Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him? - Wrestling Forum: WWE, AEW, New Japan, Indy Wrestling, Women of Wrestling Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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My favorite wrestler of all time is by far The Macho Man Randy Savage. The first show I watched (at 6 years old) that had me hooked was the Saturday Night's Main Event in October 1987. The first match was Randy challenging the Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Title. Randy win by DQ after the Hart Foundation broke up the pin, HTM shoved Elizabeth who ran to the back and then smashed his guitar over Randy's head. Back comes Elizabeth with Hulk Hogan who helps Randy chase HTM and the Harts away and the Mega Powers were formed! However, I became a Macho Maniac and not a Hulkamaniac.

I rooted hard for Macho to win the IC belt on The Main Event which was and still to this day is the most watched wrestling program of all time (33 million viewers) and that was the match I was looking forward to instead of Hulk vs. Andre. Again, Macho did not get the belt (won by countout).

I was excited as could be the following weekend after WM4 (no cable at that time so no PPV and USA for Prime Time Wrestling) see that Macho win the tournament and became WWF Champion. Even at 7 years old at that point I was disappointed that Hulk was always in the picture and even when Macho turned heel, I was 100% behind Randy. Of course, Hulk won and that was that.

Looking back as an adult, Macho's title run was rather lackluster and the only memorable moments (including winning and losing the belt) involved Hogan. There were a couple of things I have heard of that were very interesting:

Macho was supposed to get the IC Belt from HTM and also chase Ted Dibiase for the WWF Title who would have won the tournament.

Also, I read somewhere that Ric Flair was very close to being signed around Summerslam 1988.. they had a great match at WM 8 as well as some of one's in WCW, but a match in 1988 with them being a tad younger would have been out of this world!!

I would have gone with Savage winning the tournament as he did, but then having a final match with Honky Tonk Man on the first SNME after WM where Randy gets that pinfall victory (and HTM keeps the IC belt as he desired) and the proper conclusion to the feud that got me hooked on wrestling and is one of the most underrated in history. He could have feuded with DiBiase in the spring and hopefully had that match at Summerslam with the newly signed Flair. b
But, knowing Flair was still pro Crockett/NWA, it would be a 1 on 1 with DiBiase where Hogan runs in and makes the save as Andre and Virgil would try to interfere.

After that, everything else could play out as it did with the divide over Elizabeth, leading into their WM 5 match. HOWEVER, I would take Dave Meltzer's suggestion I heard him mention on a podcast and let the WM 5 and in a DQ so Randy can retain and Hulk can chase him in the spring and summer leading into Summerslam.

I would book the DQ with Sherri making her debut and alliance with Macho in the ring by causing the DQ as Hulk was about to win (instead of backstage after the event as it happened). Then at Summerslam, Hulk can win the belt in an epic match where Savage has Sherri and Zeus (whon debuts and causes another DQ as Hulk has Macho beat for the belt again on an episode of SNME) in his corner and Hulk has Beefcake and Liz in his corner. Liz would strike Sherri down and Beefcake could hold Zeus' leg or something to prevent him from breaking up the pin.

That's how I would do it...how would you?

Last edited by cai1981; 06-22-2019 at 10:41 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 06:54 PM
 
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Re: Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him?

I'd have Hogan turn heel to win the belt back from Randy at Mania V, Randy wins the belt back clean in the big SummerSlam rematch, Hogan wins the belt back dirty at Survivor Series.

You can still do Warrior/Hogan at Mania VI but this time the loss humbles Hogan & he turns face, from then on in, you have him as the special attraction, helping to build the next generation of megastars, Hogans crowning moment was slamming Andre, that's his peak, at that point onwards he should've started giving back to the business that helped make him a megastar. People think boom/slumps happen in isolation but they happen when a booker does something that gets hot, then fuck it up with shit booking &/or backstage politics.

There would've been no mid 90's slump if Hogan had actually spent his prime years putting over new talent, rather than hogging the spotlight until he fucked off to WCW, leaving WWF in the shit.

