WWE Randy Savage: Unreleased (Part 2)
by Scrooge McSuck
- Picking things up with the 2nd of 3 Discs, and we've still got Corey Graves, Sean Mooney, Bayley, and Diamond Dallas Page hosting the set, talking about whatever random topics they pad the set out with. They talk up the rivalry and series of matches between Savage and The Ultimate Warrior, which leads us to...
The Ultimate Warrior vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage:
Taped on March 7th, 1989 from El Paso, TX, and a Dark Match from a set of Superstars tapings. This is a Non-Title Champion vs. Champion Match, a series they did around the horn in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania V to keep people hyped for their matches against Rick Rude and Hulk Hogan respectively. Savage attacks Warrior as he enters the ring, but the tide quickly turns, with Warrior laying into Savage with chops. Whip to the ropes and Warrior with a diving shoulder tackle, knocking him to the outside. Warrior follows, and press slams him back in through the ropes. Whip to the ropes and Savage with a kick to the chest. He goes to the top and is caught attempting a body press. Warrior rams him into the turnbuckle, trapping him in a tree of woe, and stomps away. I never realized how common of a spot that was until watching this set. I noticed the audio is slightly out of sync with the action. Warrior misses a charge and gets knocked out of the ring with a running high knee. Savage follows, coming off the top with the double axe-handle. Back inside, Savage hangs the Warrior up across the top rope for two. Warrior escapes a chin-lock with elbows but runs into Savage's hook clothesline. Savage with another flying axe-handle smash, but Warrior kicks out with ease at one. Rick Rude makes his way to ringside, taunting Warrior by posing. Warrior with an atomic drop for two. Savage with a school boy for two. Warrior with a face-buster but a splash meets knees. Warrior no-sells Savage's offense and starts shaking the ropes with Rude in his face. Warrior with rights and clotheslines. He leaves the ring to chase Rick Rude. Savage surprises him with an axe-handle smash and beats the count for the cheap victory at 7:52. Post-match, Warrior clears the ring and poses. These two worked the same match almost move for move every time in the early months of 1989, so no surprise this was good. 1 for 1
- From the April 15th, 1989 episode of Superstars, it's the Brother Love Show, where Randy Savage introduces the Sensational Sherri as his new manager. Give it a point because it's one of the best manager/superstar pair-ups of the era. 2 for 2
- Next topic of discussion is the Savage and Sherri relationship, and how much of a contrast it was when comparing Sherri to Elizabeth. They focus on them as King and Queen, and unfortunately, a "lost gem" is the complete match is where Randy Savage wins the King's crown from Jim Duggan.
WWF Championship Match:
Taped on April 23rd, 1989 from the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario. Savage was splitting tours, working on-and-off with Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake for most of the Spring (probably doing the B-stops with Beefcake). Savage tosses a chair into the ring, but Hogan catches it with one hand. Savage keeps his distance early on. Hogan goes for him in the ropes but the referee steps between them. He throws his robe at Hogan and pounds away. He comes off the top with the flying axe-handle smash. He covers Hogan with the robe and hits a second axe-handle. Hogan pops up, in complete no-sell mode, and connects with an atomic drop. He unloads with rights and chops, sending Savage to hide in the corner. Whip across the ring and Hogan charges in with an elbow. He tosses Savage over the top rope, unfortunately, this isn't Battle Royal Rules. Hogan follows and Savage puts Sherri between them. Hogan pulls Savage back to the outside and slams him face-first onto the timekeeper's table. Back inside, Hogan with a running elbow and rake of the eyes. Hogan catches a boot from Savage, spins him around, and picks him up with a double choke lift. Sherri hops on the apron to give Hogan the business, and he responds by mocking her. Savage uses the distraction to knock Hogan out of the ring with a running high knee. Sherri tries to assist but Hogan blocks. Savage takes advantage again and comes off the top with the axe-handle. Back inside, Savage with his signature clothesline for two. Sherri with choking from the outside. Savage with a jumping knee drop for two. Hogan escapes a chin-lock with elbows but gets tripped up by Sherri. Savage sits down across the back of the head with Hogan leaning in the ropes, then hangs him up across the top rope. Savage with a loaded axe-handle smash, causing Hogan to convulse. HULK-UP. Hogan with right hands and big boot, knocking Savage out of the ring. Sherri hops on Hogan's back, preventing him from entering the ring, and it's another cheap Count-Out at 10:05. I'm starting to wonder how many clean finishes are being featured on this set. Good match, slightly below the quality of their match at WrestleMania V for sake of reference. 3 for 3
