“You’ve gotta make the decision if you’re gonna fish or cut bait” – Jim Ross on why Vince McMahon gave up on making Lex Luger the next Hulk Hogan.
Following Hulk Hogan’s departure to rivals WCW, the WWE were in need of someone to step up. Vince McMahon, in all his wisdom, decided that this man would be Lex Luger. Luger was no longer presented as the Narcissist, instead he was now the ‘All American’.
Vince tried to get him over by having him participate in an event where the then WWF World Heavyweight Champion Yokozuna challenged athletes both from inside and outside of the promotion to body slam him. Many tried and failed until Luger arrived by a helicopter on the deck of the USS Intrepid and body slammed the near 600 pounder.
“The concept I liked,” Jim Ross said during the latest edition of his “Grilling JR” podcast. “The presentation was pretty much amazing to have that big of a crowd. The idea was good.
“Going into it, did he have the look? Hell yeah, he looked amazing, and he looked good in red, white, and blue. They had the plan to do the Lex Express and all that good stuff. The idea, in general, was a good idea to get a babyface over because remember, he didn’t beat Yokozuna, he bodyslammed him. So, I could buy that. It’s just over time, Lex had challenges connecting with the audience somewhat and that natural organic connection. But how would you know that until you get on your journey and get on your Lex Express driving around?
Jim Ross on why Vince McMahon gave up on Lex Luger
We celebrated halftime in the Central Catholic press box by watching Lex Luger body slam Yokozuna in 1993. https://t.co/UXjqb9Mf51
— Sam King (@samueltking) October 26, 2019
He then spoke on why the push never materialised into a title run for Luger.
“I didn’t have a problem with the angle, but in hindsight, it was probably the wrong guy,” he continued. “You could say ‘Well, who else would’ve it had been?’ I don’t know if you could’ve done the same angle with someone else because Luger was so big, so strong. It just didn’t pan out, but in the beginning, I thought what a hell of an idea this is. And then when you see all the people on the ship on the Fourth of July – McMahon knew how to create sizzle, and that situation had sizzle.”
“I think the plan was eventually to get the title on Luger so he could be the new Hogan. That seemed like the direction we were headed. Somewhere along the way – isn’t it interesting the timeline, you’re talking about this whole Luger thing evolving on July 4 and the bloom was off the rose not that much later.
“People have gotta give McMahon credit. He can see things and sense things and he had Pat and Bruce around him to say ‘Look, he’s not getting over’ or the agent reports…….and I think the agent reports just weren’t good. They consistently weren’t good. So you’ve gotta make the decision if you’re gonna fish or cut bait. In that situation, we cut bait.”
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