Instead of just playing the Pomp and Circumstance today, "Macho Man" Randy Savage will be hearing happy birthday too. Today is the former world champ's 58th birthday. So in honor of the big day, I decided to share my thoughts on some of his biggest moments from the WWF.
I remember when Savage first arrived back in 1985. Every manager was vying to lead the newcomer to the top. Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Freddie Blassie, Jimmy Hart, and Johnny V were all determined they should be the one.
Then Savage shocked the crowd when he announced a lovely young lady simply known as Elizabeth would be his manager. In real life, she was also his wife, but that didn't come out for several years in the storyline.
Savage was just what the WWF needed at that time. He was a great heel. Spoke with a weird voice. He was also very athletic. It didn't take long for the world to take notice, and not just because of Elizabeth. Savage was flamboyant, but still tough. Remember his long, flowing robes. He was the WWF's answer to Ric Flair in terms of his outer ring attire.
It was a matter of months before Savage won his first title. He beat Tito Santana for the Intercontinental title in February 1986. Then was got involved in a silly feud with George "the Animal" Steele, all for the love of Miss Elizabeth. As a kid, I remember hoping that the Animal would win their battle on Saturday Night's Main Event, in which the winner got the hand of Liz. Savage of course won, but used some underhanded tactics to get the job done.
It wasn't long after that, that Savage and Ricky Steamboat started their feud. Savage viciously attacked the Hawaiian superstar after a match and "crushed his larynx" with the ring bell. Steamboat was gone for months rehabbing and vowing revenge. And that's exactly what he got at Wrestlemania III. Steamboat took the belt from Savage, ending a 13 month title reign. That match still holds up as one of the best from a Wrestlemania.
That match was probably the beginning of Savage's face turn. A few months later when the Honky Tonk Man won the belt, the WWF needed a hero to go after him. Savage turned out to be that guy. What made him an even bigger hero that night was when Elizabeth got shoved by HTM, and she left to get help. That help came in the form of Hulk Hogan, creating the "Mega Powers", the most awesome duo in all of wrestling. Okay, I'm being sarcastic, but the force was one to be reckoned with. The relationship helped Savage capture the WWF world title at Wrestlemania 4 in a one day, 14 man tournament.
Savage spent the next year defending the gold against heels like Big Bossman, Ted DiBiase, Andre the Giant, and Akeem the African Dream. Bad blood (Elizabeth) rose between Hogan and Savage, and set up the perfect storm. The Mega Powers exploded, with Hogan being the face and Savage returning to his heel roots. Being underhanded wasn't enough though and he lost the title to Hogan.
That sent Savage into a bit of obscurity. He feuded with the likes of Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Dusty Rhodes, and the Ultimate Warrior. But never really returned to his "main event stature."
His retirement match loss to the Ultimate Warrior paved the way for another face turn and reunion with Elizabeth. The two wed at SummerSlam and soon Savage would be reinstated as a wrestler. He went on to beat Ric Flair at Wrestlemania 8 for his second WWF title reign. Flair eventually one the title back, and Savage again spiraled in the abyss of WWF.
He did some announcing, some wrestling and finally left the company for WCW in 1994. I've read he left because he wanted to wrestle more and Vince was using him as an announcer. I've also heard there's an even juicer reason for the departure but I don't know the whole story or if it's even true, so I won't go there.
Savage won the world title a few times in WCW before finally calling it a day. He did have a comeback of sorts in TNA a few years ago, but he didn't stick around long.
I'd love to see him inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame someday. I certainly think he's earned a spot there. Hopefully if it's a clash of egos that's keeping him out, those issues can be resolved.
Happy birthday Macho Man.