If you were looking only at championship title victories, Lawler is perhaps the most
decorated wrestler in the history of professional wrestling.  Second to only Elvis, he also
may be the most popular man in the history of Memphis.  From the elderly to the young
children idolizing a mat hero, Lawler has played both sides of the line.  Against the fans,
for the fans, he has maintained a high level of respect and in doing so, he has become a
legend.  His commentary during WWF’s Raw on Monday Nights made the program what
it was.  His voice was original and his own, not derived from another on a separate
channel.  Lawler made the word “puppies” hip, and is always known for wearing his
Crown.  King Lawler will always be such.

 Lawler turned pro in 1970.  Early in his career, Sam Bass acted as his manager.  While
in the Tennessee-Kentucky region, Lawler won the NWA/ AWA Southern Heavyweight
Title more than 40-times.  In early 1975, he nearly captured the NWA World Title and
even reigned as champion for a short period of time.  The event was held at the
Memphis Arena and Jack Brisco was the defending champion.  The controversial
situation ended when Bass handed Lawler a pair of brass knuckles, which were used.  
He pinned Brisco and left the ring with the belt.  The celebrated lasted 15-minutes before
NWA Promoter Nick Gulas informed the referee.  The decision was reversed and Brisco
retained his belt, but everyone knew who to worry about when they toured through that
particular town.  To earn the World Title shot, he had gone through the likes of Dick the
Bruiser, Mr. Wrestling II, Bobo Brazil and Jerry Brisco.

 Lawler was a young, talented wrestler with a taste of World Championship Gold.  He
wanted more.  Over a period of years, he feuded with numerous athletes over the
coveted Southern Title and much blood was spilled.  In the early 1980s, Lawler suffered
a serious leg injury which kept him on the shelf for an extended period of time.

 In ’82, comedian Andy Kaufman entered the pro-wrestling ranks with verbal attacks and
jabs.  He targeted Lawler and the fans of Memphis.  During one television appearance,
Lawler attacked Kaufman and piledrove him twice into the mat.  Kaufman’s neck was
seriously injured and needed medical attention.  Lawler was not playing around.  He was
going to defend the honor of professional wrestling against the lashings it was receiving
on behalf of Kaufman.  The comedian had also been proclaimed the World Intergender
Champion, facing numerous women in the ring.  The fans of Memphis loved to hate the
intruder and backed their man one-hundred percent.

 Lawler appeared on the nationally broadcast Late Night with David Letterman on
Thursday, July 29, 1982 and confronted Kaufman.  Whether their act was a work or was
actual heat, Lawler and Kaufman played their parts perfectly and drew more fans into
their ongoing feud.  Kaufman asked Lawler to apologize, but Lawler refused.  Some
spilled coffee, a slap and some choice words later, all of which made international news,
the scene ended.  The feud continued upon return to Memphis.  A film was made in the
late 1990s entitled “Man on the Moon” about Andy Kaufman’s life.  Lawler played himself
along side Jim Carrey, who portrayed the late comedian.  The story was fascinating and
the movie received critical acclaim.

 Lawler won the AWA World Heavyweight Title from Curt Hennig on May 9, 1998.  His
victory was covered on the front page of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  Memphis
Mayor, Richard Hackett was in attendance and Jackie Fargo was the special guest
referee.  After years in the hunt for a major claim to the World Title, he had finally
accomplished the feat.  He wasn’t done making history.

 On December 13th in Chicago, he wrestled Kerry Von Erich in a special AWA World
Title vs. WCCW World Title Unification Match.  At the 18:55 mark, he pinned Von Erich
and became the Unified Champion.  Referee, Marty Miller stopped the match due to Von
Erich’s excessive bleeding.  At that time, Lawler had three belts…the AWA, WCCW and
Unified.  On January 11, 1989 in Memphis, he lost a controversial match to Dutch Mantell
in Memphis.  Mantell claimed the Unified Belt.  Ricky Morton, of Rock and Roll Express
fame, was the special referee.  Afterwards, CWA Officials ordered Mantell to return the
belt to Lawler and he did.

