Throwback Tribute: A WWE Network Birthday Tribute to ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage

November 12, 2015 by Brock Allen

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Throwback Tribute: A Birthday Tribute to Randy Savage

On May 20th, 2011 the wrestling world lost a true legend when Randy Savage passed away in Seminole, Florida at the age of 58. Unquestionably one of the greatest and most charismatic professional wrestlers of all-time Randy Savage’s unparalleled athleticism and larger than life persona made the “Macho Man”, and the WWF, a household name around the globe. This Sunday, the 15th, would have marked Savage’s 63rd birthday.

To honor the occasion Throwback Thursday on WrestlingDVDNetwork.com once again turns Throwback Tribute as we celebrate the life and career of Randy “Macho Man” Savage by looking at some lesser known matches that illustrate the greatness of the “Macho Man”.

WCW Nitro - 'Macho Man' Randy Savage Entrance

For more on the life and career of Randy Savage check out Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story, WrestleMania Rewind: Macho Madness, WrestleMania Rewind: The Mega Powers Explode, the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony, and Tuesday Night Titans #42 (featuring Savage’s debut match and search for a manager).

 
WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship (WATCH)
Pedro Morales vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage(c) w/Miss Elizabeth
WWF on MSG Network August 25, 1986

Savage debuted in the WWF in the summer of 1985 and was an overnight sensation. On Feb. 8, 1986 Savage won the Intercontinental title in controversial form from Tito Santana, embarking on a near-record reign of 414 days, second only to Savage’s opponent on this night Pedro Morales (425 days). This match is a prime example of the greatness of Morales, on the downside of a legendary career, and the coming greatness of Randy Savage. This footage comes from Prime Time Wrestling #80 from Sept. 15, 1986.

 
WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship (WATCH)
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage(c) w/Miss Elizabeth
WWF on NESN November 1, 1986

WWE - 'Macho Man' Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat

Two of the greatest young wrestlers in the WWF were just beginning the program that would change both men’s lives and careers forever. While this isn’t WrestleMania III this match is still a classic encounter and a sign of things to come that left fans wanting more.

 
“Grudge Match” (WATCH)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart w/Jim Neidhart & Jimmy Hart
WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XIII November 11, 1987 (Aired: Nov. 28, 1987)

After Bret cost Savage the Intercontinental title against Honky Tonk Man on SNME XII and, with Jim Neidhart, held Savage as Honky Tonk Man broke a guitar over Savage’s head, Savage was hell bent on revenge. This is an early singles masterpiece from Hart and yet another Savage classic.

 
WWF World Heavyweight Championship – Count Out Rule Waived (WATCH)
Andre the Giant w/Bobby Heenan vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage(c) w/Miss Elizabeth
WWF on MSG Network October 23, 1988

WWE - Andre The Giant vs. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage

This was a local rematch from the MSG show from Sept. 29, 1988 where Savage and Andre were both counted out. Though Andre was in the twilight of an epic career this match with Savage was a glimpse of the greatness that was in front of a hot MSG crowd.

 
“Grudge Match” (WATCH)
“Macho King” Randy Savage w/”Senastional Queen” Sherri vs. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXVIII September 18, 1990 (Aired: Oct. 13, 1990)

Savage had been at war with Rhodes since the spring of 1990 and was looking to end it at SNME XXVIII. Rhodes, meanwhile, was in the midst of a growing feud with “The Million Dollar Man”, whose move to buy Rhodes’ son Dustin during this match costs “The Dream” on this night. While this isn’t a classic it’s the best TV match of the two available on the Network.

 
Singles Match (WATCH)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Doink the Clown
WWF Monday Night RAW July 25, 1993 (Aired: Aug. 2, 1993)

WWE - 'Macho Man' Randy Savage vs. Doink The Clown

Savage was in the midst of a minor comeback at this point, preparing for his program with Crush, when this match took place. Featuring the debut of “Macho Midget” this, a match between two polished, skilled wrestlers, was another example of Savage being able to work with any opponent on any night.

 
Singles Match (WATCH)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Kurasawa w/Col. Rob Parker
WCW Monday NITRO #8 October 23, 1995

With the New Japan Pro Wrestling “invasion” in near full-tilt, heading towards the first and only “World Cup of Wrestling” at Starrcade ’95, Savage met Japanese star Manabu “Kurasawa” Nakanishi on NITRO. This is a classic example of Savage’s chameleon-like ability to match the style of his opponent to tell the proper story.

