Lex Luger has finally settled the score on what Vince McMahon’s plans for him were in WWE.
In the middle of 1993, WWE was in a period of transition as Hulk Hogan left the company and Vince McMahon was left looking for a new All-American hero. McMahon turned to Lex Luger, transforming him from The Narcissist into a patriotic hero clad in red, white, and blue.
At SummerSlam 1993, Lex Luger challenged Yokozuna for the WWE Championship and Luger won the match but only by disqualification meaning the title stayed on the mighty champion. Meaning the celebrations that took place in the ring afterward made Luger look a bit silly, to say the least.
Over the years, there had been suggestions that Luger had been told by Vince McMahon that he was going to make him WWE Champion at some point but speaking on his Lex Expressed podcast – courtesy of AdFreeShows – Luger says that wasn’t quite true although there were still plans to have him win the title:
“[Vince McMahon] didn’t make me feel like I was going to be the [top] babyface, and contrary to popular belief, he never promised me the title or said that I was going to be the champion. That wasn’t part of it.
“So I wasn’t shocked when I didn’t get it at SummerSlam, although it would have been helpful, even if I won it and lost it, obviously, with that big of a buildup. He always felt that if I was going to win the title, he’d rather do it, and make it special.
“The Garden was always a very special place for events, most people know that. If he put the title on me, he wanted to do it at WrestleMania 10 at the Garden. So really, SummerSlam was never in the mix for me to win the title.
“Although, in retrospect, looking back now I’d probably would have been a good idea even if they took it right back off of me, it probably would have been good to come through for the fans.”
Vince McMahon changed his mind for WrestleMania 10
Lex Luger ended up as a co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble alongside the man who ended up taking his place in Madison Square Garden at WrestleMania 10, Bret Hart. Hart received a better reaction than Luger when he was declared the winner of the Rumble bout and that led to both men challenging for the title at WrestleMania 10 but ultimately Hart came out on top.
Lex Luger never claimed any gold during his time in WWE and by the fall of 1995 he had defected to WCW, shockingly appearing on the very first episode of Nitro.