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Sensational Sherri):
Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Sensational Sherri):
Taped on May 16th, 1989 from the LaCrosse Center in LaCrosse, WI, and a dark match from a taping for Wrestling Challenge. I forgot about the angle where Savage and Sherri cut Beefcake's hair on the Brother Love Show. Sherri taunts Beefcake from the apron, allowing Savage to attack from behind. Whip is reversed, and Beefcake connects with a clothesline. He unloads with rights, sending Savage to the floor for a breather. Sherri grabs the leg of Beefcake, allowing Savage to put him down with an axe-handle. Savage tosses him to the outside, giving Sherri an opportunity to get a cheap-shot in on The Barber. Savage with another attack from behind, followed by a flying double axe-handle for two. He tries it again, but Beefcake lands a punch to the midsection. Whip to the ropes and Savage comes right back with a well-placed boot to the chest. Beefcake catches him coming off the ropes with the Sleeper, but Sherri attacks Beefcake with his barber bag for the cheap Disqualification at 4:55. Post-match, Beefcake sends Savage out of the ring with an atomic drop. The action was OK, but too short to earn a point. 3 for 4
Hercules vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage (w/ Queen Sherri):
Taped on November 1st, 1989 and featured on the Prime Time Special "Survivor Series Showdown" on November 12th. Odd that introductions aren't shown. Savage tries a sneak attack but gets chased away with the chain. Lockup and Hercules with the clear strength advantage. I just noticed the original commentary with Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon is removed. Savage grabs a side headlock but gets wiped out by a shoulder tackle. Hercules blocks a whip and pulls Savage in with a short-arm clothesline. Sherri gets knocked to the ground trying to help Savage. Hercules with a gorilla press slam. Hercules gives chase to the outside, and a distraction from Sherri allows Savage to knock him into the post with a high knee. Savage comes off the top with his flying axe-handle smash. Sherri attacks with her shoe, setting the template for WCW booking 5-years later. Back inside, Savage comes off the top with another axe-handle for a two-count. Savage goes to the top again and misses the big elbow drop. Hercules with a clothesline and a series of rights and lefts in the corner. Whip and a fist to the midsection, followed by another clothesline. Hercules avoids an attack from behind, sending Savage flying over the top rope. Hercules tries to bring him in with a suplex, but Sherri sweeps the leg. Hercules catches Savage on a body press attempt and connects with a back breaker for two. Hercules takes the most obvious dive over the top rope on a "pull the rope down" spot. Savage KO's Hercules with Sherri's loaded purse for three at 10:41. Babyface Hercules wasn't producing many good matches. For the sake of where a rating falls under these circumstances, I'd probably give this *1/2, so just under the threshold of a good rating. 3 for 5
Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire (w/ Elizabeth) vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage & "Queen" Sensational Sherri (w/ Brother Love):
Taped on July 17th, 1990 from the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, IA, part of a Wrestling Challenge taping. A similar match taped on June 26th was featured on the "Hottest Matches" Coliseum Video, so I expect this to follow the same script. 20+ matches into the set and "Pomp and Circumstance" isn't getting old. For whatever reason, Pat Patterson and Rene Goulet walk the Rhodes team to the ring (I guess Pat was a quasi-protector for her from grabby fans, but why Goulet?). Elizabeth is looking extra cute with the black and yellow ribbons in her hair. Sherri wrestles the match in a mini-skirt and heels. Sherri feeds Sapphire the leg so she can be taken down and takes an exaggerated bump after being rammed into the turnbuckle. Sherri with knees and good God, is Sapphire just awful (and for good reason). Sapphire comes back with a takedown and tags in Rhodes. He drops Savage with elbows. Brother Love with the distraction, allowing Savage to knock him to the outside with a high knee. Back inside, Savage with the flying axe-handle smash for two. Rhodes escapes a sleeper hold with elbows to the midsection, then nails Savage coming off the top rope. Rhodes chases Brother Love around and again gets worked over because of it. He no-sells Savage's rights and avoids a seated splash. Sherri saves Brother Love from trouble, but then he accidentally hits her with a running knee. Back inside and Rhodes with the sleeper. Sherri attacks Sapphire, again feeding herself for assault. Love sneaks in, hitting Rhodes with the loaded purse. Sapphire gets the hot tag and gives Sherri an airplane spin. The world's WORST AIRPLANE SPIN, I should say, and the crowd still pops big for it! Elizabeth sneaks into the ring, whacks Sherri with the loaded purse TO A MONSTER POP, and Sapphire covers for three at 7:44. The match was balls, but Sherri's effort and the pop at the end is worth a point. 4 for 6.
