Retro Wednesday: A Major Heel Turn Leads To A Horsemen And HOF Induction

In 1987, Lex Luger debuted in the NWA and almost immediately established himself as a top name for the company. Soon after his debut, he aligned himself with the Four Horsemen, going from an associate to a member. His alliance with the Horsemen catapulted him to be one of the best United States champions of all time.

Despite the success as a Horsemen member, his membership was short-lived. Less than a year after joining, Luger left the group as a result of refusing to comply with J.J. Dillion's orders to eliminate himself during the Bunkhouse Stampede battle royal. As a result, Luger commenced a tag team with fan favorite Barry Windham.

During their time as a team, J.J. Dillion underhandedly attempted to recruit Windham to join the Four Horsemen, raising suspicion of the true intentions of Luger. Although Windham was not persuaded initially, one match led to a change of heart.

In 1988, while Barry Windham and Lex Luger defended their tag team titles in a match against Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, Luger was pushed from the ring to the outside, followed by Blanchard ramming his head to the ring post. This led to an exhausted Windham going for a tag, only for Luger not to be there. Dillion used this opportunity to further infiltrate the mind of Windham, and his mission finally came to fruition. Windham turned on Luger, costed the team the tag titles, and left with Dillion to become to newest member of the Four Horsemen.

This moment really defined the career of Barry Windham. Although he was a very popular babyface in the NWA and had some fantastic matches against Ric Flair, his turn and alliance with the Four Horsemen put more layers on Windham's career. His membership with the Horsemen left such a mark in the NWA, that he was the selection—along with staple members Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard—to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.

This is one of the best and most profitable heel turns in pro wrestling history. Sound off below.

Author's Link: HIAC aftermath, popularity of the Cesaro Swing, state of Fandango, should Terry Taylor be in the Hall of Fame?, Shockmaster

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