Lex Luger, whose real name is Lawrence Pfohl, peaked in WCW, where he won the World Heavyweight Championship twice. The world title had eluded him in his prior years in WWE and he was not received overly well by fans. However, he found his footing as a babyface in WCW, resulting in his two world title victories, while he also had a long feud with one of pro wrestling’s most notorious factions, nWo.
In professional wrestling, the name of an in-ring performer can play an important part in their long-term success and popularity. WWE has changed the ring names of several performers in the past, which didn’t quite help some, like when Cody Rhodes became Stardust or Keith Lee’s name was changed to Bearcat Lee. However, there have been times when the name changes of stars helped their characters. While in OVW, John Cena was originally known as The Prototype, and Batista was known as Leviathan. Neither man’s name stuck, and the name change helped them find massive success within and outside of the company.
Lex Luger is the ring name that Pfohl is most popularly known by — apart from a brief period when he was called The Total Package — and how he decided on the name is an interesting story.
Lex Luger was getting ready for his first match in CWF in 1985 and had not figured out a ring name prior to his debut, which led to those backstage in charge of booking going into panic mode.
In the A&E Biography episode which focused on his career, Luger revealed what the writers said when he told them he did not have a name. “They all look at each other like, ‘What do we call him? What do we call him?’ I kind of raise my hand a little and I was like, ‘I’ve got a name.’ My favorite TV show back then was Tom Selleck on Magnum PI. Everybody just called him Magnum. Well if he can be called Magnum — I was trying to be creative — I should be called Luger, which is a German firearm.”
He also explained why he decided to use the first name Lex. “Lex Luthor was a villain in the comic books,” Luger continued. “So, I said, ‘Lex Luger.'” Lex Luthor is the main antagonist to the comic book hero Superman in multiple comic books.
When it comes to the discussion over the best wrestlers that haven’t made the WWE Hall of Fame, Luger’s name pops up immediately in the minds of fans. A nerve impingement in his neck made him wheelchair-bound, but he has stated that if he was to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he would walk onto the stage to receive the honor.