Looking forward to the PPV this weekend. All of the matches have potential.
Now Del Rio/Show needs a gimmick added to the match and maybe they'll add Cesaro/Miz for the US Title. I want Cesaro to go over and be through with Miz after the match, but WWE just might put the belt on Miz to further push his face turn.
Macho Madness: The Ultimate Randy Savage CollectionI've had this DVD for far too long to never have watched it.
Randy "Macho Man" Savage vs. Rick Mcgraw
I loved the start to this as we see Savage come out with no music and he just talks and yells at everyone for a few minutes before the match started. He mostly talked about how great he was but the amount of stalling and arrogance got him heat with the crowd before he even locked up. In fact within 3 minutes of walking into MSG Savage had a few people in the crowd throwing garbage at him. I wasn't really a big fan of the match but it served it's purpose well. Savage walked out there unknown and had to get himself over. He did just that and got in some of his moves. I was surprised that this wasn't a total squash and I was shocked at how the crowd popped for Mcgraw's limited offense. I would imagine this was a really successful debut for the time. Also I can now say I've seen Rick Mcgraw wrestle...
Randy Savage w/Elizabeth vs. Ricky Steamboat
Kind of a weird match I thought. Steamboat gets in a ton of offense all throughout the match. These forums would explode if a heel got in such little offense in a match and then had t cheat to win. This a an early encounter between these guys and he chemistry was there right from the start. From bell to bell this was easy to watch as they kept a pretty incredible pace for a 1986 match in the WWF. That being said there were some little things about the match that had me confused. At times it almost seemed like Ricky was playing a heel because he got in some pretty lengthy control segments. He didn't seem like a face really. Savage cheating was enough to make it clear who the heel was but I can't say that Ricky really made himself look like a babyface.
There was also some good arm work early on from Ricky Steamboat that was abandoned later on in the match until the very end when Savage did some brilliant cheating that involved the "injured" arm. In some aspects I would almost say this reminded me of an indy match as they started with some mat work, abandoned it, started hitting bigger moves later on, and then we saw the finish.
WWF Championship Match:
Randy Savage w/Elizabeth vs. Hulk Hogan(c)
This was 5 months after Savage debuted and he went from no reaction in is first match to getting incredible heat from the crowd. Put him in the ring with the biggest babyface in the company and the atmosphere was perfect for these guys. I really enjoyed the match with Hogan being, well, Hogan and Savage being the guy that you just want to see get beat p by Hogan. And an ass kicking Savage took. The crowd seemed to enjoy it and I loved watching Savage make Hogan look good by selling so well.
The ending was shocking and even though Savage didn't walk away with the belt but Savage went into MSG and beat Hogan in the main event (by count out). I loved the heel/face dynamic and it really made this match fun to watch.
Intercontinental Championship Match:
Randy Savge w/Elizabeth vs. Tito Santana(c)
This was the same basic concept as all of the other matches on this DVD and the finish was the exact same thing as the Steamboat match. It was still fun and easy to watch though with great pacing and an easy to understand story. I don't need to go into great detail though as I think I could literally just cut and paste the Steamboat review and it would be the same thing. It's practically the same match.
Intercontinental Chapionship Match:
Randy Savage(c) w/Elizabeth vs. Bruno Samartino
This was very short but it was a lot of fun. I didn't expect Bruno to be able to have a match this good at this point in his career. I've seen him wrestle before and I didn't enjoy his work very much at all. Well this was the classic chicken shit heel against the aging hero. It worked, the crowd went "BANANAS!" whenever Bruno got in his offense and Savage's antics seemed to really piss off the crowd and Bruno.
Intercontinental Championship Match:
Randy Savage(c) w/Elizabeth vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat w/George "The Animal" Steele
I'm really not sure why this would be considered one of the greatest matches ever. Not that this wasn't incredible but I don't a 5* match here or anything close to it really. There was honestly too much bullshit in the match that took away from the awesome ring work that this match has. What bothered me the most was the fact that Savage, the heel, had the match won cleanly but the ref was down. The ending just really annoyed me and hurt what was a near perfect match.
