"Ooooooooh yeahhhh! Freak out, freak out! Thinkin', thinkin', thin-kinnnn.... that perhayyyps.... if ya need a little excitement, it's time to... snap into a Slim Jim! DIG IT!"
Wow.... I've just used up, like, all of Randy Savage's catchphrases in a single paragraph. What the hell do I do now?
Fortunately, I have a Doctorate in TrueWrestlingStoryology (a degree offered only in Europe at this time), so I realize that there's a lot more to the "Macho Man" than his penchant for wearing pink, star-spangled underwear, multicolored fedoras, and (occasionally) frilly lace garter belts. He (She?) has led a Hall of Fame-worthy career spanning more than two decades.
Why, then, is Savage not being inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame later this week? Well, you'd have to ask Jim Ross about that on his blog (Go ahead - try it! He just loves when you ask that question), but I think part of the reason is because he has committed some of the most unspeakable, unforgivable acts in the business.
You're doubting me? Well, pictures don't lie (unless they're poorly photoshopped), and I plan to put my Doctorate to use in this, The True Wrestling Story of "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
May 4, 1976: Savage was voted "Most likely to crush someone's larnyx" in his class at Sarasota High.
Savage was born Randy Poffo on November 15, 1952. He was named after current WWE champion "Legend Killer" Randy Orton and frisbee-toting jobber "Leapin'" Lanny Poffo. Strangely enough, his parents were this close to naming him Lanny Orton.
Instead of following his father (Bob Poffo Sr.) into the wrestling business, Randy first tried out for baseball. He had natural ability, playing as a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinatti Reds and Chicago White Sox farm teams. Unfortunately, he soon found that steroids aren't prevalent in baseball, forcing him to change professions.
May 4, 1984: Savage starts humping an unsuspecting stagehand during a promo.
Randy first wrestled in various independent promotions, wearing a mask and known as The Spider Friend.
I'm shocked that gimmick didn't create shockwaves throughout the wrestling industry. I can just imagine his promos: "Ooooooooh yeahhhhh! This is The Spider Friend talking at ya, remindin' you kids to brush your teeth. And don't forget to floss - DIG IT!"
Ironically, he'd later appear in the movie "Spider Man"... AND.... he'd also one day become a Hulk Friend. (lame, I know; but they teach you to roll with the punches when you're going for your Doctorate of TrueWrestlingStoryology.)
Poffo then changed his name to Randy Savage, based on Samoan Swat Team member The Samoan Savage, and began working for his father's ICW promotion. Oh, that's great: A promotion full of Scott Keith, Dave Meltzer and Derek Burgan types (whoops -- sorry, I thought that said "IWC").
From there, Savage worked in Memphis's wrestling territory. And that meant which of the following events happened?
(a) He had to job to Jerry "The King" Lawler
(b) He was managed by Jimmy "Mouth Of The South" Hart
(c) Was paid a maximum of $30/week.
(d) Participated in a "baseball-bat-on-a-pole-on-top-of-a-flaming-barbed-wire scaffold" match.
(e) All of the above.
May 4, 1986: Savage decides to roast a marshmallow atop the head of Mean Gene Okerlund.
Despite the obvious pleasure he derived from performing in front of Memphis hayseeds every week (and if you happen to be from the South.... that last bit was Aaron Wood's idea), Savage was soon recruited by Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation.
Savage was given an immediate push upon his arrival in the WWF, with all of the company's managers clamoring to guide his career. It was just like when Robert Roode did the same thing in TNA, only good.
Instead of picking the obvious choice (Lucious Johnny Valiant), Savage instead picked the lovely Miss Elizabeth. Given that Liz (not to be confused with "Complete and Utter Bulldog" co-host The Liz) was Savage's real-life wife, you think he might have gone to her first.
But oh nooooo.... let's just tease Johnny V with the possibility of being able a main-event guy instead of, like, Greg Frigging Valentine. Yeah, that's real mature, Mach.
May 4, 1987: Savage uses up valuable television time to plug his favorite book.
The Savage-Elizabeth combination was on fire (not literally), with "Macho Man" capturing the Intercontinental Championship from Tito Santana (the first thing they teach you when you get your Doctorate is to plug, plug, plug).
Savage also feuded with man-child George "The Animal" Steele over the affections of Elizabeth and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat over the affections of Steamboat's larnyx, which Savage kind of smushed with a ring bell.
This culminated in an epic match at WrestleMania III ("Bigger. Better. BADDDDDDER!"), where Steamboat won the Intercontinental title, but Savage won something just as valuable: a huuuuuuge-ass payoff because of the 97 gazillion fans crammed into Detroit's Pontiac Silverdome (source: Hulk Hogan).
Still, there wasn't much else Savage could do as a heel, so it was time for him to start the next phase of his career.
... OR WAS IT???
May 4, 1987: The MegaPowers were doomed to fail from the get-go.
... it most definitely was. (TrueWrestlingStoryology 101: Always keep 'em hanging in between chapters.)
Savage found himself hearing battling future Internet darling The Honky Tonk Man on an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event (motto: "We didn't suck ass back then."). At the conclusion of the match, HTM shoved Miss Elizabeth to the ground and el-kabonged "Macho Man" into unconciousness with his guitar.
This sent Elizabeth back to the locker room tp get help for her man. And who cares more about helping WWF mid-carders than one Hulk Hogan?
Clearing the ring and rescuing Savage, Hogan offered a hand to his former rival and The Mega-Powers were born. They comprised what would be the most unstoppable tag team in the company until many years later, when that position was usurped by John Cena and Anyone Else.
As for Hogan, he wouldn't be on top for much longer (in storyline, anyways). After a controversial finish (known in TNA as "a finish") during a televised match between Hogan and Andre The Giant, the World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Championship was vacated for the first time in a quarter-century.
