In Defense Of: Lex Luger
by, 08-30-2013 at 09:02 PM (8949 Views)
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.