I like this guy. It's hard to say exactly why, but Blassie seems to "get" where wrestling is going at this particular time period. He certainly doesn't seem to be star material by the usual WWE standards. He doesn't look to be in terribly good shape, and seems to know nothing about conventional wrestling--"Blassie's offense usually consisted of ripping and tearing at his opponent," notes a photo caption (21).
Regardless of how effective a wrestler he might have been in the Lou Thesz sense, the guy could clearly sell. Billy Graham (whose name still amuses me, alongside my other reading material) tells of arm wrestling with Blassie: "Here I was with legitimate 22-inch arms at the time and was beating shooters. Freddy came out in the studio and the place went berserk. He was past 50 and had no muscularity at all, yet everyone believed he was going to beat me" (22). One can see why Blassie adapted to readily to the manager-villain structure that accompanied the WWF's rise to power. He seemed to get the joke better than anyone.
Which brings us to Andy Kaufman, whose particular brand of comedy, playing an absurd character with such consistency and conviction as to confuse the fiction itself, seems incredibly well-suited to pro wrestling. One of the recurring tropes in this class is that wrestling conflates the performer and the character to an unprecedented degree, which is exactly what we see Kaufman doing in his most memorable performances. No wonder he and Blassie worked together; they were doing the same job.