On a weekly basis I have been going through my list of favorite wrestlers in chronological order. Last week I explained why and how Brian Pillman became my first favorite wrestler. The next wrestler to become a favorite of mine was “The Total Package” Lex Luger!
Luger was called the “total package” because he was strong, quick, technically sound and had a great look. A physique that was like no one else at the time. He was 275 pounds and at one time only had five percent body fat. All that aside the thing that I liked most about Lex Luger… his entrance music. That’s it, that’s the thing that made me want to see Lex Luger every week. With Pillman it was his in ring style, Luger, his music. Now I won’t say that’s the only thing. Luger was a big man and when I started really liking Luger he was the United States champion. He was a good guy and I really liked his ring attire. It was very basic plain blue trunks, black knee pads and white boots. I often wondered why people liked Hulk Hogan when there was Lex Luger? Luger was a better looking wrestler, had better moves and in my opinion better music. At the time, Sting was probably the most popular wrestler in WCW, but Luger was a close second. After a year or so run with the U.S. title, he turned heel enlisted Harley Race as his manager and went on to become World Heavyweight Champion. Unlike Pillman, when Luger turned heel I had a hard time liking him. He was a great heel. He changed his finisher from the torture rack to the pile driver. And with Harley Race, just very un like-able. He wasn’t cool like Pillman was with the Hollywood Blondes, he was just a jerk. Which is what a heel is supposed to be. Luger had a good run as World heavyweight champion before losing it.
In early 1993 Luger left WCW and we saw him on WWF television, debuting as “The Narcissist” Lex Luger. Another heel who carried mirrors with him so that he could admire himself at any moment. It worked for him. He still looked great, but had an unusual finisher. It was a running forearm or elbow shot?? The story was Luger had a metal plate in his arm that he hid from officials and used it “illegally” to win matches. It was later discovered and he was banned from using it, but being the great heel he was, would use it unbeknownst to the referees and pick up many victories.
Later that summer Luger dropped the narcissist gimmick and became a fan favorite, when he was able to body slam the over five hundred pound Yokozuna. It was held at a military base and Yokozuna playing a heel foreigner, challenged multiple American wrestlers to body slam him. Several had tried and when it looked as if no one could do it, here comes Luger in a helicopter wearing the red, white and blue! He jumped in the ring and the crowd was going crazy. He was able to lift Yokozuna and body slam him! Thus, Luger was immediately one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWF. Luger went onto feud with both Yokozuna and Bret Hart for about a year. Unfortunately Luger never was able to capture the WWF title. He hung around WWF for a little while longer when he made a very surprising return to WCW.
On the very first Monday Nitro, Lex Luger made his return to WCW. He sent the crowd into a frenzy and really got the Monday night wars started. Luger spent the next several years with WCW capturing more championships and switching back and forth as a heel/face. He honestly was under used in WCW and never really made much of an impact in my opinion. He would join NWO or NWO Wolfpack, then leave the factions. It was confusing as to whether he was a face or heel for much of those years. Honestly, once Monday Night Raw took off I quit following his career.
After WCW was purchased in 2001, you rarely heard good things about Luger. Trouble with drugs, alcohol and even the death of Miss Elizabeth in 2003 had people wondering if Luger was responsible. Luger has had many health problems since the end of his wrestling career. Now a shell of the man he was 25-30 years ago due to the health issues, he hasn’t let it get him down. He is now a born again Christian, and doing great thing for the Lord. Using his addictions as a testimony to help others who are now struggling.
Entrance music, as crazy as that sounds, it was entrance music that wanted me to start rooting for Lex Luger. I would encourage anyone to go to the WWE network and check out Luger in WCW circa 1990. He was great to watch, he received great reactions and his music was awesome! Next week I will talk about the wrestler that is third on my list. Also the first WWF wrestler to make the list.
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