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WWE Randy Savage: Unreleased (Part 3)
by Scrooge McSuck
- We wrap things up with the 3rd and final disc of the set, covering the final days of Randy Savage's WWF run and finishing with his time in World Championship Wrestling. We've still got Corey Graves, Sean Mooney, Bayley, and Diamond Dallas Page talking us through moments in Savage's career between matches.
- "Speaking from the Heart" Music Video featured on the Superstars Album released in the Spring of 1993. The video and song is nothing (except for the English back-up vocals pronouncing Macho as "Match-o"), but we get outtakes from the filming, which is enough for a generous point. 1 for 1
- The panel of experts talk about Randy Savage outside the ring (except for Bayley, who never met him). Sean Mooney talks about how difficult it was to get to know him and get in his circle, but once he was comfortable with you, it was a great time. Diamond Dallas Page holds back for the sake of Savage's time in WCW later in the set. That transitions into his role as an Ambassador for the company, doing charity work, especially with children.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji):
From the "Match to WrestleMania IX" Special
featured on the USA Network on March 28th, 1993, and taped from Fayetteville, NC on March 7th. Lockup and Yokozuna throws Savage to the canvas. Savage grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes for a shoulder tackle. It goes as well as you'd expect. Yokozuna tosses him over the top rope, to the floor. This isn't the Royal Rumble! Yoko follows and sends Savage into the post. Back inside, Savage teases a comeback with a flurry of left jabs and rights but gets laid out with a shot to the throat. Yokozuna with a slam, followed by a massive leg drop. He peels Savage off the canvas and chokes him out in the corner. Whip across the ring and the avalanche misses. Savage comes off the top with the double axe-handle, knocking Yokozuna down to one knee. He goes up again, but this time Fuji jabs him with the flag pole. Yokozuna recovers and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for three at 6:37. Post-match, he tries to add insult-to-injury, but Savage fends him off. A glorified squash match with a finish that makes you take notice to Mr. Fuji being at ringside. 2 for 2
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. "The Narcissist" Lex Luger:
From the Huntington, WV tapings on June 15th, 1993. The same date of the Hogan/Giant Gonzales interaction. WHERE'S THAT MATCH ON THESE DAMN SETS?! We're a few days removed from King of the Ring. They do the "Luger must wear the protective pad" gimmick, wasting 5-minutes and barely getting a reaction. Luger stalls on the floor to kill a couple of minutes. Savage invites him back in and gets spit in the face for it. Savage gives chase and gets pounded on in the corner. This isn't good. Whip and Savage counters a back drop with a boot to the chest. Luger's over-selling is more obvious without the commentary or crowd sweetening. Whip and a clothesline gets two. Luger regains control, tossing Savage out of the ring. Back inside, Luger drops an elbow for two. This might be the laziest worked match I've seen on the entire set. Luger does some stuff and drops another elbow for a near fall. Whip to the corner and Savage gets a knee up. He hangs Luger up across the top rope and knocks him to the outside with the running high knee. Savage follows, coming off the top with the flying double axe-handle. Back inside, a second axe-handle wipes out Luger and the referee. Savage with a slam and Flying Elbow, but the referee is still down. Luger removes the pad and KO's Savage before slipping it back on his arm. Luger covers for three at 9:51. BUT WAIT… oh, that's the actual finish. The definition of sleepwalking through a match. If subtracting a point was a thing, this match earned that dubious distinction. 2 for 3
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
Taped on July 26th, 1993 from the War Memorial in Utica, NY. The jumbo-screen has "Coliseum Video" on it, so perhaps it was intended for release had Hughes not been fired so quickly. The match made it to air in Europe and floated around the internet before the purge. Hughes and Harvey have the urn, the 1st in a long (long) line of angles surrounding the stupid prop. Savage has his "USA" attire on. In dork related news, I'm proud of the work I did recreating the outfit on an old Hasbro figure. Savage unloads with jabs but Hughes cuts him off with a rake of the eyes. Hughes controls with his usual crap of punching and chokes. Oh my GOD, it's been 90-seconds and I feel like I've been sitting on my hands for 10, waiting for something good. They blew an Irish whip spot. THEY BLEW. AN IRISH. WHIP. SPOT. Savage avoids a charge in the corner. Crisscross, Hughes catches a body press and connects with a back breaker for two. Wippleman gets some cheap shots in while Hughes distracts referee Tim White. Back inside, Hughes lays Savage out with a clothesline. Hughes crotches himself on the middle rope and Savage hits a Flying Axe-handle. Hughes gets the urn, accidentally bonks Wippleman, and Savage rolls him up (while still holding the urn) for three at 5:07. Visually stupid. Looks like we're hitting a rough patch. Another match that earned losing a point, if that were such a thing. 2 for 4
"Macho Man" Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect vs. The Giant Gonzales & Mr. Hughes (w/ Harvey Wippleman):
