WWE Hall of Famer, Jerry Lawler is set to celebrate an incredible 50 years in the wrestling business this Saturday.
As reported by PWInsider, The King’s 50th anniversary show will take place in Jacksonville, Florida on September 26.
The card will be headlined by a Thunderdome Cage Match pitting Lawler and his team-mates, WWE Hall of Famers, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express versus long-time rivals, Doug Gilbert, ‘Wildfire’ Tommy Rich and current NWA star, Matt Riviera.
Jerry Lawler, 70, broke into the wrestling business way back in the 1960s when he sent in artwork to his local Memphis wrestling promotion.
In 1970, Lawler made his pro-wrestling debut when he convinced promoter, Aubrey Griffith to provide him free wrestling training in exchange for providing free publicity for Griffith’s wrestling shows on Lawler’s local radio station wherein he worked as a disc jockey.
Lawler, under the tutelage of the legendary, Jackie Fargo quickly became an excellent worker and in 1974 defeated his mentor in match in where Lawler first originated his ‘King’ gimmick.
Fargo had been known as ‘The King of Memphis’ and with his victory, Lawler claimed he was the new ‘King.’ The nickname stuck and five decades later, Jerry Lawler is still known as the ‘King.’
Ironically, the most famous feud of Lawler’s career was not with a wrestler, but a comedian.
Lawler’s dispute with Andy Kaufman, best known for his role in 1980s sitcom, Taxi was the stuff of legend. Kaufman had worked angles around the country where he would ostensibly ‘wrestle’ women from his own audience.
This heat seeking device made Kaufman despised. When he took his act to Memphis, it was only a matter of time before home-town hero, Lawler confronted the fiendish Kaufman.
Their battles were so intense and realistic, that they garnered mainstream attention and amazingly even appeared on that staple of American television, Late Night with David Letterman.
Lawler and Kaufman’s violent confrontation on that show is still replayed repeatedly almost 40 years later.
A decade later and the ‘King’ finally signed on with WWE wherein he engaged in another fiercely intense feud, this time with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart.
In 1994, Lawler began to commentate on WWE shows and became a staple at the commentary desk for the next two decades.
In 2007, Lawler was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and still makes regular appearances on WWE programming today.
Lawler’s legendary career will be celebrated in front of approximately 3,000 fans at The Ballpark Stadium.
Tickets are still available for the event.