Last edited by BevellingRetorts; 06-23-2019 at 07:16 AM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 09:59 PM
 
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Re: Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him?

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Originally Posted by BevellingRetorts View Post
I'd have Hogan turn heel to win the belt back from Randy at Mania V, Randy wins the belt back clean in the big SummerSlam rematch, Hogan wins the belt back dirty at Survivor Series.

You can still do Warrior/Hogan at Mania VI but this time the loss humbles Hogan & he turns face, from then on in, you have him as the special attraction, helping to build the next generation of megastars, Hogans crowning moment was slamming Andre, that's his peak, at that point onwards he should've started giving back to the business that helped make him a megastar. People think boom/slumps happen in isolation but they happen when a booker does something that gets hot, then fuck it up with shit booking &/or backstage politics.

There would've been no mid 90's slump if Hogan had actually spent his prime years putting over new talent, rather than hogging the spotlight until he fucked off to WCW, leaving WWF in the shit.
You have no fuckin' clue about how the wrestling business worked back then it's easy to tell you didn't witness any of it and you're applying a 2019 mentality to what you've read. Hindsight is usually 20/20 but in your case it's 20/1000
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 11:10 PM
 
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Re: Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him?

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Originally Posted by BevellingRetorts View Post
I'd have Hogan turn heel to win the belt back from Randy at Mania V, Randy wins the belt back clean in the big SummerSlam rematch, Hogan wins the belt back dirty at Survivor Series.

You can still do Warrior/Hogan at Mania VI but this time the loss humbles Hogan & he turns face, from then on in, you have him as the special attraction, helping to build the next generation of megastars, Hogans crowning moment was slamming Andre, that's his peak, at that point onwards he should've started giving back to the business that helped make him a megastar. People think boom/slumps happen in isolation but they happen when a booker does something that gets hot, then fuck it up with shit booking &/or backstage politics.

There would've been no mid 90's slump if Hogan had actually spent his prime years putting over new talent, rather than hogging the spotlight until he fucked off to WCW, leaving WWF in the shit.
Savage did have his fans, but the majority were NOT going to boo Hogan over Savage. Hogan was still seen as Champ by a lot of fans because he never really lost the belt clean. There was a reason why Vince booked Hogan and Savage as a tag team to headline the first SummerSlam. Hogan was still the main draw.

What could have occurred was Savage beating Hogan at Mania and having him chase Savage until SummerSlam. They could have also ramped up Savage and Liz with Liz either being brainwashed by Savage to turn on Hogan or just turn on Hogan.

The Savage and Liz connection shouldn't have been broken up post Mania, but it is easier said now than being done back then. Liz was the ultimate babyface.

I actually think it was done masterfully though. Hogan started to lose steam because of that stupid Zeus angle and feud. They jumped the shark there. I agree the slumps happen at times because of bad booking in the peak eventually leading them there. Hogan vs Zeus is that bad booking.

The same with Warrior. He was red hot at SummerSlam 89 with the Rude feud and tried to go to that well again right after he won the title. They should have put Warrior against Savage or something instead in a fresh feud to kick off his reign or even Earthquake who was the hot new heel.

Things just continued to get stale post WM VI and they never recovered until around WM 8 and around WM 12 to that kind of interest. Ironically WM 10 was excellently booked, but the roster post Mania just didn't have the depth.
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Last edited by promoter2003; 06-24-2019 at 02:18 AM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 02:30 AM
 
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Re: Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him?

I would re-book WM IV first of all. A one night tourney is not a good idea in practice and not a good way to crown a new champion. Instead, I do DiBiase / Hogan for the held up title and somehow DiBiase walks out as champion. During the build to SummerSlam I have DiBiase, Andre, and Virgil attack Hogan and Savage makes the save to form the Mega Powers. Then you have Mega Powers / Mega Bucks at SummerSlam. Then I have Tunney announce that Hogan and Savage are the co #1 contenders for the title with a coin toss at Survivor Series to determine who faces DiBiase at the Royal Rumble. I also at a later point announce that the winner of the RR gets a title shot at Wrestlemania.

