Memphis Blues: Andy Kaufman costs Jerry Lawler the AWA World title 29 years ago today
So, I’m back from my sabbatical–like a wrestler from the territory days returning to the area fresh and recharged after a brief run in another promotion. I realize it’s asking too much, but I’m betting you stinkin’ rednecks have learned to appreciate me in my absence. (Yeah, I missed you, too. Well, some of you.) Anyway, my wife and I spent the holidays apart, as Hayley visited her family in England for a monthlong trip, which I was unable to do because of work commitments and other difficulties. Instead, I returned to Memphis for a week, as I had not been home in nearly four years, and I was afraid that all my parents had to remember me by was my old rasslin’ clips on YouTube. (They weren’t exactly bursting with pride when I became a hated heel in my hometown years ago using my real name.)
I had a good time in Memphis (highlighted by a bowling battle royal with my old college buddies), but frankly, I’m happy to put 2011 behind me. I’m making progress overcoming carpal tunnel syndrome, and I’m focused more than ever on my physical therapy and recovery. That means more KFR goodness coming your way in the New Year. (Rejoice, dear marks, rejoice!)
Obviously, I didn’t get much writing done while I was in my hometown; however, I did eat plenty of BBQ, which, where I come from, is far more important. I did wait patiently outside Jerry Lawler’s house, hoping to ambush him with a giant snowball while he checked his mailbox every hour on the hour for Christmas cards; however, weatherman/former Memphis wrestling announcer Dave Brown failed to deliver on his holiday promise of heavy snow. (You could never count on Dave’s forecasts and his commentary for accuracy, especially when I was involved in my heated feuds with the likes of Randy Hales and Ms. Texas.) When the King appeared in his driveway on Dec. 23, I attacked Lawler anyway with a molded-plastic baby Jesus from a neighbor’s nativity scene but he wrestled Him away from me and ended up piledriving me on the hard concrete. (I sold it by wearing a neckbrace until my return flight touched down in Los Angeles.)
Anyway, I’m back. With a vengeance. I’m catching up on WWE programming at the moment, and I’ll resume my look at the year 1983 in both Memphis and Mid-South soon.
On that note, it was 29 years ago today that Andy Kaufman cost Jerry Lawler the “held-up” (more on that later this week) AWA World title when the Intergender champion and “Taxi” star interfered on Nick Bockwinkel’s behalf to uncrown the King…and put a damper on Brian Christopher Lawler’s 11th birthday. (Incidentally, happy birthday, Grand Master Fortaay.) Here’s the clip, with a classic Memphis finish, from January 10, 1983.