51-year veteran surprised at being omitted from WWE Hall of Fame speech (Exclusive)
The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2023 saw several veteran names get deserving spots, with Andy Kaufman getting inducted posthumously by Jimmy Hart. While it was a great moment to see the famed entertainer enter the Celebrity wing, legendary journalist Bill Apter admitted to being surprised over being omitted from the HOF speech.
Andy Kaufman, a lifelong wrestling fan, made inroads into professional wrestling after getting to know Jerry 'The King' Lawler in Memphis. However, before Kaufman met Lawler, he had already developed a friendship with Bill Apter during the early 1980s.
Kaufman was adamant about blending show business with the kayfabe world of pro wrestling. After several conversations, Bill Apter finally connected Kaufman and Lawler via a telephone call, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Kaufman-Lawler feud became one of the greatest pro wrestling rivalries that helped the business expand its audience.
Bill Apter's role in getting Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman together cannot be understated. The iconic journalist, who has been in the wrestling industry for nearly 51 years, revealed to Sportskeeda Wrestling that he was "surprised" about not being mentioned during the WWE Hall of Fame induction of Andy Kaufman.
"No comments. I am surprised at being omitted," revealed Bill Apter.
What happened during Andy Kaufman's posthumous WWE Hall of Fame induction?
Considered the first celebrity personality in professional wrestling, Andy Kaufman rightfully warrants a place in the WWE Hall of Fame for his incredible exploits from decades ago. The comedian's kayfabe rival Jerry Lawler was expected to do the honors of inducting his real-life friend, but The King couldn't make it to the ceremony due to his recent health issues.
Nonetheless, Lawler appeared via a video package and admitted that he wished he was in the building himself to induct Kaufman. The former WWE commentator revealed that Jimmy Hart would replace him for the night, and The Mouth of the South looked like he hadn't aged a bit.
Hart recalled working with Kaufman and Lawler during the golden age of wrestling and revealed several stories about the duo. He introduced Andy Kaufman's family, who came out and spoke about the latter's love for professional wrestling and noted how happy he would have been to be going into the Hall of Fame if he was alive today.
This year's Hall of Fame also saw Stacy Keibler, The Great Muta, and Rey Mysterio get inducted. The late great referee and producer Tim White was also honored at the ceremony with the Warrior Award.
What was your favorite moment from this year's Hall of Fame show? Let us know in the comments section below.