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
WWE NEWS: Non-Spoiler matches for Friday's Smackdown episode, plus SPOILER results link
LASHLEY NEWS: TNA World champ returning to Bellator MMA Friday night on Spike TV
WWE NEWS: NXT SPOILERS - full results from Thursday's TV taping, including line-up for the next NXT special, plus Seth Rollins makes post-taping appearance, more
WWE NETWORK: Friday, October 24 Schedule
WWE NEWS: NXT SPOILERS - early notes from tonight's TV taping at Full Sail University
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in for Wednesday's show
ROSS NEWS: Jim Ross addresses rumor of calling New Japan's Tokyo Dome PPV on January 4
WWE NEWS: Brock Lesnar spotted out in public ... smiling
THE STATE OF TNA: Special Report on TNA's current standing, future prospects, and the "big play"
LESNAR NEWS: Brock Lesnar returning to UFC?, president Dana White addresses Lesnar's status (MMATorch)
IMPACT NEWS: TNA Title match & special referee set for next week, plus next week's Tag Tournament matches
WWE NEWS: Stock Price drops again following CNBC Report
PPV REPORTS
PPV RESULTS - 10/13 New Japan in Tokyo, Japan: Styles drops IWGP World Hvt. Title to Tanahashi, more title changes, former WWE star returns to New Japan, more
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - Night of Champions: Best/Worst Match, Surprise/Letdown, Updated 2014 PPV Rankings, and a message to WWE on making PPV buyers feel like morons
ROH "ALL-STAR EXTRAVAGANZA" ROUNDTABLE: Radican, Metzger, Leahy rate & review ROH's most-recent show
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 9/21: Live Blog for Night of Champions - ongoing thoughts & observations
CALDWELL'S WWE NOC PPV REPORT 9/21: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV - Lesnar vs. Cena
CALDWELL'S WWE NOC PPV REPORT 9/21 (Pre-Show): Christian's Peep Show with Jericho, Roman Reigns injury update
CALDWELL'S NEW JAPAN PPV RESULTS 9/21: Complete live coverage of "Destruction in Kobe" - Nakamura regains IC Title, Tanahashi vs. Shibata, A.J. Styles, new Jr. Hvt. champion, more
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 35 iPPV REPORT: Complete coverage of outstanding Show of the Year candidate
RADICAN'S IPPV REPORT - EVOLVE 34 in New York: Drew Galloway defends Evolve Title, DGUSA Tag Title match, more
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - WWE Summerslam: Best/Worst Match, Direction Since SSlam, Updated 2014 PPV Rankings
METZGER'S ROH IPPV REPORT 9/6: Elgin vs. Briscoe ROH Title match, Tag Title main event, changes, more
PPV RESULTS - 9/5 "Maskedmania" from Philadelphia, Pa.: Sabu, Homicide, Cross, Lucha stars featured
TV REPORTS
JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 10/23: Swagger vs. Bo Dallas main event, plus Kofi vs. Kidd
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 10/23: Neville defends NXT Title against Titus O'Neil, Tyler Breeze, Ascension, more; Overall Reax
TNA IMPACT RESULTS 10/22: TNA Title match contract signing, Tag Tournament begins, hardcore match, more
DEHNEL'S WWE MAIN EVENT RESULTS 10/21: Usos and Goldust hype Tag Title match ... with a game show, Rollins vs. Swagger main event, Big E. is not a Bo-Liever, more
WWE RAW POST-GAME SHOW REPORT 10/20: Hulk Hogan's post-Raw interview, plus Hogan & Cena Posedown
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 10/20: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Raw vs. NFL Week 7 - final PPV hype, Cena & Ambrose vs. The Authority, Heyman returns, military angle, more
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 10/19: Former ROH champ Adam Cole main event, Decade drama, more
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 10/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday show, including The Usos & Sheamus vs. The Rhodes Brothers & The Miz
JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 10/16: Bo Dallas vs. Zack Ryder, Kofi steps up vs. Cesaro, Justin Roberts, more
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 10/16 - Week 122: Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd main event, Women's champ Charlotte; Overall Reax
TNA IMPACT RESULTS 10/15: New #1 contender to the TNA Title, post-BFG developments, Brodus Clay debuts, heels & faces shown sitting together in a banquet room, more
DEHNEL'S WWE MAIN EVENT REPORT 10/14: Rusev vs. Big E., Miz TV with Sheamus, Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel, Truth vs. Tyson Kidd
OPINION & ANALYSIS
ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 10/23: Could Goldust be elevated to a singles main event run before retiring? Is there a bright side to Lesnar's title schedule? Could wrestling end up off national cable some day? What's best non-WM PPV?