 
WCW World Heavyweight Championship (WATCH)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair(c) w/Jimmy Hart
WCW Monday NITRO #21 January 22, 1996

WCW Nitro - 'Macho Man' Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair

This was Savage’s first TV rematch against Ric Flair who, after interference by Arn Anderson, won the World title from Savage at Starrcade ’95. This marked Savage’s 2nd WCW World title reign, a reign that ended just 20 days later when Flair, with Miss Elizabeth’s help, reclaimed the title at SuperBrawl VI. This would be Savage’s last WCW World title win until Spring Stampede ’98.

 
Singles Match (WATCH)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “Lord” Steven Regal
WCW Monday NITRO #47 August 5, 1996

With the nWo running wild and WCW in disarray Randy Savage and “Lord” Steven Regal put on one of the best matches in the near one-year history of Monday NITRO. Yet another example of Savage’s ability to work great matches on the fly and not just well-hyped, well-planned PPV encounters.

 
“Grudge Match” (WATCH)
Dennis Rodman vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
WCW Road Wild ’99 August 14, 1999

WCW - 'Macho Man' Randy Savage vs. Dennis Rodman

Rodman’s third and final WCW match is hands down the best of the three. In a match that better resembles a street fight, Savage and Rodman brawled in and out of the ring, up and down the ramp, and in and out of a port-a-potty in a match that illustrates, once again, the versatility of Randy Savage and his ability to draw the best out of anyone. This is the last Randy Savage match currently available on the Network.

 
Final Thoughts:

Before Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, Randy Savage was “Mr. WrestleMania”, routinely stealing the show with a variety of talent. But the greatness of Savage’s career was not in what “Macho Man” did on PPV alone or at WrestleMania but in the matches and moments that filled TV airwaves for much of the late-’80s and ’90s. The moments that made us, the fans, love Randy Savage. These ten matches illustrate the depth and variety of Savage’s in-ring career. As “Macho Man’s” birthday approaches we pause to remember the man, the athlete, and the professional wrestler. As Vince McMahon said in Time Magazine, “Today, Randy is remembered as one of wrestling’s all-time greats. No question about it–he certainly was.” Happy birthday “Macho Man”!

WWE - Randy Savage Backstage with Miss Elizabeth

That’s it for the latest TBT on WDN – thank you for reading! Are you a WWE Network subscriber? If so, check out the matches, see them for yourself, and let us know what you think below.

Feel free to share your favorite “Macho Man” moments, promos, matches, or stories.

Until next week, see ya at ringside!

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13 Comments left on this article...

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  1. LP1 says:

    Savage was the man. One of the “big 3” of the late 80’s-early 90’s along with Hogan and Warrior. It’s such a shame we never got to hear him give his own Hall Of Fame speech.

    Also, that match with Rodman at Road Wild 1999 was his final televised WCW match. He worked 2 more house show matches after that, made a lone appearance on Nitro in October 1999 and then did a run-in during a Battle Royal on Thunder in May 2000. So it doesn’t look like there will be any more matches of his on the Network after the Rodman match. Unless WWE buys the TNA library. And even the one tag team match he did there was nothing more than a few seconds of punches and a pin on Jeff Jarrett. Not really much of a match.

    • Brock Allen says:

      I agree, LP1, Savage should have given his own speech. It’s a shame it took his passing to even get it done in the first place. As far as the final TV match goes, I did count the 41-man battle royal as a TV match. (If I remember right the 41-man battle royal was also Bret Hart’s last WCW match as well.) And it isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility for WWE to pick up the TNA vault one day. I agree the battle royal isn’t much of anything, but a match is a match is a match. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Take care.

      • LP1 says:

        I haven’t seen that Battle Royal in forever, so maybe I’m misremembering, but was Savage an official participant in the match? I sort of remember him(and a bunch of other guys) coming into the ring well after the match started and then walked out after only a couple of minutes. So it was more like a run-in than an actual match he was in. Again, I don’t remember specifically if he was considered an official participant, but I guess I’m just splitting hairs.

        • Brock Allen says:

          I decided to play it cautious and just call it a “match” for Savage. I mean he had an entrance, complete with music, was considered to be a part of the Millionaires Club, and seeing that had Savage won he would have received a WCW WHC title shot at GAB 2000, like the others who entered after the start of the match, I erred on the side of caution and called it a “match” for Savage. It’s an interesting situation though for sure.

  2. Anan says:

    Tough for me to name my favorite of anything. But I’m gonna try here….

