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: Raw TV update - Raw will continue as scheduled in Florida; Summerslam re-match and more announced for Raw
NEWS: Mysterio & Hardys part of big anniversary show line-up
WWE WEEKEND TOUR - Sunday: WWE stars heading to FSU (the other one), Daytona Beach Street Fight, more (Reports Wanted)
PWG EVENT: Battle of Los Angeles Night 3 Sunday - Final Rounds of annual tournament, non-winners in bonus matches, more details
SHOW RESULTS - 8/29 PWG Battle of Los Angeles Night 2: Guerrilla Warfare main event, First Round matches with Drew Galloway, Chris Hero, more
SHOW RESULTS - 8/28 PWG Battle of Los Angeles Night 1: First Round matches, plus big main event of PWG Champ & Tag Champs vs. Team Europe
WWE NETWORK: Sunday, August 30 Schedule - NOC 2012 PPV, more
WWE NEWS: WWE officially announces 2016 Royal Rumble & pre-sale - WWE going head-to-head with NFL Conference Title games
SHOW RESULTS - 8/29 WWE in Orlando, Fla.: Cena challenges Rollins for both top titles, Ambrose vs. Owens, Tag Title match, Miz TV, more
SHOW RESULTS - 8/29 ROH in Atlanta, Ga.: ROH Champ & Tag Champs in main event, Stevie Richards confronts Lethal, Compton scratched due to "medical emergency," more
SHOW RESULTS - 8/29 GFW in Richmond, Va.: Nash & Jarrett involved in main event, Masters vs. Hawkins, Dutt, more in action
NWA NEWS: New NWA World Hvt. champion determined in Texas
PPV REPORTS
MCNEILL'S Late Night Blog - WWE Summerslam 2015: No shave 'til Brooklyn, lots of blood, Cesaro's warm-up match for Z.Z., more!
McNEILL’s Late Night Blog - "NXT Takeover: Brooklyn" - a/k/a Don't Tell McMahon about this show until after Summerslam
CALDWELL'S SUMMERSLAM REPORT 8/23: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Lesnar vs. Taker, Title vs. Title, more matches
CALDWELL'S WWE SUMMERSLAM REPORT 8/23 (Pre-Show): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of hype interviews, no match
JAMES'S WWE "NXT TAKEOVER: BROOKLYN" REPORT 8/22: Balor vs. Owens ladder match for NXT Title, epic Women's match, Tag Titles, Samoa Joe, Liger, dignitaries in the crowd; Overall Reax
RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 Climax Finals" PPV Report 8/16: ReDRagon-Young Bucks, KUSHIDA-Ricochet, Tanahashi-Nakamura match for the ages in final
SHOW RESULTS - EVOLVE 48 iPPV in Deer Park, N.Y.: Thatcher vs. Busick final battle, Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre, Jr., Gargano vs. Swann grudge match, more
CALDWELL'S NEW JAPAN G1 CLIMAX FINALS REPORT 8/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Tanahashi-Nakamura G1 Finals, plus IWGP Jr. Hvt. & Tag Title matches
SHOW RESULTS - EVOLVE 47 iPPV in Queens, N.Y.: Thatcher vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. for EVOLVE Title, big turn, more
RADICAN'S "NJPW G1 Climax Night 18" PPV Blog 8/15: Elgin-Ishii war, B Block finalist determined, G1 match analysis & ratings
NJPW G1 CLIMAX NIGHT 18 RESULTS 8/15: Okada vs. Nakamura to determine B Block Winner, plus Elgin vs. Ishii, more from B Block
RADICAN'S "G1 Climax Night 17" Blog 8/14 - Tanahashi-Styles put on classic match to determine A Block winner, results & analysis of A Block action
TV REPORTS
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 8/27: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Thursday show, including the Dudley Boyz return to action, Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus
MCMAHON'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 8/26: Three title matches, set-up for next week's TNA Title match, Dixie-Jarrett Summit, more; Overall Reax
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 8/23 & 8/26: The Addiction defends the ROH Tag Titles vs. Future Shock, Roderick Strong in singles action, more; Reax to ROH TV similar to NXT
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/26 - Week 177: Matches from "Takeover" in Brooklyn, including four-way women's main event, plus post-Takeover interviews, more; Reax
CALDWELL'S TOUGH ENOUGH REPORT 8/25 - Week 10: The Season Finale of WWE's competition show, plus Triple H appears for final voting
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 8/24: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - SSlam fall-out, big returns, more
JAMES'S WWE "NXT TAKEOVER: BROOKLYN" REPORT 8/22: Balor vs. Owens ladder match for NXT Title, epic Women's match, Tag Titles, Samoa Joe, Liger, dignitaries in the crowd; Overall Reax
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 8/20: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Thursday show, including big eight-man tag main event
MCMAHON'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 8/19: ECIII vs. P.J. Black for the TNA Hvt. Title, Gail Kim steel cage match, Drew Galloway, Open Mic Challenge, more; Overall Reax
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 8/16 & 8/19: Young Bucks vs. RPG Vice tag main event, big show-ending developments, more
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/19 - Week 176: Balor-Owens final hype for Takeover, Women's Title contract signing, Samoa Joe, Tyler Breeze, more; Overall Reax
CALDWELL'S TOUGH ENOUGH REPORT 8/18 - Week 9: The Final Five becomes the Final Four, plus contestants pick a finisher
OPINION & ANALYSIS
RADICAN'S PWG REVIEW SERIES "Black Cole Sun" (12-12-14) - incredible SOTYC with Strong-O'Reilly, YB-Sydal & Sabin, more!
