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: Final Royal Rumble PPV line-up for Sunday
SHOW RESULTS - 1/24 WWE Supershow at Izod Center: Detailed Report on pre-Rumble show, heel promos, more
SUNDAY EVENTS: Jericho to moderate Bischoff vs. Prichard, Ross's pre-Rumble show, Chikara at former ECW Arena
WWE NETWORK: Royal Rumble Sunday, January 25 Schedule
SHOW RESULTS - 1/24 WWE Supershow in E. Rutherford, N.J.: WWE & Cena say farewell to the Izod Center, Steel Cage main event, IC & U.S. Titles defended, more
SHOW RESULTS - 1/24 ROH in Philadelphia, Pa.: Results from big TV taping at the former ECW Arena - Bullet Club, Top Prospect tourney concludes, set-up for next PPV, more
SHOW RESULTS - 1/24 WWE at the Izod Center: Quick Results from pre-Royal Rumble Supershow
ROH EVENT: Bullet Club at former ECW Arena tonight, Sydal talks leaving WWE, full line-up
SHOW RESULTS - 1/23 IWF in Mesa, Ariz.: Galloway, Hero, Uhaa & Cage compete for first IWF Title, plus Young Bucks, Joey Ryan
PWG NEWS: WWE signee scratched from next PWG show; more matches announced for Feb. 27
IMPACT NEWS: TNA KO "fired," three others win title shots, Roode possesses TNA Title, Monster's Ball next week
SHOW RESULTS - 1/23 WWE Supershow in Trenton, N.J.: TUCKER'S in-person report on Cena vs. Rollins, Fan Vote, Reigns's reaction, new merchandise set-up, more
PPV REPORTS
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 36 IPPV REPORT: Drew Galloway vs. Roderick Strong grudge match, DGUSA champ Johnny Gargano, Flash match, So Cal Val, more; plus Overall Score
NJPW TOKYO DOME SUMMARY 1/4: Poll Results, Match Times, Title Changes, full match results, more
RADICAN'S NJPW "Wrestling Kingdom 9" PPV report 1/4 - Nakamura-Ibushi & Okada-Tanahashi blowaway MOTYC's, excellent undercard featuring Styles-Naito, Makabe-Ishii
CALDWELL'S NJPW TOKYO DOME SHOW RESULTS 1/4: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Wrestle Kingdom PPV - Tanahashi vs. Okada, Bullet Club, Nakamura, Jim Ross, more
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION: Survivor Series, TLC & Final Battle, plus the Final 2014 PPV Rankings - which PPV tops the list?
RADICAN'S NJPW King of Pro Wrestling PPV Report 10/6 - Okada-Naito #1 Contender match, Insane Three-way Tag for Jr. Tag Titles, Styles-Tanahashi IWGP Title main event
RADICAN'S CHIKARA "Tomorrow Never Dies" iPPV Report 12/6: Torneo Cibernetico match, Throwbacks vs. Devastation Corp. 2/3 Falls match for tag titles, Icarus-Deucalion Steel Cage main event
CALDWELL'S WWE TLC PPV REPORT 12/14: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Cena vs. Rollins, Roman Reigns involved, Ambrose vs. Wyatt, set-up for the Royal Rumble, more
CALDWELL'S WWE TLC PPV REPORT 12/14 (Pre-Show): Royal Rumble main event announced, New Day vs. Rhodes Bros., more
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 12/14: Live Blog for WWE TLC(&S) - ongoing thoughts & observations
RADICAN'S ROH "Final Battle 2014" PPV REPORT - ACH & Young Bucks vs. Addiction & Alexander, Briscoe-Cole blow off
CALDWELL'S ROH FINAL BATTLE 2014 PPV RESULTS 12/7: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV from New York City
TV REPORTS
RADICAN'S NEW JAPAN TV ON AXS BLOG 1/23 (Eps. 2 & 3): Tanahashi-Okada feud highlighted, incredible presentation, more
RADICAN'S NJPW TV REPORT 1/16: Complete rundown of incredible one-hour show focused on Tanahashi-Okada from WK7
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 1/22: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the Thursday show, including Daniel Bryan vs. Kane in a No-DQ Match
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 1/21 - Week 136: Zayn-Owens announced for next "Takeover" special, #1 contender tournament begins, Charlotte defends Women's Title; Overall Reax
DEHNEL'S LUCHA UNDERGROUND REPORT 1/21: Last Luchador Standing main event, Big Ryck, more Lucha stars
DEHNEL'S WWE MAIN EVENT RESULTS 1/20: Wyatt vs. Swagger main event from Tuesday's TV taping for non-Network airing
TV REPORT - 1/20 Santino's Royal Rumble Lottery Spectacular: Replacement for Main Event features Santino's history lesson
RAW SHOW SUMMARY 1/19: Poll Results on top Legend, Match Times, Title implications, full results, more
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/19: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - final Rumble hype, big "Legends Reunion" theme, Brock Lesnar, Bryan's Raw in-ring return, more
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 1/18: Del Rio (El Patron) makes TV debut, Briscoe defends ROH Title, more from packed show
TNA IMPACT SHOW SUMMARY 1/16: Title Changes, Match Times, Full Results, more
CALDWELL'S NEW JAPAN TV REPORT 1/16: Tanahashi vs. Okada spotlighted in first episode on AXS TV
OPINION & ANALYSIS
CALDWELL: WWE offers "inside look" at Daniel Bryan/WM30 Creative process, but what were the real messages?
