ABOUT WADEEMAIL WADEFACEBOOKTWITTERPODCASTFREE IPHONE APPRSSJUMP TO VIP BLOGVIP LOG-IN VIP SIGN-UPGO TO PWTORCH.COM



PWTORCH.COM
JUMP BACK TO PWTORCH.COM

Listen to the PWTorch Livecast Mon-Fri Listen live or subscribe via iTunes

 


WK BLOG 5/20: Thoughts on watching the career of "Macho Man" Randy Savage

May 20, 2011 - 1:32:33 PM


Bookmark us!

SavageBadNewsBrown_WK220.jpg
BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR

Randy "Macho Man" Savage was one of the most charismatic wrestlers I have ever seen live or on TV. He had an "It Factor" that defined what "It Factor" is, an intangible quality that causes you to notice him and not take your eyes off of him when he's performing.

I first read about him in national newsstand wrestling magazines. Then he showed up on national TV in the WWF and from his first match, when he dropped the elbow off the top rope in a squash match on WWF Superstars of Wrestling, I knew he was going to be a huge star in the WWF.

I had the opportunity to see him in person from the front row at multiple WWF matches. His house show matches with Tito Santana defined my belief that the Intercontinental Title, if presented and promoted right, can be a legitimate draw, a star-boosting title to hold, and a great asset for a promotion to give to the second biggest star in the company. (The photo included in this story I took at a Feb. 19, 1989 WWF house show.)

Savage was the second-biggest star in the WWF during his peak years, in the shadow of Hulk Hogan. He fit the role well and seemed to embrace it, even if there were pangs of jealousy or frustration that he'd likely never be the long-term top dog. A number of talented wrestlers begrudgingly accepted that role when Hulk Hogan was on top.

I attended SummerSlam in New York at MSG when he had the marriage ceremony with Miss Elizabeth. It felt like as close as the United States was going to get to a British royal wedding, at least to those fans in attendance.

His run in WCW was less memorable and it was clear Savage was past his peak as a performer, but like with so many wrestlers during the WCW Nitro era, Eric Bischoff and booker Kevin Sullivan managed to capitalize on their reputations and storylines developed in the WWF and gave them one more go-around.

Some of my favorite memories of Savage, though, are watching old tapes of his work before he signed with the WWF in 1985. The raw grittiness and tightly wound unpredictability that shaped his character in the WWF was on display in his appearances on TV in Memphis. For a while, there was an argument to be made that he was one of the top two or three performers in the country at a time when many others were doing great work, including Ric Flair.

Savage's ranking on the WWF All-Time Greats list will be debated for years to come. He's just under Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Bruno Sammartino, and John Cena in a top ten discussion.

He was an iconic crossover figure, with a prominent roll in the Spiderman movie, famous for his Slim Jim commercials, and known for his catch phrases, especially "Oh, yeah!" As far as mainstream recognition, he might be in the top five, along with Hogan, Rock, and Austin.

If he died of a heart attack at age 58, the issue of whether his many years of heavy steroid use played a role will be a fair discussion. It's the type of death at a young age that should give pause to wrestlers who have used steroids for years or plan to use steroids for years. The pictures of the car wreck suggest that the impact of the Jeep into the tree wasn't enough to cause death since Savage was wearing his seat belt.


Please Recommend or Like This Article on Twitter or Facebook


CLICK HERE to return to Wade Keller Blog home page

CLICK HERE to jump to PWTorch.com's main page

MORE RECENT WK BLOG ARTICLES...
KELLER BLOG: Paul Heyman alliance with C.M. Punk - where does it go from here?
KELLER'S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV BLOG: Results and analysis throughout the show including Lesnar vs. Triple H, Cena vs. Punk vs. Show
KELLER: C.M. Punk is not best utilized as a tweener, despite a recent reader poll; he should be all out heel

Comment on this Article Below


THE TORCH AND USA TODAY PRESENT THIS EXCLUSIVE UFC VIDEO FEATURE


GO VIP - GET ENHANCED BLOG + MORE!

PWTorch VIP Members get an ad-free enhanced version of this blog including a reader comment area with Wade Keller's conversation with readers after each blog. Sign up for a VIP membership and get 60+ VIP Audio Shows, New PWTorch Weekly Newsletter Digital Edition, 100s of PWTorch Newsletter Back Issues, Ad-Free Access to Entire PWTorch Site, PWTorch VIP Forum, Many Special Archive Features, and More! SIGN UP HERE