 AWA President, Stanley Blackburn stripped Lawler of the AWA World Title on January
20, 1989 after it was claimed that he had missed seven scheduled title defenses.  
Although not recognized by the AWA, he retained his claim to the Unified World
Heavyweight Title and was promoted by several different organizations as the champion.  
In March, he traveled overseas to Japan as the Unified Champion.  On March 15th, he
wrestled Riki Choshu in Nagoya and lost by disqualification.  The next night in
Yokohama, Lawler met the IWGP World Champion, Tatsumi Fujinami, in a vitally
important match.  If Lawler walked away the champion and returned to America, his claim
to the World Title would easily overrule any other claim in the United States.  Combining
the IWGP – New Japan claim with the AWA and World Class Unified Titles, would be
historical.  But Lawler did not come out on top.  Fujinami pinned Lawler at the 20:25 mark.

 He returned to the United States.  A fireball used by Lawler turned the tides of CWA
Wrestling on March 25, 1989 in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Lawler was disqualified by an
official for using the illegal tactic against the Master of Pain and the latter was awarded
the Unified World Title.  The change was only recognized by CWA Officials and not in the
other regions which had accepted him as the Unified Champ.  In World Class, the title
was held-up after a match between Lawler and Kerry Von Erich.  On April 14th in Dallas,
Lawler regained the title after defeating Kerry Von Erich in an elimination match.  It wasn’
t until the 24th in Memphis that Lawler defeated Pain to regain his CWA claim.

 The United States Wrestling Association was formed in the fall of 1989.  Towards the
end of the year,  many fans started to hate Lawler in Memphis for his rough tactics and
irate actions during in-ring brawls.  He won the USWA Texas Title from Von Erich on
December 15th.  Lawler lost the Unified Title to King Cobra on December 30th in
Memphis.  In Dallas, he lost the USWA Texas Title to Kerry Von Erich on January 5,
1990.  Three nights later in Memphis, Lawler defeated Cobra to regain the USWA Unified
World Title.  His fourth.  In 1990, Lawler traded the Unified Title with Jimmy Valiant twice
and The Snowman before the latter had the belt stripped and the belt being put up in a

 He won the vacant crown on October 8th in Memphis, beating Austin Idol in the finals.  
Terry Funk beat Lawler for the belt on November 5th at the Mid-South Coliseum.  He
went north to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania and pinned Eddie Gilbert on November 9, 1990.  
Lawler regained the USWA World Title from Funk in March 1991.  Jackie Fargo was the
guest referee.  Awesome Kong upset Lawler for the championship on July 29th in
Memphis.  He won his ninth USWA Title on August 12th in a special no-disqualification
match.  Lawler was disqualified in Memphis on January 6, 1992 for throwing fire at the
referee in a match against Unified Champion, Kamala.  The next night, he won a round-
robin, double-elimination tournament in Louisville to win another shot at Kamala.  He
pinned Jeff Gaylord in the final bout.

 On January 10, 1992, Lawler was pinned by former WWF Champion, Bob Backlund in
Drexel Hill on a WWA Card.  He captured his twelfth USWA Unified Title on May 4, 1992
in Memphis from Kamala.  Lawler wrestled Eddie Gilbert in a Unified Title vs. Retirement
Match on June 15th in Memphis.  He lost the championship and Gilbert remained an
active wrestler.

 The USWA made a talent sharing deal with the World Wrestling Federation in 1992.  He
made his WWF pay-per-view debut on January 24, 1993 in Sacramento, California.  
Lawler entered the Royal Rumble at number 7, but he was not victorious.  On August
30th in Auburn Hills, Lawler wrestled Bret Hart and won by reverse decision.  He faced
Randy Savage on both October 4th and October 11, 1993 for the USWA Unified Title.  
The second date made history in Memphis.  The WWF Head, Vince McMahon seconded
Savage to the ring and participated in the outcome.  Lawler was pinned and Savage was
given the title.