Savage wins the coin toss. At RR Ď89 Hogan wins the RR match guaranteeing him a title shot at WM V. Then Savage beats DiBiase in the main event clean to become WWF Champion. During the build to WM, Hogan is waffling about whether he wants to face his friend at WM and take his title or not. This upsets Savage who feels that Hogan is insinuating that itís a foregone conclusion that Hogan will win. But while Savage is foreshadowing a turn both guys stay babyface and at Main Event Ď89 they do a contract signing where both guys cut promos on each other but do shake hands in the end.

At WM V, Hogan & Savage have a competitive match, but as it looks like Hogan is going to win Bobby Heenan comes down and throws salt in Hoganís eyes allowing Savage to retain. Savage at first insists that Heenan acted alone but eventually itís revealed that Savage & Heenan are together. SummerSlam Ď89 you can still do the Zeus tag. RR Ď90 can be pushed as Andre, Hogan, and DiBiase trying to win it to get a shot at the belt at WM 6. The main event is scheduled to be Savage / Beefcake for the title, but during the show Beefcake is mysteriously taken out. Savage tries to leave the building saying his match has been canceled but Tunney tells him to stay because he is going to defend his belt.

In the RR match, you still get the Hogan / Warrior tease but Hogan is eventually eliminated and Warrior goes on to win eliminating Andre and DiBiase in the final three.

Savage comes out to defend his title, and the replacement opponent is announced as Hogan. Heenan interferes and is barred from ringside and Hogan wins clean setting up Hogan / Warrior at WM 6. Then hopefully you can rebuild Savage and keep Warrior over for WM 7.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ClintDagger View Post
I would re-book WM IV first of all. A one night tourney is not a good idea in practice and not a good way to crown a new champion. Instead, I do DiBiase / Hogan for the held up title and somehow DiBiase walks out as champion. During the build to SummerSlam I have DiBiase, Andre, and Virgil attack Hogan and Savage makes the save to form the Mega Powers. Then you have Mega Powers / Mega Bucks at SummerSlam. Then I have Tunney announce that Hogan and Savage are the co #1 contenders for the title with a coin toss at Survivor Series to determine who faces DiBiase at the Royal Rumble. I also at a later point announce that the winner of the RR gets a title shot at Wrestlemania.

Savage wins the coin toss. At RR ‘89 Hogan wins the RR match guaranteeing him a title shot at WM V. Then Savage beats DiBiase in the main event clean to become WWF Champion. During the build to WM, Hogan is waffling about whether he wants to face his friend at WM and take his title or not. This upsets Savage who feels that Hogan is insinuating that it’s a foregone conclusion that Hogan will win. But while Savage is foreshadowing a turn both guys stay babyface and at Main Event ‘89 they do a contract signing where both guys cut promos on each other but do shake hands in the end.

At WM V, Hogan & Savage have a competitive match, but as it looks like Hogan is going to win Bobby Heenan comes down and throws salt in Hogan’s eyes allowing Savage to retain. Savage at first insists that Heenan acted alone but eventually it’s revealed that Savage & Heenan are together. SummerSlam ‘89 you can still do the Zeus tag. RR ‘90 can be pushed as Andre, Hogan, and DiBiase trying to win it to get a shot at the belt at WM 6. The main event is scheduled to be Savage / Beefcake for the title, but during the show Beefcake is mysteriously taken out. Savage tries to leave the building saying his match has been canceled but Tunney tells him to stay because he is going to defend his belt.

In the RR match, you still get the Hogan / Warrior tease but Hogan is eventually eliminated and Warrior goes on to win eliminating Andre and DiBiase in the final three.

Savage comes out to defend his title, and the replacement opponent is announced as Hogan. Heenan interferes and is barred from ringside and Hogan wins clean setting up Hogan / Warrior at WM 6. Then hopefully you can rebuild Savage and keep Warrior over for WM 7.
I like the overall plan of rebooking WM 4 and Savage retaining at WM 5. Just a few issues:

At the time, Survivor Series was exclusively 5 on 5 Elimination tag matches...there were no singles matches at Survivor Series until Hogan vs. Undertaker in 1991 (only one on that card) and they did not fill out most of the card until 1992.

