Friday, March 20, 2009

Memphis Wrestling Results-26th Anniversary of Andy Kaufman vs Jerry "The King" Lawler-March 14, 2009

Corey Maclin welcomed everyone and announced that this week's show would be a special edition because it marked the 26th Anniversary of the big feud between Comedian Andy Kaufman and Jerry "The King" Lawler. Corey mentioned that it's actually recorded at The National Museum of Television and Film in Washington, D.C., as one of the top most memorable moments ever in television and is listed in the Top 100. As Corey was reminiscing, he held up a poster featuring a lot of classic photos. On the show, we will take a look at the whole Jerry Lawler/Andy Kaufman storyline and how it all unfolded.

They show some classic videos of Andy Kaufman offering one thousand dollars to any woman that could beat him in the ring. Not only that, but Andy said he would shave his head and would offer his hand in marriage to any woman that defeated him as an extra prize. This video package included Andy's interview with Lance Russell and several of Andy's inter-gender battles. Jerry Lawler came out during one of the challenges and demanded that Kaufman give the young lady three more minutes. Lawler ended up jumping in and pushing Kaufman down.

This sparked an interview with Kaufman threatening to sue Lawler for everything he's got because he touched him. Andy said he doesn't wrestle men. I loved seeing the fans' reaction. Those folks were really into it.

Next, they aired the classic video clips of Andy Kaufman's helpful tips that he passed along to everyone in the south. This included, Andy training viewers to use soap and instructing women to use a razor to shave their legs and underneath their arms. He also introduced the people to toilet paper, by informing them, that if they bought some and used it, he guaranteed this would stop the foul smell and bring the smell up to a level so that, at least, the air in the south would be almost breathable. Good stuff there. I found this video. You can check it out below:

This was followed by an interview with Andy Kaufman from Hollywood talking about Lawler pushing him around. Kaufman said he's not a hick like Mr. Lawler because he comes from Hollywood, California, where he is a national television star that makes movies and tv shows. Andy demanded that he receive the respect that he deserves when he comes down to Memphis. Kaufman, continued, by saying, that he never agreed to wrestle Lawler, but he stuck his nose in his business, coming in the ring and pushing him around. Kaufman said he hired a lawyer and is going to sue Lawler for every cent that he's worth. Just in case Lawler didin't believe him, he introduced his lawyer, Mr. Bob Zmuda. Zmuda assured Kaufman that he had a perfect case against Lawler.

Lawler proposed that Andy Kaufman step in the ring with a real wrestler and challenged him. Kaufman sent in another video, saying he's not afraid of Lawler and that he's wrestled women that were a lot bigger, stronger, and smarter than Lawler. Andy proved his point by giving Jerry a little sample by introducing Susan, who was six feet tall and weighed in at three hundred and twenty-seven pounds. Kaufman, immediately, took her down to the ground with a headlock and started bashing her head into the ground. Andy's lawyer, Mr. Zmuda, tried to intervene by pulling Andy off of the woman. He told Andy that he really hurt her, to which, Andy replied that it doesn't matter because she don't have any money so she couldn't sue him. He started attacking the injured lady, again. You can catch that clip here:

In an interview, Jerry "The King" Lawler told Kaufman that he made his living by wrestling and he doesn't like people, like Kaufman, coming in and making fun of it, thinking they can do it. Lawler said when Kaufman steps in the ring with him, that will be the last time that he would ever fantasize about being a wrestler because he's going to get hurt.

Another collage of videos featuring Kaufman offering five thousand dollars to any wrestler that puts Jerry Lawler in the hospital. This was followed by an intense Lawler promo saying it's going to take more than Kaufman, Hart and their Assassins to get rid of "The King". Then, they go to some in ring action with Jerry Lawler battling The Colossus and Andy Kaufman with "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart. Lawler got his hands on Kaufman, punching him in the corner. This was folowed by a suplex and body slam. The Colossus made the save before Lawler could execute the piledriver on Kaufman.

