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Perplexed on Lex
Promoter angry wrestler barred
By PAUL TURENNE -- Winnipeg Sun




A Winnipeg promoter is upset with the Canada Border Services Agency for not allowing a popular wrestler to enter the country for a pair of shows at the University of Manitoba this week.

Lex Luger was scheduled to appear at Action Wrestling Entertainment's shows Tuesday and yesterday, but was not allowed into Canada after landing in Winnipeg on Tuesday morning.

The wrestler, who lives in Georgia and has had some past brushes with the law, was sent home. Although promoters were able to find a suitable last-minute replacement, the whole ordeal did not leave them smiling.

"I'm very very frustrated. I guess they're protecting our country by stopping professional wrestlers from appearing at shows," said Mike Davidson, director of wrestling operations for AWE. "The Government of Canada just cost a Canadian business a flight and a deposit."

Luger arrived in Winnipeg on a flight from Minneapolis on Tuesday morning. He was held for five hours before being sent home, said Davidson. Border officials also held other wrestlers Buff Bagwell, Scott Steiner and April Hunter for between 90 minutes and three hours each, he said.

Loretta Nyhus, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, could not say why Luger was refused entry because of privacy laws, but said there are several reasons someone could be refused, including criminality, a danger to public safety or lack of funds.

People with criminal records can apply either at the border or ahead of time for entry, and the circumstances surrounding each case can affect the decision, she said.

Luger, whose real name is Lawrence Pfohl, pleaded guilty in February to possession of illegal steroids, which were seized from his home shortly after girlfriend Miss Elizabeth was found dead in their home of a drug and alcohol overdose in 2003.

Luger was sentenced to five years probation for that plea, but was allowed to plead as a first offender, meaning if he complies with the conditions of his probation, his arrest record would be expunged.

Luger has twice been arrested for drunk driving, but the Winnipeg Sun was unable to find any record of a conviction for either of those charges.

Davidson said Luger has no criminal record that he knows of, and notes that the wrestler was just here in October with no problem. Other wrestlers had to apply to enter the country for this week's shows and were allowed in, he added.

"They change the rules on us all the time," said Davidson. "It's just very, very frustrating from our standpoint."

Luger was replaced by The G Man, aka Billy Gunn, on both nights.

Luger did not return a call from the Sun yesterday.

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