It is often said that the best wrestling characters are those that don’t stray far from the performer’s real life persona. For example, Steve Austin struggled in the WWF as the Ringmaster, a generic heel, before breaking ratings and attendance records by becoming himself – basically, a foul mouthed southern redneck. Ditto Dwayne Johnson, who has claimed for years that the character of the Rock is basically just himself turned up several notches. Long before these two men defined the Attitude era, however, another man lived his gimmick.
Behold the glory of the Narcissist, Lex Luger.
Let’s get you up to speed. Luger had spent his formative years in the Florida region, where, within weeks of his very first match, he was proclaimed a future world champion. This destiny was so certain, in fact, that he won his first championship within a month of his debut, taking the Southern Heavyweight title from Wahoo McDaniel. This infuriated a lot of the more experienced wrestlers on the circuit. In particular, Bruiser Brody was furious at Luger’s rapid rise to stardom. This led to an infamous cage match between the two, during which Brody proceeded to scare the living bejeebers out of young Lex by baring five razor blade equipped fingers, with the intent being he was going to do a Freddy Krueger job on Luger’s forehead. Say what you will about Luger’s character, but he was smart enough to climb right back out of the cage, and never square off with Brody again.
Luger then headed to the NWA, and quickly grabbed the spotlight by becoming a member of, then feuding with, the legendary Four Horsemen. By turning on the Horsemen, Luger was set up perfectly for his first title run, as it seemed only a matter of time before he took the “ten pounds of gold” from around Ric Flair’s waist.
Things didn’t quite work out that way, however, and it wasn’t until Flair left the company in 1991 that Luger won his first world championship. The only problem was that within six months of winning the strap, Luger was getting burned out on the whole wrestling scene (and WCW was basically in a shambles following Flair’s departure). He basically abandoned the belt, taking several months off before dropping the title to Sting and leaving the company altogether.
His plan? To join up with Vince McMahon. But not as a wrestler. No, Luger was looking to join McMahon’s fledgling World Bodybuilding Federation. Things again didn’t go as planned, as a motorcycle accident took Luger out of action for a period, and the WBF itself folded as McMahon soon discovered that wrestling and bodybuilding were two very different professions.
That left Luger with little to do – except to once again step into the squared circle.
For weeks, Bobby Heenan had teased audiences with a debut of a man who had the body of an Adonis (no, not Adrian), a human specimen so far beyond comprehension that other mortal men dare not compare themselves.
And when the curtain lifted, underneath was…
Well, who the hell do you think?
Bobby Heenan gave a running commentary that was borderline fellatio as Luger stared longingly into his mirror. Yes – he was in love with himself. He was everything Heenan was saying and a million times more.
He was the Narcissist, and a more fitting persona had perhaps never been achieved in pro wrestling.
Luger was so enamored with his own physique that he began to carry mirrors around everywhere he went. Damn that man loved his mirrors. It had to have been a total bitch to drag those through airport security.
Other than posing, Luger didn’t do a whole heck of a lot. In fact, he seemed to be a completely different wrestler than the man who had ****+ matches with Flair just a few years earlier. He moved as though was mired in molasses, and appeared to have forgotten every single wrestling move he had ever known.
Luger was instantly thrown into a feud with “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, besting him at Wrestlemania IX. You want an idea of why that show is considered among the worst in WWF/WWE history? The best match on the show featured The Narcissist.
Think about THAT.
Still, The Narcisst was winning all his matches, largely due to his secret weapon – a loaded forearm. But this wasn’t any a loaded forearm ala Bob Orton or Iron Mike Sharpe. No no. This was a surgically implanted loaded forearm.
See, following his motorcycle accident, Luger had to have surgery on his arm, and a steel plate was implanted. Well, at least that’s the popular rumor. Commentator Gorilla Monsson speculated that there were other items in there as well.
Yes, according to Gorilla, Luger had a PIPE WRENCH inserted into his arm, which indicates that The Narcissist’s surgeon must have gotten his degree at Milton-Bradley University.
I should note that this statement marked the last time that I ever took Monsoon seriously when he would start blabbering on with medical terms like the “lateral collateral ocsibidal partuberance.”
Following this operation at Home Depot Memorial, it seemed as though the evil Narcissist was going to arrogantly steamroll his way to the top of the WWF.
However, something else happened about this time that changed everything in the WWF: Hulk Hogan was shown the door following his World title loss to Yokozuna. Therefore, a new hero was needed to combat the evil doers in the company.
The 500 pound champ threw out an open challenge for July 4, 1993 to anyone who could slam him aboard the USS Intrepid. Many of the top WWF stars tried slamming the big guy, including Kona Crush (aloha, brah)…
…and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. You know, if Savage really wanted to bodyslam the big guy, he should have just started rapping at him. Yokozuna would probably jumped into Savage’s arms and not only done a complete flip, but thrown himself over the side of the boat and attempted to swim back to Japan.
Unfortunately for the good ol’ US of A, no one could slam (or even hip toss) Yoko. When things seemed most bleak, however, a helicopter landed on the deck, and out came the Narcissist himself!
But there was a difference – he was no longer called the Narcissist. Rather, he was good ol’ Lex Luger, defender of truth, justice, and the American Way!
Luger proceeded to hit Yoko with his CRESCENT WRENCH FOREARM, and then gave him the bodyslam heard ’round the world.
And the Narcissist was never spoken of again.
As for Luger, the fun was just beginning. Soon he’d be riding a bus around the country, shaking hands and kissing babies all along the way.
But you have to believe that whenever he had the chance, he still gawked at himself in the mirror. Despite all the hype that Luger was just an ordinary guy like you or me, it was hard to buy that Luger was “very humble” and “didn’t have a lot of dates in high school” (both of which he said in interviews hyping the SummerSlam showdown with Yokozuna).
For while the Narcissist may have been dead and buried, it was obvious from his these insincere interviews that Lex Luger was still very much alive.
Bobby Heenan (sounding as if he’s about to have the big O): “Aww yes! Look at that! Look at that! Let me get this, let me get this. Awww…yes! You are in love with yourself, and you have every right to be! You are the Narcissus!”
Good Ol’ JR: “…with that forearm, and it’s certainly a little bit cloudy as to Jack Tunney’s position and the position as far as the WWF officials are concerned.”
Gorilla Monsoon: “Well, all Jack Tunney has to do is take a good look at that X-Ray, take a look at that toolbox, the nuts and bolts and crescent wrenches and pipe wrenches and everything else that’s in that forearm…”
Randy Savage raps as only he can.