Next was an unusual boxing/wrestling match with Jerry Lawler wrestling both Jimmy Hart and Andy Kaufman, who was wearing boxing gloves. Hart tried to throw powder in Lawler's eyes, but hit Kaufman, instead. Hart would later, successfully, damage "The King's" sight by delivering the powder in his eyes. Kaufman landed a low blow on Lawler. Kaufman pounded away on Lawler in the corner, but did very little damage. Lawler pulled the strap down and started unloading on the two. Hart saved Kaufman from taking a piledriver from Lawler. Hart loaded Kaufman's boxing glove. Andy nailed Jerry with a haymaker that decked Lawler. Hart and Kaufman both pinned Lawler to get the win.

This was followed by a special ten round match with Jerry Lawler defeating Andy Kaufman with the fist drop. After the match, Jerry was going to piledrive Kaufman, until The First Family, consisting of Dennis Condrey, Norvell Austin, Buddy Landel and The Grappler, ran in to save Kaufman.

From the studio, they showed the time Lawler snuck up behind Kaufman, who was sitting at ringside, and lit him up with one of his trusty fireballs.

More clips of Andy Kaufman and Jimmy Hart squaring off against Jerry Lawler with Lawler piledriving Kaufman. Then, came the famous catfight that took place in the studio between Andy Kaufman and Jimmy Hart, which led to a match between the two, in which, Sweet Daddy O came to Hart's aid.

This led to Andy Kaufman offering Jerry Lawler a check for ten thousand dollars to be in his corner to take out Jimmy Hart and The Assassin. Lawler told Kaufman to keep the money and said he would do it if Kaufman would promise never to wrestle again. Well, things didn't go quite like "The King" had expected because as soon as Kaufman got the chance, he turned on Lawler, throwing powder in his eyes. As soon as this happened, the camera zoomed in on an old lady hollering, "son of a bitch!" Hilarious! Kaufman and Hart embraced and attacked Lawler, along with The Assassins. The Assassins drilled Lawler with a spike piledriver. This looked good. They had to carry Lawler out.

A few days later, Kaufman was bragging in the studio about getting even with Lawler. He claimed to be "The New King of Professional Wrestling".

Next, was Kaufman and Lawler's famous moment from July 28, 1982, when the two appeared on The David Letterman show. You can relive that classic moment below: Please be aware that this is the unedited version, so there is some bad language.

Then, they showed the classic match between Kaufman and Lawler from the Mid-South Coliseum, which ended with Andy Kaufman being carted out on a stretcher and leaving in an ambulance after suffering two devastating piledrivers.

Footage of the major news coverage that was received from the story with Jack Eaton from Action Sports 5 reporting on all of the action. Later, Jack Eaton would report that Andy Kaufman was in the intensive care unit at St. Francis Hospital. Eaton announced, "He has had a battery of tests and it is believed that he is not seriously injured. He will be in the hospital, at least, overnight, but one thing's for sure, according to his manager, Andy Kaufman's wrestling career is over."

Corey Maclin reminded everyone that the Andy Kaufman/Jerry Lawler interview on Letterman is a piece of history that has joined the likes of the O.J. Simpson chase and JFK's assassination as one of the Top 100 most memorable moments in television history.

They showed some short clips and behind the scenes footage from Man On The Moon, a film about the life of Andy Kaufman, starring Jim Carrey, couresy of Universal. I would highly recommend this movie if you haven't seen it.

Unfortunately, my DVR stopped recording halfway through the footage. I'm sure I only missed the last two or three minutes. For some reason, the show blacked out for the first couple of minutes. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the show because it was a fun walk down memory lane.


Timothy Kendrick said...

Awesome story. This put Wrestling into the spotlight, at the time it had been many years.

Everybody loved Andy. With Andy, the joke was always on you. Andy could have you eating out of his hand one minute and pissing off the Pope the next.

This was history and will be viewed long after we all have moved on from this dimension

Timothy Kendrick said...

P.S. this was Kayfabe and one if not the greatest "work" the industry has ever seen.