    Matches:
    Summerslam 92 vs Warrior
    WM7 vs Warrior
    WM4 vs Ted Dibiase
    WM5 vs Hogan
    WM3 vs Steamboat
    WM8 vs Flair
    Matches against Jake Roberts

    Promos:
    Slim Jim commercials
    Any WWF Action Figures commercials he was in
    WM 8 post-match interview
    Royal Rumble 1992 pre-match comments
    “The Cream of the Crop” interview
    WWF Fan Club 1992 or 1993 ad.
    Summerslam 94 host.
    The promo he did to promote his action figure. Proved he could still deliver his famous Macho Man promos in his famous Macho Man voice and fashion. This took place, I think in 2010 or 2011.

    Moments:
    Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth reunite at WM7.
    Randy Savage’s storyline reinstatement at the end of 1991 heading into Survivor Series.
    Prior to Summerslam 94, WWF aired footage of a softball game. Savage who was in baseball prior to getting into the wrestling business was the MVP here as he hit a home run that went a long way in giving Team WWF the win.

    I enjoyed the Macho Man more than the Macho King to be honest. But whether he was the Macho Man or the Macho King, Randy always had his famous colorful ring gear that I love. I loved his Macho Man entrances.

    The only thing I didn’t like was how after 1992, WWF used Savage as a jobber, then turned him into a commentator. I can’t actually confirm this. But I always believed this is what led to him leaving WWF after his contract was up in 94 and one of, if the not the reason for his strained relationship or lack of a relationship with Vince. Either way, can’t say I blame or disagree with Randy Savage.

    • Brock Allen says:

      I agree with it all, Anan. Indeed Savage was tired of being commentator and wanted one more run to elevate one more talent (HBK). Though he had an alright career in WCW Savage’s home was in the WWF for sure. I love all the moments and matches you mentioned (except for maybe WM7, just not one of my personal favs) but I think his program with DDP in WCW should get a little love too. I loved the promos from Savage and I loved the matches. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share and leave a comment. Take care.

      • Anan says:

        @Brock Allen:

        Thanks for the reply.

        I agree with you that his rivalry with DDP deserves some love too. DDP stated Savage made his career. My entire list comprises his WWF run because that’s the Randy Savage I saw every night so it’s the Randy Savage I’ll always love and remember regardless of his WCW run. I never really watched WCW beyond the Sting/Hogan build-up to Starrcade and stopped watching due to that politically controversial ending to what was in may people’ opinion, WCW’s biggest match since the company was rebranded as WCW.

        And yes, I remember reading – and I believe HBK even confirmed this – that Savage wanted a year long run with HBK in 92 to help elevate him. I can definitely see Savage wanting one more run in 93-94 to elevate someone as he deserved one more run to do that as he was capable of doing that. Who he’d elevate is anyone’s guess. Knowing how HBK was in those years and everyone including HBK himself states the kind of troublemaker he was back in those days, I’m glad Savage didn’t elevate a troublemaker. But because of the athlete HBK was, I can see why Savage wanted to elevate him.

        About his HOF Induction….I couldn’t agree more. They should have inducted him while he was still alive. There’s a story that goes that Savage’s wish was for the whole Poffo family to be inducted and for Savage’s induction music not to be Pomp and Circumstance by Sir Edward William Elgar as he felt bad that Pomp and Circumstance was his theme and he never thanked Edgar and/or Edgar was never paid or acknowledged by WWE? I’m not really sure on that second part, but I know Savage wanted his family to be inducted alongside himself. WWE didn’t grant him his wish. Why, I have no idea. They could’ve and should’ve and I see no harm in it. They did a nice documentary on Randy, but should have been done with his participation while he was still alive. Around the time his Classic action figure came out in 2010-2011, great time for the doc and HOF induction if you ask me. Vince, whatever his reason is, ego or otherwise should have put it aside and induct the whole family because without Randy, Vince would have made it into the 90’s or survived that decade as far as I;m concerned. And if WWF didn’t exist in the 90’s, it’d mean no Monday Night Wars, HBK, Attitude Era, DX, Taker, RAW, Smackdown, and so on.

        “He was a kids wrestler. I remember him stopping everything on a NITRO to go talk with a disabled child. He would stop and pose for a Japanese child in the crowd.”

        Cena does this or something similar to it now. He’s been doing it for quite some time now. I guess the fact hat Randy Savage did it first made him the “John Cena” of the 90’s, he was pretty much John Cena before John Cena was John Cena. Cena’s been the kid’s wrestler for many years now. Before him, it was actually Jeff Hardy in certain respects. But Jeff, I don’t know now, with all his past drug issues…..

