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updated 04/03/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/1995 01:00AM

>L.T.

GRAPPLING WITH A NEW ROLE

PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HAS ALWAYS prized a novelty act. For Wrestle-mania XI, this Sunday's pay-per-view event (suggested price $34.95), the WWF has staged a stunner. Former football great Lawrence Taylor takes on Bam Bam Bigelow, the 390-pound villain with the garishly tattooed dome. (Taylor will get a reported $500,000 for what he swears is his only match.)

Although he has trained briefly with the current WWF champ, Diesel, Taylor plans to forgo strategy. "I don't know how to wrestle," says L.T. "But I don't plan on wrestling." Instead he will rely on the same techniques that he used for 13 years as a marauding linebacker for the New York Giants. "I'm gonna attack him. Beat him with quickness," Taylor growls. "You learn in the NFL: Don't let him get his hands on you. Get around him as fast as you can and then tear up his vital areas."

Taylor also plans to bring an entourage of famous football players with him to the Hartford Civic Center on April 2, including Carl Banks and Steve McMichael. Lawrence's main man, though, will be Green Bay's Minister of Defense, defensive end Reggie White. "If something breaks out bad," says Taylor, "Reggie can handle it. Matter of fact, if Bam Bam starts whipping on me, I'm putting Reggie in there." Tag team!

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