Friday, January 31, 2014
Wrestling News Center announces Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
In December, 2013, the writers and staff of Wrestling News Center got together in Tupelo, MS, for their annual Christmas party. During that time, as has been our custom, we voted on who the 2013 Wrestling News Center Lifetime Achievement Award winner should be. It took only one ballot. We had a clear winner. No need for discussion. The winner: Jerry "The King" Lawler.
When you hear the words "Memphis Wrestling," many things, many names, many memories come to mind. The Mid-South Coliseum, Tojo Yamamoto, Jos LeDec, Bill Dundee, Jimmy Valiant, Lance Russell, and the list goes on and on. There is one name, however, that stands out more than all the rest, and that name is Jerry Lawler. Why? Because he is truly "The King."
Jerry Lawler began his wrestling career in 1970, in Jonesboro, AR, where he wrestled Tojo Yamamoto. Lawler had this to say about his first match (from an interview I did with Jerry in Jonesboro at the debut show of RWA in 2008):
"We're back here in Jonesboro tonight, and when I first started, my first match, Jackie Fargo brought me over here, and I was
sitting in the car with Jackie, and I was just a nervous wreck, I'll never forget we stopped, and I went in and got a bag of potato chips and Jackie said, "Put that over there, kid," and I said "what" and looked over and when I did he reached over and grabbed my bag of chips and just crushed them all into crumbs, and just every kind of rib you could think of on the way over. So then when we got here, I was wrestling Tojo Yamamoto. And I found out later, after he blistered my chest so bad, just beat me like a dog, afterwards Jackie told me, that all the young guys that are just trying to get started, they put them against Tojo. He beat me up so bad. Tojo don't like anybody, you know, Tojo don't like anybody, he had no family, he's got no relatives, he just hates the world, he lives out of his car, literally, and he has no friends, he don't like anybody. So they put guys against Tojo, because he beat them up so bad, that if they come back and say they want another match after that, they think, well, maybe they have some potential. But usually Tojo would beat these guys up so bad that they would not even ask for another match. So he certainly did that to me that night. I finally made it through it, and in the middle of the week Jackie called me and asked me if I wanted another match, and I said yes I do. He said OK, good, this Saturday you and I will go back over to Jonesboro and you have Tojo again. Oh, God, I dreaded it, and sure enough, five straight weeks against Tojo right here in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Finally after that I guess then they figured well, maybe the kid, he's not gonna just have a match or two and quit or whatever."
And Jerry's career took off from there, and it certainly speaks for itself. I started counting the number of championships Jerry Lawler has held during his career, and I finally stopped counting at 160, and there were many more than that! Those Championships include:
AWA World Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion (35 times if I counted right)
AWA Southern Tag Team Championship (10 times)
AWA World Tag Team Championship (2 times with Bill "Superstar" Dundee)
CWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
CWA International Championship (3 times)
CWA World Tag Team Championship (2 times)
NWA Mid_America Championship (numerous times)
NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (numerous times)
And numerous other titles in organizations all across the country, including Georgia Championship Wrestling, IWA, Maryland Championship Wrestling, NWA Mid-America, NWA Virginia, Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling, and, of course, Memphis Championship Wrestling and Memphis Wrestling, and that's not all, the list goes on!
From 1993 - 1995 he was involved in a classic, unforgettable feud in the WWF with Bret Hart and the Hart Family, during which he won the title of "Undisputed King of the World Wrestling Federation," and to this day Jerry Lawler is still The King.
Jerry "The King" Lawler will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award this Saturday night, February 1, 2014, at the UCW "Honarary II Payback" event in Union City, Tennessee. If you are within driving distance of Union City that night, don't miss it!
Check out Jerry's website, kingjerrylawler.com to read more about Jerry's fascinating career.
All of us at Wrestling News Center congratulate Jerry Lawler, winner of the WNC Lifetime Achievement Award. LONG LIVE THE KING!