Thursday, February 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Lex Takes a Leap

Luger vs. Sting
SuperBrawl II
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Strolling down Memory Lane this week and we head back to February 29, 1992.  Leap Day, and "The Total Package" Lex Luger was WCW champion.  He defended the title that night against on-again-off-again friend Sting.  It was WCW's second annual SuperBrawl pay per view.

Sting ended up pinning his former partner and winning the gold belt.  The torch had once again been passed to Sting, setting him up to become WCW's true franchise and poster child.  Luger, little did most fans know (this was before the Internet), was leaving the company.  But instead of signing to wrestle for Vince McMahon's WWF, Luger inked a deal to become a part of McMahon's newly created World Bodybuilding Federation.

It was a bizarre move.  I remember hearing about Luger's departure and his signing with McMahon.  I can't remember all the details specifically, but at some point, Lex was hurt in a motorcycle accident and effectively couldn't compete in the WBF.  By the time he healed, I think the WBF had already gone belly up.

The Narcissist
Wrestlemania 9
Photo courtesy: WWE
Without a place to pose down, Luger was introduced nearly a year after leaving WCW at the 1993 Royal Rumble.  Bobby Heenan presented "The Narcissist" to the world.  The gimmick fit Luger to a tee in my opinion.  He played the arrogant heel flexing his biceps and staring at himself in the mirror.  A harem of beautiful women followed him to the ring holding mirrors for Lex to flex to and adore himself.

We all know how this story ends, Luger ended up becoming an All-American patriot after body slamming the 600 pound WWF champion Yokozuna on July 4, 1993.  After a failed bid at the championship and floundering in the tag team ranks, Luger headed back to his home of WCW in 1995.

While he's been panned by critics, I've never had a problem with Luger's work inside the ring.  He's had personal issues through the years and seems to now be clean and sober and working hard to put his past behind him.   I had the pleasure of interviewing Lex and Nikita Koloff in 2011.  They both seemed genuine and sincere.

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