Andy Kaufman will be a member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2023, joining, you know, actual professional wrestlers.
Andy Kaufman, the legendary comedian, prankster and “inter-gender champion”, will be honored as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the celebrity wing.
Andy Kaufman may not exactly scream wrestling, but the WWE has defended its decision (certainly not the most controversial this year), noting his history in the world of sports entertainment, particularly his rivalry with Jerry “The King” Lawler. In their official statement, the WWE said, “The rivalry between Lawler and Kaufman became national news leading to a legendary exchange on Late Night with David Letterman. The interaction would later be memorialized in the 1999 movie biopic Man on the Moon, where Lawler appeared alongside Jim Carrey as Kaufman to recreate the iconic moment. Kaufman’s interactions with Lawler transformed the business and opened up pathways for future cross-over Superstars such as Johnny Knoxville who honored the comedian with his WrestleMania 38 ring gear.” Lawler, who was inducted in 2007, will be honoring Kaufman.
In addition to his infamous interactions with Lawler, Kaufman launched a long-running stunt in the late 1970s where he would challenge women to come wrestle him in the ring, at the same time declaring himself the Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World. He reportedly would go on to wrestle around 400 women over a four-year span. Part of this was also featured in 1999’s Man on the Moon, the production of which saw Jim Carrey going method to play Kaufman. Andy Kaufman passed away in 1984, thus joining a long list of posthumous inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame, starting with the first ever, Andre the Giant, in 1983. Kaufman, however, does have the distinction of being the first posthumous celebrity inductee.
While Andy Kaufman was never officially a WWE Superstar, his peculiar mark on wrestling has been previously recognized by the WWE, receiving an action figure and turning up as a playable character in multiple video games. Now, if we can just get him as DLC in WWE 2K23!
You can see Andy Kaufman (in addition to Rey Mysterio, The Great Muta and more) inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31st, the night before Wrestlemania 39.
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Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/andy-kaufman-to-be-inducted-into-wwe-hall-of-fame/