LATEST PWTORCH ARTICLES
NEWS REPORTS
ALERT - NEW HALF-PRICE VIP SALE - CURRENT VIP MEMBERS TELL YOU WHY YOU SHOULD SIGN UP, WHY IT'S A GREAT COMPANION TO WWE NETWORK
TNA NEWS: TNA adds Alumni section to official roster, Video - Spin Cycle returns
WWE NEWS: Big Philly Comic-Con line-up announced for June
WWE NEWS: How did the stock market react to WM30 biz results?
WWE NEWS: Report - former PTP'er out 4-6 months with injury
STYLES NEWS: A.J. Styles has a lot to say - TNA, ROH, New Japan, Jarrett's promotion, more
WWE NEWS: Triple H returns for Week 28 of sit-down interview series - Bryan as WWE champ, Shield feud, Evolution
WWE NEWS: Raw script leak - several roster updates, including injuries, time off, heel or face?, Zayn call-up?, more
WWE NEWS: Raw script leak - big change to key TV segment, plus who are the backstage producers?
WWE NEWS: Night of Champions venue, upcoming PPV schedule
WARRIOR NEWS: Warrior's widow releases letter on Warrior's death, Raw tribute, HOF speech, more
WWE NEWSWIRE: Piper "uncomfortable" with Legends House?, MLB team "Yes!ing," Ross blogs on Raw, split crew overseas, how much Internet is the Network consuming?
PPV REPORTS
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - WWE WrestleMania 30: Best & Worst Match, Biggest Surprise, What Will Mania Be Remembered For?, Updated 2014 PPV Rankings
WRESTLEMANIA 30 PPV RESULTS (Hour 4): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of WWE Title main event, Divas Title
WRESTLEMANIA 30 PPV RESULTS (Hour 3): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Undertaker vs. Lesnar Streak match
WRESTLEMANIA 30 PPV RESULTS (Hour 2): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Cena vs. Bray, big moment for Cesaro in the Andre Battle Royal, Shield vs. Outlaws
WRESTLEMANIA 30 PPV RESULTS (Hour 1): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Bryan vs. Hunter, Hogan & Austin & Rock open PPV
WRESTLEMANIA 30 PPV RESULTS (Pre-Show): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Tag Title match, big face turn, more
CALDWELL'S NJPW PPV RESULTS 4/6: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of "Invasion Attack 2014" - Nakamura regains IC Title, A.J. Styles big angle, new NWA tag champions, more
IPPV RESULTS: 4/5 DGUSA "Mercury Rising 2014" - RADICAN'S Report on Gargano vs. Low Ki, six-man tournament, Teddy Hart changes course of entire show, more
IPPV RESULTS - 4/4 DGUSA in New Orleans, La.: RADICAN'S Report on historic main event result, Hero vs. Tanaka, more
IPPV RESULTS - 4/4 Wrestling Odyssey in New Orleans, La.: RADICAN'S report on Hero defending EVOLVE Title, stand-out CZW Title match, more title matches
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - TNA Lockdown: Best/Worst Match, Biggest Surprise/Letdown, updated 2014 PPV Rankings
RADICAN'S ROH "12th Anniversary" Report 2/21: The Decade-Mark Briscoe & Alexander & Page, ReDragon-Adrenaline Rush, Hero-Cole
TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/14: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Warrior tribute, latest WM30 fall-out
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 4/12: Lethal captures ROH TV Title and turns heel, The Streak continues
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/11: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday show, including Daniel Bryan & The Usos vs. Kane, Batista, and Randy Orton
JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 4/10: Kofi vs. Titus main event, Ziggler loses to Ryback
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 4/10 - Week 93: Bo Dallas breaks down, Mojo gets hyped, Neville-Brodus feud continues, more
CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 4/10: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Orlando Impact - new TNA World champion
CALDWELL'S TV REPORT: Daniel Bryan's must-see "Journey to WrestleMania 30" WWE Network Special
CALDWELL'S WWE MAIN EVENT RESULTS 4/8: Shield vs. Wyatts six-man tag, Ziggler vs. Swagger, Rusev, WM30 fall-out
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/7: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - WM30 fall-out, WWE Title match teaser, Bryan's first night as champ, Warrior, more
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 4/5: Young Bucks capture ROH Tag Titles, Hero vs. Strong, Overall Reax
CALDWELL'S WWE HALL OF FAME REPORT 4/5: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of HOF ceremony & Red Carpet
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/4: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday show, including final hype for Wrestlemania, cut-ins from Fan Axxess
OPINION & ANALYSIS
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: What was the biggest revelation from the leaked WWE Raw script?
VOTE: Who should be Daniel Bryan's first title defense?
TUESDAY’S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STAR PANEL: Could Undertaker skip a year and return at WM32 in Dallas? What wrestling moment shocked you the most? Can a heel get over with traditional heat these days? Is it time to turn Cena heel now?