Now it's time to be positive. This was just a great performance by both guys. For the first part of the match Savage was in control and you just knew there was a big comeback close and ou were left wondering if Savage was going to be able to hold off the Dragon. Well obviously we got to see the comeback and Steamboat being on the cusp of victory for long and Savage trying to hang on was fantastic. This had the set up for what should have been a fantastic and memorable ending. We didn't get that. I loved the trip that this match took me on even though the destination wasn't what it should have been.
Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Honky Tonk Man(c) w/Jimmy Hart and Peggy Sue vs. Randy Savage w/Elizabeth
I was happy to see Savage playing a face for the first time on the DVD. There wasn't much too this match and I'm really not sure why it was on the DVD other than the fact that this got a great TV rating when it aired. The crowd loved Savage and there was a really cool dynamic between Elizabeth and the Honky Tonk Man. The crowd was pretty great as well. Other than that this was just a standard TV match where the heel champion managed to get away with the title. This time though Savage wasn't the champion.
WWF Championship Match:
Ted Dibiase w/Andre the Giant vs. Randy Savage w/Elizabeth and Hulk Hogan
As big of a moment this is for Savage this match left a lot to be desired. The first thing that was so frustrating was that this match was more focused on Hogan and Andre than the guys in the match. Hogan was a late arrival and only showed up to counteract Andre getting involved on a few occasions. People were chanting for Hogan during the main event and you simply can't have that in such a high profile match. Now for something that really pissed me off. Dibiase had the Million Dollar Dream locked in and when the ref was looking away Hogan got in the ring and hit Dibiase with a chair. Savage hit the elbow and that the end of it. Hogan and Savage blatantly cheated to win. There's almost nothing positive that I have to say about this, yeah the in ring stuff was solid but it was short and not even important at all when you look at how this was booked. This would be acceptable for a TV show but not for a Wrestlemania main event.
Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship:
Randy Savage(c) w/Elizabeth vs. Ted Dibiase w/Virgil
This was what Wrestlemania should have been. As in they told the story of Savage overcoming seemingly impossible odds to win. They played these odds so well that there were times where I thought my wrestling knowledge was lacking because there was no way Savage was going to pull it off. The wrestling itself wasn't anything mind blowing but the story telling was top notch. You could feel the desperation to get out of the cage. I was getting angry seeing Virgil climb up the cage time and time again to stop Savage. I so rarely feel like that while watching matches so it's always great when a match is able to suck you in and make you think like a kid again.
Overall this was a pretty good disc but not every match was a home run. Just looking at the match listing I know the DVD is going to get a lot better. Good start.
Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan w/Elizabeth vs. Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase w/Bobby Heenan and Virgil
Special Referee: Jesse Ventura
This was a really strange match. From the structure of the match to the downright bizarre ending. Both Hogan and Savage worked as the face in peril for extended periods of time. We got two hot tags out of this and the crowd went insane for both of those hot tags. The controls segments were also really well done as Andre was only involved for short periods of time and the rest was DiBiase. It was probably the absolute best way that they could have used Andre. They picked up the pace from time to time during the match but it was the ending stretch that made this really strange. Hogan and Savage got their asses kicked and it looked like they could have easily been counted out. Then Elizabeth got on the ring apron and took off her skirt. It was pretty hilarious as everyone just sort of stood there and stared at her. With Dibiase and Andre distracted Savage and Hogan came back in the ring and quickly got the win. kind of a weird match but it was never boring and I was entertained from bell to bell.
I want to point out how cool the post match was. Now this was months and months away from the Mania match where Elizabeth would be the center point of the feud. Hogan celebrated the victory by giving her a hug and I don't think I imagined a brief look of outrage on Savage's face when he saw that. He got over it quickly but I really think I saw something briefly after the match.
