Batman’s 1976 Pro Wrestling Encounter With Jerry “The Super-King” Lawler Is Amazing (and Slightly Drunk)
If there’s one thing I know about Batman, it’s that he will travel any distance to take on the forces of evil. That was definitely the case in 1976, when his never-ending battle against crime — and an appearance at a nearby car show — brought him to Memphis and an encounter with local villain and professional wrestling icon Jerry “The King” Lawler, who was sporting a full-on Superman costume, complete with cape.
Fortunately, their encounter — featuring Adam West in the role of the Caped, er, Tracksuited Crusader — was captured on video, and it is quite possibly the greatest thing I have ever seen. Admittedly, I’m a guy who has both “Batman” and “Pro Wrestling” right at the top of my list of favorite things, but right around the time Batman starts talking about his pals “Supe” and “Spidey-Baby,” I think you’re going to agree. Check out the whole video, and our list of the ten most amazing things about it!
Now let’s see if we can’t break down what’s so truly magical about this encounter:
#1: Adam West is clearly inebriated. And judging by the fact that he mentions that Lawler was wrestling “this morning” (and the show’s traditional 11 AM time-slot), I’m pretty sure that means that he straight up kicked off his day with a few of Alfred’s traditional breakfast cocktails.
#2: Batman is meant to be traveling incognito. And by that, I mean that he’s cold wearing a velour tracksuit, plus his mask and gloves. You want to see the whole suit? Pay your two bucks to get into the Memphis Auto Show, son.
#3: Mr. Freeze and the Penguin have teamed up to cause an unseasonably cold winter in Tennessee. That might seem ridiculous, but let’s be real here, folks: This whole “Gotham City” thing was clearly not working out for them. It only makes sense that they’d give it a go somewhere else, but true to form, they didn’t consider that their evil crime would coincide with a car show. The fatal flaw that brings down their house of cards.
#4: They Have a “Hook Up” With Jerry Lawler, the Evil King of Memphis. I have been watching professional wrestling for my entire life, and never have I seen a heel so evil that he would team up with actual super-villains in order to secure a victory in the ring. At long last, Jerry Lawler, have you no decency?!
#5. Jerry Lawler? Full Superman costume. Adam West? Tracksuit plus cowl. No wonder he seems a little grumpy that the short-tied interviewer is asking him what’s up with his outfit.
#6. “I’ve heard about your box.” I have not actually been able to verify this, but apparently, the box contained Frankenstein. No joke.
#7. Batman’s Pal, Soup. See #1 above.
#8. Batman’s other pal, Spidey-Baby. If we get nothing else from the DC Reboot, I want Batman to start talking about this. And maybe explain why Spider-Man would give a crap about any of this.
#9. Batman’s Endorsement of Turn-Signals. Who knew that was all it took to be a good person?
#10. Bat-Fans or Rednecks? Guys, as someone who worked in a comic book store in South Carolina for six years, I can assure you that it is possible to be both.
Unfortunately, it’s unknown at this time whether or not Batman and the Super-King actually did settle their differences at the car show down at the convention center, but if anyone at DC editorial would like to provide an answer in one of their upcoming Batman titles — maybe one that focused exclusively on Batman’s career as a pro wrestler in the ’70s and ’80s — I would like to point out that I’m definitely available to write it.