Rookie of the Year. Most Improved of the Year. Comeback of the Year. Feud of the Year. Match of the Year. United States Heavyweight Champion. Royal Rumble Winner. World Heavyweight Champion. Wrestler of the Year. That’s just to list a few of his awards and accomplishments through-out the late 1980’s and the 1990’s. Not only that but without him the Monday Night Wars may never have come about. Lex Luger is without a doubt one of the most recognisable names in the last 20-25 years in professional wrestling. Unfortunately his legacy fell about some what due to personal demons getting the better of him following the closure of World Championship Wrestling.
Who better to provide a foreword for The Total Package than his real life best friend and long term onscreen ally and at times enemy, Sting. The first sentence in this book, “When I first met Lex Luger, I didn’t like him at all.” Certainly provides hope for a bluntly honest book. Lex then takes us through his childhood dream and how that ended up changing to playing professional football, certainly not shying away from informing the reader of his impressive feats during his youth and college. With that said though, he also openly informs us of his wrong doings and downfalls. From American football to professional wrestling is the next transition made in Luger’s life as he talks of training with the legendary Hiro Matsuda. A rise to stardom quickly followed at an unprecedented rate for a rookie at that time in the industry. In fact, he rose so the occasion so fast the books goes straight to his time with the Four Horsemen; Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and J.J. Dillon. Naturally leading to the break up of the stable and the build up to Lex Luger Vs. Ric Flair. A short while later the reader is hearing of the changing times during the early part of the 1990’s that eventually saw Lex break away from WCW to join Vince McMahon’s World Body Building Federation and later the World Wrestling Federation itself. Changing from the Narcissist to the All American patriot and touring the country on the Lex Express is next up, followed by the decision to leave and make history on the very first edition of Monday Night Nitro. Battling the NWO, a World Heavyweight Championship victory over Hulk Hogan, and a membership to the NWO Wolfpac later we’re entering into the last chapter of his career in the ring. Lex talks about his pairing with Miss Elizabeth and the re-birth of his character inside the ring, yet how behind the scenes, as he calls it, his celebrating of his success was really getting the better of him. His autobiography doesn’t end with his career though as Lex explains his downward spiral to the bottom of bottom of the barrel through drugs and alcohol. These last few chapters are pretty candid and it feels as though not much is left out, when he speaks of Elizabeth’s passing it is fairly emotional. His finding of God only to become paralyzed before overcoming the odds making a full recovery is pretty remarkable.
I started this review listing just some of the accomplishments of Lex Luger. Will he add Book of the Year to his already impressive list of credentials? Most likely not. That’s not to say the book is not worth a read though. Let me break it down some what so you know exactly what to expect when you purchase it. Just under 25% of the book focuses on his actual wrestling career. Around the same amount focuses on pre-wrestling career. The remaining approximately 55% is all about his battle with personal demons and finding his Lord and Savior. Now, I’m not a religious person by any means and don’t care for being preached at, however, Lex doesn’t preach he just tells his story as he remembers it. You may learn a couple of new things about how and why certain things occurred in his wrestling career, but, it is more a highlight reel than an in depth look. If you want to know more about Lex’s life you should buy it and of course it’s a good piece of memorabilia to have too if you’re into that stuff. If you are instead looking for a tell all, gossip ridden story this is not the book for you.
– By Jimmy Wheeler
By Lex Luger with John D. Hollis
Published by Tyndale Momentum
Released August 13, 2013
239 Pages, Hardback