WWF Championship Match:
Randy Savage(c) vs. Hulk Hogan
Pretty awesome match even if it had the generic Hogan ending. Now this was pretty much the standard Hogan match but Savage worked his ass off and the Elizabeth factor made this a lot more interesting. I was happy to see that Savage didn't play that big of a chicken shit heel like he did in his earlier matches as a heel on this set. He also worked a control segment which was also very different from what he did in a lot of his other heel matches. I wasn't thrilled with the fact that Hulk kicked out of the elbow drop, Hulked up, and won right away. The ending is really the only negative with the match though and I kind of have to go easy on it because of the time period. Great match, the pacing was really good, the crowd was amazing, and the Elizabeth factor was compelling. Great match, at this point it's probably the second best Mania match ever.
WWF Championship Match:
"Macho King" Randy Savage w/Sherri vs. Hulk Hogan(c)
This was a really watered down version of their Wrestlemania match. I'm not sure how long this went since it was a TV match and they went to a commercial break. Sherri did a fantastic job as a heel manager as she bumped and did her best to make this match interesting. As good as she was here her impact on the match had nothing on the compelling story that they told about Elizabeth at Wrestlemania. Anyway this is back into the category of another generic Hogan match as it just lacked everything that made Mania special. Good match for TV but that's about it.
"Macho King" Randy Savage and "Queen" Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire w/Elizabeth
Dusty calls out Elizabeth to get in Savage's head and Savage freaks out when he sees her. That's really the only good thing about this. I have no idea why this was put on the DVD other than it showed Elizabeth being physically involved in a match for what I think was the first time. The match was total shit though.
"Macho King" Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior
This match is so different from everything else that's on the DVD. It resembles a modern era match more than a match from from over 20 years ago. You saw the heel kick out of a finisher and then have the match go on for a lot longer. This was something totally unique for the time period. This was over 20 years ago but I think if they had wanted to pull off a double turn they could have instead of just seeing Savage's memorable face turn after the match. Savage and Warrior threw everything they had at each other and time and time again we saw that they just couldn't put each other away.
There's just something about the match that I just can't describe. While watching the match was thinking to myself, "This isn't anything too special." Now I feel like an idiot for even thinking that. This was amazing and a million times better than anything we should expect from Warrior. Savage made Warrior look an unstoppable monster and put on the performance of a life time. One minute he was a despicable heel and the next he was getting so much sympathy from the crowd.
Post match was amazing. I could probably be convinced that it was all real if someone took the effort to do so. People in the crowd were sobbing at seeing Savage and Elizabeth getting back together.
Jake Roberts vs. Randy Savage
Well it came to no surprise that Savage's last match wasn't on the second disk of his DVD. This was his first match back where he was out for Roberts' blood. He came out going crazy but Roberts soon took control of the match and was working on the injured arm of Savage (the same one that Roberts had his snake bite). There was some real intensity to the match but it didn't last long. Great selling from Savage and Roberts played his character really well. Now I don't know how this feud concluded but I would have much rather sen that on here instead of this because this was far from the feud ender. Still, they added a lot to the feud and this was really entertaining. Great for what it was, but this was primarily storyline advancement.
Again the post match stuff was awesome. Elizabeth was fantastic as was Jake. I know it's all a work and I felt so bad for her, I don't think it's the nostalgia glasses but she seems like a better actress than any other diva that I can think of. And she didn't even have to say a word.
WWF Championship Match:
Ric Flair(c) w/Mr. Perfect vs. Randy Savage w/Elizabeth
I love watching these two wrestle each other. Since I was a little kid they were fierce rivals with each other and from the opening bell I felt like a little kid again. Savage just bring this intensity when he's in the ring with Flair that I can just feel how much he hates him. We saw some of that in his brief match with Roberts but it's nothing compared to the intensity that you feel here. This was so much more than just the intensity, it was a perfectly crafted story that had the crowd in a frenzy for the last half of the match. This is by far my favorite match on the set.
