Jerry Lawler vs. Andy Kaufman lives in wrestling history, but if "The King" is to be believed, he was set to take on Elvis Presley, too.
During a recent episode of Lawler's podcast "Dinner With The King," Lawler recalled the process of playing phone tag with Vernon Wesley, and how close he was to wrestling one of the most famous musicians ever.
“We were just driving up to Louisville from Nashville, and I was (saying) ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a match with Elvis Presley?’ Elvis was really in the news then about karate, doing all this karate, and I think this is when his wife, they’d had kind of a falling out and Priscilla was doing some hanky-panky with one of Elvis’s karate teachers. That was what was in the news back then, and I thought, I was telling Mickey Poole (Jerry Lawler's Manager) ‘How cool would it be to have a match with Elvis?’ Just out of the clear blue, he says ‘Well, if you want, I’ll have my brother ask him if he’d want to do that.’ I said “What?’ He says ‘Yeah, my brother is the president of the Elvis International Fan Club and has been for, like, eight years and hangs out at Graceland all the time,’ and I said ‘Aw, Mickey, you’re crazy.’ He says ‘No, really, I’m serious.’
“I thought the guy was just making this up. So then the next day, he says ‘I talked to my brother and he said he’ll talk to Vernon and he’ll run it by Elvis and all this kind of stuff. They thought it was a great idea.’ He said ‘As a matter of fact, I gave him your number and Vernon Presley is going to call you.’ I’m thinking ‘Now I know this guy's lost his mind,’ right? Sure enough, the next day, I leave home and go to Evansville, Indiana, and when I get home that night, they say ‘You had a phone call earlier today,’ and I said ‘Who was it?’ They said ‘Well, he said he was Vernon Presley.’ I said ‘You’re kidding.’ That went on two different times, he called and I was on a wrestling trip. Then finally, they gave him the date to specifically call me and, sure enough, he calls up, you know ‘It’s Vernon Presley,’ he said that Mickey’s brother had run the idea by him and Elvis liked it and that’s when he told me ‘When he gets back from the tour, we’ll put the whole thing together.’
“I’ll never forget, one of the last things Vernon said to me was ‘I’ll be honest with you, Jerry. Elvis is not in that great of shape right now, but he’s (about) to start working out and getting ready for this tour and as soon as the tour is over, we’ll do this thing.’ Of course, he never made it to the tour. We would have done anything that made HIM happy!"
You can hear the full podcast at this link.