Review of Lex Luger’s Autobiography
Aug 13, 2013 - by Steve Gerweck
by Alan Wojcik
There are segments of the wrestling fan population who remember LEX LUGER as a WCW World champion, “the Total Package”, brief member of the Four Horsemen and New World Order. Others remember him from his stint in WWF 1993-1995 as “the Narcissist” character and the “All American” who slammed Yokozuna on July 4th which led to the “Lex Express Bus Tour” across America. For some he is always going to be remembered for being in an extramarital relationship with Miss Elizabeth Huelette when she passed away in his suburban Atlanta townhome. All of that and more is covered by Mr. Luger in his autobiography WRESTLING WITH THE DEVIL: THE TRUE STORY OF A WORLD CHAMPION PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER-HIS REIGN, RUIN & REDEMPTION (Tyndale, $22.95 US, 227pp) with assistance from journalist John D. Hollis and a forward by Steve Borden AKA Sting.
The real story of Lawrence Pfhol begins in Buffalo, NY (work hometown was Chicago) where basketball and football dominated the life of the soon to be wrestling star. WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross used to detail Pfhol’s collegiate background in his commentary and I always thought it was a work. Turns out it was true. Luger (from here on out in the review) was recruited by the US Naval Academy, played briefly at Penn State and was kicked off the University of Miami football team.; while meeting up again with his now ex-wife who he knew at a previous school. After a stint in NFL training camps and the CFL (Canadian Football League), Luger ended up in the 1980’s USFL playing for the Tampa Bay Bandits and Memphis franchises. While looking to make money in the off season, he met the legendary Hiro Matsuda who ran part of the Championship Wrestling from Florida office in Tampa. From that point on in the book, it’s all Lex Luger time!
If you are looking for a match by match breakdown of his career, this is not going to be a fun read for you. Luger skips over his infamous cage match with Bruiser Brody (look for it on Youtube) and gets us quickly from CWF to the Mid-Atlantic territory where he joined Jim Crockett Promotions, the controlling promoter of the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) World championship. Luger has a good recollection of his Four Horseman run and the rest of his NWA/WCW stint, which included the first guaranteed contract in professional wrestling. Luger also covers Ric Flair’s exit to the WWF in 1991 and his own eventual exit to WWF which thanks to a car accident was nearly stopped before it started.
Luger does not shy away from the road lifestyle that has been covered in other autobiographies and talks about how his substance abuse issues began. Nor does he shy away from the controversial way he left WWF on September 4, 1995 and rejoined WCW for their inaugural Nitro broadcast. I was expecting him to shy away from how a friendship with Elizabeth turned into a extramarital affair, but Mr. Luger lays all of his proverbial cards on the table even going into the night Elizabeth died and his own personal hell began. A hell that led him to jail numerous times and into a crippling addiction to pills and alcohol.
Mr. Luger credits the Lord and other spiritual guidance for his emotional recovery despite his own body betraying him and leaving him with paralysis after a weird workout and cross country flight. I grew up disliking Lex Luger the wrestling character and unfortunately got to him under the influence of alcohol and pills after a TNA/Impact Wrestling event. But after reading this book I have come to respect him for admitting his faults and becoming a better person that works with at-risk children, the Shepard Center of suburban Atlanta and World Wrestling Outreach (WWO). Get this book and you will not regret it because it shows people can change no matter how bad they appear.
Lex Luger’s book can be found in local book stores, Amazon.com and he can be followed on Twitter @GenuineLexLuger. Special thanks to Valerie Austin of Tyndale Publishing.
In addition to reviewing pro wrestling themed DVD’s and books since 2001, Alan Wojcik is part of Kayfabe Wrestling Radio heard weekly on Wild Talk Radio (www.wildtalkradio.com) , Go Fight Live (www.GFL.TV) & www.PWMania.com we can be heard all over the world plus your smartphone through Tune In Radio and iTunes for your Apple equipment (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wild-talk-radio-network-on/id580051506). Be sure to check out www.facebook.com/kayfabewrestlingradio, Follow us on Twitter @MyNameIsWojcik @Bruiser_Schmidt @Kevin_K_Scott @WildTalkRadio