Koko B. Ware vs. "Macho King" Randy Savage (w/ Queen Sherri):
Taped on November 19th from the War Memorial Auditorium in Rochester, NY, and featured on the December 22nd, 1990 episode of Superstars. I've covered this before on my WWF Flashbacks on Da' Wrestling Board, but it's short enough to watch a second time. Savage mouths off to Frankie and lays Koko out with a clothesline. Savage is still wearing his hat and sunglasses as he shoots Koko to the ropes and lays him out with an elbow. Koko counters a slam with a small package for two. Savage drops Koko across the top rope and takes him over with a suplex. Koko comes back with a swinging neck breaker and comes off the top rope, missing a body press. Savage sends him to the floor with a running high knee and follows with a flying axe-handle smash. Back inside, Savage finishes with the Flying Elbow at 2:44. No reason for this to be included on the set (Editor's Note: well, 1990 Savage just needs to beat Tito Santana and you know the rest...). 4 for 7
- From the March 23rd, 1991 episode of Superstars, Randy Savage and Sensational Sherri cut a promo no doubt taken from the WrestleMania Report. Savage calls himself too hot to handle and too cold to hold. He controls his own destiny and the destiny of everyone in the Kingdom of the Madness, and that includes the Ultimate Warrior. Too short to earn a point, lasting about 30-seconds. 4 for 8.
- The Retirement Match, reunion with Elizabeth, and the snake-biting incident with Jake Roberts are discussed by Corey Graves and Company.
- From the November 17th, 1991 episode of Wrestling Challenge (again with the wrong date), "Mean" Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Randy Savage is pushing Jack Tunney to reinstate him as an active Superstar for the WWF. He thanks everyone in the arena and the "zillions" of people around the world for the momentum and electricity and grass-root support that is weakening Jack Tunney, and he's confident he'll be reinstated in time for the Survivor Series so he can lead the Legion of Doom and the Big Boss Man into battle against Jake Roberts and his "Rat Pack Snake Pit." Elizabeth chimes in that Savage hasn't always been right, but right or wrong, she's behind him 100%. 5 for 9
"Macho Man" Randy Savage, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Ric Flair (w/ Mr. Perfect), The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer), and Jake "The Snake" Roberts:
Taped on December 2nd, 1991 from the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi, TX. That is one random Six-Man Tag Team Match, and on paper alone is worthy of a point, but we'll wait to see if the match is any good. IF we get a decisive finish, we all know Duggan is likely taking the bullet. Flair and Piper start. Lockup into the corner and they get into a shoving contest. Piper with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Crisscross and he lands a right between the eyes, sending Flair to the floor. Roberts wants some of Savage, or so he claims (Piper: You're stupid!). He tries to ambush Savage but gets caught. Savage rocks him with an elbow and comes off the top with the double axe-handle. Undertaker tags in, but Savage stomps Roberts one more time on his way out for good measure. Duggan tags in too, and he gets manhandled in the corner. Taker misses a charge across the ring and Duggan unloads with rights. Duggan comes off the ropes with a clothesline, sending Taker over the top rope. Duggan ends up getting worked over by the heels. Roberts with shoulders to the midsection. Piper gets the tag and runs wild on Flair until a cheap shot over the shoulder of the referee turns the tide again. Undertaker in with choking. Roberts with an inverted atomic drop. Flair with a snap mare into a cover (with feet on the ropes) for two. Savage gets the hot tag, and everything quickly turns into a wild brawl. Savage with a slam and flying elbow on Flair for THREE at 8:53. Well, that was unexpected. Intrigue aside, this was cookie cutter dark match filler to give the fans at a Wrestling Challenge taping something to talk about on the ride home. 5 for 10.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. The Barbarian:
Taped on December 4th, 1991 from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX, featured on the December 30th episode of Prime-Time Wrestling, and again on the January 18th episode of Superstars. Almost weird to see Elizabeth coming to ringside with Savage at this point of their careers. Savage quickly grabs a side headlock but gets laid out going for a shoulder tackle. Savage starts clawing at Barbarian's face and knocks him into the corner with an elbow. Inset promo from Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Barbarian with a back breaker for two. He plants Savage with a slam but misses a splash from the top rope. Savage makes his way to the top and finishes with the flying elbow at 2:26. That was surprisingly quick. Not much to see here, unfortunately. 5 for 11
"Macho Man" Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts & The Berzerker (w/ Mr. Fuji):
