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: Superstars SPOILERS 7/31 - results from Raw TV
WWE NEWS: Raw TV tonight - Cena returns, Summerslam hype continues, Stephanie "arrest" follow-up, more
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for Friday's show
TNA NEWS: Quarter-hour TV ratings for Thursday's Impact
TNA NEWS: Monday update on Impact's TV future on Spike TV
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings for last Thursday's show, plus 2014 ratings average in light of Spike's decision
TNA NEWS: Top Story - TNA Impact not renewed by Spike TV
WWE INTERVIEWS: Ambrose talks "abrupt" Shield ending & NXT roster, Bo Dallas talks Bray Wyatt & more
WWE NEWS: Prince Devitt officially signs with WWE
WWE NEWSWIRE: Network hire, WM30 pre-emption, Batista's validation for 2010 exit, Bryan's crime stop, Kane
WWE NETWORK: Monday, July 28 Programming Schedule
SHOW RESULTS - 7/27 FSW in Las Vegas: Matt Hardy captures promotion's title, plus TNA stars King, ECIII, Robbie E., more
PPV REPORTS
PARKS'S REALITY OF WRESTLING "SUMMER OF CHAMPIONS" iPPV REVIEW - ROW Title Steel Cage Match, appearances by Teddy Long, DDP, Brother Devon, others
RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 4 REPORT" 7/26 - show of the year contender w/ Styles-Naito, Shibata-Tanahashi, Nakamura-Nagata standout matches
RADICAN'S NJPW G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 3 REPORT 7/25 - Bullet Club in action, Tanahasi-Kojima, Okada-Makabe standout matches
MCNEILL's Deadblog of WWE Battlegeound: Budget Cuts, Follow That, She's Taken, The Tourist, The Champ, more
RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 2" REPORT 7/23 - Kojima-Ishii slugfest, Okada, Styles, Tanahashi-Gallows main event
RADICAN'S NJPW REVIEW SERIES: "G1 Climax 24: Night 1" 7/21 - Goto-Makabe steal the show, Styles-Okada, Shibata-Nakamura
CALDWELL'S NJPW G1 CLIMAX RESULTS 7/21 (Night 1): Complete coverage of A.J. Styles vs. Okada main event, Tanahashi, Nakamura, Shelton Benjamin, Bullet Club, more
CALDWELL'S WWE BATTLEGROUND PPV REPORT 7/20: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV - Cena defends WWE Title, IC Title battle royal, Usos vs. Wyatts Tag Title match, more
CALDWELL'S WWE BATTLEGROUND PPV REPORT 7/20 (Pre-Show): Fandango vs. Rose, Cameron vs. Naomi, more
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - WWE MITB 2014: Best/Worst Match, Surprise/Finish, Updated 2014 PPV Rankings
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - ROH "Best in the World" live PPV debut: Best/Worst Match, Surprise, What Will It Be Remembered For?, Updated 2014 PPV Rankings
PPV RESULTS - 6/29 New Japan "Kizuna Road" in Tokyo: Takahashi captures NEVER Title, Bullet Club vs. CHAOS, more
TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S IN-PERSON WWE RAW RESULTS 7/28: Live coverage of Cena's return, "arrest" fall-out, more
PARKS'S WWE RAW REPORT 7/28: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the continuing road to Summerslam, follow-up on the Stephanie McMahon arrest angle
METZGER'S ROH TV RESULTS 7/26: Daniels & Kazarian become #1 contenders, Moose, ROH Tag Champs, more
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 7/25: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday show, including Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro in a no-disqualification match, Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 7/24: Rose vs. Slater, Swoggle joins the Exotic Express, Del Rio vs. Truth, more
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 7/24 - Week 108: Charlotte defends NXT Women's Title, Rusev faces NXT Champ; Overall Reax
CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 7/24: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Hardys, Team 3D, more from New York
CALDWELL'S WWE MAIN EVENT RESULTS 7/22: Rusev vs. Swagger PPV re-match, Kofi & Big E. reset, tag champ loses, more
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/21: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Battleground fall-out
METZGER'S ROH TV RESULTS 7/19: Matches from "Best in the World" PPV - TV Title, Strong vs. Alexander, more
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 7/18: Complete coverage of Friday night show, including Chris Jericho vs. Luke Harper, Kane vs. Dean Ambrose
JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 7/17: Ryback faces Truth in the main event, Naomi vs. Rosa Mendes
OPINION & ANALYSIS
RADICAN'S OMEGA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING "CHAOS IN CAMERON" REVIEW 4/26 - Trevor Lee impresses against Adam Page, Hardy Boyz-Briscoes dream match main event
ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: Weekend Hypothetical Part 2 - if Angle wrestles again in WWE, who should he face?
RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 4 REPORT" 7/26 - show of the year contender w/ Styles-Naito, Shibata-Tanahashi, Nakamura-Nagata standout matches
ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: Weekend Hypothetical Part 1 - if Stone Cold wrestled again, who should he face?
SMACKDOWN POLL 7/25: Vote on Friday's WWE TV show
RADICAN'S NJPW G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 3 REPORT 7/25 - Bullet Club in action, Tanahasi-Kojima, Okada-Makabe standout matches
VOTE: How do you feel about C.M. Punk distancing from WWE?
THURSDAY NIGHT POLLS: Vote on Impact, NXT, TNA returns
RADICAN'S REVIEW SERIES: "The Kevin Steen Show with Rich Swann" - growing up with difficult circumstances, musical talent, stories from Japan, DGUSA/EVOLVE, CZW, PWG
ASK THE SPECIALISTS: Roundtable #47 - Now that Sting is in WWE, who is left to have a WWE run?
MCNEILL's Deadblog of WWE Battlegeound: Budget Cuts, Follow That, She's Taken, The Tourist, The Champ, more
MITCHELL FEATURE COLUMN: The Glory of the Big Gold
THE SPECIALISTS
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Network Era Rankings & Evaluation of the NXT Roster
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: The Growing Legacy of Gary Hart's book, plus Court Bauer talks what makes the book so valuable
7/21 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Reigns vs. Orton & Kane, Stephanie McMahon, The Highlight Reel, Ziggler vs. Miz, Ambrose vs. Cesaro
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Collectors Are Buying Into Stephanie McMahon’s Trading Cards
TUCKER LIVE AT RAW: Instant Reaction & DVR Guide to disjointed post-Battleground episode
TUCKER LIVE AT BATTLEGROUND: Instant Reaction to "Sunday Night Raw" setting up Summerslam
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: The Wrestling Book Priced At $1,200
CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest NXT Rankings & episode evaluation, plus KENTA's signing
TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - Impact 7/17: What kind of impressions did TNA make in New York City?
HITS & MISSES - 7/14 WWE Raw: Miz vs. Sheamus, Plans A, B and C, Detente, Ric Flair
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Card Show on former WWF wrestler & star of "The Strain," Kurrgan
TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - 7/14 Raw: Has WWE found a three-hour Raw format that works?
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
RADICAN'S OMEGA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING "CHAOS IN CAMERON" REVIEW 4/26 - Trevor Lee impresses against Adam Page, Hardy Boyz-Briscoes dream match main event
RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 4 REPORT" 7/26 - show of the year contender w/ Styles-Naito, Shibata-Tanahashi, Nakamura-Nagata standout matches
RADICAN'S NJPW G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 3 REPORT 7/25 - Bullet Club in action, Tanahasi-Kojima, Okada-Makabe standout matches
RADICAN'S REVIEW SERIES: "The Kevin Steen Show with Rich Swann" - growing up with difficult circumstances, musical talent, stories from Japan, DGUSA/EVOLVE, CZW, PWG
RADICAN'S ROH REVIEW SERIES: "Aftershock" 7/12 - Alexander-O'Reilly, Steen farewell tour begins, Hardy-Elgin main event
RADICAN'S ALPHA-1 REVIEW SERIES: "Insanity" (6-29-13) - Elgin-Cairnie, Del Bruno-O'Shea TLC main event
RADICAN'S WWE REVIEW SERIES: "The Best of Raw After The Show" - Rock & Stone Cold hold court in their prime, Taker spinaroonie, Shane & Rock?
