Eric Bischoff Reveals the Wrestling Legend Who Convinced Him to Bring Lex Luger Back to WCW From WWE

It’s no secret Lex Luger was a tough personality to deal with at the height of his pro wrestling fame in the 1990s. His nickname was literally “The Narcissist.” It also can’t be argued that the pro wrestler was a superstar and a big box office draw. That’s why former WCW boss Eric Bischoff is now so grateful that Sting stepped in and convinced him to bring Luger back to WCW from WWE (then WWF).

Sting was instrumental in Eric Bischoff bringing Lex Luger back to WCW

Eric Bischoff, who recently shared a story about Sting convincing him to bring Lex Luger back to WCW, seen in 2019.
Eric Bischoff | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM

A&E gave former WWE and WCW superstar Lex Luger the Biography: WWE Legends treatment this past Sunday. The documentary chronicled the tumultuous life and times of the all-time great pro wrestler.  

Former WCW Executive Producer Eric Bischoff appeared in the doc to discuss his relationship with Luger and how he brought him back to WCW from WWF in the 1990s. A day after the show aired, Bischoff joined the Busted Open podcast to discuss his participation in the show and his relationship with Lex Luger.

On the podcast, Bischoff explained to co-hosts Mark Henry and Bully Ray (fka Bubba Ray Dudley) that early on in their relationship, Luger “wasn’t a guy I thought I’d ever want to get close to or want to know.”

Bischoff then went behind the scenes of Lex Luger’s return to the WCW in 1995. The businessman said he doesn’t deserve much credit for the move because he “was dead set against bringing him in.”

However, things changed when one of (if not) the greatest legends in WCW history, Sting, made a phone call on Lex Luger’s behalf.

“I would have never brought Lex back had it not been for Sting really spending a lot of time to at least meet with Lex and hear what he had to say,” Bischoff told Henry and Bully Ray. “Because my instinct and my inclination was, nope. Ain’t gonna happen.”

 After Sting’s intervention, Bischoff still wasn’t gung-ho about bringing Lex Luger back into the fold. The deal finally happened, though, when Luger accepted a low-ball offer from Bischoff.

The former WCW boss shared that Luger was making around $750,000 per year under Vince McMahon. At that time, Bischoff shared that he said to himself, “I’m going to offer this guy [$150,000 per year] and if he is sincere … let him prove it.”

Bischoff revealed that he was “shocked” when Luger said yes to the offer. But he thought, “at least it’s not going to cost me much to prove a point.”

It turned out Lex Luger was serious about being a better professional at WCW. And it turned out that was good for business.

The Monday Night Wars

Eric Bischoff is glad Sting persisted and that Lex Luger took a low-ball offer on a personal level because he and Luger are close friends to this day. However, there is also a business reason he is glad Luger came back.

The return of Lex Luger happened at the start of the Monday Night Wars, the WWE vs. WCW battle for TV supremacy.  

Bischoff remembers what an impact Luger had on this battle.

“One of the most important things is that the night Lex Luger showed up, everybody thought he was under contract to the WWE, including WWE,” Bischoff shared. “And that shock value — because it was the first time anything like that had ever happened, especially on that scale … it changed, instantly the way people thought about [WCW] Nitro.

The Lex Luger return to WCW’s Monday Nitro on September 4, 1995. Pro wrestling historians now consider this the first day of the famous Monday Night Wars.

WCW would ultimately lose this war to WWE. But from 1995 to 1997, Eric Bischoff’s company gave Vince McMahon a run for his money. In 1997, the WWE kicked off its Attitude Era, though, with D-Generation X, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the rest, as they say, is history.

McMahon and WWE bought WCW in 2001. And while Bischoff eventually moved over to the competition, Lex Luger only returned to WWE in 2011 in a backstage role.

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