Who is Lex Luger? Well, if you’re in your mid-to-late 20s, and you’re a wrestling fan at all, then you certainly remember the “Total Package” Lex Luger. Larry Pfohl originally started as a football star, playing college at the University of Miami, and then went on to sign with the Green Bay Packers, although he never played a game because of a groin injury. This is all stuff you can read on his Wikipedia page, right? Lets just get to what you’re reading this article for: his wrasslin’ career.
Larry got his name “Lex Luger” from the Superman comic book villain Lex Luthor. Pretty awesome wrestling name. So he’s got the wrestling name, the physique, and was trained by Hiro Matsuda, who trained Hulk Hogan and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. Off to a pretty awesome start, I’d say. So what happened? Why wasn’t this guy a huge star? Well, he was, in my opinion.
Lex started with Jim Crockett Promotions and became a star in the NWA. He got his nickname “The Total Package” during this time and found himself a good finisher with The Torture Rack. This era is when I found Lex to be the most impressive. Just go back and watch some of his matches and promos around this time. Very good stuff. Luger was a part of the legendary Four Horsemen until he separated from them and started a tag team with his new ally, Barry Windham. Windham was quoted as saying Luger was very rough to work with in the ring. Luger would improve over time though, winning the NWA/WCW Heavyweight Championship from Barry Windham in 1991.
In 1993, Luger joined the WWF and joined Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as “The Narcissist.” His heel run would be short lived as Luger would take Hogan’s role as Vince McMahon’s golden boy. Luger was his new star, traveling around the US in his Lex Express Tour bus. He even had a theme song. Luger was the man!!! Who could forget him bodyslamming Yokozuna on the deck of the USS Intrepid? Classic.
Luger really didn’t last very long in the WWE before he jumped ship and walked in on the first ever WCW Monday Nitro, thus starting his last run in WCW. Luger would join the NWO Wolfpac and play a key role in that faction until he was sidelined with a biceps injury. In 2007, Lex would suffer a spinal stroke but would make a successful recovery.
Lex Luger is now a born-again Christian and recently published a book titled Wrestling with the Devil: The True Story of a World Champion Professional Wrestler – His Reign, Ruin, and Redemption. My thoughts on Lex Luger’s career are this: no, he wasn’t as big of a star as he could have been, and he could have been way better, but when Lex Luger was good, he was very good. For example, his match against Hulk Hogan on Monday Nitro in 1997, defeating Hogan and becoming WCW Heavyweight Champion, was awesome.
I will always be a Lex Luger fan and the guy gave his all in every run he had and drew money. Hall of Famer? First ballot in my opinion.