Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lex Luger in 1993

Hey Scott,

I'm watching the RAWs from 1993 on the Network and wondering why the sudden change in character with Lex Luger at the Intrepid body slam thing? Strange that he changed from heel to face with no real explanation. 

That's all I got.

Thanks.

Because they were paying Luger a shit-ton of money for a character that was belly-flopping like Rikishi in a wading pool, and they figured that with Hogan gone they would kill two birds with one stone and get their American hero and return on investment with Luger.  And honestly, if they hadn't fucked it up with the Summerslam delay of the payoff, it would have worked fine.  

53 comments:

  1. Just to add as well, I was reading the WON that covered it, and Dave said that it was a huge gamble and everyone knew it would either pay off gigantic or crash and burn completely. Which is exactly what happened after Summerslam.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It would not have worked fine. That USA character was a no-go in 1993. Luger as a top face had potential, but Luger as a flag-waving, baby-kissing patriot was terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Summerslam thing was weird, but it *COULD* have been salvaged had he won at Wrestlemania. But when he failed there too, it was officially OVAH.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, but he was getting over and showed signs of drawing in the role with the bus tour and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Am I the only one who loved the Narcissist gimmick? I thought Luger was fantastic in that role and WWF as usual had to overreact and pull the plug on the gimmick prematurely. The Narcissist debuted at Rumble 1993 and only lasted until July; had it been given another few months it could've really taken off.


    By the way, Luger's entrance at WM9 is still, as Ahnold would say, my absolute favorite entrance of all times.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yep, I found him great too. We always say that the best characters are when they are themslves turned at an "11", that was exactly the case there. Plus he was billed as undefeated, Luger was a great natural heel, and Crush was 100x better as a face, so... They turned Luger face and Crush heel... Fail...

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Love-Matic Grampa!March 25, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    It felt like a midcard gimmick from the start, and I'm guessing they were paying Luger main event money. That's a nice character for some guy whose ceiling is the IC belt, but not necessarily for a headliner.


    I think he'd have been fine as "kill a commie for Mommy" Lex rather than Hogan II. Let the fans warm to him organically rather than shove him everyone's collective throats.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really? He beat Perfect at Wm 9, was doing a main event house show loop with Bret, and took the undefeated Tatanka to a time limit draw at the first KOTR. He was pushed as a main eventer all the way.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Love-Matic Grampa!March 25, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    I never said they didn't push him as a top guy, only that the actual gimmick felt like a mid card special.

    ReplyDelete
  10. They were paying Luger a ton of money as a heel so they turn him face. Then they spend even more money to get him over with the bus and all and it still didn't work. One would think they would just give him the title to justify it all.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Someone billed as beyond perfect with the best build in the business is a mid card special? I guess we'll agree to strongly disagree!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Did the WON or anyone ever explain why they went from Narcissus to Narcissist?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Chris Masters?

    ReplyDelete
  14. No, I liked it too. Didn't really seem like a WWF champion level gimmick though.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Love-Matic Grampa!March 25, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    It's one thing to be called The Narcissist and it's another to walk around with mirrors that shoot off fireworks.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The Narcissist gimmick was fine. Sure as he'll better than ultra patriot Luger. And let's say they made him the top heel champ instead of Yoko for the same or around the same time period, would he really have drawn worse?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lugar didn't need the smoke and mirrors beyond the initial push. Once he became established he could've dropped those props and and just focus on his promos as the ultimate alpha male and through his in-ring work.


    Lugar could have definitely worked as a top heel against a babyface Bret. That would've been great as the main event of Summerslam 93 instead of the giant steaming pile of turd that we got.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Was the Narcissist gimmick bombing? Aside from the Hennig feud I don't recall them really trying anything with him. He knocked some fuckers out on Superstars, as a kid I was impressed and concerned because of that.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I feel the exact same way as you about Crush. He was awesome as a face and the kids loved him. A face Crush vs a heel Yokozuna could've had a really good extended feud but for some stupid reason Vince decided to feed Crush to Doink at WM9 and destroy whatever credibility he had.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Love-Matic Grampa!March 25, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    That's the thing, Luger wasn't some fresh-faced greenhorn when he came to the WWF and had a fairly established rep and character. Just call him the Narcissist and let his own natural arrogance carry him along. Save the rest of that jazz for a newly minted midcard act that needs the help.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I remember Heenan originally announcing him as Narcissus. Did he do it more than once? He could have just screwed up.