 He was defeated on October 31, 1993 by Bret Hart in a cage match in Toronto.  
Personal problems arose back home.  He bowed out of the November 24, 1993 WWF
PPV in Boston due to his problems with the law in Louisville, Kentucky.  Shawn Michaels
took his place.  The charges against Lawler were seemingly dropped soon after.  He
became a normal WWF Commentator, but also continued to wrestle.  He lost to Roddy
Piper during the 1994 King of the Ring show on June 19th in Baltimore.  Lawler teamed
with Cheesy, Queasy and Sleazy against Doink the Clown and his crew on November
23rd in San Antonio, Texas.  He pinned Doink.  His mates won the rest of his match and
all four remained in the end.  Lawler beat Bret Hart at the first In Your House on May 14,
1995 in Syracuse.  He received some outside help from Hakushi and Shinja.

 Lawler lost a “Kiss my Foot” match to Hart at King of the Ring in June.  He was forced to
submit.  At the Survivor Series, Lawler teamed with Mabel, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and
Dr. Isaac Yankem in a loss to Savio Vega, The Undertaker, Henry Godwinn and Fatu.  
Lawler was pinned by the Undertaker.  He had comments for Olympic weightlifter Mark
Henry during the March 11, 1996 edition of Monday Night Raw on USA.  Lawler was
greeted by a bodyslam in the ring.  Ahmed Johnson beat him at In Your House VIII in
Florence.  He surprised a lot of people when he attempted to sneak attack the Ultimate
Warrior during the latter’s ring appearance against Goldust on May 27th on Raw.  The
two had words for each other leading up to a match between Lawler and the former
WWF World Champion, Warrior at the King of the Ring on June 23rd in Milwaukee.  
Lawler was overrun by the speed and power of the Warrior and lost in a little over than
four minutes.  Obviously, he didn’t get the best of the two in the feud.

 At SummerSlam in Cleveland, Lawler pinned Jake Roberts on August 18th.  Mark Henry
beat him on September 22nd at the tenth In Your House in Philadelphia at the
CoreStates Center.  Lawler appeared on the June 7, 1997 ECW Arena Card in
Philadelphia after the arena lights went off, a shock to everyone watching live.  He
aligned himself with Sabu, Rob Van Dam and Bill Alfonso against the rest of ECW.  The
following night in Providence, Lawler wrestled Mankind in the semifinals of the King of the
Ring Tournament.  He lost by submission.  Later in the month, on June 30th, Jim
Cornette arrived and joining Lawler’s cause.  Cornette brought with him his tennis racket
and was, as always, unafraid to use it.  He traveled to Fort Lauderdale for Hardcore
Heaven ’97, ECW’s Fall pay-per-view.  Lawler, on the August 17th show, met Tommy
Dreamer and after nearly 19-minutes, he lost by pinfall.

 He had a lawsuit dropped against him and Larry Burton, part-owner of the somewhat
defunct USWA, by XL Sports Ltd. in late November 1997.  Lawler became known for his
comedic skills on the microphone during Raw is War.  Some of the best lines in Monday
Night history have come out of his mouth.  He wrestled on occasion, usually after his
words got the better of someone else.  Lawler got involved in a feud with former ECW
Champion, Taz and beat him at SummerSlam 2000 on August 27th.

 In early 2001, he left the World Wrestling Federation.  He resumed his wrestling career
by fulfilling dates throughout the country.  He made numerous appearances from Texas
to Florida to the Northeast.  Lawler was teased by many as being Jim Ross’ partner at
the commentary table after Paul Heyman began another revolution by reforming ECW.

 Lawler continued to update his website, www.kinglawler.com with current news and

 On November 19, 2001 in Charlotte, Lawler replaced Paul Heyman alongside Jim Ross
on WWF Raw.  The audience reacted positively and Raw took a new, yet familiar tone.  
Ric Flair also returned to the WWF that historic night.

 To this day, King Lawler remains one of the most respected athletes in wrestling.  His
status in history has been documented.  Just read his title history.

