Good ol’ Larry Pfohl (Lex Luger) is always an easy target. Whether it be his worthless ring skills, his boring interviews, or lame matches he’s had over the years, it’s never too hard to make fun of the guy.
But for whatever reason, promoters have always felt the need to push him. From WCW to the WWF to WCW again, Luger is never far from the top of the card. And such was the case in 1993, when the WWF pushed Luger to the moon after Hulk Hogan’s departure from the federation. Luger shed his admittedly awful Narcissist heel gimmick to become “Made in the USA” Lex Luger, and was placed in a feud with the anti-American WWF Titleholder at the time, Yokozuna.
Vince McMahon and company had huge plans for Luger, but felt that he needed something extra to make him the biggest babyface in the history of the company. And how did the geniuses at Titan towers go about trying to do this?
They put him on a bus, of course. But not just any bus – the LEX EXPRESS!
|Luger toured the country on the star spangled Lex Express, going out to see the real folk of America, not unlike a politician. Titan even went so far as to call Luger journey the “Call to Action” Campaign. |
His destination? SummerSlam, and a shot at Yokozuna’s WWF Title.
|The WWF showed Luger riding on the bus…|
|…and sleeping on the bus, hugging the root, err, I mean, pillow. |
All the while, Luger was bedecked in the stars and stripes. See, he’s an AMERICAN so that makes him a GOOD GUY!
|He would stop at various locations and pose with kids at hospitals. He would sign autographs. He would smile and kiss babies.|
|Finally, after many years (maybe it was just weeks, but believe me, it felt like years), Luger arrived at SummerSlam for his big title shot.|
|He came face to face with the evil, Japanese flag waving Yokozuna (which was ironic in and of itself, seeing as how Yokozuna was originally from Samoa). |
To add more tension to the match, Yoko’s manager, Jim Cornette, had a clause in the contract stating this would be Luger’s ONLY title shot.
|With everything on the line, Luger beat the big guy in the match, and all the faces came out to help Luger celebrate. |
Of course, since Luger won by COUNT OUT, it was really all for naught. Yoko kept the belt, and Luger looked stupid.
You see, Vince wanted to hold off on Luger’s title win until WrestleMania 10, a full nine months away. He felt that he could continue to build, and fans would be even more interested in Luger’s chase than in his title win.
What happened, of course, is that the fans didn’t care about Luger after he “choked”. At the Royal Rumble, Vince employed a little test, by having Luger and Bret Hart co-win the Rumble, and then announce them one by one as the winners to gauge fan reaction. The fans were overwhelmingly behind Bret, so he wound up with the belt.
Which is surprising, since he never got to ride around on a bus.