TUESDAY’S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STAR PANEL: Could Undertaker skip a year and return at WM32 in Dallas? What wrestling moment shocked you the most? Is it time to turn Cena heel now? Can a heel get over with traditional heat these days?
TUESDAY’S ASK PWTORCH STAFF: Is it getting too tough to get a heel over who fans really despise? If WWE honored Bret Hart’s 20 year contract, would Austin have been as big of a star? Biggest shock ever? Chikara? Kendrick?
TUESDAY’S ASK PWTORCH STAFF: If WWE honored Bret Hart’s 20 year contract, would Austin have been as big of a star? Is it getting too tough to get a heel over who fans really despise? Biggest shock ever? Chikara? Kendrick?
VOTE: Will Bryan actually headline a WWE PPV during his reign?
RAW POLLS: Vote on Monday's show; what do you think of Evolution re-forming?
MONDAY'S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STAR PANEL: Would a Talking Dead style post-show work after WWE shows? Did McMahon end Streak to overshadow Bryan's win? Is now finally the time for a Cena heel turn? Is WWE banking too much on Reigns?
MONDAY'S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STAR PANEL: Would a Talking Dead style post-show work after WWE shows? Did McMahon end Streak to overshadow Bryan's win? Is WWE banking too much on Reigns? Is now finally the time for a Cena heel turn?
MONDAY'S ASK PWTORCH STAFF: Has Heyman surpassed Heenan? Does WWE regret having Lesnar lose to Cena in his first return WWE match? Does WWE grossly overhype the success Lesnar had in UFC? What would you say to this TNA question?
MONDAY'S ASK PWTORCH STAFF: Does WWE regret having Lesnar lose to Cena in his first return WWE match? Does WWE grossly overhype the success Lesnar had in UFC? Has Heyman surpassed Heenan? What would you say to this TNA question?
THE SPECIALISTS
4/14 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: RVD vs. Del Rio, Heyman, Cena Discovers Photoshop, Barrett vs. Ziggler, Evolution Reforms
ASK THE SPECIALISTS: Introducing a new Roundtable discussion - Installment #1 on whether Punk regrets walking away from WWE
TUCKER ON RAW 4/14: WWE sets the path for Extreme Rules, but is it an interesting path?
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: How the Collector's Market Has Reacted to Ultimate Warrior's Death
APR. 14 IN HISTORY: This 1997 Raw episode captures why WWF/E was struggling against WCW
EATON'S PERSPECTIVE OF THE COMMON FAN: WrestleMania 30 Aftermath - Bryan, Youth Movement, Network, more
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES & MANIA - Live At WrestleMania 30 Ratings: From a Magical Opening to the Worst Moment in WrestleMania History
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: New Rankings, plus which Main Roster call-ups are most likely to succeed?
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES, AND MANIA: Live at the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame for Ultimate Warrior's finale, Razor's coolness, and Jake's epic storytelling
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: How WrestleMania & Raw affected WWE stars's memorabilia - Bryan, Shield, Bray, A.J., Paige, more
TUCKER LIVE AT RAW 4/7: Instant Reaction & DVR Guide to the official start of WWE's Youth Movement
TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION: Live at WrestleMania for the true End of an Era... and the start of a new one?
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
PWTORCH YOUTUBE EXCLUSIVE: Scott Hall talks 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction, receiving the news, health, more
CALDWELL'S DVD REVIEW: WWE's "Ultimate Collection" - Jim Hellwig tells his story on the Ultimate Warrior
RADICAN'S DGUSA DVD REVIEW SERIES: "Enter the Dragon 2012" (7-29-12) Gargano-Taylor I Quit match, Generico-Tozawa, Fox & CIMA vs Ricochet & Swann
RADICAN CZW DVD REVIEW SERIES "Cage of Death XV" (12-14-13) - Gulak-Hero, Dickinson-Richards, NOI vs. The Forgotten Ones Cage of Death match
RADICAN'S WRESTLING REVIEW LOG: Comprehensive Reference Guide for the latest wrestling DVD, Book, and Video Game reviews
RADICAN'S AIW REVIEW SERIES: "Hell on Earth 9" (11-29-13) - Steen-Gargano, Hutter-Donst, #Nixon-Team AIW main event
MITCHELL FLASHBACK: His feature column 10 years ago - Surviving Crazy Jonny Fairplay of Survivor and TNA fame
RADICAN'S DVD REVIEW SERIES: "The Kevin Steen Show with Chris Hero" - WWE departure, thoughts on WWE Performance Center, great CZW & IWA-MS stories
RADICAN'S ALPHA-1 REVIEW SERIES: "Rehab" (4-20-13) - Alexander-Fire Ant, Silver-Elgin, Page-Brown
RADICAN'S DGUSA DVD REVIEW SERIES: "Untouchable 2012" (7-28-12) Fox & CIMA vs. Del Sol & Generico, Gargano-Tozawa
EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Jake "the Snake" Roberts discusses WWE TV return on PWTorch Livecast - when did he find out about "Old School" Raw appearance?, Rumble? Mania send-off?, more
RADICAN'S JCW REVIEW SERIES: "BloodyMania 7" (8-11-13) - Young Bucks-Haters, star studded Rumble Royale, London & Kendrick
REFERENCE
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in for Monday's show