 -A forty-one time NWA/ AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion
         -Southern Junior Heavyweight Title Renamed (1974)
         -Defeated Robert Fuller (1974)
         -Defeated Bob Armstrong (1975)
         -Defeated Bob Armstrong (1975)
         -Defeated Gorgeous George Jr. (1976)
         -Defeated Jack Brisco (1976)
         -Defeated Rocky Johnson (1977)
         -Defeated Bob Armstrong (1977)
         -Defeated Jimmy Valiant (1977)
         -Defeated Mr. Wrestling (1977)
         -Defeated Jimmy Valiant (1977)
         -Defeated Don Fargo (1978)
         -Defeated Bill Dundee (1979)
         -Defeated Jimmy Valiant (1981)
         -Defeated Chick Donovan (1981)
         -Defeated Steve Keirn (1981)
         -Defeated Dutch Mantell (1981)
         -Defeated Dutch Mantell (1982)
         -Defeated Dutch Mantell (1982)
         -Defeated Kendo Nagasaki (1982)
         -Defeated Kamala (1982)
         -Defeated Nick Bockwinkel (1982)
         -Defeated Bill Dundee (1983)
         -Defeated Man Mountain Link (1983)
         -Defeated Bill Dundee (1983) tournament final
         -Defeated Jesse Ventura (1983)
         -Defeated Jesse Ventura (1983)
         -Defeated Humongous (1984)
         -Defeated King Kong Bundy (1984)
         -Defeated Eddie Gilbert (1985)
         -Defeated Randy Savage (1985)
         -Defeated Bota the Witch Doctor (1985)
         -Defeated Tarras Bulba (1985)
         -Defeated Bill Dundee (1985)
         -Defeated Bill Dundee (1985)
         -Defeated Bam Bam Bigelow (1986)
         -Defeated Austin Idol (1987)
         -Defeated Austin Idol (1987)
         -Defeated Brickhouse Brown (1987)
         -Defeated Don Bass (1987)
         -Defeated Bobby Jaggers (1987)
 -CWA World Heavyweight Title (1979-’80) defeated Billy Graham
 -A two-time co-holder of the AWA World Tag Team Title
         w/ Bill Dundee (1987) defeated Doug Sommers and Soldat Ustinov
         w/ Bill Dundee (1987) defeated Dr. D and Hector Guerrero
 -AWA World Heavyweight Title (1987-88) defeated Curt Hennig
 -A two-time WCCW World Heavyweight Champion
         -Defeated Kerry Von Erich (1988)
         -Defeated Kerry Von Erich (1988)
 -A twenty-seven time Unified World Heavyweight Champion
         -Initial Unification (1988) defeated Kerry Von Erich
         -Defeated Master of Pain (1989)
         -Defeated The Soultaker (1989)
         -Defeated King Cobra (1990)
         -Defeated Jimmy Valiant (1990)
         -Defeated Jimmy Valiant (1990)
         -Defeated Austin Idol (1990) tournament final
         -Defeated Terry Funk (1991)
         -Defeated Awesome Kong (1991)
         -Defeated Dragon Master (1991)
         -Defeated Kamala (1991)
         -Defeated Kamala (1992)
         -Defeated Todd Champion (1992)
         -Defeated Koko B. Ware (1992)
         -Defeated Owen Hart (1993)
         -Defeated Tatanka (1993)
         -Defeated Jeff Jarrett (1993)
         -Defeated Eddie Gilbert (1994)
         -Defeated Eddie Gilbert (1994)
         -Defeated Sid Vicious (1995)
         -Defeated Razor Ramon (1995)
         -Defeated Mabel (1996) tournament final
         -Defeated Jeff Jarrett (1996)
         -Defeated Sid Vicious (1996)
         -Defeated The Colorado Kid (1996)
         -Defeated Tank (1997)
         -Defeated King Reginald (1997)
 -A two-time USWA Texas Heavyweight Champion
         -Defeated Kerry Von Erich (1989)
         -Defeated Eric Embry (1991)
 -A five-time co-holder of the USWA Tag Team Title
         w/ Jeff Jarrett (1991) defeated The Fabulous Ones
         w/ Jeff Jarrett (1992) defeated The Moondogs
         w/ Jeff Jarrett (1992) defeated The Moondogs
         w/ Jeff Jarrett (1992) defeated The Moondogs
         w/ Bill Dundee (1996) defeated The Cyberpunks
 -A two-time SMW Heavyweight Champion
         -Defeated Tony Anthony (1995)
         -Defeated Tommy Rich (1995)

Research by Tim Hornbaker
Jerry Lawler Wrestling History
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