Taped on January 28th, 1992 from the Civic Center in Amarillo, TX. This could be the dirt worst match of all time, it's getting a point for F'N MEGA POWERS IN 1992. According to TheHistoryofWWE.com, Berzerker is replacing The Undertaker, who taped his face-turn that day. Hogan and Berzerker start. Berzerker with clubbering blows. Whip to the ropes, Hogan ducks under a clothesline and hangs back to avoid a dropkick. Hogan with a clothesline, knocking Berzerker over the top rope. He runs back in and they do it again. Hogan with an atomic drop and thumb to the eyes. Savage in, throwing Berzerker into a Hogan right hand. Berzerker rakes the eyes and tags in Roberts. He unloads with a series of rights and lefts. Savage gets tossed over the top rope and takes a shot from Fuji's cane for the hell of it. Back inside, Roberts with an inverted atomic drop. Berzerker with a whip and diving shoulder tackle for two. Savage fights out of a seated chin-lock but runs into a knee. Berzerker with a piledriver for two. Savage reverses a whip to the corner but meets the knee charging in. Berzerker misses I don't even know what the hell it was, and Hogan with the hot tag. He unloads on Berzerker with rights and plants him with a slam. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER! Whip to the ropes and a big boot knocks Berzerker out. Hogan sends Roberts to the corner and follows in with a clothesline. Savage in to rock Roberts with an elbow, followed by the double axe-handle. Roberts decides to take a walk, but The Undertaker shows up to force him back to ringside. Hogan tosses him back into the ring and hits the big boot before rolling him up for three at 8:04. Um... I take it back. This stunk. The crowd was DEAD for everything. 5 for 12.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts:
Taped on March 10th, 1992 from Biloxi, MS. I'm not going to lie, these Roberts/Savage matches haven't been the best. Roberts hides on the outside, so Savage gives chase. Roberts gets the advantage coming back into the ring and connects with a short-arm clothesline. Savage fights back from his knees but gets taken down with an inverted atomic drop. Snap mare out of the corner into a chin-lock. Savage escapes with an arm drag but Roberts regains control with another clothesline. He signals for the DDT but Savage backs him into the corner to create separation. Savage unloads with rights and lefts in the corner and claws at the face. Whip to the opposite corner and Savage with an elbow. He goes to the top rope and connects with the double axe-handle, knocking Roberts out of the ring. Savage follows, ramming the right shoulder into the post. Back in, Savage comes off the top again, this time met with a fist to the midsection. Roberts with the DDT, but he chooses not to cover. He goes for another DDT but Savage counters with a school boy for three at 3:50. It was short and mostly action, so it's worth a point. 6 for 13.
- From the April 8th, 1992 tapings in Kalamazoo, MI, "Mean" Gene Okerlund interviews Savage as THE NEW WWF CHAMPION. He congratulates him on his victory over Ric Flair and regaining the honor of Elizabeth. Okerlund mentions Savage breaking the rules to get the victory. Savage says this is the 90's and he had to do what he had to do against someone would've done the same to him. Some say he stole the title, but the only stealing came from Flair when he stole a kiss from Elizabeth. What he got was the kiss of death. He's going to be the first Champion challenging the Challenger and promises revenge. 7 for 14
"Macho Man" Randy Savage & The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Ric Flair (w/ Mr. Perfect) & The Berzerker (w/ Mr. Fuji):
Taped on July 21st, 1992 from the Civic Center in Portland, ME. This match made the rounds on video media websites, but I'm sure have been removed like the rest. It was featured on European TV, so it has the polish of a final product meant to air. Savage gets on the microphone before the action starts to let out an "OOH YEAH." Once things settle down, we start with Savage and Flair. Berzerker has been shouting "Huss" non-stop for a good 3-minutes. Lockup into the corner and Flair gives a clean break (and "Woo"). Savage with a side headlock and they fight over a hammer-lock. Flair goes to the ropes for a break and they get into a slapping contest. The look on Flair's face, frozen in disbelief, is something to see. More shoving and another slap from the Macho Man. Savage with a headlock and shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Savage with a clothesline before tagging in the Undertaker. Flair's strikes have no effect. A thumb to the eye works, but Undertaker blocks an Irish whip and catches Flair off the ropes with a press slam. You rarely saw him do that move. Ever. Whip and Taker does it a second time to show it wasn't a fluke (and it's a spot Flair likes to take). Berzerker in for the Hoss Showdown of 1992™. Taker gets the better of that exchange too and chokes away in the corner. Berzerker comes off the ropes with a boot, knocking Undertaker over the top rope. Taker lands on his feet though, pulls Berzerker out with him, and slams him into the ring steps. Back inside, Savage comes off the