RADICAN'S "The Pull List" (Vol.3): Live Smackdown in Providence, Top Ten MOTYCs, advance review of "Mad Max: Fury Road" combo pack, Rory McIlroy "PGA Tour '15" review
LIVECAST POLL: Which of these upcoming matches are you most looking forward to?
RAW POLLS 8/24: Vote on Monday's show 0-10 & select Best Match
MCNEILL'S Late Night Blog - WWE Summerslam 2015: No shave 'til Brooklyn, lots of blood, Cesaro's warm-up match for Z.Z., more!
McNEILL’s Late Night Blog - "NXT Takeover: Brooklyn" - a/k/a Don't Tell McMahon about this show until after Summerslam
WWE PPV REAX #1: "I wanted the biggest event of the summer to end with an exclamation point; it ended with a semicolon and a question"
WWE PPV POLLS: Vote on Summerslam 0-10 & select Best Match
Cool For The Summer: McNEILL Previews WWE Summerslam 2015 (with this month's Wrestling History Lesson)
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: Which Brooklyn event are you most looking forward to?
RAW POLLS 8/17: Vote on Monday's Raw 0-10 & select Best Match
RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 Climax Finals" PPV Report 8/16: ReDRagon-Young Bucks, KUSHIDA-Ricochet, Tanahashi-Nakamura match for the ages in final
THE SPECIALISTS
8/24 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Opening Segment, New Day, Dudleys return, Stewart, Sting
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Evaluating Top 10 WWE Stars's Trading Cards
TUCKER'S LIVE INSTANT REACTION - NXT: Takeover vs. Summerslam highlights the glaring difference between two products
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: The History & Popularity of Mattel’s WWE Toy Belts (with Historical Title Change Graphic)
HITS & MISSES - 8/10 WWE Raw: Owens vs. Orton vs. Cesaro #1 contender match, Miz TV, Stephen Amell, Orton vs. Rollins
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Roddy Piper - Big Increase in Sales of Piper’s Trading Cards, plus Flashback Column on Piper Figures
8/3 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Piper Tribute, Rollins-Neville, Divas Revolution, Heyman
TUCKER'S LIVE INSTANT REACTION - Raw 8/3: The Road to Summerslam continues to get more interesting, but why?
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Hogan Featured In New Cards from Topps & Leaf
VALLEY: The Top Ten Moments of Roddy Piper's career from Dog Colors to Coconuts to MTV to WCW Nitro
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Hulk Hogan Fall-Out - Major Retailers Pull Merchandise, UPDATE - Mattel halting production
7/23 WWE Smackdown Hits & Misses: Ambrose vs. Sheamus, Sasha Banks Video, Owens' Promo, Rollins vs. Cesaro
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
RADICAN'S PWG REVIEW SERIES "Black Cole Sun" (12-12-14) - incredible SOTYC with Strong-O'Reilly, YB-Sydal & Sabin, more!
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK: Lex Express Derailed - Cover Story on Luger not winning WWF Title at Summerslam 1993
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK: Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy at Wembley Stadium 23 years ago
FLASHBACK: Vince McMahon AOL Chat 20 yrs. ago - McMahon talks WWF vs. WCW right before start of Monday Night Wars, plus McMahon jokes about turning 50
SUMMERSLAM ON THE 5's: SSlam takes place on this day in 1990, 1995, and 2000 - Warrior vs. Rude, Diesel vs. Mabel, Rock-Angle-Hunter
RAW RETRO - Taker vs. Hunter 13 yrs. ago today, set-up for Triple H awarded the Big Gold Belt, more from post-Summerslam Raw
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK: Brock beats Rock for WWE Title 13 yrs. ago in New York, plus HBK vs. Triple H Street Fight, more
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK - 12 yrs. ago today: Triple H wins the second-ever Elimination Chamber match, Lesnar vs. Angle, more
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK - 6 yrs. ago today: Punk vs. Hardy main event over Cena vs. Orton, plus DX, JeriShow, Rey, more
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK - 9 yrs. ago: Edge vs. Cena for WWE Title, HBK & Hunter vs. Vince & Shane, Flair-Foley, Hogan, more
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK - 3 yrs. ago: Lesnar vs. Hunter at Staples Center, Cena-Punk-Big Show for WWE Title, more
SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK - 19 yrs. ago: HBK vs. Vader for WWF Title, Taker-Mankind Boiler Room Brawl, Lawler-Jake Roberts, more
REFERENCE
TV RATINGS: Viewership for TNA Impact & ROH TV - Week 13 on Dest. America - Impact falls back, ROH up slightly, demo break down
WWE NEWS: Tough Enough TV Ratings - Season Finale ties for lowest rating of the season; final numbers on 10-Week Season
WWE NEWS: Total Divas TV Viewership - Week 8 falls to season-low
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw remains flat despite night-after-Summerslam
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2015 Titleholders
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Thursday's show recovers from last week's year-low performance