This was really broken into a few different segments with perfect transitioning between the segments. Obviously Savage comes out going insane to start the match and just beating the hell out of Flair, this was fantastic obviously as I just praised how great Savage was acting like a Maniac. Then we see Flair's control segment that was pretty well done but made even better by the way Savage sold it. The way he is able to just get so much sympathy from the crowd is nothing short of amazing. He was getting the place to explode just by throwing a single punch. Once Savage starts his comeback the match goes from good and right into great territory.
What I loved was that comeback was more Maniac Savage just going crazy on Flair. You could feel it in the arena that Flair had no chance and that a title change was imminent. Flair was battered and bloody when Savage mercifully hit the elbow drop for the win. Except that wasn't the end, this had another 10 minutes left to it. The fact that I knew the results and still got totally fulled by a false finish is amazing. I was getting ready to write this review about how this was a really good match but nothing all that amazing. Well when Perfect got involved and him and Flair seemed to be ready to screw Savage out of the title I changed my mind completely. What followed was about 10 minutes of just pure drama in the ring. Elizabeth made an appearance, Savage got hit with a foreign object, then in the leg with a chair. When he was locked in the Figure Four with an injured leg there was just this desperate feeling that the fix was in and Savage wouldn't be able to overcome the odds. Needless to say when Savage powered out of the Figure Four and scored a role up for the win it was an amazing moment.
I'm shocked at how much I loved this. Now I know there is some bias because I grew up on this feud but I don't think it's that much. I really think this is a near perfect match. The only complaint is that Elizabeth was too much of a distraction when she made her way to the ring. That's the only bad thing I have to say about this match. Otherwise this is wrestling perfection Savage sold his leg so well, seemed like he was ready to kill Flair the entire match. He was the perfect babyface against Flair, who brought his A game. This is a match that is technically good, has a red hot crowd, and is able to get the viewer emotionally invested on the match. This just went from a match I barely remember as a kid to a match that's really high on my unwritten favorite matches ever list.
Disc 2 was awesome. So many great matches and I loved how Savage's career between WM IV and VIII is really just one long storyline between him and Elizabeth. Great matches and some
WWF Championship Match:
Randy Savage(c) w/Elizabeth vs. Shawn Michaels w/Sensational Sherri
It's pretty awesome that this match even exists. I still wasn't that impressed with the match though. Shawn didn't really seem to be over a heel here and the history between Savage and Sherri wasn't played up as much as it could have. Savage's comeback was pretty good but it was the control segment by Shawn that left a lot to be desired. I'm really not a fan of Shawn as a heel in the ring at all. He makes it work when he goes against bigger opponents but for me to really enjoy this I would have preferred a face vs. face match or Savage as he heel. There's nothing memorable about it and aside from it being Shawn and Savage in the ring this is entirely forgettable.
Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair w/Sherri and Mr. Perfect vs. Randy Savage and Bret Hart
So many Hall of Famers. Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Sherri, Mr. Perfect, Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan, and Howard Finkle all were involved in the match in one way or another. So seeing all of these people together was pretty amazing. Too bad the match wasn't special at all. They went back and forth for a while before we saw a really long control segment worked on Savage. It wasn't anything too amazing but good enough. The hot tag to Hart wasn't too hot either. Then the match ended with a roll up out of nowhere. There was some cool stuff early on as they built up some animosity between the teams. This really just felt like en exhibition and I feel like it's only on the DVD because of who's in the match and not how good the match is.
WWF Championship Match:
Randy Savage vs. Yokozuna(c) w/Mr. Fuji
This was a few weeks before Wrestlemania and this was Savage's chance to take to title and mess up the Mania card. The match structure was pretty simple as Savage got in his brief spurt of offense to start things before Yokozuna taking control of the match. Everything early on was fine, Yokozuna moved around really well for a guy his size and Savage is a fantastic babyface. It's not so much they did but this match just had the right feel to it. You could tell from the crowd reactions that they thought Savage could actually take the title home. At around the 5 or 6 minute mark Savage started is comeback and you could almost feel the imminent title change. And then Yokozuna cut he comeback off with one single blow. The ending was rather lackluster but everything until the Crush run in was really entertaining.
So this ends Savages run in the WWF and the next few matches are from his WCW run. Now this is really what I remember as a kid.
