June 10, 2009
WWE – Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection
Your hosts are Matt Striker and Maria. Among Striker’s spot-on Randy Savage impression that makes Maria giggle, Maria spouts off some Randy Savage facts about his father who was also a wrestler that set the world record for most consecutive sit-ups. Randy turned down a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds in favor of becoming a wrestler like his old man. All facts smarky internet wrestling nerds know all too well.
Randy Savage vs. “Quick Draw” Rick McGraw – (Madison Square Garden – 6/21/85)
This is actually Savage’s MSG debut, not his first WWE match. Savage is billed as the #1 free agent in wrestling since he has no manager just yet. He’ll end up turning everybody down in favor of bringing in the lovely Miss Elizabeth as his valet. I guess I should mention “Quick Draw” Rick McGraw here. Sadly, he’s best known for his drug problems, which ended up killing him in late ‘85. Savage stalls to start like only a pro heel from the Memphis territory can do. People start throwing trash and drinks at Savage as he REALLY gets under their skin. By the way, what’s with the ref and his Rollie Fingers mustache? Nobody in MSG had seen somebody like Savage before. The highlight of the match comes when Savage delivers the Flying Double Ax Handle on the floor, which nobody did back then. McGraw mounts a comeback and gets Savage tied up in the tree of woe for a barrage of stomps. Savage hits McGraw with a clothesline and finishes him off with the MACHO ELBOW. (12:48) Probably a lot better at the time then looking at it today. Still solid with Savage working the crowd into an ANGRY frenzy. **
We catch a clip of Randy Savage turning down all the heel managers of the WWF at the time and introduce the world to Miss Elizabeth.
Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ricky Steamboat – (Boston Garden – 12/7/85)
I’d LOVE to have a Steamboat/Savage comp tape if one existed. Steamboat fights off a Pearl Harbor Job as Gorilla puts it and takes Savage to the floor to post his shoulder. Back inside, Steamboat works the arm like nobody’s business. Savage finally manages to knock Steamboat off his game plan when he blasts Steamboat right after he skins the cat. Savage follows him out with the flying double sledge and then running knees him into the front row while he tries to get the feeling back in his arm. In the ring, Savage misses the MACHO ELBOW. Now Steamboat heads up top, but he’s slammed down like he’s Ric Flair. WOO! Odd to see the heel doing that move. Steamboat catches Savage trying another flying double ax handle and mounts his comeback with chops. Savage bails out on the apron and reaches into his tights for the taped knux while the ref backs up Steamboat. Steamboat sees what’s coming and ducks the swing. He brings Savage back inside with a back suplex only to be nailed in mid-air with the taped knux for the 1-2-3. (11:16) Afterwards, Steamboat finds the taped knux and chases Savage to the back. Ten minutes of these two is better than 20 minutes of most everyone else in the WWF at the time. ***½
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) – (Madison Square Garden – 12/30/85)
According to the reaction, Hulk Hogan must be better than sex. After Hogan gets done throwing Savage around, he bails to the floor and tries to slow down Hulk’s momentum. Back in, Savage goes to the eyes, but misses a Bossman straddle. Hogan comes back with a corner clothesline and an atomic drop to put Savage back on the floor. On the floor, Savage hides behind his lady and Hogan would never hit a lady. Back inside, Hogan catches Savage in midair when he tries a flying bodypress for a backbreaker. Back on the floor, Savage once again hides behind Liz. After he jaws with the New Yawkers, Savage nails Hogan coming back in and delivers a flying double ax handle. When that only gets a two count, he tosses Hogan out for the Flying Double Sledge to the floor. Back inside, Hogan starts to HULK UP. Big Boot puts Savage back on the floor again. Now Elizabeth stands in Hogan’s way, but this time she gets picked up and set aside so Hulk can get serious all over Savage. In the ring, Hulk telegraphs a backdrop and gets nailed with the MACHO ELBOW for 1-2-NO! Hogan clotheslines the ref by accident and then takes a knee that puts him out on the floor. Savage grabs the WWF title and crashes the belt down on Hulk’s back! The damage has been done. Back in, Savage wakes the ref up by waving his arm up and down as if to count Hogan out! Well, that actually works and Savage wins via countout. (10:01) WOW. Hogan loses in their first match together! Savage puts the belt on and celebrates a title win that he did not earn. I don’t think these two ever had a bad match in the ’80s against one another. ***¼
WWF Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) – (Boston Garden – 2/8/86)
