Once a role model for children across America, pro wrestling star Lex Luger nearly destroyed his career and himself in a cesspool of drugs, alcohol, narcissism, women, he was Wrestling With the Devil.
Born Lawrence ‘Larry’ Pfohl, Luger starts his autobiography off explaining his childhood. In the fourth grade he was the fastest kid in school and the best all-around athlete. He came from a strict family, although he got into a lot of trouble. One day when he was caught stealing, his father wanted him locked up in a cell and for the key to be thrown away.
Despite his father’s demands of him not playing football in high school, he did so anyways and was highly touted as a top prospect for college ball, ended up in Penn State. After getting transferred to Miami, Luger’s wild attitude ended up catching up to him and he was kicked off the team. He eventually ended up playing in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes.
Luger had a tremendous physique throughout his early life, but the downtime he suffered forced him to take steroids for the first time in order to get his weight up in time for the CFL season. After being released on waivers, Luger kept pushing to get into the National Football League, but suffered an injury training with the Green Bay Packers.
After a meeting with Bob Roop, Luger began his wrestling training. Luger does skip through a lot of his career only highlighting key moments, such as his first match, joining the Four Horsemen, his World Championship wins, and his feud with Yokozuna in WWE. As a wrestling fan you’ll be left wanting more, his feud with Tantanka, his feud/tag team with Paul Wight aka Big Show, explicit details on his affair with Miss Elizabeth that cost him his marriage.
However, you still get a lot of amazing stories. Hulk Hogan yelling at him for breaking character when he jumped from WWE to WCW, Bret Hart getting him addicted to a drug, telling Sting that he keeps his shape by taking vodka and M & M’s, and much more is told. Sting’s foreword makes a lot sense after reading that.
For all the negative dark stories Luger tells, the last few chapters he finally finds redemption. With help from his friend Sting and others with faith, Luger is able to battle through his addictions, getting arrested for steroids, and a spinal stroke that nearly ended his life. Luger believes his faith kept him alive and keeps him going to this day.
Luger’s story is one that is difficult to put down as he has lived an extraordinaire life, filled with excitement, comedy, sadness, conflict, he tried to live life to it’s fullest and kept striving for greatness. For wrestling fans this will feel a lot like Brock Lesnar’s book Death Clutch, great stories but incomplete. If you don’t know anything about Lex Luger this read is highly recommended, it’s a story that should be known.
Wrestling with the Devil; The True Story of a World Champion Professional Wrestler – His Reign, Ruin, and Redemption
by Lex Luger with John D. Hollis
Released on Aug. 13, 2013