About a year ago, Memphis icon Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack live on the air at a WWE event. I didn’t quite realize until we almost lost him what he means to me culturally. For anyone who grew up in the South watching USWA Wrestling, Jerry Lawler is a big deal. In the 1970’s and 80’s, he was like Elvis in his cultural stature.
This site is all about providing insight and sometimes defense of concepts that are often misunderstood and maligned. That could never be more true than the case for Professional Wrestling. Vince McMahon once said “To those who believe in the beauty of professional wrestling, nothing needs to be said. For those who don’t appreciate wrestling, nothing could be said to change their minds.” I’ll try anyway.The key is to accept that it is scripted and staged, and that most people -if not all people, by now- know that. Including the fans. A wrestling show is just that, a show. An often corny, often silly, never ending morality play. In which reality and unreality blend together to create the most meta of meta performance art.
There are still people who believe that these guys really, truly hated each other.
Well, Andy did it all around the television dial. He’s now regarded as a confused genius. I definitely think he was a genius. But confused? Never. All Andy Kaufman did was take Professional Wrestling away from the unwashed masses and take it to the regular old masses, to huge and hilarious effect.