The 25 most personal grudges in history

#24 Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Andy Kaufman

Great Neck, N.Y’s Andy Kaufman insisted he was never a comedian — he was a performance artist, and his legendary rivalry with the “King of Memphis” Jerry Lawler was as close to a masterpiece as sports-entertainment has ever seen.

Read's interview with Lawler about Kaufman

After gaining fame on “Taxi” and “Saturday Night Live,” Kaufman began to refer to himself as the Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World, and wrestled women as a part of his nightclub act. He took his title to the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tenn. — Lawler’s home turf — and defeated a tough woman named Foxy. “The King” stormed the ring after the bout and tossed the thermal-clad Kaufman across the canvas. Andy was incensed and screamed, “You can’t put your hands on me! I’m from Hollywood!”

Over the ensuing months, Kaufman flaunted his showbiz stardom while insulting Lawler’s southern roots. They finally met in a historic match in 1982 where Andy was carted away to the hospital after two vicious piledrivers. He wore a neck brace for several months afterward, including during an appearance both made on “Late Night with David Letterman.” Their on-air fight with Lawler slapping Kaufman out of his chair and Kaufman tossing a cup of coffee onto “The King” was headline news.