TNA NEWS: Impact quarter-hour TV ratings last Thursday - TNA Title change draws lowest rating of the show
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - how did the first Smackdown after WM30 fare?
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2014 Titleholders
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in - how did Thursday's show fare with a TNA Title change?
WWE NEWS: Raw TV quarter-hour ratings - Daniel Bryan draws big numbers post-Mania, plus very detailed report on the other segments that boosted Raw
WWE NEWS: TV Rating for Hall of Fame special on USA Network
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw surges the night after WrestleMania, hits highest points since Raw 1,000
RAW NEWS: Comparison of post-WM TV ratings last eight years
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - how did the final Smackdown before WrestleMania fare?
TNA NEWS: Impact quarter-hour TV ratings 4/3 - details on how Thursday night's Impact fared
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in - Impact still in a rut
PWTorch Free Podcast
East Coast Cast - Travis & Bardre LIVE today at 6:30 EST
AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (4/16) now available - Pat McNeill & Jonny Fairplay
AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (4/15) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (4/14) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (4/11) now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
AUDIO: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin Interview w/Keller on Thursday's PWTorch Livecast (4/10) now available
AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (4/9) now available - McNeill hosts All-Star Panel
AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (4/8) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (4/7) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
AUDIO: Special PWTorch Livecast (4/6) following WWE's WM30 PPV now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (4/4) now available - Zach Gowen Interview w/Wade Keller
AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (4/3) now available - James Caldwell & Sean Radican
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP - 04/16 PWTorch Livecast (Ad-Free): Pat McNeill & Jonny Fairplay: A full range of topics - WWE P.R. drama, stock market, Bryan vs. Kane - really?, mystery hand signals, brooms, Broome, Impact to Global?, more!; VIP - News & Events (116 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1351 (PDF & TEXT): WWE holds 60 percent of traditional PPV audience at WM30, new Torch Talk with Steve Austin on Punk, Bryan, Reigns, Mr. T, plus reading between the lines on leaked Raw script
VIP - 04/15 Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Putting in perspective the WWE WrestleMania 30 early domestic buyrate figure and what it means to future Network growth, DirecTV pulls PPVs, Raw rating, Sting's WWE TV debut (15 min.)
VIP - 04/15 PWTorch Livecast & VIP Aftershow: Keller & Powell break down headlines coming out of Raw including Bryan's PPV positioning, return of Evolution, Cena's odd promo, plus digesting WM30 buyrate info just released (111 min.)
VIP - 04/14 Wade Keller Hotline - WWE Raw: Full rundown and analysis of Warrior tribute, Evolution reunite against the Shield, Kane finds his mask, IC Title tournament begins, Cena goes back to Photoshopping humor (41 min.)
VIP - 04/13 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Would Daniel Bryan really take a demotion from main events well? Is there a history of heels jumping manager to manager? How does Bryan's win change Money in the Bank? (34 min.)
VIP - 04/12 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Does Lesnar ending Streak offset losses to Cena and Hunter? What happened to ringside photographers? Is Reigns going to be the Next Batista? What about Nancy Grace? (41 min.)
VIP - 04/12 Vintage Audio (20 Yrs. Ago) - Interviews with Paul Heyman and Too Cold Scorpio on John Arezzi's Pro Wrestling Spotlight show in New York with Heyman's views on early ECW, Scorpio on high-flying wrestlers, WCW politics (96 min.)
VIP - 04/12 Moonlighting with Greg Parks: With PWTorch contributor Benjamin Tucker, discussing in-depth this week's Smackdown, Eric Young's TNA Title win, and in-person Wrestlemania weekend thoughts (58 min.)
VIP - 04/11 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: How far away is Roman Reigns from being WWE's top star and will that lead to a Cena heel turn? Should Money in the Bank be added back to WrestleMania now that Streak is over? (36 min.)
VIP - 04/11 PWTorch Livecast (Ad-Free): James Caldwell & Greg Parks: Reaction to TNA Title switch, what does WWE with Sting?, WWE's heel/face shift, Warrior tributes next week, Mania Week & HOF reflections, more! (98 min.)
VIP - 04/10 Wade Keller Hotline - The News: How can Sting be used in WWE if Undertaker match isn't available, WWE stock continues to drop and what analysts are saying, more on decision for The Streak to end, DDP on Nancy Grace (23 min.)
© 1999-2011 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved. -- PRIVACY POLICY