A&E has been running some biographies centered on WWE Legends. This was the case last year as well. In fact, over the years, A&E has had an interest in many pro wrestlers and for good reason: Their stories are worth telling.
Well, it was just this past weekend that the legendary Lex Luger’s career was looked into and despite one small discrepancy Luger had, it was a great representation of quite the story and pro wrestling career, and the life of a man who lost his way but found it again through the grace of God.
In his early days, Luger enjoyed quite the football career, playing for the CFL in Canada, playing for the Montreal Alouettes, the USFL and even the NFL after quite the college career. He then went into professional wrestling and after having quite the stint in WCW, he made the move to WWE, WWF at the time.
Here is where Luger had the problem though, his end run in the WWF, stating that the representation specifically by Bruce Prichard in the documentary on A&E about the Lex Express era in which Luger was made to campaign during his run at the WWE title held by Yokozuna at the time in a bus all summer long, and Luger’s subsequent exit from the company, as he told the people at Busted Open Radio:
“I love Bruce, we get along great now, but Bruce had it all wrong in last night’s documentary…Bruce has that sarcasm about him, which he’s great at, about the Lex Express. The pay was down everywhere, WCW and WWE. So I went to Vince and said, ‘Look, my contract is up. I’ve given my 90-day notice. I want to stay.’ And Vince wanted me too as well. I was in a great relationship with Vince. I said, ‘I want to do outside stuff.’ And Vince was like, ‘Well, what do you mean by that?’
I go, ‘Well, I want to get into, after my wrestling career, the fitness and nutrition deal. Let me do that kind of stuff outside of wrestling. I’ll earn my own extra money if it’s out there for me. Let me do that, and we’ll keep my wrestling contract for wrestling. You own my wrestling rights, but let me do outside stuff.’ Vince wanted to do that…
But it went on and on with lawyers over months and months and months. I kept on working without a contract, just on a handshake with Vince, because we got along so well. And I wanted to stay there, but it got to the point where I didn’t know if he was going to let me do that to stay there. We finally had a conversation (while) I was up in Canada. And on the phone, Vince goes, ‘If I let you do this, I’ll have to let Shawn Michaels do outside stuff.
I don’t know how to word that in a contract.’ I had just kind of a flicker; a light switch goes off that was like, ‘He’s not going to do it. I don’t think he’s going to let me do anything outside of (wrestling.)’ Just a hair before I had that conversation in Canada — just before I showed up on Nitro, the first one in Minneapolis — I had had a conversation with Sting (where I said) that I wasn’t under contract.
He goes, ‘You’re not under contract?’ I go, ‘No. I’m working under a handshake.’ He was like, ‘Are you kidding?’ I go ‘No!’ So Sting went to Eric and goes, ‘You know, Lex is a free agent right now.’ And Eric was like, ‘I’m not a big fan.’ And Eric kind of made that, really, at the time, super low ball offer. Like, ‘If he wants to come in, tell him I’ll pay him this, ha ha ha.’ But when I realized I may not be able to work this thing out contractually to do outside stuff on my own, I went, ‘Well, maybe I should take Eric up on his offer for that new show and go back to WCW, climb my way, earn my way back to the top there. I’ll start out low and try to earn it.’…
I called Sting up, and Eric had said, ‘Well, if he wants to come in, he can’t tell anybody,’ And that’s why I explained on the show, ‘Well, I have to do what’s best for my family.’ So I came in. It was all a surprise, all clandestine. But really, up until the very end, I was planning on re-signing with WWE because I wanted to prove it that I could make it there, and so did Vince. But that one conversation, days before Nitro, I ended up calling Sting back. Then Eric flew me in, and the rest was history.”
-via Wrestling Inc. (Transcription)
History indeed; that single moment revolutionized the industry and was a massive part in starting the Monday Night Wars that would ensue, each company firing a shot at a time. A&E also ran an episode of Rivals in which the Monday Night Wars was looked into specifically, immediately following Luger’s story, which I guess in the end was apropos.