Brian Gewirtz: Andy Kaufman Should Be In WWE Hall Of Fame
Kaufman's time in the wrestling industry was brief but incredibly memorable
Former head WWE writer Brian Gewirtz believes that Andy Kaufman should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Speaking with Under the Ring to promote the Vice TV show Tales From the Territories (for which he serves as an Executive Producer), Gewirtz discussed Kaufman's HOF credentials, noting that the comedian had a major impact on the professional wrestling industry and that his foray into the business led to greater celebrity involvement in subsequent years:
"I mean, what he did in Memphis, it's why we dedicated a whole episode to it. It's just really extraordinary, like he had no reason other than his pure love and passion for wrestling to go down to Memphis. And of course, as we talked about on the show and as legend has it, he tried with WWF at first and Vince Sr. wasn't into the idea. Obviously Vince Jr., Vince McMahon as we know him, obviously did pay attention to what was going down in Memphis. Because shortly thereafter, just a couple years later Mr. T is wrestling at WrestleMania and Cyndi Lauper is in the corner of Wendi Richter, and Billy Martin and Liberace, and Bob Costas, and everyone else. You know, Muhammed Ali, everyone else is involved in the first WrestleMania".
Kaufman famously wrestled women and had a memorable feud with Jerry Lawler, which included a famous incident where The King slapped the Taxi star when they both appeared on The David Letterman Show.
Asked whether Kaufman is worthy of being in the WWE Hall of Fame, Gewirtz responded with:
"He is without question — I mean look, WWE Hall of Fame is an interesting thing. Because sometimes it's — it's not like the Baseball Writers' Hall of Fame where it's just based on statistics and certain thresholds, and this person hit X amount of home runs, or get hits or wins, or strikeouts or whatever. This is kinda like forged by whatever is discussed that happened to be discussed that year. But from a pure merit standpoint, there is probably no celebrity more influential and more revered in the business than Andy Kaufman".
Kaufman passed away from lung cancer on May 16, 1984, at the age of 35. He was portrayed in the 1999 biopic Man in the Moon by Jim Carrey, while Lawler portrayed his younger self.