October 8, 2005
Hulk ad inspiration for Luger
Sparked Lex's wrestling career
By CHRIS KITCHING - Winnipeg Sun

Lex Luger

When Lex Luger's pro football career was winding down and he considered a career change, the writing was on the wall.

Aspirations of becoming a lawyer took a back seat to an ad he saw that touted a WrestleMania III battle in 1987 between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.

"I said, 'Wow, there must be something to this wrestling. It looks like it's going to be big,'" said Luger, a 6-foot-5, 260-lb monster who set the standard for the chiselled physiques of today's wrestling stars.

He remembered the ad after what would be his last football season and signed a contract with a wrestling territory in Florida during the pre-WWF days.

Nearly two decades later, he's a household name among wrestling fans and is making his first ring appearance in Winnipeg.

Luger, whose real name is Lawrence Pfohl, is in town for tonight's Action Wrestling Entertainment card at Investors Group Athletic Centre on the University of Manitoba's campus.


It's his first visit to Winnipeg since he was a young offensive lineman with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes in 1980.

"I remember coming to Winnipeg in late October, and it was freezing ass cold," said Luger, 47, who later played pigskin with the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. "I've never been so cold in my life."

The former WCW and WWE star has grappled with Total Nonstop Action and in Japan in recent years.

Gone are the big-money contracts and gruelling 200-plus days of travel, but Luger is happy he made the jump from blocking defenders to clotheslining opponents.

All of his accomplishments have been overshadowed recently by the pitfalls and tragedies with which many pro wrestlers are familiar.

Luger's had injuries, run-ins with the law and can't escape questions about the death of companion (Miss) Elizabeth Hulette. Police said she died in April 2003 of an accidental overdose at their home in Georgia.

Luger, obviously tormented over the loss of the woman he loved, chooses his words carefully out of respect to Hulette and her family.

"If I ever could have traded places with her and if I could this very second I would," he said in a phone interview from Atlanta. "It's a huge void that you can never replace."

Back 2 School Bash is a TV taping for AWE Overload, which is set to air weekly on The Fight Network. Tickets are $20.

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