ASK PWTORCH ALL-STARS 10/23: When wrestlers do the DDT mid-match today is that disrespectful to Jake Roberts? Isn't having less frequent WWE Title defenses making title matches a bigger deal? Who should Stone Cold face? 2020's top stars?
QOTD REAX #1: Readers share WWE Network experience - what are they watching?, how often?, more
THE STATE OF TNA: Special Report on TNA's current standing, future prospects, and the "big play"
QUESTION OF THE DAY: How often do you watch WWE Network?
VOTE: Who will be WWE World champion at year-end?
ASK PWTORCH ALL-STARS 10/22: Does WWE touting RKO imitations contradict their Don't Try This At Home message? Who should be pushed better? Has Zeb always been such a good talker? Could MITB be cashed in mid-match?
ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 10/22: Has Vince McMahon had other altercations with wrestlers? Why does The Rock seem more comfortable now than during his Cena feud? Did Low Ki really get fired by WWE? Should Reigns return as a heel?
ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 10/22: Why does The Rock seem more comfortable now than during his Cena feud? Did Low Ki really get fired by WWE? Should Reigns return as a heel? Has Vince McMahon had other altercations with wrestlers?
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLLS: Which WWE PPV match are you most looking forward to?, plus which HIAC match should go on last?
PARKS'S TAKE: Want to break into the wrestling business?, Ask William Regal, plus Thoughts of the Week
ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: How does WWE fix the problem of heels cheered & faces booed?
THE SPECIALISTS
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Evaluation of WWE prospects, plus play along with the Drake Younger hashtag
10/20 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Miz & Mizdow, Orton - Cena - Heyman,, Mick Foley, Rusev - Big Show, Ambrose and a Mannequin
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Batista’s Star-Making Role Has Collectors Chasing His "Guardians" Cards
TUCKER'S RAW INSTANT REACTION: "This Hell in a Cell sure is dangerous ... now time for a joke"
VALLEY'S TAKE: Who are these guys? Fans aren't given enough information to be fully emotionally invested in today's WWE stars, plus Random Thoughts
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest NXT Rankings & Evaluation of WWE's top prospects
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: 20 Years Later - Sabu's Loyal Following of Trading Card Collectors
HITS & MISSES - 10/13 WWE Raw: Orton vs. Ziggler, Rollins vs. Swagger, Less Crap, Cena vs. Ambrose
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Rankings & Weekly Evaluation of the NXT TV show
RAW HITS & MISSES 10/6: Ambrose and Cena, Roman Reigns, The Rock, Lots of Crap
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Collectors Paying Big Bucks For New Topps WrestleMania Product
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES & MANIA: How WWE Ruined The Streak and Brock in Six Short Months
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
WWE NEWS FIVE YEARS AGO - Shane McMahon shocks wrestling industry by resigning from WWE
WCW WEDNESDAY: Nitro episode airing today on WWE Network - Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan on live Nitro
10 YRS AGO: Ring of Honor event in Chicago features Punk vs. Samoa Joe one hour draw, plus Delirious, Sydal, Nigel, Jacobs, Shelley, Homicide
WWE RAW 5 YEARS AGO: WWE forces Raw vs. Smackdown feud leading to Bragging Rights, plus Snoop Dogg, Triple H vs. John Cena, Marty Jannetty, more
10 YRS AGO - WWE Live Event - 10/19/2004 in Minneapolis: Undertaker vs. JBL in main event among worst main events ever, Big Show vs. Angle, Carlito vs. Eddie, Taker vs. Heidenreich
RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 Climax 23: Day 1" report 8/1/13 - Suzuki-Nagata, Tanahashi-Kojima, Okada-Devitt main event
RADICAN'S "The Kevin Steen Show with Gabe Sapolsky" review - fatherhood, lessons learned after being fired from ROH, launching EVOLVE, Heyman, inside the Steen-Generico-Briscoes feud
RADICAN'S CHIKARA King of Trios 2014: Night 2 report 9/20 - Rey De Voladores mini-tournament begins, Spud, Sanda, Tatsu in action, Flood-Colony main event
20 YRS AGO: Report on WWE house show at Bourne High School headlined by Bulldog vs. Owen, Razor Ramon vs. Backlund, plus Adam Bomb, Volkoff, bundy, Doink, Gunns
10 YRS AGO: Reader Reax to Oct. 14, 2004 edition of Raw with Ric Flair, RVD, Austin, Steiner, RVD, Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, Bishoff
20 YRS AGO: Cactus vs. Sabu headlines NWA event - pioneering hardcore style match with moonsault onto table, plus Al Snow
10 YRS AGO MITCHELL: Mojo Raw Commentary Stream on Hurricane, Jericho, Coach, Bischoff, Molly, Nowinski, RVD
REFERENCE
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in for Wednesday's show
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in for Monday's show - how did the HIAC lead-in episode fare?
