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THE_CRIPPLER

In Defense Of: Lex Luger

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My last "In Defense Of" Blog involving Sid was very well received and I seen that alot of people feel the same about Sid as I do. So Today I'm gonna concentrate on a much more controversial figure in prowrestling and that is "The Total American Narcissist Package" Lex Luger.... Every wrestler not named Sting has nothing but bad things to say about Lex Luger when his subject comes up. Most fans have labeled him a Choke artist, A terrible in ring worker and someone who got by on their look without having any talent but lets look further in to the Total Package and review his career and see if your opinion changes about him.

Lets look at Lex's Work rate as a in ring performer...Lex Luger before his motor cycle Accident was actually a pretty good to great worker depending on who he was in the ring with. Look at Lex Luger's resume, Despite being green in the ring Lex was able to have a series of matches with Ric flair that ranged from Good to classics. Lex's matches with Ric were in my eyes just as good as Sting and Ric Flair's matches. Lex also had some great matches against and along side of Sting, Who could forget Sting and Luger's incredible match vs the Steiner Brothers or the other great tag bouts Luger had as a member of the Four Horsemen or against the Four Horsemen. A few months ago I was watching The Best of Clash of Champions DVD and the 2nd match on the DVD was a tag match containing Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard vs Barry Windham and Lex Luger and even though my first time viewing this match was 25 years after it happened it still holds up today as a Excellent tag team match. If you haven't seen the match I urge you to see it, Great pacing, Hot Crowd and very well put together, Just a great hidden gem that doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Luger also had some great singles matches while US champion, Stellar matches with Brian Pillman and also with the Great Ricky Steamboat .... My point here is Lex Luger with very little experience in the Wrestling business was able to hold his own with some of the great workers of that era..... Luger learned alot from being around the Horsemen, Like on how to work and how to work around his limitations. Luger was around alot of great minds in wrestling and likely learned alot from them.

Lex Luger was able to have great matches with alot of different type of performers with different styles such as Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Brian Pillman, Michael P.S. Hayes and so on, Just so many different styles Luger was able to adapt to and have a good match with. Luger was also a Great tag team performer and in my opinion was just as good in tag as he was in singles matches. If Luger was a terrible worker like everyone claims he was or If Luger just got carried in his matches then would Luger be able to have so many great matches with the variety of opponents all threw the 80's and early 90's? ABSOLUTELY NOT. You would have to be a Very good wrestler and a great athlete to pull that off.

Lex Luger is considered a failure by alot of people cause he didn't live up to expectations. Luger didn't live up to the expectations NWA/WCW had for him and he failed to Live up to the expectations Vince McMahon had for him in WWF. All these statements are true but does anyone know what the expectations of The Total Package was?. Lex Luger was brought in the NWA and JCP (Jim Crocett Promotions) with expection to be the the NWA's answer to Hulk Hogan, As a matter of fact NWA expected Luger to surpass Hulk Hogan and make the NWA the number 1 promotion in America. Then When he didnt do what NWA expected him to do and didn't live up to the expectations NWA had for him all the wrestlers and smart fans considered his run as a failure. Then when Luger went to the WWF Vince McMahon had a vision for Luger and what do you think that vision was? Yup that's Right, The Next Hulk Hogan. So Luger was stuck with a Hulk Hogan All American gimmick that didn't suit him very well and was booked in a lack luster feud with Yokozuna.... Lex Luger because of his look had unrealistic expectation expected of him that was impossible to be reached. Lex Luger was expected to save every promotion he stepped foot in and Lex Luger just wasnt the guy for the job but Just Cause Lex Luger wasn't the "Next Hulk Hogan" does that mean his career was a failure? or he was Untalented?. Just because Oasis or Radio Head wasn't as big as the Beatles does that mean their career were failures.... Lex Luger was pushed to far and wasn't able to grow as a performer in to his own character. I think the promotions Luger was in sabotaged him more than helped him.

in Closing, Lex Luger should be remembered for what he was, a great upper Mid card talent and a Good main eventer. Luger was never "The Best" or "The Greatest" or "The Guy" in any promotion he was in but Luger was a good main eventer and a entertaining talent to watch whether he was challenging or defending a world title or a mid card title. Lugers WWF career was a disaster cause of injuries and horrible gimmicks but Lex's NWA/WCW career was incredible. Luger was always one of the top 5 guys in WCW at his worst, If you look at WCW's greatest or most defining moments Luger would be in most those moments for sure. I think if you look at Lex Lugers career for what it was and not look at what was expected of him you would see Lex Luger had a long great career in wrestling with some memorable and iconic feuds and moments and some great matches.

