Wrestling with the Devil

By Lex Luger
Published on August 13th 2013
Published by Tyndale Momentum
Source: NetGalley
Lex Luger, wrestling megasensation and three-time world heavyweight champion, ruled the ring for years as “The Total Package.” Whether he was making a dramatic entrance from a helicopter, defeating champ Hulk Hogan, or sculpting a near-perfect physique, Lex was on top of his game. Yet backstage, he was wrestling with addictions to sex, drugs, and alcohol—things he clung to even when his mistress died suddenly of a drug overdose and Lex went to jail. There, Lex faced the truth: he was losing the fight for his life. And still awaiting him was his most brutal opponent yet, when the wrestling champ found himself helplessly paralyzed from the neck down. In Wrestling with the Devil, Lex Luger reveals never-before-told stories from his career, his struggle with personal demons, and how, through unexpected faith, grace, and redemption, he overcame all odds to fight the only battle that really matters.

I love wrestling. Let's get that out of the way right now. So, when a wrestler writes a book, I'm ready to read it! I want dirt, behind the scenes, personal life, drama, relationships, the good stuff... everything we don't get when they're in the squared circle sweating and bleeding for us fans in the name of sports entertainment.

So, it stands to reason, when I read Sting's foreword, I was immediately taken aback and wondering if I was in for a 250 page sermon on how God changed his life. Now, I am Roman Catholic, I try to go to church every Sunday, and I do believe in His help, strength, and miracles. I just don't want to read it for the entire 250 pages when I know there is so much more to talk about.

That being said, I absolutely loved this book. It is chock full of raw and gritty details that were hard for me to read at times (note: Elizabeth's death). I was astonished at how honest and real the entire book was. Sports entertainment is just that - entertainment. So, week after week, I watch, knowing full well that the stories aren't true (at least completely). Most of the wrestlers don't hate each other (more or less). And, while they're physically performing absolutely insane maneuvers, that at least some of the injuries aren't real. But, flipping through the pages of this very real rise and fall and subsequent coming to peace of a man who spent much of his life in the public eye was a breath of fresh air.

Basically, a good portion of the beginning of the book was his early athletic endeavors in high school and college. It was entertaining to read and I enjoyed seeing where he came from and what led him to wrestle.

Wrestling took up at least the good middle half of the book and like I said, it's raw and real. There are some things that I wish had been expanded on (like his time with NWA), but there is definitely no shortage of stories on his wrestling years with other big names such as Ric Flair, Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, and Yokozuna.

I think after his wrestling career was over was when the book tipped the scales for me. He talked about his drug and alcohol abuse, his affair with Elizabeth which led to his divorce and her death (again, truthfully, the most difficult part of the story to read), and finally how he found God and turned his life around.

Overall, I don't really think anybody who isn't a wrestling fan would like this book. But, those who are should definitely pick up this book.

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