May 4, 1988: Savage's version of the spinning World Title wasn't readily accepted by the mainstream.
Savage captured the WWF Championship for the first time on March 27, 1988 at WrestleMania VI ("What The World Is Watching, Unless They're Watching That Wrestling Special On TBS Today, Which By The Way Is On Free Television"), winning a tournament via victories over "The Natural" Butch Reed, Greg Frigging Valentine, The One Man Gang and "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.
Actually... that's not that much of an accomplishment if you really think about it. Those guys all kind of sucked. What, "Dangerous" Danny Davis, Hercules Hernandez and Big Bully Busick weren't available that night? Geez... real big accomplishment there, Mach.
Over the next year, Savage defended his title against all comers, including King Haku, Bad News Brown and Akeem (sigh).
Then, he started having problems with Elizabeth, concerned that she and Hogan were more than "just friends". The Champ accused Hogan of "lusting" after Elizabeth, and was soon forced to cut ties with the both of them, and .... Wow - I never realized until now how much I have in common with Randy Savage. WOMEN - hmph!
(Okay -- a maximum of four or five people reading this are going to actually get that reference, so I hope they REALLY appreciate it.)
May 4, 1990: Well, they're certainly guilty of crimes against fashion here, if nothing else...
Hogan and Savage squared off on April 2, 1989 in the main event of WrestleMania V ("The Mega-Powers Explode And Also Red Rooster Gets His Revenge On Bobby Heenan"). Hogan recaptured the WWF World Championship, but it would be the very last time he'd get the better of the "Macho Man".
Or maybe the first time. Hmmmm....
Savage then dumped Elizabeth in favor of Sensational Sherri Martel (talk about trading down) and soon became "Macho King" Randy Savage following a victory over Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Because nothing says "a combination of masculinity and royalty" like wearing multi-colored sunglasses and a checkered shirt with tassels hanging down from the arms.
After almost two years of donning the crown, scepter and leather assless chaps (backstage), Savage was retired by The Ultimate Warrior, whom I am specifically NOT going to write a TWS on. There are just some things they teach you to avoid when you're going for your Doctorate.
May 4, 1994: Savage left the World Wrestling Federation for some reason.
Over the next few years, Savage would retire, unretire, marry Elizabeth in a lavish ceremony, even though they were already married (WOMEN!), before becoming a color commentator during the early days of Monday Night Raw.
Teamed with the unusual combination of Vince McMahon and Don Imus wannabe Rob Bartlett, the early days of Monday night wrestling often sounded like this:
McMahon: ... and now Duke "The Dumpster" Droese hits IRS with a clothesline. Goes for a cover and... 1 - 2 - 3, he got him!!! It's all over! WHATAMANEUVER!!! Ahaha-HA! Anything can happen here in the World Wrestling Federation! Coming up next, Razor Ramon will challenge.... oh, wait; he kicked out at 'one'.
Savage: Oooooh yeah! It is what it is, McMahon. Need a little excitement? SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM! Dig it!
McMahon: Certainly, Mr. Savage, this is hardly the time to be throwing in cheap plugs. Unless it's for the new WBF Bodystars pay-per-view this weekend. I'm going to have bigger pecs than The Incredible Hulk! Ahahah-HA!
Bartlett: So, uh, why am I here again?
Still... it was time for Savage to move on, although I'm sure rumors of a backstage fling with a young Stephanie McMahon had absolutely nothing to do with that.
May 4, 1998: Savage shows no remorse after using a machete to slit the throat of Eric Bischoff and brutalize Hulk Hogan.
Savage made his debut in World Championship Wrestling in late-1994 (despite the date you read in the earlier chapter).
In WCW, Savage befriended Hulk Hogan, turned on Hulk Hogan, befriended Hulk Hogan, turned on Hulk Hogan and finally, befriended and then turned on Hulk Hogan. Amazingly, this all took place on a single episode of Monday Nitro.
Savage also renewed his feud with retiree "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, trading the WCW World Heavyweight championship with him several times, and losing his ex-wife Elizabeth to Flair's Four Horsemen faction (again - WOMEN!). This also happened on a single episode of Nitro. It was the one with the run-in during the main event.
He later joined the new World order (motto: "FAH LIFE! Or at least, until next month.") faction, followed by stints in the nWo elite, nWo Wolfpac and the lesser-known nWo Just Macho Man.
But perhaps Savage was best known for having a stable of women including Madusa, Gorgeous George and Miss Madness (a/k/a WWI message board favorite Nora Greenwald) following him around for no apparent reason. Overcompensating much?
He eventually left WCW in 2000, probably because of a suspension/drug-test violation/injury/contract completion.
TrueWrestlingStoryology -- it's all about COVERIN' YER ASS!
May 4, 2002: Savage's rap CD didn't sell well for some reason.
Unlike many of his contemporaries (Larry Zybsko, Greg Frigging Valentine, Jesus), Savage has had an active career since leaving WCW.
He recorded the rap CD "Be A Man", in which he calls out Hulk Hogan.
He offered to work a charity match to settle his issues with Hulk Hogan.
He quit TNA after one match following a backstage run-in with Hulk Hogan.
And he had a role in the "Spider-Man" movie, which probably had something to do with Hulk Hogan, too.
He's also one of the few wrestlers to be honored by Harvard University, winning the Harvard Lampoon's "Man Of The Year" award. Hey, it's not exactly a Doctorate in TrueWrestlingStoryology, but you've got to get your start somewhere.
For True Wrestling Stories, I'm Dr. Canadian Bulldog.
Canadian Bulldog is a borderline journalist who writes weekly for
World Wrestling Insanity
and has published his own
of nutty prank e-mails to wrestlers. See his obscenely expensive
for more information.