In WWE news, Sting revealed that he and Lex Luger had backstage heat with one another when they were coming up in the NWA, according to the weekly podcast interview with Ric Flair.
Since they are two of the biggest stars that professional wrestling has ever seen, when Sting and Ric Flair decide to have a public conversation, people all over the world are going to be listening. That happened this week when Sting agreed to do the weekly podcast interview show that Flair hosts. During the episode, Sting revealed that he and Lex Luger had some major backstage heat when the two of them were in the NWA together.
Back in 1985, Lex Luger was signed by the NWA. He had decided to give professional wrestling a try after struggling to make it in the NFL, where he tried to make the Green Bay Packers roster. With his size and appearance, promoters felt that they had a potential star on their hands. Word was sent to Pro Wrestling Illustrated, who proceeded to promote him as a future star to fans around the country. The hype was tremendous even though it was years before the birth of social media.
The National Wrestling Alliance found themselves another big star during the summer of 1987 when they bought the Universal Wrestling Federation from legendary promoter Bill Watts. Along with the purchase of the brand was a roster that included Steve Borden, who would go on to become Sting. Just like they previously did with Lex Luger, the NWA contacted PWI and asked them to promote Sting as a future star. With his high energy in ring style, colorful face paint, and creative ring outfits, it was an easy sell for professional wrestling fans. Sting was going to be a big star.
Competition is heated in the professional wrestling industry. There’s only one top spot per promotion and everyone is gunning for it. The perk of being promoted as the top star increases your name value, which piques the interest of other promoters and opens up job opportunities elsewhere. Promoters often pay their top performers significantly more than guys that are lower on the card. During the territorial days, wrestlers would routinely leave town if they feel that they are not getting a fair chance to get to the top of the ladder. Free agency was more interesting then than it is now.
Sting and Lex Luger were competing for the same prize. They both wanted the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Promoters were more than willing to give both of them a chance because they looked the part. Plus, they needed a young baby face to rise up through the ranks and finally dethrone Ric Flair, who was built up perfectly as the heel champion who was willing to do anything and everything to keep his precious belt. The competition naturally caused conflict between Sting and Luger because they were both looking over their shoulders at the other.
Once Sting and Lex Luger gained experience and learned how the industry worked, the backstage heat between the two began to subside. The two of them started bonding over their mutual passion for bodybuilding. Sting and Luger started traveling to house shows with one another. Years later, the pair even went into business together, opening up a chain of gyms across the southeast region. While their friendship took a toll as Luger was battling his demons and Sting was delving deeper into religion, the two of them are much closer nowadays because Lex has found religion.
Do you think WCW did the right thing by choosing Sting over Lex Luger?
[Featured Photo by WWE]