There have been a lot of celebrities over the years who have gotten involved with professional wrestling, but arguably none of them understood or loved the art form more than comedian Andy Kaufman. His work as a fancy Hollywood hotshot — playing the role of himself — riled up the people of Memphis and launched a legendary, one-of-a-kind rivalry with Jerry “The King” Lawler that captivated the entire nation.
So it seems like Kaufman would be a natural fit for the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. It’s seemed like that for years now, but the late Kaufman has yet to be recognized. For a time, fans could explain his omission due to the fact that he never actually worked for WWE, but by this point, plenty of non-WWE legends have been inducted.
On the most recent episode of his podcast, Dinner With the King, Lawler himself chimed in on the Kaufman-to-the-Hall of Fame argument. He believes it’s a question of when, rather than if. (Transcript via Wrestling Inc.)
“I think that without a doubt he does. Probably the main drawback, or main hold up, or resistance to that is the fact that Andy never had a match in WWE. There’s definitely a place for Andy, at least, in the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. That match that Andy and I had, it almost supersedes any organization. It was just about wrestling, in general. If you look back and really consider all the facts, that match was so important in the way wrestling evolved after. That was the beginning of sports entertainment. That was the first time that wrestling and the entertainment world collided head-to-head and wound up working together.”
At this point, the biggest stumbling block for Kaufman getting in is probably the fact that he would be a posthumous induction. WWE tries to keep posthumous wrestler inductions to two or fewer per year, and they’ve never posthumously inducted a celebrity. But any celebrity wing will forever be incomplete without Kaufman, so hopefully Lawler will be proven true and Kaufman will make it in.