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Updated 08-30-2013 at 09:15 PM by THE_CRIPPLER

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  1. Rebel Lion's Avatar
    I agree with your entire blog. I know he catches a lot of heat for what happened to Miss Elizabeth but that is not a factor when I take his in-ring career into consideration. Hell, the guy was an integral past of the best storyline of all time: the creation of the N.W.O. As a kid in the 80's I remember Luger was extra-over with the fans, including myself. His legacy, while not "Legendary", is still underrated.
  2. tommytopographic's Avatar
    I really liked Luger, he had a great look, was charismatic, a decent talker and while not a great wrestler, certainly a solid wrestler who could put on an exciting match with the right opponent.
    Just watch his title win over Hogan on Nitro in 1997, the crowd go NUTS!
  3. THE_CRIPPLER's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel Lion
    I agree with your entire blog. I know he catches a lot of heat for what happened to Miss Elizabeth but that is not a factor when I take his in-ring career into consideration. Hell, the guy was an integral past of the best storyline of all time: the creation of the N.W.O. As a kid in the 80's I remember Luger was extra-over with the fans, including myself. His legacy, while not "Legendary", is still underrated.

    The way I see it is Elizabeth is a adult and she should be responsible for her actions. Its a sad thing what happened to Liz but Lex Luger shouldn't be blamed for it. Lex loved Liz and he tried the best he can to keep her breathing, After Liz died Lexs life went in a downward spiral and he feels enough guilt without wrestling fans throwing it down his throat. Lex isn't a saint by any means but he is not a murder.

    I agree with your comments completely. Every big storyline in WCW and NWA Luger was right in the middle of it. I think Luger had a great career myself, While I was never a huge Luger fan I enjoyed alot of the things he did and in retrospect he accomplished so much in his career.
  4. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    Luger was one of my favorite wrestlers in WCW during the Monday Night Wars. I was very excited and happy to see him beat Hogan for the WCW title back in the day on TV. I certainly believe he should be in the HOF at some point, but I figure the Miss Elizabeth things has hurt his rep. Hard to tell if he will get inducted in the hall. The Total Package is one of the best nicknames in my eyes. Yes, he wasn't good on the mic or have as successful career as many projected. He did however have a very good one. I bet several wrestlers would love to have said they accomplished what he did in the wrestling business.
  5. The Phantom Menace's Avatar
    Question, how could anyone have a bad match with any member of the original of the Four Horsemen? Luger wasn't the greatest worker ever but he could never be dubbed the worst either. He learned his craft at the feet of true masters of the art of wrestling. None of us were there when Elizabeth passed away so I won't speak on it but Lex's career deserves to be recognized.
  6. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tommytopographic
    Just watch his title win over Hogan on Nitro in 1997, the crowd go NUTS!
    One of the most exciting moments in wrestling history. Everyone sold that perfectly, from Tony Shiavani's call, to the ref's reaction when Hogan gave up. Plus, one of the loudest pops I've ever heard. I still youtube that video on days when I get sad about how poor wrestling is today compared to then.
  7. tommytopographic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DK Wrestling Savior
    One of the most exciting moments in wrestling history. Everyone sold that perfectly, from Tony Shiavani's call, to the ref's reaction when Hogan gave up. Plus, one of the loudest pops I've ever heard. I still youtube that video on days when I get sad about how poor wrestling is today compared to then.
    Plus his theme tune back then remains one of my all time faves, a cracking tune. It being WCW, im sure it was ripped off some chart song somewhere!
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