On March 28th, a moment that wrestling fans around the world have been waiting for will take place. Randy “Macho Man” Savage will become a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Sadly Randy passed away on May 20, 2011, but his legacy will live forever. In honor of Randy being inducted into this year’s class of the Hall of Fame, let’s take a look at his history at WrestleMania and rank each of his matches at the Showcase of the Immortals.
11. Randy Savage vs George “The Animal” Steele
WrestleMania 2 – Intercontinental Championship Match
After defeating Tito Santana for the IC title two months prior to this match, WrestleMania 2 would have been the ideal event for Santana to have his rematch, right? Instead, we get this mess of a match. The Animal began an unhealthy obsession with Savage’s manager, Ms. Elizabeth, in the weeks leading into this show. Hard to believe that the feud between Savage and Steele would last over a year including this match, two Saturday Night’s Main Event matches and Steele being in the corner of Savage’s opponent at WrestleMania III.
10. Randy Savage vs One Man Gang
WrestleMania IV – Semi-Final of the WWF Championship Tournament
No one expected a five-star classic here as Savage’s journey to the WWF Championship continued. After the referee saw the Gang trying to hit Savage with Slick’s cane, Randy was awarded the win by DQ and the finals of the WWF Heavyweight Championship tournament were set, as Savage would battle the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase later in the evening.
9. Randy Savage vs “The Natural” Butch Reed
WrestleMania IV – Opening Round of the WWF Championship Tournament
The stage was set for the WWF to crown an undisputed Heavyweight Champion after the title was declared vacant by WWF president Jack Tunney following what occurred February 5, 1988 on The Main Event. At the time, Reed was stuck in the WWF mid-card and was in dire need of a big win, but this was Randy’s night. In a quick match clocking in at 5:07, Savage made fast work of Reed after his trademark elbow drop from the top rope.
8. Randy Savage and Queen Sherri vs Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire
WrestleMania VI – Mixed Tag-Team Match
After being on top of the wrestling world for nearly 3 years, Savage’s career was in a downward spiral. This match being proof. A Randy Savage and Dusty Rhodes feud on paper sounds great, but in the peak of the WWF’s cartoon era, it lacked so much. Randy’s manager/Queen Sherri was one of the most talented and gifted women’s wrestlers ever and was stuck working with charismatic yet inexperienced Sapphire during this match. One of the few highlights of the match was Jesse “The Body” Ventera’s entertaining color commentary as he took jab after jab at Sapphire. The result was a seven and a half minute mess that saw Sapphire win the match for her team after a school-boy roll-up.
7. Randy Savage vs Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
WrestleMania IV – Quarter-Finals of the WWF Championship Tournament
A battle between two former Intercontinental Champions that would probably be a great match to see on the WWF house show circuit during this era. Valentine’s career, much like the aforementioned Butch Reed’s, had been stuck in the mid-card. One of the better matches in the championship tournament from that night that saw Savage get the win via a small package in just over six minutes.
6. Randy Savage vs Crush
WrestleMania X – Falls Count Anywhere Match
A great feud that is often forgotten from this era. In the Summer of 1993, WWF President Jack Tunney told Savage that he had to stop interfering in matches or he would have to stop doing color commentary for Monday Night Raw. Randy’s then friend Crush was attacked by Yokozuna after their match on Raw; Savage had to sit and watch his friend get beaten down. While recovering from his injuries, Crush would ignore Savage when Randy would try to speak with him. Following the Savage-Crush Summit on Raw, just as we thought these two were on the same page again, Crush turned on Savage. Throughout that fall and winter this feud continued brewing, setting up this match at WrestleMania. After brawling all over Madison Square Garden, Savage picked up the win after hogtying Crush backstage at MSG. Sadly, this would be Randy’s final WrestleMania appearance.
5. Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase
WrestleMania IV – Finals of the WWF Championship Tournament
DiBiase was the hottest heel in the company and one of the most talented in-ring performers of all time. After several distractions from Andre the Giant, who was in DiBiase’s corner, things didn’t look to good for Savage. But Randy had an ace in the hole. He sent Elizabeth backstage to get some help that would even the odds at ringside. Out comes Hulk Hogan. While the referee was tied up with Andre in the corner, DiBiase put the Million Dollar Dream on Savage. Hogan came in the ring and hit DiBiase in the back with a chair, allowing Randy to hit an elbow drop from the top rope to become the undisputed WWF Heavyweight Champion.
