy Kaufman pulled one of the biggest hoaxes ever?
It was April 1982 and Andy Kaufman, a comedic entertainer who starred on shows like Taxi, and Saturday Night Live, decided to set his sights on the square circle. Andy didn't wrestle conventional opponents.Andy, who billed himself as the Inter-Gender Champion, just wrestled women as part of his act, and that was what eventually lead to his feud with Lawler.
At that time, wrestling was all about wrestling, there weren't many crazy story lines that would eventually make the sport so popular in the late-90s. So, in my opinion, you can say that this Kaufman/Lawler feud was the inspiration that truly mixed Hollywood and Professional Wrestling, and was the launching pad for what was to come.
Kaufman had been in Memphis wrestling women and doing his best to make the southern city hate him. He certainly succeeded, and because of that, Lawler actually had a few "physical altercations" with Andy a few times before that one fateful night in Memphis:
The last time the two were in the ring together, Kaufman stayed far away from Jerry. He ran around the ring, trying to avoid the wrath of the King, but Jerry had the last laugh. He used his patented piledriver move to seemingly render the star unconscious, doing "severe neck damage."
That would lead to what has been listed as one of the Top 100 Television moments of all time, as the two met one more time on the Late Show with David Letterman.
The vast majority of those watching thought that Lawler and Kaufman were embroiled in a real-life rivalry, most believed it was legitimate. The public didn't learn the real truth until it was revealed 10 years after Kaufman's untimely death from lung cancer that Lawler and Kaufman were actually friends who were simply putting on a show.
Here's what Jerry "The King" Lawler had to say about that historic night when I talked to him on KICKS 105.5:
If you would like to see Jerry "The King" Lawler in person alongwith Hollywood actor David Arquette, who's taking on local favorite "King" Brian Anthony, a 10-woman Battle Royal, and much more, then head to the Danbury PAL Building Friday night for Northeast Wrestling's Wrestlefest 23. Doors open at 6 pm and all the action starts at 8 pm.