        • Brock Allen says:

          @Anan:

          Again, I agree Savage was and always will be a “WWF guy”. When I think of him it’s always in a WWF ring. As far as the HOF goes, as far as I understand it, it was Lanny’s decision to change the terms. Lanny, in the end, felt Randy deserved to be honored on his own. I can’t disagree, but I would like to see his father inducted one day as well. As far as HBK/Savage, I would really have liked to see a full program. The matches we have on DVD from the foreign tours are just incredible. Given enough time these two could have put on absolute classic matches. And who knows, maybe working with Savage could have altered HBK’s thought process, ya never know. And I agree to an extent with the Cena comparison but I don’t agree 100% with it. The way Savage looked at the kids, the way he stripped away the world save he and the child, was just one of a kind. I’ve yet to see another wrestler do that. Not Goldberg, Austin, Hogan, or Cena. It was these little things Savage did that made Randy Savage Randy Savage for the fans. Even as a heel his heart was pure and honest when it came to the fans. Thanks again for commenting. I enjoy the interaction. Take care, Anan.

          • Anan says:

            @Brock Allen:

            HOF….didn’t know that. Good to know. Thanks for the info. At the end of the day, Savage got in. Lanny did several interviews saying Savage’s induction was really for the fans’ satisfaction as we’ve been wanting it for years now. Eventually we got what we wanted and yes it was good Savage got a solo induction. Would have meant so much more if it happened while he was alive is all. The recent documentary would have been better had Savage participated. I don’t know why but I feel like if he participated, things between him and Vince would have improved. Worked with Warrior after all. I know his situation is different from Savage’s though.

            Cena comparison….I agree with you. Think about this too. Cena’s doing what he’s doing in a kid friendly publicly traded PG WWE. Whether that means anything or not is a different story. Though I believe that is a factor. Savage doing what he did was during the edgy attitude driven WWF vs WCW war as that is when he joined WCW. Can’t really say Monday Night Wars as Nitro didn’t exist when Savage joined WCW best as I remember it. Why I bring it up though because although what Cena and Savage did might be different, when Savage did it, it was virtually uncommon. In fact he may have been the only one or one of very very select few who were doing it at the time. So it makes his generosity mean so much more that words cannot do it justice.

            • Brock Allen says:

              @Anan:

              The point on the PG-Era is spot on in respect to Savage’s interactions with younger fans. He was a hardcore heel when I saw him stop everything and talk to a severely disabled child in the crowd.

              “…when Savage did it, it was virtually uncommon. In fact he may have been the only one or one of very very select few who were doing it at the time.”

              I couldn’t have said it better myself. That’s the exact point I was trying to make. Great point stated perfectly.

              “So it makes his generosity mean so much more that words cannot do it justice.”

              Spot on. Thanks for commenting, Anan. Take care.

    • themadness says:

      to me, none of the matches against Jake Roberts that I have seen would qualify as a great match.

      BUT that being said, the “Tuesday in Texas” match is worth it for the angle alone (and the pre- and post-match promos as well, with both of them being at their absolute best: Roberts as the calculating evil that would literally do anything and Savage as going absolutely crazy due to the circumstances).

  3. David says:

    Great article! Savage definitely was truly one of a kind and really enjoyed watching his matches. I was really devastated and shocked when hearing the news that Savage passed away.

    Would have really been great to see more Savage vs. Bret Hart…I believe the SNME was the only televised match they had in WWE which is a shame since WWE had couple opportunities to have this at WM9 if Savage won the Rumble and even could have happened at WM10 if they had him beat Yokozuna on RAW before WM.

    I read they had an awesome match in Japan in 1994 which I believe is only on fancam and wasn’t taped.

    WCW capitalized on it in 1998 but unfortunately wasn’t as good as I hoped due to Savage’s knee being messed up and Bret Hart wasn’t really the same in WCW.

    RIP Randy Savage…over four years later and still missed by all fans. The RAW tribute package was touching and i still tear up when I watch it. Not sure about others but I feel in some of the lyrics its like Vince is apologizing to Savage as I read Vince was really heartbroken over his passing as I read they were really close in late-80s and 90s, like brothers and looked like they were close to patching things up before his passing in late-2010 early-2011 when Savage was included in WWE All Stars and even cut a promo about him being in the game.

    • Brock Allen says:

      I couldn’t agree more, David. In trying to figure out which direction to go with the Tribute I watched the WWE Tribute video several times. I tear up, like you, every time I watch it. He was a kids wrestler. I remember him stopping everything on a NITRO to go talk with a disabled child. He would stop and pose for a Japanese child in the crowd. He was all about the memory and bringing wrestling to life. I wrote this for all the kids that loved him and all the fans whose wrestling flame was lit because of the “Macho Man”. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, David.

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