top with the double axe-handle for two. Berzerker with a headbutt to the midsection to take control of the action. Flair with a whip to the corner and chop for two. To the outside and its Savage's turn to taste the steel steps. Flair gets into an extended argument with a female fan who makes a crude gesture with her posterior. Berzerker pulls back the padding and plants Savage on the concrete as gently as possible. If you're not going to make it look good, don't do it at all. Back inside, Berzerker traps him in the ropes, but Savage fights free and hot tags Undertaker. He unloads on Berzerker and comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline. Undertaker with the Tombstone Piledriver and Savage finishes with the Flying Elbow at 13:37. Surprisingly fun and very much watchable despite Berzerker working 80% of it. 8 for 15
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Razor Ramon:
Taped on October 28th, 1992 from the Louisville Gardens in Louisville, KY, and another match featured on European TV, so it looks better than most matches featured. Ramon hits on Mike McGuirk to put himself over as a sleaze-ball. A toothpick to the face fires Savage up, but he gets pummeled with right hands as he enters the ring. Savage comes back with jabs but is cut short with a knee to the midsection. Savage with an arm drag, clothesline, and running high knee, followed by choking across the top rope. Razor with a thumb to the eyes and boots to the knee (a worked injury Savage sold for quite a while). Ramon picks the leg for a step over toe-hold but Savage boots him off. Ramon with a double choke lift followed by more work on the left knee. Savage with an elbow, knocking Razor out of the ring. He makes the mistake of trying to follow up and has his leg wrapped around the post for it. Back inside, Razor hooks a single leg crab (and yes, he uses the ropes for extra leverage). Bill Alfonso catches the cheating and forces a break. UPHOLD THEM RULES, FONZIE! Razor keeps working the leg, and based on the crowd napping, you'd think we time warped to the present for a Roman Reigns match. Things really start to drag as Razor doesn't have much to offer when it comes to offense attacking leg. Savage takes exception to being slapped around and fights to his feet, only to have his leg kicked from under his leg. Whip and Razor with a drop toe hold. Savage with a boot to the ass, sending Razor out of the ring. Savage comes off the top with the double axe-handle, but he's too hurt to get up, allowing Razor to win via cheap Count-Out at 9:52. They did this finish at house shows too. Started fine, and I really wanted to give it a point, but fell apart in the middle and we got a lame finish. 8 for 16.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. "Terrific" Terry Taylor:
Taped on November 23rd, 1992 from Erie, PA and featured on the December 14th episode of Prime-Time Wrestling. Lockup and Savage with an arm drag. Savage with a second arm drag, into the arm-bar. Taylor forces a break in the ropes and grabs a side headlock, but Savage counters with another arm drag. Taylor's attempts at an abdominal stretch are thwarted with... take a guess. He even busts out an arm drag to counter Taylor's own! Taylor with a cheap shot in the corner and Savage responds with his own right hand. Whip and Savage with a clothesline, sending Taylor over the top. Savage comes off the top and takes a fist to the midsection. Back inside, Taylor with a jaw breaker and knees across the chest. Back breaker for two. Atomic drop for two. Whip to the ropes and a dropkick for two. He argues the count, allowing Savage to roll him up for two. Whip and Savage with a handful of tights to take Taylor over with a sunset flip for two. Taylor with a sleeper hold and a side slam for two. Whip and Savage hangs back to avoid another dropkick. Savage with a small package for two. Savage counters a hip toss with a back slide for two. Taylor up first with a short clothesline for two. Savage reverses a whip to the corner but meets an elbow charging in. Taylor with a slam. Savage gets the knees up to counter a Vader Bomb. Did Monsoon say Savage was a youngster?! Savage with the big comeback, hanging Taylor across the top rope and coming off the top with a double axe-handle for two. Savage with a back suplex for two. Savage with a boot to the face in the corner, scoop slam, and Flying Elbow to finish Mr. Terrific at 9:49. Pretty good match, even taking into consideration it's a former WWF Champion vs. a JTTS heel that came in with zero fanfare. (***) 9 for 17
Final Thoughts: A mixed bag collection of matches, with a few generous points here and there. I knew I shouldn't have expected much, but a lot of the "never before seen" stuff from 1992-92 really left me disappointed, and with business in the toilet too, you can kind of feel why Savage wasn't a go-to guy at the top of the promotion in 1993-94. There's some good stuff here, but once we move on from the Macho King, you can just see a pattern and standard babyface formula that's not as exciting as Savage's work from the mid 80's
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