Life Guard Match:
Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage
Hilariously stupid match type for these guys at an event that was a hilariously stupid idea. For those that haven't had the experience of seeing this event it took place on the beach. For this match they made all the wrestlers wear pink tie-dye shirts and act as lumberjacks. Man do I miss WCW some times. Oh and they claimed that HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people were watching this on the beach. The crowd was terrible sounding. Whether it's because the people there were just some random people on the beach or because the audio was terrible because they were on a beach I don't know. There's also a chance that people just couldn't see a damn thing because beaches don't have bleachers and the sun was shining in a bunch of people's eyes. It also looked really hot out and nobody in the crowd looked particularly happy.
The match itself left a lot to be desired. We saw this video package about how Flair had attacked Savage's father yet when the match started I didn't see any of that aggression. Once the match got going and Savage started his comeback we got the intensity that was lacking at first and this really took a turn for the better. Savage was almost in a state of near desperation and he got a reaction out of the hot and sun blinded beach goers. I just wish the whole match had the intensity of the last couple minutes of the match. This is a tough one to rate as I loved the last few minutes but really didn't like a majority of this. I'll guess I'll go with this:
WCW Championship Match:
Randy Savage w/Like 100 Girls vs. Ric Flair(c) w/Jimmy Hart
This is the match that I wish I had just watched. Savage brings the intensity right from the start of the match. The control segment from Flair was so much more interesting and the crowd seemed so much more into it because if how aggressive Savage started. You knew that the comeback was going to be great because you already saw how great Savage was when he got in some offense. This didn't go too long but we got to see a really fun match. I would have preferred a longer comeback from Savage but the crowd went insane when they saw the title change. Hogan showing up was unnecessarily but hey it was a cool moment and a good end to a really fun match.
Lights Out Match:
Randy Savage w/Elizabet vs. Diamond Dallas Page w/Kimberly
This is one of the matches that defined my childhood as a wrestling fan. I remember being 6 and my mom ordering this for me. In fact I have a recording of this on a VHS somewhere in my house. This was a lot of fun. It was a wild and crazy brawl that saw Savage control the match and the crowd go insane for any offense DDP got in. I just wish this hadn't fallen victim to classic WCW booking. It sucks to see the NWO use numbers to cheat to win. I hated it as a kid and it still drives me insane. I know that was their gimmick and that it made the times when the NWO lost all the better but I still wish DDP had been able to get the win.
Either way this was a great. As far as I can remember this was one of Savage's last great matches. It had everything you could ask for in a street fight and it was a blast to go and watch something that I remember seeing as a little kid.
WCW Championship Match:
Kevin Nash(c) and Sting vs. Randy Savage and Sid Vicious w/Team Madness
We see some more classic WCW booking here. Nash was the champion and was defending his title in a tag match...OK. And apparently the only way he could lose the title was if he got pinned. I'm not sure if Sting could actually win the title here either. Why Nash would ever enter the match I don't know. Why someone would book a match with these stipulations I don't know either. None of these stipulations really mattered though as this was wrestled like it was any other tag match. The match also had the lamest SWERVE ever.
This just wasn't good. It started slow and it ended slow without every picking up. The control segment on Sting was awful and not in the least bit interesting. I get why it's on here but this just wasn't good other than a few interesting moments.
Overall this was an incredible DVD. Disc 3 left a lot to be desired but it was mostly stuff from the end of Savage's career. There were some incredible matches on here and I'm glad I got to see some for the first time since I was a kid. Well worth the time and something that I would say is a must have for wrestling fans.
Great write-up on one of my favorite sets to replay. The extra promos they added are a treat. It would have been much better to have Savage involved with the project so that's a shame it never happened. I love Randy Savage. I love his wrestling style, his character & how he meticulously implemented his character into the execution of a match his promos that were wacky on the surface but a work of art if you really listened to what he was saying, and the matches. That Flair/Savage WM 8 match is not to be ignored. I would put it up there as one of the best WrestleMania matches ever.