Very mixed reaction for Tito when he holds up the belt, by the way. Strong series of tie-ups to start. Savage stalls a little bit on the floor to work the crowd, but they fight back into the ring. Santana catches Savage in the gut on the way down off a double-ax handle. Savage avoids a FLYING JALAPENO and draws Santana around the ring so he can lower the boom on the way back inside. Santana quickly comes back with an atomic drop for two. Savage goes to the eyes to take over with a clothesline and a flying double-ax handle. Savage turns this match up to eleven and throws Santana to the floor for another flying double-ax handle! Santana blocks a turnbuckle smash on the apron and returns the favor. Flying elbow smash from Tito connects for 1-2-NO! Tito runs into a knee in the corner for two. When Santana presses Savage off him, Savage lands on the referee. Santana gets a quick inside cradle, but ref Danny Davis is slow to count for 1-2-NO! Savage catches Santana with a back elbow, but misses a knee drop! And here we go. FIGURE-FOUR! Savage reverses the hold into the ropes and tries to pull out a foreign object from his tights. Santana stops that with a suplex and then attempts another Figure-Four, but Savage kicks him off and slides out to the apron again. Santana tries to pull him back in, but Danny Davis gets in his way to allow Savage to put on the taped knux. He swings and misses Tito, but nails him on the way back in during a back suplex. Savage covers for 1-2-3. New champ. (10:31) Savage gets rid of the evidence just as the ref raises his hand in victory. When Danny Davis would become the evil referee in 1987, they would use this finish as one of the seeds that led to his turn. Non-stop action just as you would expect. ****
WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Bruno Sammartino – (Boston Garden – 1/3/87)
I’m kind of glad there’s no George Steele matches. I’ve had enough of those. Instead, we get the Living Legend himself. Bruno is pissed at Savage for crushing Steamboat’s larynx and now that Savage said some pretty nasty things about him, he even has more of a reason to beat the crap out of Savage. Bruno was SUPER over in all the big northeastern towns and time evidently did not change that fact. Of course, Sammartino is everything that the ’80s is not. He’s not flashy, hasn’t changed his style whatsoever, and he’s extremely unpleasant to look at in wrestling tights and boots. Anyways, Bruno beats the CRAP out of Savage in his most fired up 1970’s style. Savage puts Liz in front of him to slow down Bruno. That’s when Savage strikes him from behind and drives Sammartino into the post. Savage does all he can to keep Bruno down on the floor, including the Flying Double Ax Handle. Once he makes it back inside, he goes to the eyes and starts unloading again on Savage. They go back on the floor to brawl until Savage nails Sammartino in the back with a chair for the DQ. (6:01) It’s still not over between these two as Bruno clasps on the BEARHUG. A half dozen babyfaces have to come down and get him off Savage. Complete clash of styles, but with the crowd so in everything, it made the match much more enjoyable than it should have been. **
WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ricky Steamboat – (WrestleMania III)
In late November, Steamboat challenged Savage to an IC title match on Superstars. As the match progressed, Savage became desperate and afraid that he would lose to Steamboat. In his moment of desperation, he draped Steamboat on the guardrail and came off the top turnbuckle with a double-ax handle! This crushed Steamboat’s larynx and put him out of action for several months. The WWF wisely kept all physical contact between Steamboat and Savage on TV from happening to give this match such a HUGE build, which is a major detail that seems to left out of wrestling these days. Steamboat counters a waistlock to start, and then sees that Steele is too close to Elizabeth so he climbs out and takes her over to the other side of the ring. Back in, Steamboat delivers a pair of armdrags and gives Savage a quick choke lift. Savage bails, but Steamboat chases him into the ring and gets nailed. Savage chokes away in the corner and then charges, but Steamboat moves out of the way. Steamboat works an arm wringer, but Savage whips him into the ropes and gives him a back elbow. Steamboat gets dumped and then Savage elbows him in the throat on the apron. Savage snapmares Steamboat back in and delivers a knee drop to the throat for two. Steamboat blocks a head to the buckle and returns the favor to Savage. Steamboat chops away and connects with a crossbody for two. Steamboat gets an armdrag and a couple shoulderblock near-falls. Savage sidesteps the third shoulderblock and catches Steamboat with a running knee to the back. Savage tosses Steamboat over the top rope, but Steamboat skins the cat back in the ring and then takes a clothesline out to the floor. Savage sneaks up from behind Steamboat and sends him into the front row with another running knee! Savage KNOWS he can’t beat Steamboat by a pinfall