Jerry “The King” Lawler Vs. Andy Kaufman
Memphis Wrestling - April 5th, 1983
“Lawler, with a pile driver. Only the second move by Lawler, and BANG goes Kaufman. It’s gonna be a disqualification.”
In the late 1980’s after contacting Vince McMahon Sr. to attempt to bring his act to the WWF and being denied as “show business” wasn’t McMahon’s Sr.’s thing, Andy Kaufman was contacted by Jerry “The King” Lawler to come wrestle in Memphis. Kaufman had been the self-proclaimed “Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion Of The World”, wrestling women and treating them horridly in his matches. At one point, Kaufman claimed that if he was pinned, he would give the victor $1,000, he would shave his head, and that the would marry them. Of course, he was never foiled.
Lawler took exception to this, challenging Kaufman, who denied him several times for a one-on-one competition. After several matches against Lawler, including a handicap “Piledriver Match” which didn’t bode well for Kaufman. Finally, on April 5th, 1982, Lawler got his match with Kaufman in front of a sold out arena. After allowing Kaufman to apply a headlock, Lawler brought the crowd out of their seats with only a fingerwave, then lifted Kaufman in the air and dropped him on his back. He then delivered his signature maneuver, a piledriver, which hospitalized Kaufman for several months.
In Jerry Lawler’s book, “It’s Good To Be The King… Sometimes”, Lawler admitted to the entire run between himself and Kaufman to be a work. He then went on to say that after Kaufman’s death, his estate was divided and the checks that were sent to Kaufman for his appearances were never cashed. Kaufman truly loved to be part of the sport.