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Opinion: Why Lex Luger deserves to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

Paul Benson
ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

Lex Luger: Former two time World Champion
Lex Luger: Former two time World Champion

It was Independence Day 1993 when Lex Luger flew onto the USS Intrepid to answer an open challenge from then-WWE Champion, Yokozuna.

The dastardly Anti-American, Yokozuna had defeated a long line of WWE wrestlers in a Bodyslam Challenge. However, Luger was another matter. The former Narcissist turned babyface successfully slammed 'Zuna to kick off a near two month Lex Express tour of the States, wherein the former WCW World Champion garnered incredible support to knock off 'Zuna for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam 1993.

However, it was not to be. In a truly bizarre piece of booking, Luger did win, but only by count-out which meant the mighty 'Zuna retained the WWE Title.

Luger came up short when it counted and no amount of wins following SummerSlam saw him regain the level of fan support he had prior to the super card.

By the time the Royal Rumble rolled around five months later, Luger's supporters had deserted him and flocked to Bret Hart instead.

The Lex Express crashed and burned at Summerslam 1993
The Lex Express crashed and burned at Summerslam 1993

Luger's WWE run between 1992-95 may have been a flop, but his tenures in WCW before and afterward were much more successful and are definitely Hall of Fame worthy.

Two years after his pro debut, Luger began working for WCW forerunner, Jim Crockett Promotions in Spring 1987 and was soon brought into the legendary stable, The Four Horsemen. Quickly ascending the ranks, Luger soon won the United States Championship from Nikita Koloff and became a Tag Team Champion with Barry Windham after he left the Horseman and defeated the super group's Tag Champs, Arn Anderson, and Tully Blanchard the following year.

Luger's attentions soon focused on Horseman leader, Ric Flair and he challenged the World Champion in the stunning Starrcade 1988 headliner. He didn't win the title but became a bonafide star following his performance.

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He won the United States belt again at the next pay per view event, Chi-Town Rumble in February 1989 and defended that strap throughout the year, often in dynamic encounters. Most famously he contested a classic match with Brian Pillman at Halloween Havoc in October that year.

His world title challenge versus Flair at WrestleWar 1990 was another storming performance from both and an instant classic.

Although he was again unsuccessful in his quest for the gold, his big moment finally occurred at The Great American Bash 1991, when he defeated Barry Windham to win his first World Championship.

He successfully defended the title against a range of foes such as Ron Simmons and Masahiro Chono before he dropped the belt to longtime friend/foe Sting at SuperBrawl 1992.

That led Luger to Vince McMahon's WBF, then WWE where his disappointing run began later that year.

His WCW return in 1995 began with a bang when he showed up at the inaugural Monday Nitro that September, having competed on a WWE show the previous night.

Luger's appearance shocked the world and led to a title bout versus Hulk Hogan soon afterward.

The following summer, Luger would find himself an integral part of one of the biggest wrestling angles of all time. Teaming with Sting and Macho Man Randy Savage, Luger competed against the Outsiders team of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. When their mystery partner, Hogan made himself known, that squad became known as the New World Order.

Luger became one of the chief leaders of Team WCW as they fought off the invasion from the nWO interlopers. This led him to a second World title on the August 4, 1997 episode of Nitro when he defeated Hogan for the strap. However, his reign would last a mere six days as Hogan would regain the belt at Road Wild 1997.

Over the next few years, Luger would remain one of WCW's top headline acts, joining Nash's nWO Wolfpac. During this period he would win his fifth and final United States Title from Hart.

Luger remained with WCW until the company was bought out by WWE in March 2001.

He was one name that WWE showed no interest in hiring after the buyout and whilst Booker T and DDP were immediately brought into WWE after WCW's demise and other top stars such as Goldberg, Hogan, Hall and Nash and others would all resurface in WWE in 2002 and 2003, Luger never returned to the company as an in-ring performer.

Luger instead made sporadic appearances for Jeff Jarrett's TNA Wrestling, until his retirement in August 2006.

The 61-year-old Luger wrestled for two decades, the majority of which were spent in the main event. The former two time World Champion is deserving of a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Luger is currently on good terms with WWE, currently working for the company as a consultant on their Wellness Policy. Therefore, it is surprising that his induction has not occurred already. Perhaps it will in 2020.

Is Luger deserving of a place in the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments!

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