or submission, so he’s trying to get the countout win. I LOVE that. Steele tries to revive Steamboat and helps him out by picking him up and placing him back into the ring. Savage tosses Steamboat out AGAIN and heads up top for the dreaded double-axe handle and he connects! Instead of allowing the ten-count to happen, Savage gets impatient and tosses Steamboat back in the ring. He heads up to the top again and delivers another double-axe handle, then gives Steamboat a running elbow for two. Hotshot from Savage gets two. Atomic drop from Savage gets two. Suplex from Savage gets two. Haha, poor Dave Hebner. Steamboat comes back with chops, but Savage goes to the eyes and delivers a gutwrench suplex for two. Steamboat flips out of a back suplex and then backdrops Savage out to the floor. CRAZY BUMP! Steamboat brings Savage back in the ring and goes up top. He LEAPS over Dave Hebner and catches Savage with a Judo chop! (Possibly the most poetic moment in wrestling history) Steamboat covers for a close near-fall! The crowd even thought it was over. Double-arm chop from Steamboat gets two. Savage rolls out onto the apron and gets knocked out to the floor. Steamboat chases Savage back into the ring and delivers a sunset flip from the apron for two. Steamboat gets several near-falls from various rollups and then sends Savage headfirst into the ringpost with a catapult for another two! Steamboat rolls him up again for two, but then Savage pulls him back by his tights into a roll up for two. Steamboat fires away on Savage, but then gets yanked shoulder-first into the ringpost. Hebner gets bumped and Savage sets up for the MACHO ELBOW! He connects, but there’s no ref! Since there’s no ref, Savage goes out and grabs the ring bell! He heads up top, but Steele snatches the bell away from him. Savage kicks him in the head and grabs the bell back and climbs up top again, so Steele shoves him off. Savage goes for another slam to possibly set up for another Macho Elbow, but Steamboat counters it into a small package for the three-count to win the WWF Intercontinental title. (14:35) If there ever was a perfect match, this was it. Psychology, booking, workrate; it’s all done to perfection here. *****
WWF Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart & Peggy Sue) vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) (The Main Event – 2/5/88)
This was basically the on-screen end of the Savage/HTM feud as Savage would be getting ready for his arguably premature World title run and feud with DiBiase and Andre. By premature, I mean that he had no longer been a face for six months after being a top mid-card heel for over two years in the WWF, and he was already gunning for the World title as a main event face. In hindsight, it may have been a better idea to let DiBiase win the belt at ‘Mania and have Savage chase the belt and win it at SummerSlam. But hey, those early WrestleMania days were all about the good guys leaving victorious, so we got what we have. Honky gets caught dancing for Elizabeth and pays for it. By the way, Peggy Sue is Sensational Sherri with a blond wig and spider-frame sunglasses. Honky bails and gets a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER with Jimmy Hart! Back in, Savage gets nailed by Honky with some assistance from Jimmy Hart out on the floor. Savage punches out of a sunset flip attempt, but then misses a charge in the corner. Honky hits the canvas off an elbow drop, so Jimmy hops up on the apron to distract Savage out to the floor. The megaphone gets dropped in the ring and Honky Tonk nails Savage with it in the gut once the ref wasn’t looking. Honky covers for 1-2-NO! Honky hooks on a neck wrench, but Savage quickly elbows out. Honky catches Savage coming off the ropes with a knee to the gut to regain control. At every chance he gets, he looks over and smiles at Elizabeth. Honky gets in some more of his choke-punch offense. Savage makes a mild comeback, but then Honky puts him back down with a clothesline and a series of elbow drops. Since he thinks he has Savage incapacitated, he heads out to go after Elizabeth. She’s caught between Honky and Jimmy too! Savage finally gets up and floors Honky Tonk from behind. Back in, Honky begs Savage off, but gets thrown out for the top-rope double ax on the floor. Back in again, Savage hits another double-ax handle for 1-2-NO! Jimmy Hart is on the apron and he gets tossed in the ring. Savage grabs him, but moves out of the way and lets Honky knock him out to ringside with a running knee. Savage applies a sleeper hold, but releases the hold when he sees Peggy Sue is about to slap the crap out of Elizabeth. He saves her and then catches Honky coming off the apron with a shot to the gut. Savage runs him into the ringpost and rolls back in the ring to let Honky get counted out. (8:24) Honky Tonk brings his guitar in the ring and corners Savage, but Elizabeth gets in the way to save her man. Honky swings anyway, but Savage stands up and blocks the impact. He kicks Honky Tonk out of the ring and breaks the guitar. HIT MACHO’S MUSIC! Savage holds the rope down for Elizabeth to come in and he lifts her up on his shoulders to make all the women swoon. **
Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ted DiBiase (w/Andre the Giant) – WWF Title Tournament Finals (WrestleMania IV)
Robin Leach brings down the brand-new winged WWF title belt that would be used until the night after WrestleMania 14. Bob Uecker is *your* guest ring announcer for the second year in a row. Vanna White will be the guest timekeeper. The story here is that DiBiase received a bye and is rested, but Savage had One Man Gang to contend with, so he’s tired. This sets up the “Can he do it?” factor for this match. DiBiase backs Savage into the corner in a tie-up. Savage punches out, but gets tripped up by Andre. Crowd chants “Hogan” while Hebner scolds Andre. Nice wrestling sequence by these two ends with Andre tripping up Savage again. DiBiase delivers a clothesline for two, but then Savage punches out of a sunset flip attempt. DiBiase comes back after a talk with Andre, but then Savage gets his running hotshot out of nowhere. A Savage high knee sends DiBiase out to the floor. Savage heads up to deliver a top-rope double sledge, but Andre stands in the way. Savage has had enough of this Andre character, so he sends Elizabeth to the back to get Hogan. DiBiase catches Savage from behind and delivers his repeated fist drops for two. DiBiase hits the chinlock as the crowd chants “Hogan” because they know it’s coming. Well, speak of the devil! Here he comes. Hogan grabs a chair and sits down in the corner to watch the match. Let the lady have the seat, brother! DiBiase gets Savage caught in Andre’s corner so he can grab him. That brings Hulk over for the save. DiBiase stays on top of Savage with a suplex for two. Gutwrench suplex gets two. DiBiase goes up top, but he gets caught and sent down to the mat. Savage heads up for the MACHO ELBOW, but DiBiase moves out of the way. MILLION DOLLAR DREAM! Andre gets involved and while he’s being reprimanded, Hulk climbs into the ring and nails DiBiase with the back with his chair! Once Savage gets to his feet, he heads up again for the MACHO ELBOW and hits it this time for the 1-2-3! (9:19) The Mega Powers celebrate as the show comes to close. Great match! DiBiase unsuccessfully chased the title throughout the year, leading to the creation of his own belt. ***
WWF World Champion Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ted DiBiase (w/Virgil) – Cage Match – (Madison Square Garden – 6/25/88)
Just so there’s no confusion, the commentators are Roger Kent, Superstar Billy Graham and God Awful Hayes. DiBiase spends most of his time on the defense keeping Savage down on the mat with Million Dollar Fist Drops while makes a couple attempts to climb out. Both of them unsuccessful as Savage pops up and grabs hold of DiBiase’s trunks. When Savage tries to climb out, Virgil meets him at the top and punches Savage back down. Savage sends DiBiase into the cage wall and starts another climb, but Virgil is there to block. DiBiase beats Savage up in the corner and slams him down. Now DiBiase tries to make a break for the door. Savage has one drama struggle with DiBiase over by the door and finally manages to drag DiBiase away from the door. Double-KO sets up a crawl for Savage. He gets half way out the door, but DiBiase pulls him back in the cage. Another double-KO ensues and both men start to climb out on opposite sides of the cage. Virgil stops Savage, but then DiBiase CLIMBS BACK DOWN to do more damage. Big mistake. Savage counters a suplex and atomic drops DiBiase face-first into the cage. Savage crawls for the door, but then Virgil slams the door in Savage’s face! DiBiase crawls over Savage and makes it through the door. Savage has him hooked by the tights thus preventing DiBiase’s feet from touching the floor. He successfully brings Savage back in and throws him into the cage. Savage starts to climb and Virgil is there to meet him again – only this time Savage fights back. Oh man, a young fan climbs up the cage wall and tries to beat Virgil down, which delays the finish. Security has to pull him down by the ankles. Ha, that’s funny. DiBiase climbs up beside Savage and takes the DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER with Virgil! DiBiase falls back to the mat as Virgil falls to the floor to allow Savage the easy climb out of the cage for the win. (12:20) Some stuff didn’t come off quite right like when DiBiase climbed back down when he was certainly a few moments away from winning the title. All the same, a pretty solid cage match. **¾
Final Thoughts: Very well done first disc. They managed to show not only the stuff we all expected to see, but also some hidden house show gems that most of us have never seen before with some of Savage’s most famous rivals of the ’80s. So far, an easy thumbs up for this set.
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