WWE have announced Andy Kaufman is to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, as part of the class of 2023.
The actor and comedian became famous in Memphis with his feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler, where he became a hated heel as he would wrestle women as the “World Intergender Champion”.
He also appeared in multiple TV series, most notably the TV show Taxi. Andy Kaufman is considered one of the greatest celebrity wrestlers of all time.
His most iconic moment came on the late night talk show with David Letterman, where he was slapped by Jerry Lawler live on TV. For years, it was thought to be legitimate hate between Kaufman and Lawler, although it turned out they were friends behind the scenes.
Andy Kaufman passed away in 1984, at age 35. 39 years later, he is finally being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, having died prior to the first WrestleMania event. If he had been alive, it is likely he would have been a part of the legendary event.
It is unknown who will induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame. With Jerry Lawler currently in recovery from a massive stroke, it is unknown if he’ll be fit to appear at the Hall of Fame.
Andy Kaufman is set to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2023, Variety has learned.
Kaufman will be inducted alongside this year’s fellow honorees that currently include Rey Mysterio and The Great Muta.
Kaufman is best known for his career on the stage and screen, most famously starring as Latka Gravas in the hit sitcom “Taxi” from 1978-1983. He made his mark on the world of professional wrestling, however, when he declared himself the Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World, offering money to any woman who could pin him as part of his act. This famously led to a feud with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler in the Continental Wrestling Association in Memphis, TN.
Despite Lawler and Kaufman being friends, they successfully convinced the audience they were bitter enemies. Kaufman claimed that Lawler broke his neck when Lawler performed a piledriver on him, with Kaufman appearing in a neck brace thereafter. The two made an appearance together on “Late Night with David Letterman” in 1982, during which they traded insults before Lawler slapped Kaufman, knocking Kaufman out of his chair.
In addition to this and his work on “Taxi,” Kaufman toured comedy clubs and colleges and also appeared on the first season of “Saturday Night Live.” He later recorded the ABC special “Andy’s Funhouse,” which aired in 1979. Kaufman also infamously appeared on the ABC comedy variety series “Fridays,” with Kaufman staging a fight onscreen during his first appearance on the show. He died from lung cancer in 1984 despite being a lifelong nonsmoker.
Kaufman’s life and career were given the movie treatment in 1999, with Jim Carrey playing him in the film “Man on the Moon.” Lawler and Letterman appeared as themselves in the film.
It has not yet been decided who will induct Kaufman into the Hall of Fame. Lawler has frequently attended the Hall of Fame ceremonies over the years, but he suffered a stroke in February and it is unclear if he will be healthy enough to attend.
The 2023 WWE Hall of Ceremony will air on March 31 at 10:30pm ET on Peacock, originating from the Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles after that week’s episode of “SmackDown” and the day before the first night of WrestleMania 39.
What do you think about Andy Kaufman going into the WWE Hall of Fame finally? Let us know what you think about it, down in the comments section below.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.