With Hulk Hogan leaving the World Wrestling Federation in the summer of 1993, Vince McMahon believed that he needed a new, younger version of the Hulkster.
Since arriving to the WWF in the spring of 1992 competing for the failed WBF (World Bodybuilding Federation), Luger became an active pro wrestler for the WWF beginning in 1993 with the gimmick of being a narcissist.
For the first six months Luger was one of the more entertaining heels the company had to offer. Luger was putting on solid matches with the likes of Mr. Perfect and Tatanka on the house show market and pay per views as well. There was even a tease of a feud between Luger and former WWF World Champion Bret Hart at a press conference for WrestleMania IX. They had a few matches on the house show market, as well.
Any kind of feud on television never came to be as on July 4th, Luger turned babyface and slammed WWF World Champion Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid. As a result, Luger ditched his narcissist gimmick and was all about the good ‘ol red white and blue.
In one of the more humorous moments in WWF history, Lex Luger defeated WWF World Champion Yokozuna at SummerSlam 1993 and there was a big celebration. That wouldn’t be so funny had he actually won the championship, but Luger had simply won by count-out.
The moment was damaging for Luger is some fans eyes, including myself. Why would there be such a huge celebration? The guy didn’t win anything!
Over the course of the next five months Luger would beg for a shot again at Yokozuna but wouldn’t get one unless he won the Royal Rumble. He would co-win the Rumble with Bret Hart and got a shot against Yokozuna. Thanks to a corrupt referee in Mr. Perfect, Luger got screwed over while Bret won the WWF World Championship for a second time.
The question I pose is what had Luger been the guy to win the WWF World Championship?
Having him win the championship at SummerSlam would have been too soon to have Yokozuna drop the belt since winning the belt back from Hogan in June. Had Hogan not won the championship at Mania from Yokozuna, a simple four month reign would have been suffice for a title change to occur at the biggest summer event.
The fact they waited nearly six months to push Luger towards the belt didn’t help and the fans always adored Bret Hart. Luger was destined to lose a fan favorite contest against the Hitman.
So, lets say Hogan doesn’t win the strap at Mania and simply fades away after Mania IX. Luger becomes the American hero and pins Yokozuna at SummerSlam 1993 to win the championship. Where does he go from there? Who beats him for the strap?
Following the win, I’d have Luger continue to defend against Yokozuna on the house shows. Ludvig Borga was being built up and would be fed to Luger as well. Heck, even an underrated heel like Crush would make for a great opponent against Luger towards the end of the year.
So, from September to December or early January, I’d have Luger focus his feuds against Yoko, Borga and Crush. They seem to be fairly talented guys and work well with Lex. Bret Hart would win the Rumble and get a title shot.
In the weeks leading up to Mania X, a tease of jealously from Luger would be apparent. While he is the champion, the fans cheer for Bret just a little more. After all, Luger is the guy who pinned the mighty Yokozuna while the Hitman lost to him. They would be subtle at first, but eventually Luger would turn on the fans citing the fans having turned their back on an American hero.
Lets face it, Luger has always been a better heel than he was a babyface. I wouldn’t be annoyed with the rather quick turn back to heel, since he is natural heel and it would make a more interesting story and blowoff at Mania.
With the gold around his waist, Luger would transition back into his narcissist ways. At Mania X, Bret would still wrestle Owen and go on to beat Lex Luger to win the WWF World Championship for a second time.
A simple feud and a seemingly effective way to make Luger interesting again instead of a cheap Hogan wannabe.
What would you have done if Luger was the champion? Let me know below!
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.