Rock Star Gary reflects on WCW Great American Bash ’91

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: July 14, 1991

Attendance:  7,000 (5,500 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

We’ve reached a turning point for WCW. How bad can it be? Read on!

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WCW Great American Bash ’91

Lex Luger heel turn in 1994?

I’ve been going through the Raw shows of 1994 and my question – did they ever consider having Luger turn heel & join the Million Dollar Man? It was obvious from the beginning he wasn’t, but wouldn’t it have been so much better for Luger, who was stuck in the mud as a face? He was like the #5 face by the end of the year, but could’ve been a main event heel & helped the DiBiase’s corporation feel more like a threat. Heel Tatanka was sad.

Take a drink.

And no, Luger was never planned to be a heel. Probably would have helped immensely, but it just wasn’t where they wanted to go with him.

More Luger Flair Goodness

Scott,

Just watched Halloween Havoc 89, on the network. The thing that stood out to the me most was how over Lex was as a heel, and how he could more than handle his end of a match as evidenced by the series of good matches he had throughout 89. I'd argue that this was his peak in the business. Why not have him go over Flair at Starrcade while Sting blows off his feud with Muta. They then could build toward Sting vs Luger and hold off on the Flair turn so that Sting has a credible challenger once he gets the strap as opposed to the Black Scorpion. Seems like this would make both guys in the process. Thoughts?

​I'm sure they would have loved that because they spent the better part of 1990 trying to get Flair to do a job to Luger, but Flair wanted to put Sting over, period.  It seemed like the right call at the time, but in hindsight I actually think that Flair should have just made Luger because Sting was a huge flop and Luger at least was a strong heel, as noted.  ​

Luger or Savage as the third man

Hola Scott,

Just reading the Bischoff shoot piece and he brings up how Sting was going to be the third man if Hogan backed out (nothing new there). But in terms of storyline, wouldn't it have made more sense for either Luger or Savage to be the third man? Both had just jumped ship from the WWF, and thus it kind of made sense that they would align with Hall & Nash. To that point, you can even say they made MORE sense than Hogan (and especially more than Sting).

Why do you think they would have gone with Sting as the second option rather than Luger or Savage? I mean in the end, Hogan was the smart business move, but still. 

Well at least Sting and Hogan both had the advantage of never having been a heel before (in the modern era of both performers, at least) whereas Luger turned all the time and Savage was most famous for being a heel.  I just don't feel like the angle would have worked as well as it did with anyone but Hogan anyway.  

Luger Question

So, I finally broke down (since I have disposable income again) and signed up for the Network <insert 9.99 joke here>. I'm still on my trial but I've been watching a lot of old NWA/WCW PPVs (I have the Great American Bash 1990 on as I type this, Luger-Mean Mark) and this is more of a what if.

But what if Luger had gone to the WWF after his time in Florida circa 1986-1987? How different do you think his career would have been? Would he have been groomed as a replacement for Hogan? Would he have gotten the Savage-like treatment (friend then enemy, title traded between them)? Would he have gotten the Warrior spot at WrestleMania VI? Would he have been a midcard draw/IC Title contender?
​Interesting question.  Luger's circumstances were kind of special in 86 because Crockett pretty much snapped him up instantly following his debut and groomed him to be a Horseman.  Everyone knew he was green as grass and terrible in the ring, but working with Flair and Windham and that crew night after night turned him into a decent worker pretty quickly.  ​Amazing how that works.  
Had he gone to WWF, I think he would have been slotted into something more like the Hercules Hernandez slot — guy with a good body, probably given a goofy gimmick and fed to Hogan for a heel of the month run around the horn. He wasn't showing any particular breakout charisma or star power at that point.  

Sting and Luger – Because WCW?

Extant1979 here. So, if you end up reviewing Nitro, maybe this question gets answered, but I'm into January 1996 now and I thought maybe this could spur some discussion on the BoD. 


Was there an endgame planned for Sting and Lex Luger that just never came to fruition when the nWo came along? Or was it just a week-to-week thing that was allowed to continue to evolve into Sting becoming Crow Sting when the nWo debuted? Was there anything discussed in the the WON archives? 

Pretty much everything from the Nitro era onwards was pretty week-to-week, with Luger seemingly jumping back and forth between heel and face depending on the week and the situation.  There was no endgame I can remember.  

July Classics – Ricky Steamboat vs. Lex Luger – Bash ’89

On the 6/10/89 edition of World Championship Wrestling, Lex Luger complained of being held back, and thought he was worthy of a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship over the likes of Ricky Steamboat or Terry Funk. At Clash VII, Luger made the save for Steamboat when Funk attacked the Steamer with a microphone, but then promptly turned on The Dragon, once again becoming a heel. On World Championship Wrestling, Luger cut a promo saying that he turned on Steamboat because he was tired of making the fans happy, and wanted to prove that he was better. So this match for the United States Championship was signed for Bash ’89.

NOTE: The Network does not have a milestone marker for anything from Bash ’89, and I already posted the link to that show a few days ago, so here’s the Dailymotion version.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz8iw7_31-89-07-23-lex-luger-vs-ricky-steamboat-great-american-bash_sport

Fwd: Luger


Scott,

I am a huge Luger fan. Always felt he was a bit under appreciated. He was in TWO of my all time favorite tag matches (Luger/Windham vs Arn/Tully, Luger/Sting vs Steiners) was a GOD to me in 1989, and found his tweaner schtick with Jimmy Hart in late '95/early '96 to be just gold.

Anyhow I'm watching various Luger title wins on youtube (and why he never held every title at once is a crime) and it occurs to me

Does ANYONE in the history of pro wrestling do a title celebration quite like Luger? The guy seriously makes like every title win seems like the biggest deal ever. Even the U.S. title.

Little things like that just really seem to be missing from today's world of wrestling.

Abso-smurf-ly.  Bryan's title win had some awesome pomp and circumstance, but Orton and Cena win the things like they're dispensed from a claw machine.  "Hey I got a title belt, neat!"   And Dean Ambrose just had a YEAR LONG title reign ended!   This should be a big deal!   And yet Sheamus barely registers excitement and they go and beat Ambrose right away on Smackdown anyway.  Way to make stars, guys.  
They should all watch that Connor video and approach the art form with the kind of wonder and excitement that the kid did.  The product would be a million times better.  

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.  

Shoot of the Day: Luger v. Brody

Given that we’ve been talking about Andre v. Maeda lately, here’s the most famous shoot in wrestling history (arguably): And the Masked Man article written about it: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/63888/wrestlings-greatest-shoots-volume-1-bruiser-brody-vs-lex-luger Man, Brody was being a dick here.  I know Meltzer sees it another way but he was best friends with the guy so obviously he would.  Wrestling is built on trusting your opponent and Luger was a young kid who basically got betrayed by a pissed off and hungover Brody, just because Luger was the guy who was getting pushed at that point and Brody didn’t want to do business.  If you watch the video, you can see about 6:30 Luger basically turn to Fonzie in desperation and go “What the hell do I do now?” before fleeing the ring in terror all the way to millions of dollars in JCP.  It actually gets pretty tense to watch once Brody starts no-selling the punches and every fan should see it at least once.