He turned pro in 1970 and first won the Southern Title in 1974. He held the Southern title for 6 of the next 8 years. Feuded with Bill Dundee, Rocky Johnson, Paul Orndorff, and Tommy Rich. Has victories over Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Dory Funk, Jr., Terry Funk, Jack Brisco, and Harley Race. Missed all of 1980 when he was out of action with a broken leg, but made an incredible comeback in which he was undefeated for 6 months.
He is perhaps best known for his feud with comedian Andy Kaufman. Lawler felt he was belittling the sport by challenging females to wrestling matches. Lawler ended up in a match with Kaufman in Memphis in which he gave Kaufman two pile-drivers that sent him to the hospital for 3 days. He continued to wear the neck brace for months after. The most famous incident was on Late Night With David Letterman, when Lawler slapped Kaufman out of his chair. Kaufman then went into a frenzy, cursing at Lawler and trying to throw coffee on him.
Lawler also is no stranger to the air-waves. He has hosted his own radio show. He hosted his own TV show for years (The Jerry Lawler Show which aired every Sunday morning). He is also a successful commercial artist. He has his artwork displayed on commercial sites throughout the city of Memphis.
Lawler achieved his greatest title success on May 9, 1988, when he defeated Curt Henning for the AWA World title. He unified the world heavyweight title by beating World Class Champion Kerry Von Erich afterwards.
His career took a stunning new turn in August of 1992 when Brett Hart announced that he would defend the WWE World Title against Jeff Jerrett. That opened the door for Lawler's entrance to the WWE. He appeared in the WWE Royal Rumble and enraged WWE fans with his rulebreaker attitude. Brett Hart won the King of the Ring. Lawler then declared that he was the only true King of wrestling. He attacked Hart after his match and piledrove him on a set of steps prior to Hart's coronation. He then feuded with Brett and Owen Hart at both USWA and WWE venues. That was just the beginning. Since that time, the King has made life miserable for many WWE superstars. Currently Lawler is still announcing on Monday Night's Raw on TNT, and wrestling in Memphis' new wrestling organization called Memphis Championship Wrestling.