Vince McMahon Jr. once told Jerry Lawler that he wanted to hire Andy Kaufman to work for WWE before he started wrestling in Memphis.
Kaufman made a name for herself in the 1970s and early 1980s for her unique entertainment style, which included a series of women’s wrestling matches. When McMahon Sr. rejected his idea of joining WWE, the entertainer called Lawler and started a memorable feud with him in Mid-Southern Wrestling.
Sportskeeda Wrestling Awards expert wrestling legend Dutch Mantell spoke to Riju Dasgupta on McMahon’s reaction to the Kaufman vs. Lawler rivalry:
“He said to Jerry Lawler on a plane one day, he said, ‘Shit, Lawler, if you hadn’t had Andy Kaufman when you did, I would have had him,’ because Andy Kaufman wanted to go to New York [WWE] first. He wanted to go to this ancient territory. That’s what he grew up watching. [20:23-20:46]
Voting for the Sportskeeda Wrestling Awards closes March 10. So be sure to get your votes by clicking here AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!
Vince McMahon Jr. would have liked to work with Andy Kaufman
While Vince McMahon Sr. viewed his product as professional wrestling, McMahon Jr. enjoyed the sports-entertainment aspect of WWE more than wrestling. He even joked recently that his father probably never would have sold the business to him in 1982 if he had known what would become of it.
On reflection, Dutch Mantell thinks McMahon Jr. was right that Andy Kaufman’s form of entertainment would be suitable for WWE:
“The old man, Vince’s dad, was still alive, and Vince’s dad put a stop to it and didn’t bring him, then he said [he could have kicked himself] every time he saw him on the [David] Letterman show or he would see something. Kaufman brought attention to the product and to Memphis, and that helped Lawler tremendously. [20:47-21:08]
Mantell added that Kaufman, who died aged 35 in 1984, never cashed any of the checks he received from wrestling in Memphis. Jerry Lawler’s former rival made appearances due to his love of wrestling and had no interest in making extra money.
Please credit Sportskeeda Wrestling and embed the video if using quotes from this article.
A WWE veteran highlights the turning point from which Roman Reigns earned the respect of the crowd here.