#LexLugerWeek: Difference of Opinion

It’s the Final Day of #LexLugerWeek, the 18th installment of our (patent-pending) Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week series. And this time, the Difference of Opinion is mostly about who’s more thankful it’s over. With jokes! 

Nick: Just let me finish this email right quick, I’m sending some information for next week’s podcast to our potential guest.

Dave: For sho. I am free for the next hour. By the way, mother fudge TNA. “Genesis Part 1” was basically just another episode of Impact hyping Genesis Part 2 next week. Which begs the question that was pissing me off yesterday, WHY DO A “TWO WEEK SPECIAL?!” Just have an episode of impact, then have actual ppv-style show.

Nick: I had a feeling, because the only match they advertised was ECIII vs. Sting.

Dave: Which literally just turned into an angle to set up Magnus-Sting next week. The only real decisive match was the Knockouts Title.

Nick: Wow, TNA really is the dribbling shits. Speaking of which, so is editing a podcast. I need to learn how to adjust the gain on the microphone. Also, not SHOUT all the time. And by “learn how to” I mean, actually pay attention to it and not just go “I’ll fix it in post-production!”.

Dave: Haha. You and your technical skills. My podcast would just be recorded on the audio note iPhone app, speaking into the mic attached to my headphones. So you win that one. I would say Siri was my cohost, but my iPhone is too old for that.

Nick: At least you have an iPhone, I can’t even download the WWE App on my Windows phone. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love my WP7.812, but how am I going to watch “The Very Best of Lex Luger” playlist on my phone without it?

Dave: Not a loss.

Nick: Are you sure? I mean, did you miss my GIF Parade? Those pec pops were impressive.

Dave: The thing with him and the poses is legitimately heelish — as in outside of kayfabe. It’s like his way of saying “See these? This is why I’m better than you even though I’m terrible.”

Nick: He’s also really the first guy, even more so than Ahmed, where it’s almost impossible to find anything good to say about him. That we’ve done as a Wrestler of the Week, I mean.

Dave: Yeah, Ahmed was way more fun because his terribleness was just a flash in the pan. Whereas Luger was pretty consistently pushed for almost 15 years. Looking back on his career just gets tedious.

Nick: He’s a two-time World’s Champion! And I think it’s tedious because he never seemed to improve. If anything, he declined significantly. For all we talk about Vince’s thing with muscled up dudes, even he wasn’t willing to give Luger the keys to the castle.

Dave: Yeah, Vince popped and then lost that boner really, really fast. After his return to WCW following his utter failure in the WWF, he was never any good.

Nick: And has there ever been a less apt nickname for a wrestler than “The Total Package”?

Dave: A better name would have been “The Shiny Wrapping Paper.” His run just embodied WCW. The guy was gassed out of his skull, out of his mind on drugs, couldn’t work, couldn’t talk… and got pushed.

Nick: It’s almost like he existed to prove how bad it could really get if you push guys based on looks alone. Because even guys like Batista, who is next week’s Wrestler of the Week, and, God bless him, Bobby Lashley, were MILES better than him in the ring.

Dave: Oh yeah. For a guy who was close enough to smell the NFL, he’s remarkably unathletic.

Nick: As one of our readers ( and Classical contributor) Tom Keiser on Facebook put it: “NFL Injured Reserve Legend, Larry Pfohl”.

Dave: Exactly. The sad thing is, he probably could have been a stiff, botchy mess like Ahmed and gotten over like crazy. But, as one of our commenters (I think it was “JT” Kasin, who’s an active professional wrestler with NYWC) put it, his work was so light that it killed his chance of getting over. Looked like Tarzan, fought like Jane, as they say.

Nick: Also, if he had ounce the charisma of AHMED JOHNSON, he would have been okay. When your most memorable promo is you a fight with a t-shirt, that’s not good.

Dave: You’re absolutely right. Rewatching the Narcissist debut, the Lex Express vignettes, and his reappearance at the first Nitro, I was struck by how awful he was at using his face, which I really think hurt his chance to make a connection with people. He had one facial expression, which was a combination of (1) smugness and (2) having just smelled a fart.

Nick: Which, is pretty much what anyone who ever had to sit through one of his matches looked like. Even the Flair stuff is almost exclusively Flair being Flair while Luger plays the role of, as you so eloquently put it “The Dyson of Fancy looking broomsticks.”

Dave: Absolutely. I think one of the interesting things that came out of doing #RicFlairWeek and then immediately #LexLugerWeek was it gave us (and our readers) two opportunities to see how great Ric Flair was. In some ways, though, having that feud with Flair so early in his career has made Luger look worse historically. Fans see those matches, then see where Luger’s career went, and think, “What the hell happened to him?!” When maybe they should just be thinking “Jesus, Ric Flair is great.”

Nick: It’s hard to put into words the distance between those two, but it also does make you wonder what would have happened if Flair hadn’t left and actually had the blowoff match with Luger at the Great American Bash.

Dave: Even if Flair had left but “done the right thing” for either Luger or Windham, I think it really would have changed the course of both guys’ careers.

Nick: If it was only to stop that INSANELY STUPID heel turn from happening, it would have been okay. That heel turn is one of the reasons — along with PN News being too fat to climb the turnbuckle but some how finding himself in a scaffold match– that the show is considered one of the worst of all time.

Dave: I tried to express this in Essential Viewing, but I don’t think people understand how bad that heel turn was. To those of us used to twenty-first century, post-Russo, post-Monday Night War booking, it seems like another heel turn. A *good* heel turn, even. But within the context of the changes that were happening in WCW and the character Luger had portrayed to that point, it was just awful. Where on earth were they going with a heel Luger?

Nick: It was almost like they were setting him up to fail, because Jim Herd didn’t know his ass from an elbow drop. Though, like we said, even guys who did know the difference didn’t want to touch him. But even that wasn’t entirely his fault. I mean, it was, because he chose to use steroids.

Dave: Well, the steroid issue is funny with him because it’s 100% what got Luger over, but he also appeared in WWF as Vince’s wet dream right when Vince needed to shove that stuff under the rug. So instead of being an actual top heel, he only got half-pushed, which led to his biggest match being against a babyface Mr. Perfect at Wrestlemania IX. And a babyface Mr. Perfect is no Mr. Perfect at all.

Nick: Then there was that greco-roman nerve hold masterpiece at WM X.

Dave: Right! His heel push blew up at WMIX and his babyface push blew up at Summerslam, then imploded at WMX.

Nick: Even with how terrible he was at so many things, though, I don’t begrudge Lex Luger his success at all.

Dave: No, me neither, really. In fact, I think we need guys like Luger to give us points of reference. Like, you brought up Batista. I can better appreciate Batista because I recognize how much better he is than Lex Luger.

Nick: Having said that, I’m pretty much good never watching another Lex Luger anything ever again.

Dave: Thank God for the fast forward button.

Nick: And that this week is over.