Wednesday, March 7, 2007

More of a King Now

The wrestling performances of Andy Kaufman really opened my eyes to the impact Jerry "the King" Lawler had on wrestling. Even though the two personalities didn't seem to fit together, wrestling brought out the best in both of them. Being able to watch Lawler in his prime gave me an appreciation for his abilities as a performer and wrestler.

Before this class, I thought of Lawler as a weasel who made annoying comments during matches. I never kneew why he was regarded as one of the greats. I do remember watching him, past his prime, win a King of the Ring and feud with Bret Hart for a while. Other than that I didn't really see Lawler caught up in too much action.

The matches and feuds with Andy kaufman gave me a chance to see how great of a performer Lawler was. He really had me convinced that they really hated each other and that it was not preplanned. I also thought he gave really convincing and entertaining interviews. He was also fun to watch. You can still see the heel in Lawler when he sneakily pulls out the brass knuckles. Despite this heel-like character, Memphis loved him and he was the hometown hero.

Now I believe that Lalwer does deserve the nickname "the King". After all, he was the second biggest name in Memphis, next to the original king. I was happy to hear that he was going to be inducted ino the WWE hall of fame for 2007 and that his place in wrestling history would be secured.


Sam Ford said...

First, Ismael, it's interesting to see how many of the figures we've discussed in the class are going into the Hall of Fame. This year, it's going to be Dusty Rhodes, Jerry Lawler, Curt Hennig, and Nick Bockwinkel so far, with rumors that Jim Ross and The Sheik will be among the other names announced.

As for your other point, we did see that Lawler became a major figure in the AWA, but otherwise he primarily stayed in Memphis until he came to WWE in 1993, primarily because Memphis hung on longer than almost any other territory. There is still a wrestling show in Memphis that draws good ratings and stars Lawler and other guys who are past their physical prime, but it has always been Lawler's town.

Kathe Lowney said...

I think that Lawler's role as an announcer is also important to discuss. I feel that he can really "sell" a plotline - his voice is able to be modulated in ways that really can draw audience members in. I think in particular his announcing during the Right to Censor plot truly helped to make that a successful plot. It cannot be easy to do, but he does it so well.

Sam Ford said...

Interesting point, and as Lawler has been inducted to the Hall of Fame, I think his announcing career is of equal importance. In fact, he has reached a greater audience as commentator than he has as a wrestler and has been a voice on RAW for well over a decade now. What amazes me about Lawler is how loved of a face he could be, and equally how hated a heel, both as wrestler and as commentator/wrestler.