Greatest Wrestlers Of The WrestleMania Era: #5 – Randy “Macho Man” Savage

Perhaps the greatest all-round performer/wrestler in the 80s, Randy “Macho Man” Savage had it all. The look. The personality. The voice. The showmanship. The wrestling talent. But most of all, he WAS the Macho Man – in AND out of the ring.

Outside of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage may be one of the most oft-imitated wrestling personality, with his trademark “Oh yeeeah” and “Dig it!” I’d be remiss not to mention his “Snap into a Slim Jim!” commercials. And other than Ric Flair, he often had the most amazing outfits on his way to the ring.

Growing up in a wrestling family, his father being WCW Hall of Famer Angelo Poffo, Savage was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as a catcher straight out of high school. An injury later in the early 1970s and he focused primarily on a wrestling career, taking up the name Randy Savage.

A stalwart of the WWF in the 1980s, Savage was a 3-time champion, ending his career in the WWF in the early 90s having won the World Title twice. Of course, possibly his most famous match was him losing the Intercontinental Title to Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III, after he had held it for 14 months.

Of course you have to mention the woman behind the man, as wherever there was Savage, there was the lovely Miss Elizabeth. Usually his doe-eyed escort to the ring, Elizabeth did her best when she stood at ringside and looked concerned. One of the iconic images of the 80s was Savage holding Elizabeth on his shoulders.

Perhaps his most famous feud was against Hulk Hogan, with the breakup of the Mega Powers. Which, of course, was over a woman. Savage got his name by not only being a savage in the ring, but also being fiercely jealous over anybody who looked at Elizabeth a little too long.
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Macho Man Randy Savage: One Of The Greatest Wrestlers Ever

The tower of power, too sweet to be sour, funky like monkey, ooooooh YEAH!”

Randall Poffo, better known as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, passed away early Friday (May 20, 2011), after a car accident in which he was killed, though his wife of one year survived the accident. It is believed that he suffered an ailment of some sort like a heart attack while behind the wheel.

Savage was one of the most iconic professional wrestlers in the history of the business. He was a huge star along with Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, and later, guys like The Ultimate Warrior, who were on that second level underneath Hulk Hogan. He had so many memorable feuds and moments that were big parts of the childhoods of those of us who followed the WWF closely (or even casually) in the mid-80s to early-90s. If you need proof, search Twitter. WWE today still makes money hand over fist, but at the time Savage was in his prime, wrestlers just seemed bigger than life and much more important than they seem today. Just look at what those in the business and in the media are saying about him.

The Rock tweeted today: “RIP Randy “Macho Man” Savage – you were one of my childhood inspirations and heroes. Strength, love and prayers to the Savage/Poffo family.”

ESPN sportswriter Bill Simmons also tweeted:“RIP, Randy Poffo aka Randy “Macho Man” Savage aka one of the greatest pro wrestlers who ever lived.”

Stone Cold Steve Austin also tweeted: “Just heard about Macho Man Randy Savage…unmatched intensity in the ring. A hellacious performer and terrific promo. A real bad ass. RIP.”

While Savage’s most famous moments as a performer were things that everyone remembers, like his one-year storyline with Hulk Hogan in which the Mega Powers exploded on NBC and the WrestleMania V match soon thereafter, there are some very interesting tidbits about his life and career that fall under the radar. Savage was a minor league baseball player in three different organizations from 1971-1974. He played in the outfield, caught a little bit, and also played some first base, and when his shoulder gave out on him, it pretty much signaled the end of his career. So he turned to the family business, which was professional wrestling.
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Wrestlemania 2 – Pearl Harbor

WrestleMania 2I remember it like it was yesterday. I was watching Saturday Night’s Main Event where the big angle for this Wrestlemania started. The main event was scheduled for Hulk Hogan vs. The Magnificent Muraco and instead of Muraco’s regular manager Mr. Fuji by his side, Bobby Heenan was in his corner. They said that Fuji had the flu, which was an angle alert. However, I was only nine so I didn’t know about angle alerts. During the match, Hogan went after Heenan and King Kong Bundy came in to attack Hogan and “pearl harbor” him as Vince McMahon would say. It was a sneak attack that left Hogan laying in the ring, taking big splash after big splash. As a young Hulkamaniac, I was devastated. I had just been turned on to wrestling the year before by my best friend at the time, and I bit hook, line, and sinker. There I was, up at midnight, watching my hero take the beating of his life. Bundy was played up huge. He was a mountain of a man. He actually resembled the letter “O” with his short but fat torso and lack of neck. He used to be called a condominium with legs. As Hogan lay lifeless in the ring, I was upset at this guy with the bald head and wrinkled forehead. But I was smart enough to know my guy was going to get revenge. The storyline was that Hogan was in the hospital suffering from rib injuries and you could write the Hulkster to wish him well. I wasn’t that gullible, but I know other young kids were. They even had Mean Gene Okerlund talk to the doctor and they showed x-rays of Hogan to sell the angle. They would meet again in the main event of Wrestlemania 2 and in a steel cage.

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Big D looks at 20 Years of SummerSlam History

Tomorrow night, WWE celebrates 21 years of SummerSlam, the “biggest party of the summer” as they’ve been calling recently. There have been 20 SummerSlam Events since 1988. But were all of them really worthy of being called the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best PPV of the year? Absolutely not. So today I’ve decided to take a look and list what I consider the Top 10 Greatest SummerSlam Pay-Per-Views of All Time! So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

10. SummerSlam 1988

So we begin with the very first SummerSlam in 1988, live on PPV from Madison Square Garden in New York. The whole purpose of the creation of this PPV was for the WWE to compete with NWA’s Great American Bash, hoping to convert wrestling fans to save their hard-earned cash and purchase their show at the end of the summer as opposed to the Bash. This soon became the last of the “Big Four” PPVs, alongside Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and of course, Wrestlemania. The main event was a highly-anticipated tag team match between Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion Randy Savage, collectively known as “The Mega Powers” against Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant, collectively known as “The Mega Bucks”. Savage won a 16-Man Tournament at Wrestlemania IV, last defeating Dibiase to become champion. Hogan had teased prior to the show that Miss Elizabeth would showcase her “eenie, weenie bikini”, which is creepy in retrospect considering she is no longer with us.

Besides that huge match, the most memorable part of this Pay-Per-View was the Ultimate Warrior defeating the longest reigning WWF Intercontinental Champion in history – The Honky Tonk Man. Honky was scheduled to face Brutus Beefcake, but prior to the match, Beefcake was hospitalized by “The Outlaw” Ron Bass. Honky came out on the show and challenged anybody in the building to take the title and the undefeated Warrior came out and pinned him in thirty seconds to take the title, beginning the monster four year run that he would have in the WWF. Tag Team wrestling was definitely one of WWF’s high-points during this era, as Hart Foundation vs. Demolition was easily the best match on the show, followed slightly by the Rougeaus vs. The Bulldogs.

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