As one of WWE's most impressive physical specimens ever, Lex Luger was one of the biggest stars of the 1980's and 90's. Dubbed 'The Total Package', you could tell he was a star with just one look.
Be it in the Florida territory, the NWA/WCW or WWE, he was always at or near the top of the card. He was among names like Sting, the Steiners and (of course) Ric Flair, who were known for years as the pillars of World Championship Wrestling.
And while his time in WWE didn't go quite as well as everyone thought it would, he still had some great moments in the promotion. Unfortunately, he never won the World Championship there, but his tenure was by no means a failure.
Here are five reasons why Lex Luger belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame.
#5 - His relationship with WWE has healed
The belief by many is that Luger would have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame if he hadn't been blackballed by WWE. Especially Vince McMahon.
This seems especially true considering that several 'WCW mainstays' have been enshrined regardless of their achievements in WWE. Diamond Dallas Page, for example.
Despite that, the company has avoided him for a number of reasons. His surprise departure, only to pop up on the first-ever Monday Nitro, made McMahon furious. Throwing in his multiple arrests and personal problems? He was considered far too poisonous an apple to take a bite of.
Now, having turned his life around, he's worked with WWE, and the relationship seems to be going well. This will hopefully help open the door for him to receive the promotion's highest honor.
#4 - Lex Luger wasn't as bad an in-ring performer as many people believe
Luger had the look of the typical 80's wrestler: Chiseled from granite and looking like he could bench press a Buick. Unfortunately, that same crop of talent also had a reputation more for being 'muscleheads' than mat mechanics.
Luger has fallen into this category as well. And there's no doubt that he wasn't a pure artist in the ring. He has a number of botches under his belt.
But it wasn't Luger's job to be a great wrestler. It was to be a great character, and he was. Much like his contemporaries, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, he relied more on showmanship and storytelling.
Luger did enough in the ring to get the job done. And because of his larger-than-life status? That was good enough, especially for the era that his career spans.
#3 - His resume is golden
For his entire career, Luger always seemed to be wearing a belt around his waist. He captured the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions and is arguably the greatest United States titleholder in the franchise's history. He held every major championship in the company during his tenure there.
While he never found that same type of success in WWE, it was long rumored that he was supposed to win the title from Yokozuna. Those plans inevitably changed, and Bret Hart was chosen for that spot instead. Luger would return to WCW in 1995 without having grabbed Vince McMahon's elusive brass ring.
#2 - Lex Luger was involved in two of the biggest moments of the 1990s
As mentioned, many critics can take shots at Luger's technical ability. But being able to find the spotlight has never been a weakness for him. He certainly did that twice during the red-hot 90's. He also happened to do so for two different promotions.
First? In WWE, he traveled to the U.S.S. Intrepid to meet Yokozuna for his Body Slam challenge. Looking back on it today, modern fans may think the whole thing looks a little bit hokey. But in 1994, when the All-American slammed the big man, it was like the earth shook.
In the summer of 1997, The Total Package crossed paths with destiny again. This time, it would be in front of a massive TV audience on Monday Nitro, when he defeated the villainous Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Championship. It came when the promotion had the attention of the wrestling world, and Luger came through like the prime-time player he was.
Those moments are indelibly burned into the memories of those who saw them, and Lex Luger was a part of both.
#1 - He was one of the biggest names of his era
Say what you want, but when you list off the biggest stars over his two prime decades, Luger is right there with them. There's no denying his legitimate star power and presence.
He's been part of some of the biggest angles and factions of all time like The Four Horsemen and the nWo, and had a major impact on each of them. He was a championship contender right out of the gate and eventually became a poster boy for both major global promotions.
Luger has made much more of an impact in sports entertainment than many of the names that are already there. It's not even debatable.
And isn't that what the WWE Hall of Fame is about anyway? Honoring those that became the biggest stars in the professional wrestling industry? Because if that's the case, then you have to include Lex Luger's name on that very special list.
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