Larry Pfohl is simultaneously an unknown name and a world-famous wrestler. You might not know him by his birth name, but Lex Luger is one of the most popular professional wrestlers to ever compete in the WWE. Before he made a name for himself in the wrestling world, though, Pfohl actually had dreams of becoming a superstar in another sport — football. Did you know he even spent a season with the Green Bay Packers before he became known as Lex Luger?
Larry Pfohl dreamed of playing in the NFL since he was a child
Larry Pfohl put together a legendary career in the WWE as Lex Luger, but that was far from his original life plan. As a child, Pfohl always dreamed of becoming an NFL star.
Pfohl got his professional career started in the Canadian Football League. He started at left tackle for the Montreal Alouettes for three years, and he played well enough to impress one of the most storied franchises in the NFL — the Green Bay Packers.
In 1982, the Packers invited Pfohl to a personal workout. The team liked the offensive lineman so much they offered him a two-year contract, and Pfohl gladly accepted.
“I look back now, Ray Nitschke and all the guys were out there,” Pfohl told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “They hung out there every day playing cards and playing golf. I got to go out there and meet those guys and hang out with them. Oh, my gosh. Unbelievable. I was excited at the time, but looking back now, I’m like, Oh, my gosh. Incredible.”
Sadly, Pfohl’s NFL career came crashing down before it even began.
A preseason injury derailed Pfohl’s NFL career
Pfohl had a realistic chance to contribute for the Packers in the 1982 season, but a preseason injury ended his season before it even started. He spent the entire year on the injured reserve list and couldn’t play in one game.
Even though Pfohl signed a two-year contract with the team, the Packers released him after his first season. After making his NFL dream come true in 1982, Pfohl never appeared in a single game and was out of the league after one year.
Usually, getting cut is the worst thing that can happen to an NFL player. For Pfohl, however, it was a major blessing in disguise.
Pfohl’s failed NFL career led him to become Lex Luger, wrestling champion
Pfohl didn’t get discouraged after his NFL dream came crashing down. Instead, he shifted his focus to professional wrestling and bodybuilding. It turned out he was a natural.
Pfohl soon morphed into the legendary Lex Luger. He went on to become a WCW heavyweight champion and a WWE all-time great. His pro wrestling career might have never been possible if he didn’t get cut by the Packers in 1983.
“I would have loved to have had a long-term career with the Packers; are you kidding me?” Pfohl said. “If I did, I probably wouldn’t have become a wrestler. So, in the big picture, it worked out for me in that regard. Had it worked out in Green Bay, I seriously doubt I would have become a pro wrestler.”