On the latest episode of Pro Wrestling 4 Life, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Sean “X-Pac” Waltman sat down with multi-time WCW Champion Lex Luger. Many fans remember Luger from his “All-American” character where he rode on the “Lex Express”. The most iconic moment from that run was when Luger body slammed Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid, and Luger revealed some small details that went into making that moment happen.
“We did a walkthrough the week before. They didn’t allow me to slam Yoko because they didn’t want him to get hurt,” Luger revealed. “I’m the one that has to lift 627 pounds, and they didn’t want him to get hurt. So I was so nervous. I didn’t have good footing when I got in that ring there. I have cowboy boots on, and Yoko calmed me down and said, ‘Don’t worry, I got this, just get a wide base.’ I just got a good base and helped turn him, but Yoko, as you know, I called The Dancing Bear.
“Those island boys, so athletic and born to wrestle. He literally almost slammed himself off of me getting a good base and helped turn him just a little bit. He was that agile. I was so relieved after that. Wow! He was unbelievable. The crowd reaction, Manhattan Skyline in background, and the surprise that we had with me coming down and pushing Bobby Heenan out of the way, the setup to the whole thing was great. One of the great moments I’ll always remember in my career for sure.”
The feud culminated in Luger challenging for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 1993. While Luger won the match, it was via count-out meaning Yokozuna remained WWE Champion. Waltman, like many other fans, said that Luger should have won the belt that night, and Luger responded to that sentiment.
“A lot of people felt that way that it would have been better even if I turned the belt over to him the following night on RAW and got heat on Yoko,” Luger said. “He did something to me to get it back or something. I enjoyed the opportunity obviously, and it was a great promotion, but a lot of people thought it might have been more beneficial if you’re going to still go with Yoko and have the babyface win and have Yoko win it right back or something. It might have been good. I agree with that for sure.”
Luger went on to win the Royal Rumble the following year along with Bret Hart leading to Yokozuna defending the WWF Championship two times in one night. Luger recalled what Vince McMahon told him was the original plan.
“In defense of Vince and the decision makers at the time, Vince was really big — you know how much The Garden meant to Vince,” Luger noted. “He never promised me the title. Vince and I had a great relationship. ‘If I want to put the title on you, rather than at SummerSlam, I’d rather wait and do it at WrestleMania 10 at Madison Square Garden.’ He had that in his head that if you’re going to be my guy, I’m going to put the belt on you as a babyface and give you a run with it.
“Then things happened after that, and he ended up putting it on Bret, who was a great champion. ‘Why did they not give him the belt?’ That really was Vince’s thinking. ‘I’ll get everything revved back up for WrestleMania, and what a way to coronate Lex as my champion if that’s the way we decide to go at WrestleMania 10.’ That was kind of a little backstory to that whole thing.”
A new episode of Sean Waltman’s Pro Wrestling 4 Life drops every Thursday morning on all major podcast platforms and in video form at YouTube.com/XPac! You can find the latest episode, featuring Lex Luger, via the embedded players below.