The champion was always in the Royal Rumble match from 89-91...1992 was the Rumble for the vacant title and the first WWF Title match wasn't until 1993 when Bret Hart defended and retained against Razor Ramon. Also, the winner getting the title shot did not start until 1993 as well.

Salt in the eyes was Mr. Fuji's gimmick so Heenan would be more likely to do something else. I heard on a podcast (I believe Jericho's of an angle Heenan did before WWF where his champion (Nick Bockwinkel I presume as he was known for managing him) was pinned and Bobby counted to 3 behind the challenger's back leading the challenger to believe he won the belt. But, much to his chagrin, the ref was down and when the challenger turned his attention to Bobby, the champ either rolled the challenger up or did a maneuver to win with the real ref counting the fall. I could see that happening with Savage rolling up Hogan to retain and claiming Heenan acted alone as you proposed.

Last edited by cai1981; 06-23-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 09:29 AM
 
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Re: Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him?

I was fine with how he was booked.

If I would change anything, I'd have definitely had Savage/Steamboat II in round 2 of the Tourney (and probably shorten the tourney to 3 rounds instead of 4 to keep it simpler), and maybe do Savage Vs. DiBiase one on one at Summerslam 88 instead of the Tag match (though the tag match was really cool, so...yeah).

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 10:22 AM
 
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Re: Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him?

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The champion was always in the Royal Rumble match from 89-91...1992 was the Rumble for the vacant title and the first WWF Title match wasn't until 1993 when Bret Hart defended and retained against Razor Ramon. Also, the winner getting the title shot did not start until 1993 as well.
.
First Rumble title match was '91.



So I don't think it's a stretch to have a title match just one year early. Could maybe argue RR90 might have had a title match if they weren't doing Hogan/Warrior at WM and needed Hogan in it to do the Hogan/Warrior tease.

I remember a while back reading that in the fall on '89 there was talks of doing Hogan vs Dibiase at RR90 and Zeus winning the the Rumble and then Hogan/Zeus happening at WM6. But Vince decided to do a Hogan vs Dibiase team captained Survivor Series match, do the Hogan/Zeus blowoff in a pre-taped tag match that aired on PPV as No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cai1981 View Post

The champion was always in the Royal Rumble match from 89-91...1992 was the Rumble for the vacant title and the first WWF Title match wasn't until 1993 when Bret Hart defended and retained against Razor Ramon. Also, the winner getting the title shot did not start until 1993 as well.
.
First Rumble title match was '91.



So I don't think it's a stretch to have a title match just one year early. Could maybe argue RR90 might have had a title match if they weren't doing Hogan/Warrior at WM and needed Hogan in it to do the Hogan/Warrior tease.

I remember a while back reading that in the fall on '89 there was talks of doing Hogan vs Dibiase at RR90 and Zeus winning the the Rumble and then Hogan/Zeus happening at WM6. But Vince decided to do a Hogan vs Dibiase team captained Survivor Series match, do the Hogan/Zeus blowoff in a pre-taped tag match that aired on PPV as No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie
I totally forgot about that..especially when my favorite wrestler (Savage) was involved in the finish...I remember the scepter to the head!!! And correct...though Hogan won the RR for the 2nd year in a row in 1991, he was not the champ. He did get the title shot at WM 7, but the winner gets the title match stipulation that is still in existence today was not official. He was champ when he won it in '90.

Nonetheless, it would be 2 years earlier in '89 and the booking was different. 91 and 92 is when we started to see a slow change in how they did business.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 08:27 PM
 
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Re: Randy Savage 1988-1989: How Would You Book Him?

I would have booked it exactly like it was. IMHO the storyline of the Mega Powers/Explosion of the Mega Powers from just before Wrestlemania IV to Wrestlemania V is the single greatest story telling & writing in the history of professional wrestling.

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