SD POLLS 1/22: Vote on Smackdown 0-10 & Best Match
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: Who wins the Rumble on Sunday?
ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: Should WWE be doing more with a fresh star like Dean Ambrose?
RAW POLLS: Vote 0-10, Best Match, Which Legend(s) was best?
SHOW RESULTS - 1/18 WWE in Houston, Tex.: CALDWELL'S in-person report on Jericho, Reigns vs. Rusev, Dean vs. Bray in main event slot, NBA star involved, more
SD POLLS 1/15: Vote on Thursday's show & Best Match
MCNEILL POLL: Who will enter the Royal Rumble at #30?
ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: Which WWE star needs to be "re-packaged" for 2015?
RAW RE-TAKE 1/12: The Raw Five Takeaways, plus Roundtable Reviews from Parks, Caldwell
RAW POLLS 1/12: Vote 0-10 & Best Match of the show
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 36 IPPV REPORT: Drew Galloway vs. Roderick Strong grudge match, DGUSA champ Johnny Gargano, Flash match, So Cal Val, more; plus Overall Score
THE SPECIALISTS
HITS & MISSES - 1/22 WWE Smackdown: Opening Segment, Rumble Qualifiers, Ryback-Rusev, Show Closing Brawl
HITS & MISSES - 1/19 WWE Raw: Wyatt-Bryan, Legends, NWO, Ambrose-Barrett, Final Segment - Cena, Rollins, Sting, Lesnar
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Action Figure Spotlight - Royal Rumble Favorite Daniel Bryan's History of Figures
DONOFRIO'S FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE: The Case for Daniel Bryan, WWE HOF candidates, more!
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Do Card Collectors Still Believe in Roman Reigns?, A Review of the Rumble to Rumble Stretch
HITS & MISSES - 1/15 WWE Smackdown: Bryan vs. Kane, Rumble Hype, Heyman - Rollins, Six-Man Tag
VALLEY'S TAKE: "Wrestling with Death"
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Randy Savage Action Figure Spotlight - Savage’s Top 5 Opponents
HITS & MISSES - 1/12 WWE Raw: Cena vs. Rollins, Ambrose's Psych Evals, Bryan, Reigns's Fairytale, Contract Signing
TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION: Raw has 20 Problems, and a Jolly Green Meanie Giant is one
1/9 WWE Smackdown Hits & Misses: Opening Segment, Suffering Succotash, Tag Team Title Match, Ambrose Returns
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Exclusive Interview with Leaf CEO Brian Gray on New 2014 Leaf Originals Trading Cards
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
RUMBLE FLASHBACK - Last Year's PPV: C.M. Punk #1 in the Rumble for his final WWE match, crowd rejects Batista's win, Bryan vs. Wyatt, Lesnar's path of destruction begins, more
JAN. 24 RUMBLE HISTORY: McMahon wins 1999 Rumble, Rock & Foley have sickening I Quit match
EXCLUSIVE: Stone Cold goes inside the Royal Rumble process, plus does he want someone to break his record?
JAN. 23 RUMBLE HISTORY: The Rock wins 2000 Royal Rumble, Tazz makes memorable debut vs. Angle, more
JAN. 22 RUMBLE HISTORY: Shawn Michaels wins Rumble 20 years ago, but does not main-event WrestleMania XI
JAN. 21 RUMBLE HISTORY: Steve Austin wins third Royal Rumble, sets up WWF Title match at WM17
RAW RETRO: DX & Hornswoggle in Raw TV main event 5 yrs. ago, Cena & Kofi, Napoleon Dynamite, more
SMACKDOWN FLASHBACK - 15 yrs. ago: Hunter & X-Pac vs. Rock & Show, Hardys, E&C, Jericho, Lawler on commentary, more
EXCLUSIVE: Lanny Poffo reveals Randy Savage's stipulations for Hall of Fame induction (December 2011)
RAW RETRO - 5 yrs. ago: Mike Tyson guest-hosts & wrestles, plus build-up to 2010 Royal Rumble PPV
ECW PPV FLASHBACK - Guilty as Charged 15 yrs. ago: RVD vs. Sabu, Dusty Rhodes, Impact Players, Awesome defends ECW Title
RAW RETRO: Bret Hart returns to WWE TV vs. Impact 5 yrs. ago, Hart & HBK bury the hatchet, DX vs. JeriShow, more
REFERENCE
WWE NEWS: Total Divas viewership - Week 3 first-time event
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2015 Titleholders
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in for Monday's show - how did Raw fare vs. College Football Title game?
