Previously reviewed on the Rack:
I'm actually kind of surprised I hadn't reviewed this DVD before. I could have sworn I had, given I've owned the collection for about a year now.
But I figure, hey.... on the eve of Macho Man Randy Savage's passing (which actually, is the same time I found myself reviewing Eddie Guerrero's DVD in 2005) is as good a time as any to pop this DVD in one more time and review his extraordinary career.
One of the reasons I may not have reviewed this previously is because I wasn't crazy about the format. Hosted by Matt Striker and Maria (who had about as much to do with Savage's career as, well, me), this was lacking a much-needed documentary that could talk to why Savage was one of the industry's most well-known names. Still, that doesn't really take away from what is a phenomenal collection of matches.
Even from the first match -- his WWF debut against journeyman Rick McGraw -- you can see why Savage was so special. His movement in the ring was far more fluid than anyone else out there, and his wild-eyed facial expressions and nervous energy just added to the package.
Instead of a quick squash against McGraw, the first match on the DVD acts as a showcase of Savage's work. It's interesting to note how much heat Macho Man already had, considering he had no prior WWF history and was billed as the "professional wrestling's hottest free agent".
Some of the encounters on here -- a fantastic pre-WrestleMania III match with Ricky Steamboat; a grudge match with Tito Santana; a pre-MegaPowers match with Hulk Hogan; a Boston Garden bout against Bruno Sammartino -- tell the story of a legend on the rise. As the colorful but talented heel who could back up his words with talk, Savage was able to position himself as a major threat in the World Wrestling Federation... without being a 6"7 monster as was the usual requirement back then.
Of course, some of the bouts on here are certified classics, including WrestleMania matches against Steamboat, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and Ric Flair. And while many of those are readily available on many other WWE compilations, it says something about Savage's endurance as a performer to have so many main-event-caliber matches against so many different types of performers.
That's not to mention rivalries such as The Honky Tonk Man, Dusty Rhodes, Jake The Snake Roberts and Diamond Dallas Page that each have their own sections.
Such an important part of Savage's life story is the relationship he had (on and off screen) with Miss Elizabeth, but the format of the DVD doesn't really allow for much detail on that. It's really unfortunate, because for as much as Savage was a true legend, Elizabeth's role in shaping that over the years shouldn't be ignored.
Having said that.... at least they included a ton of Savage interviews from over the years. In his unique, growling style, Macho Man promos were a thing of beauty (admit it; you've tried to replicate them yourselves, perhaps when no one was listening?). And when he became the Macho King, his screaming promos with an equally-insane Sensational Sherri became the stuff of legend.
With about 20 matches spread over three discs, there aren't many rarities, although a match with Shawn Michaels from England and a tag team match involving Savage and Bret Hart against Michaels and Flair are included to show footage from the end of his WWF career.
Savage's WCW career is kind of skimmed over, touching the high points without being overly-generous. In addition to a couple of matches with Flair and Page, there's a tag match putting Savage and Sid Vicious against Kevin Nash and Sting -- not really indicative of the guy's best stuff.
Overall, watching this collection gives you a great flavor for who Savage was, and why so many people are mourning his passing today. The good news (if you can call it that) is that there's more than enough material for a proper documentary on the guy, which will almost undoubtedly accompany his WWE Hall of Fame induction next year.
Is Macho Madness worth your money? I'd say yes, especially now. For me, I know I'm kicking back and watching these classics all over again, snapping into a Slim Jim or two and remembering the career of someone who, quite simply, was one of the reasons I became a wrestling fan.
Thanks for the memories, Macho Man. Thinkin' thinkin' thinkin' that you will aaaaaab-solutely be missed by all of us. Oooooooh yeah! DIG IT!
Canadian Bulldog has been writing about
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