Lex Luger has clarified that he never saw himself as WWE’s long-term replacement for Hulk Hogan.
In 1993, Hogan left WWE after almost a decade as the company’s marquee attraction. Following Hogan’s departure, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon turned Luger into an all-American babyface character and viewed him as Hogan’s possible successor.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, Luger described Hogan as a “phenomenon” who could not be replaced. He also made it clear that he only wanted to be the best version of himself during his two-year WWE run.
“There will never, ever be anything but one original Hulk Hogan,” Luger said. “I was just trying to be the best Lex Luger I could be with my character. I never thought or would want to try to fill the shoes of Hulk Hogan. He was a phenomenon that was above and beyond almost anything the wrestling industry has ever seen.”
Luger spent two years in WWE between 1993 and 1995 before returning to WCW. He defeated Hulk Hogan on the August 4, 1997 episode of WCW Nitro to win his second and final WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
Lex Luger on his WWE role after Hulk Hogan’s exit
Lex Luger bodyslammed 600-pound superstar Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid on American Independence Day in 1993. He also toured America in a red, white, and blue bus, known as “The Lex Express,” before facing Yokozuna at WWE SummerSlam 1993.
Although Luger failed to win the WWE Championship from Yokozuna, he still has some fond memories of his main-event push.
“Looking back in time now, I really look at the highlights of it,” Luger added. “I had the opportunity to slam Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid. That was a phenomenal moment in my career, definitely one of the highlights. The [Lex Express] tour was exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. I was in the main event of SummerSlam, and that was a big deal. I look at that as a big part of my career. I did the storyline to the best of my ability, and did my very best to fulfill my role in the story. I did the best I was capable of at the time; I can definitely tell you that.”
Luger is set to be the subject of a new WWE Icons documentary on the WWE Network. A preview for the documentary, which will air on Sunday, can be viewed above.
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