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In 1982, Hollywood actor and television star Andy Kaufman was dazzled by professional wrestling and decided to make a career change by entering into the world himself. Kaufman contacted WWF owner Vince McMahon Sr. about joining the company, but McMahon Sr. wasn’t interested in bringing “show business” into pro wrestling. After starting a friendship with wrestling reporter/photographer Bill Apter and expressing interest in the business, Apter got in contact with Jerry Lawler about Kaufman coming to Memphis to start his new endeavor.
Once in Memphis, Kaufman became one of the most hated heels in professional wrestling history. He would come to the ring wearing long johns with basketball shorts over them and would challenge women in the crowd to a match, then would spend the duration of the match embarrassing them before finally pinning them. This led to Kaufman eventually claiming he was the World Intergender Wrestling Champion. This of course drew the ire of Memphis favorite Jerry Lawler, who attacked Kaufman on an episode of Late Night with David Letterman. Lawler delivered a piledriver to Kaufman in one of the most famous moments in wrestling history, leading to Kaufman sporting a neckbrace for several months afterward until his wrestling career came to an end.
When Kaufman passed away in 1984, it was revealed by his wife Lynne Margulies that Andy never cashed any of the checks for his time in Memphis. He never did it for the money. He just loved professional wrestling. #andykaufman#jerrylawler#memphiswrestling#prowrestling#wrestling#wrestler#manonthemoon#wrestlingchampion#sportsentertainment#showbusiness#taxitvshow#taxi#intergenderchampionship#professionalwrestling#jerrythekinglawler#wwf#wwe#wweuniverse#wwenetwork#wrestlingfans