RADICAN'S Kayfabe Commentaries Review Series: YouShoot w/ICP - Stories from WWE, WCW, TNA, JCW, music career
RADICAN'S REVIEW SERIES: "A.J. Styles: Leaving An Impact" - frustrations with TNA contract negotiations, in-depth on TNA storylines & management, future on the independents
RADICAN'S AIW REVIEW SERIES: "2014 J.T. Lightning Invitational Tournament: Night 1" 5/23 - Bagwell-Sampson, Elgin-Kingston
RETROSPECTIVE OF THE COMMON FAN: Review of WCW's Great American Bash 1995 PPV
EXCLUSIVE: Jim Ross talks big health improvements in Livecast interview one month ago, including quitting smoking, effect of leaving WWE on his health, more
REFERENCE
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for Friday's show
TNA NEWS: Quarter-hour TV ratings for Thursday's Impact
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings for last Thursday's show, plus 2014 ratings average in light of Spike's decision
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2014 Titleholders (updated 7/28)
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw passes 3.0 for first time since Daniel Bryan's injury exit
WWE NEWS: Raw TV rating for last Monday's show vs. MLB Derby
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for Friday's show
TNA NEWS: Impact quarter-hour ratings - details on last Thursday's show featuring Lashley vs. Hardy
TNA NEWS: Update - TNA Impact TV rating last Thursday
WWE NEWS: Raw vs. Home Run Derby - annual break down of the Derby taking a chunk out of Raw viewership
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - did Friday's show rebound from the Fourth of July?
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in for Monday's show
PWTorch Free Podcast
PWTORCH LIVECAST: Bruce & Travis tonight at 7:00 EST on PWTorchLivecast.com
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (7/24) now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (7/23) now available - Ezekiel Jackson Interview w/McNeill
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (7/21) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Special PWTorch Livecast following Battleground PPV now available - James Caldwell & Jim Valley
LIVECAST AUDIO: Brother Devon Interview w/Jim Valley now available from Friday's PWTorch Livecast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (7/17) now available - James Caldwell's Talk Wrestling
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (7/16) now available - Pat McNeill interviews Luke Hawx
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (7/15) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (7/14) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Drew McIntyre exclusive post-WWE interview w/Keller on Friday's PWTorch Livecast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (7/10) now available - James Caldwell's Talk Wrestling
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP - 07/28 Caldwell & Parks Breaking News Discussion: In-depth on TNA's TV future, what TNA and Spike are saying, what are TNA's options if not renewed?, more! (50 min.)
VIP - 07/27 Wade Keller Hotline - Breaking News: Spike TV announces Impact Wrestling is cancelled, what does this mean for future of TNA, could they land somewhere else, is GFW a player in this mix, and more analysis (19 min.)
VIP - 07/27 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show, pt. 2: Epic deconstruction of Starrcade '84 w/Mitchell & Britt Whitmire - Rhodes, Flair, Steamboat, Joe Frazier, Ali, more! (163 min.)
VIP - 07/27 Moonlighting with Greg Parks: With Torch contributor Tony Donofrio, discussing in-depth this week's episodes of WWE Smackdown, NXT, and WWE Main Event (63 min.)
VIP - 07/26 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Will Sable ever be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Is Cena capable of delivering promos necessary to fully sell his Lesnar match? Would Verne Gagne and Bruno Sammartino be big stars today? (16 min.)
VIP - 07/25 Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Bryan tackles burglar, Bryan updates his second surgery, Sting speaks about WWE aspirations, Impact viewership up again, Ventura trial, TNA signings, Ross on his WWE stint, Smackdown reaction (32 min.)
VIP - 07/25 Audio Flashback - Wade Keller Hotline (07-09-2004): Early Orton upside prediction, signs Impact was causing WWE to take notice, TNA's judges format evaluated, did Luger help TNA, how to use Jeff Hardy, odd JBL rant, ROH (30 min.)
VIP - 07/25 AD-FREE PWTorch Livecast & VIP Aftershow w/Booker T: Punk's departure, Sting's arrival, his transition from WCW to WWE, what he regrets most in his career, racism in wrestling, WWE Network, his Reality of Wrestling iPPV (86 min.)
VIP - 07/24 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show, pt. 1: Heyman's show-ending promo, Cena vs. Lesnar, Steph-Brie Bella angle, cracks in Reigns showing up, Punk's declaration, Ventura's defamation trial, Bryan's autobiography plans (75 min.)
VIP - 07/24 Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Is Reigns too green in the ring to be top star now? Isn't time for Cena critics to acknowledge his strengths? Was Gene ordered to be so sleazy on WCW Hotline? Should Zack Ryder quit? (25 min.)
VIP - 07/24 PWTorch Livecast: James Caldwell & Greg Parks discuss with live callers: Sting's WWE debut, future of the Network, KENTA & Devitt signings, TNA Impact in NYC, more! (110 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1364 (PDF & TEXT): Keller's WWE Battleground Report & Staff PPV Roundtable, Keller's Raw Report & Cover Story on Cena-Brock, Mojo Mitchell's Raw Stream, Parks on three hot topics, Keller's Pg. 2 Radar, more
© 1999-2011 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved. -- PRIVACY POLICY