TV RATINGS: Viewership for ROH & TNA Impact Week 12 on Dest. America - Impact shows improvement Wednesday night
WWE NEWS: Tough Enough TV Ratings - Week 9 falls to season-low, males checking out before the season finale
WWE NEWS: Total Divas TV Viewership - Week 7, plus overall season
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw unchanged despite returns of Lesnar & Taker
TV WRESTLING VIEWERSHIP - Week of Aug. 10: Full Break Down of last week's Wrestling TV Shows, including DVR numbers
TV WRESTLING VIEWERSHIP - Week of Aug. 3: Full Break Down of Raw, SD, Tough Enough, Impact & ROH, including DVR numbers
PWTorch Free Podcast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant host the Friday Livecast (8/28) - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: JIM ROSS talks live w/Wade Keller on the Thursday Livecast (8/27) - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Joel Gertner talks live w/Pat McNeill on the Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (8/26) - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net on the Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (8/25) - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Raw Post-Game show w/James Caldwell & live calls on the Monday PWTorch Livecast (8/24) - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Special Edition Summerslam PPV post-game show w/Caldwell & Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Jonny Fairplay and Bruce Mitchell on the Friday PWTorch Livecast (8/21) available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Diamond Dallas Page live interview w/Wade Keller on Thursday's PWTorch Livecast (8/20) available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (8/19) available on-demand - Pat McNeill's ROH Extravaganza w/live calls & emails
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (8/18) available on-demand - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (8/17) available on-demand - Raw post-game show w/James Caldwell & Pat McNeill and live calls
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (8/14) available on-demand - Jim Valley hosts w/live calls on this week's hot topics in wrestling
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP - 08/30 McNeill & Valley's "Wayback Playback" Audio Show (ep. #50): Into the WCW Time Machine for Starrcade '96 - Second Hour with DDP vs. Eddie, The Outsiders, more from star-studded golden anniversary episode! (67 min.)
VIP - 08/30 Audio Flashback - Wade Keller Hotline (8-30-2005): Hurricane Katrina-Heidenreich news, should WWE have used Hurricane Helms on Raw, analysis of Spike TV hype for TNA and USA hype for Raw, insight into Jeff-Matt Hardy (21 min.)
VIP - 08/30 Moonlighting with Greg Parks: With PWTorch contributor Mike Metzger, discussing and analyzing the latest episodes of Smackdown, GFW's takeover of Impact Wrestling, and ROH TV (57 min.)
VIP - 08/30 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Wade Keller (pt. 2): When and how should Undertaker-Lesnar rematch be presented, does Sting deserve a title shot, Hogan’s comeback begins, Dudleys Return, Divas Revolution Update (56 min.)
VIP - 08/29 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Update on Raw and a hurricane delay, Hogan’s pending media tour, ZZ on his future, Jarrett on GFW philosophy, Seth-Cena tonight, more (25 min.)
VIP - 08/29 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Wade Keller (pt. 1): Evaluating follow-up to Lesnar-Undertaker and where it’s headed, reacting to on Stewart’s Raw promo with Flair, Raw ratings, Seth-Christian Laettner (58 min.)
VIP - 08/29 Audio Flashback - James Caldwell Audio Show (08-29-2005): Matt Hardy’s final opportunity to salvage WWE singles push, comparing Bret Hart to Hardy, whether Angel will beat Cena for title, TNA, ROH, PWG (30 min.)
VIP - 08/28 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Brock Lesnar powers Battleground to higher PPV buyrates, Total Divas ratings, can TNA survive with lower TV rights fees, prospects of Dudleys vs. New Day, Nash at GFW (23 min.)
VIP - 08/28 PWTorch Livecast: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant: Discussion with live callers on Summerslam Week, when will Taker-Brock III occur?, Sting's TV return, more! (60 min.)
VIP - 08/28 Audio Flashback - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor (8-28-2005): Undertaker’s future, more on Michaels-Savage comparisons, long-term consequences of Benoit’s hard physical style, Triple H’s future behind the scenes (22 min.)
VIP - 08/27 AD-FREE PWTorch Livecast with Wade Keller interviewing Jim Ross on WM32, return of Sting and Dudleys, working with Savage, Vince McMahon, NXT, Paul Boesch library, New Japan, Lucha Underground, more (109 min)
VIP - 08/27 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: What’s gone wrong with Bray Wyatt? Where does Kane rank historically among big men? Is WWE going edgier lately? Tough Enough finale rating and NXT UK live special (25 min.)
© 1999-2011 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved. -- PRIVACY POLICY