Looking back at the Stars and Stripes Challenge

On July 4, 1993, then-WWE Champion Yokozuna made an open bodyslam challenge to anyone aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York City. More than 1,000 fans gathered to witness the festivities. With Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette by his side, Yokozuna was confident that no one would have the strength to lift him up and slam him down.

Several WWE Superstars failed in their attempt to lift the cocky champion, including Rick and Scott Steiner, Tatanka, Bob Backlund, Crush and Randy Savage. Several professional athletes also tried to slam Yokozuna, including NBA player Scott Burrell, Bill Fralic of the Detroit Lions and Joe Morris and Peter Taglianetti of the Pittsburgh Penguins; however, all who tried came up short.

When it seemed that all hope was lost and no red-blooded American could lift the massive Japanese Superstar, Lex Luger flew in on a helicopter, and landed on the Intrepid to give it his best shot. After a brief staredown, Luger hit Yokozuna with a forearm and proceeded to slam the massive Champion. It was a tremendous victory for Luger and for America on our nation’s Independence Day. That huge accomplishment propelled Lex Luger to become an American Hero and eventually led to a WWE Championship Match at SummerSlam between the two.

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