WWE NEWS: Total Divas continues Sunday night slide
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for Friday's show
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2014 Titleholders
TNA NEWS: Impact TV quarter-hour ratings - details on this week's show sliding to near-low on Wednesday nights
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Monday's show rebounds from year-low, but there is a concerning demo & viewership pattern
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - how did the 15th Anniversary episode fare?
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in - how did the latest Wednesday night episode fare?
WWE NEWS: Raw TV quarter-hour ratings - Rock saves Raw from historical low point, plus which promoted segments did not draw?
WWE NEWS: Full Raw TV Ratings Report - Raw hits Rock Bottom
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Friday's show makes big leap to end September Swoon
PWTorch Free Podcast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (10/23) now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (10/22) now available - McNeill w/wrestling author Paul O'Brien
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (10/21) now available - Wade Keller takes live calls
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (10/20) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (10/17) now available - RVD Interview w/Wade Keller
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (10/16) now available - Jim Valley guest hosts with special guests
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (10/15) now available - Pat McNeill's Interview Wednesday
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (10/14) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (10/13) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (10/10) now available - Wade Keller interviews Matt McCarthy
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (10/9) now available - Jim Valley & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (10/8) now available - Pat McNeill interviews Alex Shelley
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP - 10/23 Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Lesnar surfaces in public, Dana White talks about prospects of Lesnar UFC return, TNA ratings and latest in future, Stephanie on WWE Network, PWI 500 thoughts, big NXT developments (30 min.)
VIP - 10/23 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Wade Keller, pt. 1: WWE Hell in a Cell PPV preview with analysis of build-up and new stips for Orton vs. Cena with Lesnar's name reintroduced, Foley's return, mannequin skit, Show-Rusev angle (87 min.)
VIP - 10/23 PWTorch Livecast: James Caldwell & Greg Parks: HIAC preview & picks, "weird" decision-making on Raw, Midas Touch missing from WWE Network, Impact review, is Jim Ross calling wrestling worth a PPV buy?, more! (90 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1377 (PDF & TEXT): Orton-Cena takes on new meaning with major added stip, Austin Torch Talk on what's missing from Orton, Mitchell on Pro Wrestling's New Era, Pg. 2 Radar preview of Lucha Underground
VIP - 10/22 East Coast Cast (ep. #213): More silliness for Dean Ambrose, more greatness from Seth Rollins, worst heel & face on WWE roster?, VIP Conversation, more! (190 min.)
VIP - 10/22 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: How to get Cesaro to main event level act, Rusev should be U.S. Champion with Cena chasing him, Renee Young should be on Raw, turn Lawler heel, Ambrose too scripted (28 min.)
VIP - 10/22 PWTorch Livecast: Pat McNeill w/wrestling author Paul O'Brien - "Blood Red Turns Dollar Green" book-writing process, contributions & endorsements from big names in wrestling, more!; VIP - News & Events (90 min.)
VIP - 10/22 Audio Flashback - Mitchell & McNeill & Keller Roundtable (09-26-2004): Angle overrates himself, Heidenreich turns to poetry, State of TNA Address, SD anniversary with Hogan and Austin, was the Raw Divas Search worth it (96 min.)
VIP - 10/21 Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Raw and Smackdown ratings analysis, Total Divas slides, reaction to Stephanie's Yahoo Sports interview, WWE Domestic Violence policy, Hogan's post-Raw comments, Smackdown spoilers (23 min.)
VIP - 10/21 PWTorch Livecast: Wade Keller takes live calls on topics including Monday's Raw, whether KENTA/Itami will succeed on the main roster, WWE Network biz, New Japan compared to WWE, and much more! (83 min.)
VIP - 10/20 Wade Keller Hotline - WWE Raw: Rundown and analysis of final hype for Hell in a Cell including big angle at end, Mick Foley's unannounced special appearance, tongs to testicles, and much more (38 min.)
VIP - 10/20 Audio Flashback - Guttman Audio Show (09-21-2004): Heidenreich-Cole implied rape angle on Smackdown, Snitsky causes end to Lita's pregnancy, Orton springs to ring with Tommy Dreamer comeback, Gangrel/Viscera return (28 min.)
© 1999-2011 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved. -- PRIVACY POLICY