For several years the WWE has been trying to mend the bridges that it has burned in the past. With the first announcement to the 2015 Hall of Fame class, another one seems to have been fixed.
Randy Mario Poffo, or the “Macho Man” Randy Savage, is more than deserving to be honored in the HOF. He started in the WWE in 1985 and immediately rose to the top. His fist big feud was with Tito Santana over the Intercontential Championship, which he would eventually capture. He would go on to hold the belt for 14 months before losing it to Ricky Steamboat in one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history. Savage elevated the title to something more than it was. After him, once you held the Intercontiental Title you were one of the next in line for the World Heavyweight Championship.
At Wrestlemania 4, he ran the gauntlet of 3 matches before meeting the Million Dollar Man in the tournament finals to crown the Heavyweight Champion. Savage prevailed from the help of his new found friend, Hulk Hogan. Over the course of the next year, Savage would be on top with Hogan right behind, until the tension between the two came to blows over the services of longtime manager, Mrs. Elizabeth. It all culminated at Wrestlemania 5 with Savage dropping the belt.
In less than 6 months, Savage would have a new title, “The Macho King”, and a new manager, Sensational Sherri. Over the next two years he would have several mid-card feuds before feuding with the Ultimate Warrior. Savage cost Warrior his title at the 1991 Royal Rumble and the two would have a retirement match at Wrestlemania 7. The match is one of my favorite of Savage’s and one of the most underrated. Savage lost, but afterwards reunited with Mrs. Elizabeth. He took time off and joined the announcers booth.
While at the announcers table, Savage and Elizabeth would continue a romance leading up to the “wedding” at Summerslam. After the wedding, they would receive a present in the form of a box with a cobra in it, courtesy of Jake “The Snake” Roberts. The two would have one of the most disturbing feuds in WWE history. At one point, Roberts tied Savage to the ropes and allowed his cobra to bite Savage. Which it did and actually got its fang stuck in his arm. Savage would eventually get his revenge and move to his next high profile opponent.
Ric Flair made his feud with Savage personal. Flair had doctored pictures of him and Elizabeth together. Playing with Savage’s paranoia seemed to make him unpredictable at times. Flair and Savage squared off at Wrestlemania 8 and Savage won in what, as a child, was an emotional draining match. Bobby Heenan added to the drama on commentary, to the point many believed Savage’s leg was broke. He would go on to feud with Warrior and Flair before joining commentary once again. At the end of 1994 Savage departed the WWE.
I will end my summary of his career there, because it seems that WWE is now only recognizing the time in WWE for most of its Hall of Famers.
Savage was great in the ring, but he was also great on the mic. He could draw you in with his dramatic highs and lows, talking and yelling at a frantic pace. Then he would bring the ride to a sudden stop and drive his point home in only the way he could.
There was no-one who could bring the crowd to their feet faster when he headed to the turnbuckle. He would put his body on the line to deliver a double ax handle all the way to the outside floor. And no-one delivered the elbow from the top rope like Savage. His arms thrown in the air, the crowd would jump to their feet in anticipation of the end. He would leap higher than his predecessors, and soar across the ring to drop total devastation onto the heart or throat of the unfortunate foe. It had been copied by many, but none have duplicated the majesty and gracefulness of the Macho Man.
The pageantry of The Macho Man was another thing to experience. Once “Pomp and Circumstance” hit, the crowd would rise to its feet. Savage always stuck out with his bright colored and sequined robes. Elizabeth always at his side in formal gown. As the Macho King, many times he would be carried on his throne down the aisle.
He always stepped up in the big moments. Every WrestleMania he would be on the top of his game and put on a show. From 3 to 8, he was involved in arguably the best matches on the card. He was a constant perfectionist and always strived to be on the top of his game. He has finally made it to the top and will get the recognition that he deserves.
“The tower of power, too sweet to be sour! Ohhhh yeahh!”
This May marks four years since the passing of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He spent years in his iconic role as the gravelly voiced king-of-everything in both the WWF and WCW. He sold Slim Jims, carried championship belts, and could arguably be placed on a similar pedestal as his sometimes friend Hulk Hogan. He was a marquee name and had some incredible matches over the years with just about every big name in wrestling throughout both boom periods in the 80’s and 90’s.
Guys like Hogan, Flair, DDP, even Goldberg had their chance in WWF/E after the death of WCW and most of the big name legends are treated as such within the WWE Universe these days, but the Macho Madness has been largely ignored by the WWE since he left in 1994. There are rumors as to why and if you want to read about them then the internet is the perfect place. I’m not going to go into those rumors because I don’t know if they are true and, ultimately, with nothing official coming out after twenty years I can’t say they matter to anybody not involved in the rumors. What matters is that Savage is FINALLY being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
This is huge news as it is long overdue. Sadly, the Macho King isn’t alive to accept the honor himself, and that does make it a bit bittersweet. He deserves to be there and his name deserves to be in the mix with others from his era like Sensational Sherri, Jimmy Hart, and Hulk Hogan, who is said to have patched things up with Randy before his death.