4. Randy Savage vs Hulk Hogan
WrestleMania V – WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
The Mega-Powers EXPLODE! After a year long build, the stage was set for the two biggest names in the company to take center stage in their blow-off match. The build for this match was excellent and made for very entertaining television. After Savage won the WWF Championship in the same building a year earlier, from the Spring of 1988 until the early Winter of 1989, the Mega-Powers were on top of the wrestling world. Following tension between the two at the 1989 Royal Rumble, things heated up following what went down at The Main Event on February 3, 1989.
Savage got what he could out of Hogan for this match. A nice back and forth match that saw a typical Hogan ending as Savage’s year long reign as champion came to an end.
3. Randy Savage vs Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
WrestleMania III – Intercontinental Championship Match
Not only is this match iconic, but the build for it is just as good. Savage was defending his IC title against Steamboat on WWF Superstars of Wrestling in November of 1986. During that match, Savage draped Ricky over a guard rail at ringside and hit a double axe-handle on the back of Steamboat causing his throat into the guard rail. Savage then brought Steamboat into the ring, hitting him in the throat with the ring bell from the top rope. Steamboat sold everything in the angle very well, including a tease that he wouldn’t be able to speak again do to damage in his throat.
The stage was set for Steamboat to get his revenge on Savage in front of 93,000 people at WrestleMania III. Steamboat, who arguably is the greatest babyface in wrestling history and one of the best in-ring performers, brought the best out of Savage this night. A picture perfect back and forth match. Steamboat defeated Savage for the IC title after a small-package, following interference from George Steele who was in Steamboat’s corner.
How great was Randy Savage at WrestleMania? Seeing that there are two matches that I rank higher than this classic, I’d say pretty damn great!
2. Randy Savage vs Ric Flair
WrestleMania VIII – WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
The match that almost didn’t happen. Following Flair winning the WWF title at the 1992 Royal Rumble and WWF President Jack Tunney naming Hulk Hogan the number one contender, it looked like our WrestleMania VIII main event was set.
After Sid turned on Hogan during a tag-team match on Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jack Tunney did some shuffling around. He announced that we would now have a double main event at WrestleMania VIII. Hogan would take on Sid and Ric Flair would defend his title against new number one contender, Randy Savage.
In the build for this match, Flair informed everyone that he previously dated Savages’s wife, Elizabeth. Flair even went on to share photos of he and Liz together in WWF magazine.
An outraged Savage was determined to get his revenge on Flair at WrestleMania, as well as regain the WWF title.
This match is simply eighteen minutes of awesomeness from both men. Savage became a two-time WWF champion following a roll-up on a bloody and beaten Flair.
This was the first WrestleMania not to feature the world title match as the final match of the evening.
1. Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior
WrestleMania VII – Career Threatening Match
Simply put, a perfect build, a perfect match and an emotional post-match.
The match was signed for Warrior to get his revenge on Savage at WrestleMania in a Career Threatening Match.
Before the ring introductions of the match, we get a shot of Elizabeth sitting in the crowd, adding to the already amazing angle. The match itself is simply a masterpiece. After hitting five consecutive elbow drops on the Warrior, Savage went for the pin and Warrior kicked out. Warrior began his comeback and after 20:46 Warrior defeated Savage following three shoulder blocks. But things were just heating up.
Following his loss, Sensational Sherri comes in the ring and starts kicking the beaten Savage as he lays on the mat. The aforementioned Elizabeth has seen enough and jumps the barricade, heads to the ring and tosses Sherri to the floor. Savage gets up, sees Liz crying, and is stunned. In a moment that made time stand still, Randy gives Liz a huge hug in the middle of the ring. The crowd at the LA Arena becomes filled with emotion as many fans in the stands begin crying themselves. The first couple of the WWF had reunited in a moment that was, and is still, very special on many different levels.