What happened to wrestler Lex Luger, why is he in a wheelchair?

Joshua Rogers August 8, 2022
What happened to wrestler Lex Luger, why is he in a wheelchair?

After the wrestler appeared in a recent documentary, fans wanted to know what happened to Lex Luger and why he is in a wheelchair.

Lex Luger was one of the biggest wrestling stars in the 1980s and 1990s, cementing his legacy with memorable stints with WWE and WCW.

Luger was a two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and one-time WWA World Heavyweight Champion, but famously never won a title in WWE.

Nevertheless, he was a huge star when he signed with WWE in 1993. Vince McMahon instantly made him a huge heel and, for a brief time, Luger embodied the All-American persona wrestling missed following the departure of Hulk Hogan.

He then became a crucial part of the Monday Night War in WCW when he returned in 1995. However, his health started to decline in the 2000s and now he is in a wheelchair.

WWE Rivals | Trailer

WWE Rivals | Trailer

What happened to Lex Luger?

Wrestling fans wanted to know what happened to Lex Luger and why he is now in a wheelchair. Luger’s life and career were the subject of A&E Biography: WWE Legends, which aired on August 7 on the A&E Network.

In 2007, Lex was on a flight to San Fransisco when he found himself struggling to move his neck. Later the nerve impingement in Luger’s neck resulted in him being temporarily paralyzed.

This condition is often caused by the surrounding tissue exerting too much pressure on the nerve and “pinching” it. This can lead to various issues and, for Lex, it led to a spinal infarction and temporary paralysis.

In an interview with WWE, Lex said: “I injured my neck on an airplane from Atlanta to San Francisco. The way I had turned my neck while sitting on the plane had basically cut off my blood flow. It was just a freak accident but it caused massive swelling from my C6 [vertebra], at the base of my neck, to my D5 in my chest. It paralyzed me from the neck down.”

“They told me I was a healthy 49-year-old [but] I’d be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of my life and need 24-hour medical care. But my recovery has been just phenomenal.

“Now I live on my own, I’m walking and I’m thankful for that. Nobody knows if I’ll make a 100 per cent recovery but I’ve gotten so much back already… more than anybody would ever have thought.”

Why is Lex Luger in a wheelchair?

Lex underwent an intravenous antibiotic treatment and things looked to be getting better. Through rehabilitation and recovery, Lex was able to regain some mobility through the use of a walking cane.

In 2010 he was able to drive and walk further distances. But in 2014 he was becoming increasingly reliant on using wheelchairs.

Nowadays, Lex is reliant on using a wheelchair day to day but can sometimes walk small distances.

Luger says he will try to walk for WWE Hall of Fame induction

Recently, Lex Luger told Sports Illustrated he would attempt to step out of his wheelchair if he’s inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

Luger has recently represented the WWE as a brand ambassador but has not been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

A WWE Hall Of Fame induction, according to Luger, would be the “cherry on top” of his career and he said he would even try to walk if it happens.

“It’s mind-boggling. I’m in phenomenal health,” Luger told SI. “Other than my mobility issues from my spinal cord issue, I’m very healthy, and that’s a miracle of God after what I put my body through. I usually use a wheelchair or a walker, but I can walk some.

“I might pop out of the chair for that, I would take that chance, if that moment comes. That honor would be the cherry on top of my career.”

Former WWE legend Booker T chimed in on his Hall of Fame podcast recently saying Lex Luger “deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”

“I was reading an article and it was about Lex Luger, and Lex Luger said if he was to get a WWE Hall of Fame induction, he would walk on to the stage. Man wouldn’t that be something special?” Booker said (via The Sportster).

Do you think Lex should be in the Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.