WWE NEWS: Total Divas TV ratings - Week 2 viewership
WWE NEWS: Raw TV rating for final show of 2014 - finale drops to 2.5 rating, plus viewership break down
LUCHA NEWS: TV ratings for Lucha Underground "season premiere" on El Rey Network
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in - full break down of the first episode on Destination America, including replay
OBITS: Wrestler who played "The Zombie" on first WWECW episode reportedly dies
NJPW SHOW SUMMARY: "Wrestle Kingdom" Tokyo Dome Show - Title Changes, Match Times, Star Ratings, more
TITLES & CHAMPS: Final list of 2014 Titleholders & Defenses
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - how did last Friday's show fare post-Super Smackdown?
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings for last Monday - Raw drops to two-year low, big decline in third hour
PWTorch Free Podcast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (1/23) now available - Caldwell's Royal Rumble Predictions Show
LIVECAST AUDIO: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin live interview w/Wade Keller (now available on-demand)
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (1/21) now available - Pat McNeill & Jim Valley
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (1/20) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (1/19) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
PWTORCH LIVECAST LOG: This week's interviews with Lanny Poffo (brother of Randy Savage) & WWE 2K15 developers
LIVECAST AUDIO: Lanny Poffo talks live w/Keller on Friday's PWTorch Livecast (now available on-demand)
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (1/15) now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (1/14) now available - WWE 2K15 developers w/McNeill & Radican
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (1/13) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (1/12) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Special Weekend PWTorch Livecast (1/11) - Caldwell's Q&A from Thursday's Livecast
VIP Exclusive Features
2015 PWTORCH VIP SALE: Become a VIP member today for just $2.15 - save nearly 80 percent on regular rate - details here
VIP - 01/24 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Rapid-fire Rumble related topics, has Big Show overachieved or underachieved, what’s a developmental contract, why does WWE put brand name over wrestlers (31 min.)
VIP - 01/24 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Wade Keller, pt. 1: Final Royal Rumble preview, did Lesnar turn babyface on Monday, WrestleMania 31 scenarios, critique of use of legends on Raw, is Hogan’s Andre story close to true (86 min.)
VIP - 01/24 Audio Flashback - Guttman Audio Show (01-19-2005): Phenomenal Ultimate X match by TNA, Canadian WWE fans, Austin’s return to WWE, Moment of Insanity, TNA Final Resolution with Hardy, Hall, Jarrett (32 min.)
VIP - 01/23 PWTorch Livecast: James Caldwell's Rumble Predictions Show w/live callers: Bryan or Reigns?, Rumble or WWE Title match on-last, where does Orton fit in?, plus live review of Jake Roberts documentary screening, more! (60 min.)
VIP - 01/23 - Wade Keller Hotline - WWE Smackdown: Full rundown and analysis of final angles to hype Royal Rumble including four qualifying matches, plus teases of other Rumble happenings with Miz and Mizdow (31 min.)
VIP - 01/23 Audio Flashback - Wade Keller Hotline (01-18-2005): Latest indications for WrestleMania 21 line-up, news of Steve Austin’s return, New Jack and WWE, first-person reaction to King of Death Match event in L.A., more (24 min.)
VIP - 01/22 - Wade Keller Hotline - NXT TV Reviews: Rundown and analysis of last night’s and last week’s programs with Zayn-Owens feud, Regal as a perfect G.M., praise for commentary, live special takes shape (33 min.)
VIP - 01/22 AD-FREE PWTorch Livecast & VIP Aftershow w/“Stone Cold” Steve Austin: Is Roman Reigns ready? Will he comeback at WM32 in Dallas? Rumble predictions, Vince McMahon interview insights, Cesaro, Social Media (127 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1389 (PDF & TEXT): Keller’s Rumble Preview, Dixie Carter Torch Talk, Mitchell column on WWE, Parks reviews book on WWF ’95, Keller’s TV reports on Raw, Impact, NXT, SD, New Japan news & analysis (18 pages)
VIP - 01/22 Audio Flashback - Real Deal w/Pat McNeill (01–14-2005): Hot Five Stories of the Week including RVD’s injury, Ring of Honor, Weekly Real Deal Reaction, Preview of TNA PPV, Indy Line-up of the Week, Q of Week (20 min.)
VIP - 01/21 East Coast Cast (ep. #226): Final Royal Rumble hype dissected, where is Lesnar's character heading? Sting is back, Authority is overcome, Wrestle Kingdom 9, more! (220 min.)
© 1999-2011 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved. -- PRIVACY POLICY