Macho Man brings a lot of good memories flooding forward from his time in WWF to his return to in-ring action in WCW, and it’s high time he gets his place in the Hall of Fame. I was honored to see Randy Savage wrestle live in person several times in the 90’s and his energy could radiate throughout the crowd. Before the internet exploded the secrets of professional wrestling into the mainstream I was a huge mark and I would mark out for both Hogan and Macho. I remember Macho Man wrestling the very first time I went to see live matches and I came away with a Hulkster shirt and a giant Macho Man cowboy hat. I still proudly own both.
I am excited to see what the future holds as the WWE begins to once again recognize the huge part of their history that Macho Man was, and hopefully he will be a big part of things to come in the future. Congratulations, Macho, this has been a long time coming.
On January 12th, in front of a live Monday Night Raw audience, WWE finally announced the long overdue induction of “The Macho Man” Randy Savage into their Hall of Fame. Every true wrestling fan rejoiced as one of the true wrestling greats finally gets his day in the sun.
The funny thing is, the “Macho Man” Randy Savage doesn’t need the WWE Hall of Fame.
He doesn’t need Hulk Hogan to induct him.
And the fancy video package that WWE’s top notch media department will put together for the induction? It really isn’t necessary.
It’s the other way around: WWE needed Savage in the Hall of Fame.
Savage’s career is Hall of Fame worthy regardless of whether WWE acknowledges it with an induction.
For the bulk of Savage’s great career, he was one of the best wrestlers to step into the squared circle. He could perform as a babyface or heel, and his promos made you want to watch his matches. The way he talked about his opponent and the creative flair he used when telling everyone why he was “the cream of the crop” was second to none. His rough voice that he could modulate from calm tone to a bombastic explosion drew you in to every word he said. Throw in his mannerisms as he was constantly moving his fingers around and gliding around on the tip of his toes just added another layer to his unforgettable character.
I don’t remember ever seeing a bad Savage match. He could work a match with anyone WWE put him in a program with, and make them look great. No matter if he was dealing out the punishment on his opponent or he was the one receiving it, Savage told a compelling story that had me, and every other wrestling fan at the time, glued to the TV set. I still get nervous when I see Savage’s eyes bulge out of his head as he rushes his opponent in fit of “Macho Madness.”
He sold himself and his opponent, and more times than not, put on the best match of the show, whether it was the main event or not.
Even his performances in his later years with the sinking ship that was World Championship Wresting, wasn’t bad by any stretch. Mediocre? Yes. Was it his best work? Absolutely not. But Savage’s character was still compelling enough to make you watch. Which was saying a lot during those last days of WCW.
Savages classic matches and programs could fill up a couple of volumes in Library of Wrestling History (Not a real place, but I’m making it proper noun because it should be real).
His program with Jake Roberts is textbook lesson not only on wrestling, but how to make the crowd and viewer at home invested in the story you are telling. Roberts and his sadistic, low volume promos mixed with Savages crazy eyes and emotionally unhinged responses culminated in brutally intense matches.
His match with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat at Wrestlemania III is one of the all-time greatest matches in wrestling history. Everyone may remember that event for Hogan slamming Andre in the Silverdome, but wrestling fans everywhere knows the true main event on that card was Savage and Steamboat for the Intercontinental Championship.
He made the Ultimate Warrior look like the greatest wrestler to ever live in the classic Career vs. Career match at Wrestlemania VII. He even made you care about his feud with Crush during the abysmal “New Generation” period of WWE, as he continued to spring up unannounced to pounce on his unwitting foe again and again.
One of my personal favorites actually happen in WCW with Diamond Dallas Page (DDP). The feud was classic “Macho Madness” Randy Savage and it a elevated Page to main event status. I remember a slow build as they one upped each other each week on Nitro. Savage would get the upper hand, playing he heel, and then DDP would grab it back the next week. Then they would tangle on the pay-per-view and they would literally beat each other from one end of the venue to the other. The feud lasted for 8-months, and was one of the best feuds and sets of matches during the Monday Night Wars of the 1990s.
And those reasons and matches, among many others, is why Savage doesn’t really need an induction into the WWE’s Hall of Fame. His legacy has already been cemented. If there was a fan made Hall of Fame, he would have been a sure first ballot inductee.
That is why WWE needed Savage in their Hall of Fame. It would be a black eye and a hinderance to it being a true Hall of Fame that fans could take seriously. Without Savage, no matter who was inducted in the past or will be inducted in the future, it wouldn’t feel complete. Savage didn’t need WWE. Everyone knows how great of a performer and character that he was. His legend will live forever inside or outside of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Now, with Savage being inducted, WWE can now say that they are truly a wrestling Hall of Fame. And, more importantly, a building that truly houses all the legends that true fans expect it to.