Longtime fans of pro wrestling are about to see a top heel who mocked Memphis crowds and feuded with the King enter the hall of fame.
WWE announced Monday that the late Andy Kaufman will be a part of the Hall of Fame class of 2023. Kaufman’s induction was first reported by Variety.
The comedian rose to national prominence in the mid-1970s with memorable performances on the early seasons of Saturday Night Live and then in the classic sitcom “Taxi.”
While viewers may have loved his Latka the mechanic character, wrestling fans in Memphis grew to “hate” Kaufman, who proclaimed himself the Inter-Gender Champion of the World after staging matches against women where he would always come out as the victor.
Kaufman’s antics in the ring put him up against wrestling icon Jerry Lawler, leading to a feud with The King of Memphis that finished in the squared circle with a piledriver.
The action went on, though, with the pair keeping the show-fight going on with an infamous segment on “Late Night with David Letterman” that saw Lawler smack Kaufman out of his chair and the comedian threaten a lawsuit.
Lawler and Kaufman may have been bitter rivals in front of cameras and crowds, but the pair were close friends behind the scenes, a relationship shown in the Kaufman biopic “Man in the Moon” starring Jim Carey and featuring Lawler and Letterman playing themselves.
While WWE has not yet said who would induct Kaufman, Lawler could be tapped for the role. He is still regularly a part of major WWE events like the Hall of Fame ceremony and the larger WrestleMania weekend. Lawler suffered a stroke earlier this year, though, and has yet to make any appearances for the company since.
Fans can tune in for the 2023 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at 9:30 p.m. CDT on March 31 on the Peacock streaming platform.