Lex Luger appeared on Interactive Wrestling Radio where he discussed such topics as his shocking appearance on the debut edition of WCW Monday Nitro, defeating Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, his brief stint in TNA Wrestling, his relationship with Sting, and the passing of Miss Elizabeth. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
On the release of his book: “So far, so good.” He had help writing the book and says that getting the right people to help him write the biography was why the release was pushed back a few times. He jokes that the delays were entirely on him but is thrilled to have it out now.
On Sting: “Still are best of friends…we talk all the time.” Luger says he was honored to speak for Sting during his TNA Hall of Fame induction and maintains a close friendship with Steve Borden to this very day. Sting also wrote the foreward to Luger’s autobiography which some, including James, say is worth the price of the book in and of itself as it is so well done.
On contacting WWE regarding possible use of pictures for the book: “I have a great relationship with them now.” Luger said that he could have gotten pictures from them for his book if he had asked, but the publishers opted to have personal pictures used instead. He feels it was the right move as the personal pictures make it a more personal feel rather than a career retrospective.
On his relationship with Vince McMahon: “I know he wants to come off as “Bad Boy Billionare” but he’s not,” said Luger. Luger elaborates saying that when he was down and out after wrestling with all the problems he faced, Vince always went out of his way to check in on him and offer help. He feels not enough people realize that Vince is a genuinely good person on top of business man. But, he says that is probably by Vince’s own design.
Comparing the WWF from the NWA/WCW he previously knew: “Vince is a creative genius,” says Luger. He puts over the great things he did in the NWA like being a member of the Horsemen but he loved the Narcissist character and felt it could have gone further. When he was approached about the “Yankee Doodle Dandy” patriotic gimmick later dubbed the “American Rebel” by Stan Lane on commentary, Luger says he remembers speaking to Vince about it and not being sure if it would work. Vince said, “When you step off that boat, you’re going to be a red, white, and blue hero.” He says he was right and it was an amazing run.
On jumping to WCW for the first Nitro: “It was huge! To have worked a WWF house show the night before and the following night be on Nitro?”, says Luger. James mentions, as is touched upon in the book, it was the start of the contractual system that we know today where every name has a no compete clause and a set deal.
On beating Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the WCW Title: “I didn’t know until I got to the ring!”, Luger says. Luger says that Hogan felt the WCW fans needed a positive as the nWo had been getting the better of them for so long. He was honored that he felt strongly enough to choose him to be the guy to capture the belt. “It was only a week, but it was huge!” He then jokes about the after match celebration and the Giant (Big Show) carrying him around like a little baby. James says it felt special because they stuck with the celebration. They then joke about how long it took to scrub off the nWo paint.
On Miss Elizabeth: “I had a very negative influence on her at the time.” He felt that he needed to acknowledge all his mistakes in the book in order to make it a complete and honest account of his life. He approached Elizabeth’s passing with honesty and acknowledges the level of tragedy.
On his brief return to the ring in 2003 with TNA: “I was a mess back then,” Luger said. On the appearances (a tag match with Jarrett against Sting and AJ and an attack on AJ where he slammed him over the top through a table weeks later), Luger said he remembers that AJ Styles was an absolutely incredible athlete and an incredible guy as well. He says he’s glad to see TNA has a strong foundation but obviously is not yet in any position to compete with the WWE.
On his finding of Jesus Christ: “I was basically an Athiest,” said Luger. His journey to salvation began prior in 2006 while in jail. But, it was tested and made stronger in 2007 when he attended what we lovingly call the “Fiasco in Frisco” fan convention at the Cow palace. He suffered a muscle injury in his spine that made him paralyzed. He couldn’t move his arms or legs. “Could you imagine, a guy who worked out religiously not being able to move?”, says Luger. He says when he asked the doctor how long he’d be without the ability to move, he was told forever. Thankfully, that has not turned out to be the case. He can walk and drive now. He says he is grateful to have that kind of movement back and does not take it for granted.