In a candid interview with WWE, wrestling icon Lex Luger reflected on a pivotal moment in his career: the dramatic shift in WCW's landscape following Ric Flair's departure to WWF in 1991. Luger, a two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, recounted the intense anticipation and subsequent disappointment that surrounded one of wrestling's most talked-about eras.
Luger's journey to the World Heavyweight Title was marked by a series of high-profile matches with Ric Flair, starting with their first televised title bout at NWA's Battle of the Belts III in September 1986, which ended in a time-limit draw.
Their rivalry continued with four more World Title matches on pay-per-views between 1988 and 1990. However, it was the scheduled but unmaterialized title match against Flair at WCW's Great American Bash in 1991 that stood out as a potentially game-changing event.
Luger's Pivotal Moment
Reflecting on this period, Luger shared, "After hundreds of matches with Ric Flair, I was finally poised to win the big gold belt and defeat 'The Nature Boy' to become World Champion. But just before the pay-per-view, everything changed.
Ric moved to WWE, taking the big gold belt with him. It was a shock to everyone in our company." Despite the setback, Luger saw a silver lining, recognizing an opportunity to redefine his role in WCW. "This situation, while unexpected, presented a unique chance for me to step up and perhaps be shaped into a different kind of World Champion for WCW, distinct from Ric's legacy," he explained.
Luger's chance came against Barry Windham for the vacant WCW World Title in Baltimore, a city he regards highly in his career. He fondly remembered the match as one where Windham nearly escaped his signature Torture Rack, a rare feat in his career.
The addition of Mr. Hughes as his bodyguard and the legendary Harley Race as his manager added to the significance of the moment. Luger expressed great respect for Race