    Or they were going to call him Narcissus instead of Lex Luger and realized it would be stupid not to acknowledge he was Lex Luger.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've never heard a good reason why Luger wasn't given the title at Summerlsam except for hints that perhaps he was unreliable.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I need to rewatch the first couple Raws before the 1993 rumble...I could swear I heard Okerlund call him that in one of his PPV plug segments. But they did seem to be avoiding the Luger name until he finally debuted in person.

    ReplyDelete
  24. House shows were a much bigger deal back then, and it was him vs Bret as he claimed that his cheap shot at WM 9 cost Bret the title.

    ReplyDelete
  25. They probably over-estimated Luger's ability to maintain his popularity and wanted to have the big Wrestlemania X MSG moment with the guy with the hot bod winning the title.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yep, and on top of that, he turned heel just to job to Savage and Luger and... just about everyone else. I don't get it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yeah, but this is Vince we're talking about, so he had to put his own spin on him. The mirrors, the music and the robes were cheesy.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I didn't think it was cheesy at all, I thought it was all awesome. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I emailed Scott about it months ago, but I always wondered why they didn't do more with Crush. He was really popular as Kona Crush...then they turned him heel. Okay, as a heel he looked pretty badass. But he never beat anyone. He was big, he was there since 1990, he was big, he was well liked backstage, he was big....just odd they never did much with him.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Still Don't understand him not winning the title at SummerSlam and how fucking stupid the ending was all together.

    Could you imagine them closing WM30 with Bryan on the shoulders of a bunch of faces with balloons falling, celebrating a countout win with no title.

    So damn stupid

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think Lex adressed it on his WWF 1993 timeline. He was indeed Narcissus or something at a point

    ReplyDelete
  32. Richard HumphreysMarch 25, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    When will we get some WBF Bodystars episodes?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Same with Adam Bomb really. They had a thin roster, and they had 2 huge, agile and charismatic guys on the roster... and did basically nothing with them, both as heels and faces. Very strange.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I mean, I found it cheesy personally, but I don't know if it was really holding him back. As a kid I bought into him as potential WWF Champion for sure. I knew he was something of a big deal from WCW, plus nobody had a body like that and he could knock people out.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Were they drawing? I remember the cheap shot and a WWF magazine article hyping their feud but don't recall anything more making tv about it.

    ReplyDelete
  36. It was so random. I only watched WWF at the time so to see primadonna Luger suddenly go full face seemed so odd, as did the bus and "Who is Lex Luger?" segments. An awfully executed turn, to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  37. It's like Adam Bomb and Crush were destined to team up. Maybe they would have gotten over if they had done so in the WWE when they really needed some credible teams.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Those "Who is Lex Luger?" segments were unintentionally hilarious, especially the one where they interviewed Lex's BUS DRIVER of all people. It was funny because he couldn't come up with anything good to say about Luger other than that he was a nice guy and that the kids love him.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Random TJ: Anybody older than me remember this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZanYTKxRMA

    It's Undertaker appearing on some local Boston sports show, in character, promoting the first WWF show in the Fleet Center and speaking with call-in viewers. Really bizarre.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Probably a trademark issue. You can trademark "The Narcissist" but probably not "Narcissus" because it's a mythological name.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Did WCW own the the name "Total Package"? Why didn't Vince debut him as the Total Package Lex Luger?

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think Yoko vs. Undertaker drew pretty well on house shows, probably better than anything involving Luger during his heel run.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The same reason why he's nearly never done that for incoming wrestlers for the past 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Right. Fair point.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Nike is a mythological goddess from (Greek) history. I wonder if that's been trademarked?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Damn you. It's like you're tempting them with that idea.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Ironically no "Perfect" or "better than perfect" gimmicks ever became main events.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Maybe have an awesome match with Taker and Kane years down the road...


    ...nah, that would never happen.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I don't care what anyone says, I loved convict Crush as a member of the Nation.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Lex as a top babyface was finished the moment fans voted for Bret over him as Superstar of the Year.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Fair enough but heel Luger was never given a program with Taker to compare though.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Bret vs Luger was the total dream match for wrestlemania x. I remember being shocked as a kid that's not what ended up happening.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Never saw this, but it's so awesome. What was the deal with those glove closeup shots?? LOL

    ReplyDelete