Ooooh, yeah! At the request of Dawn, we have none other than ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage up next in this veritable Royal Rumble of wrestling stars.
I couldn’t snapshot my fondest era of Savage without including Miss Elizabeth, who would very quickly be labelled the ‘First Lady’ of professional wrestling. Savage arrived in the WWF in late 1985; as if he weren’t distinctive enough with his talent, uniquely entertaining interviews and loud attires, it was the accompanying Elizabeth, a beautiful, timid soul who would look on worriedly as her man did battle in the ring, that rendered him unforgettable. The fans couldn’t possibly boo her, and so, it really wasn’t too long before the fans started rooting for Savage – even when they weren’t supposed to be – and before long he was Intercontinental Champion and one of the most popular superstars in America.
In fact, the show was seldom stolen by anybody other than Savage. While WrestleMania III in 1987 was sold almost exclusively on the Hulk Hogan/Andre the Giant main event, Randy Savage versus Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, buried in the under-card, is widely regarded as not the best match on that night, but one of the best WrestleMania matches of all time. He could take ageing giants and the likes of Ultimate Warrior to uncharacteristically passable matches.
Testament to his popularity, he was given the unenviable task of heading the WWF while Hulk Hogan swanned off to make movies. At WrestleMania IV, Savage was awarded the World Championship, besting Ted DiBiase in the final of a mammoth night-long tournament, his fourth performance that evening. Though not the original plan, it’s hard to think of it going any other way, and, even viewing years later, WWF in 1988 feels so much fresher for having Savage as star.
When Hogan returned, he and Savage teamed up as The Mega Powers, but ‘The Macho Man’ became jealous of Hulk and his apparent rapport with Elizabeth. Randy’s volatility got the better of him, attacking Hogan and losing the trust of Elizabeth. He would drop his World title to Hogan at WrestleMania V. Over the next two years, Savage was a fully-fledged villain, and despite having trademark, excellent matches over this period, it just seemed hollow without Elizabeth at ringside. Even the employ of ‘Sensational’ Sherri Martel, a deliciously crazy woman who actually made a great ally for Savage, couldn’t better the unassuming impact of the predecessor.
It was only a matter of time – and sure enough, at WrestleMania VII, the two reunited and wed later that year at SummerSlam (they were legitimately married in 1984, in fact). The reunion was a truly moving moment. Savage would go on to win another World title with Elizabeth by his side, beating Ric Flair.
In real life, however, the pair were to divorce, and Miss Elizabeth vanished from TV sometime in 1992. Competing alone, Savage would remain in the WWF until the end of 1994, before leaving for burgeoning WCW. He worked for five or six years there and notched up multiple title reigns; rumours persisted that a WWF return was imminent as late as 2001, but this sadly never proved true. A shame – I would’ve loved to have seen him meshing with some of the top talent around that time.
‘The Macho Man’ really did have it all – I’m certain he’d have appeared in colour even on a black-and-white set! A fantastic wrestler and an even better talker. Coupled with Elizabeth, it only helped him blaze to the top faster. I cannot hear Pomp and Circumstance without thinking of the two, particularly their WrestleMania IV and VII triumphs, and willing them to burst into view. Then, of course, comes the sadness that both are long gone. But what a catalogue of performances there is, which I’ve no doubt will ensure that the legacy of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth is never forgotten – oooh yeah!