Taped on August 18th, 1993 from Lowell, MA. The packaging lists the wrong date, again. Perfect subbed for the Undertaker, Savage's originally scheduled opponent, which clears things up. On one team, you have two of arguably the best wrestlers of their era, and the other team are two of the worst. Find me a wider difference in ability under the same circumstances. They stall as the crowd chants "Perfect." Lockup and Hughes throws Perfect into the corner. Hughes is NOT over. Not in the slightest. Perfect's waist-lock attempt is met with a stiff elbow. Get Gonzales in there to see Perfect bump like a pinball. Perfect gets trapped in the corner and we FINALLY get Gonzales in there, throwing the worst forearms in the history of the sport. Hughes grabs a front face-lock as Savage begs the crowd to react. Savage gets the hot tag and goes for… a bear-hug? WHAT IN THE F*CK IS GOING ON WITH THESE MATCHES?! Gonzales with choking. Whip and a clothesline. Is it a bad sign when I check the clock and cry? Now I know how the smart fans felt in the early 90's when the Coliseum Videos came out. Perfect gets another hot tag and hits Hughes with a pair of clotheslines. Gonzales with a cheap-shot from the apron. Savage responds by hitting Hughes with an axe-handle, and Perfect cradles him for three at 7:12. Interesting enough, the WWF taped not one, but TWO matches between Savage and Gonzales that were released on home video… outside the US. I guess the European audience had lower standards. One of them was Gonzales doing a pin-fall job in 90-seconds. These lost gems were probably better off staying lost. 2 for 5
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Headshrinker Fatu (w/ Afa):
From the December 13th, 1993 episode of Monday Night Raw taped from Poughkeepsie, NY. Lockup and Savage with an arm drag. Fatu wins a slugfest and lands a headbutt. Whip to the ropes, and Fatu connects with a clothesline. Fatu no-sells shots to the head and knocks Savage to the floor with a crescent kick. He tries ramming Fatu to the steps, with the same outcome. Savage needs to bone up on how to wrestle Samoans. Savage teases a comeback, only to take a back drop to the floor. Afa distracts the referee, allowing Fatu to whack Savage with a shrunken head. Fatu with a back breaker, but a trip to the top rope ends with him being crotched along the turnbuckle. Savage comes down from the top with a double axe-handle! Back inside, Savage turns Fatu inside out with a clothesline and finishes with the signature elbow drop at 5:52. Standard babyface formula match from Savage. It was watchable, but not very interesting. 2 for 6
- The hosts talk about Randy Savage jumping to World Championship Wrestling. Dallas Page talks about Savage telling him to lose some of his "gimmicks" (he'd wear sunglasses, a fur-coat, smoke a cigar, among other things, all at once).
- From the December 3rd, 1994 episode of Saturday Night (featured live, or on a slight delay, from Center Stage), "Mean" Gene Okerlund introduces us to Randy Savage, making his WCW debut. Okerlund calls him one of the all-time greats. Savage wants everyone to freak out because he's here to take it to the limit. He's here for one reason and one reason only: to confront the man that goes by the name "Hulk Hogan". Savage asks if Okerlund knows a man by that name and hangs around here. Okerlund says he doesn't know if he's been hanging around New York, but he's here and he's the World Heavyweight Champion. Savage calls himself the #1 man in wrestling, and Hogan is #2. He wants Hogan out right now to TCB (Take Care of Business). Savage wants to know where he can find Hogan. Okerlund says Starrcade, December 27th in Nashville, TN. Savage promises to be there, and he'll either shake Hogan's hand or slap him in the face. Surreal at the time to see Savage in WCW, and a solid promo. 3 for 7
"Macho Man" Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan vs. The Butcher & Kevin Sullivan:
From Clash of the Champions XXX televised LIVE on January 25th, 1995 from Las Vegas, NV. Oh man, it's THIS match. You'll see what I mean later. I'm not entirely sure, but this could be Savage's in-ring debut with WCW. "Monster" Maniacs come out to "American Made", because Hogan will never let Savage look like an equal to him. Hogan and Butcher start. I guess you can say it's all uphill from here. Hogan outsmarts him (as if that's hard to do) and pounds away with rights. Savage tags in and comes off the top with the double axe-handle. Savage cleans house of both "Faces of Fear", making them look like total Jobbers. Hogan hits a running high knee for two. We're in Las Vegas, not Japan. Stop trying to bust out the moves. Butcher grabs a Sleeper, seemingly out of nowhere. Butcher and Sullivan celebrate as Savage tries to revive Hogan... and then it happens: Savage climbs the ropes and comes crashing down with the elbow smash! AND IT'S HULK UP TIME. Yes, Randy Savage revived Hulk Hogan with an elbow drop, because I guess we as fans watching should know "Hogan ALWAYS revives after taking a signature move, especially when it comes from Randy Savage". They clean house again, working Butcher over relentlessly until Savage gets to play face-in-peril following a bump over the top rope. Is Hogan going to expose the business by letting Savage revive from his leg drop? HA! EVEN BOBBY HEENAN MOCKS THE LACK OF INTELLIGENCE BEHIND THE "REVIVE" BIT. Sullivan finally works an extended period, doing little worth noting. I'm still in shock over that Elbow drop routine. REALLY?! Sorry... I'm just... wow. This isn't a goofy house show spot the few thousand in attendance will see: THIS IS A PRIMETIME SPECIAL ON CABLE TELEVISION HYPING THE FIRST TIME HULK AND SAVAGE ARE A TEAM IN YEARS! AND YOU DO THAT?!?! Hogan gets the hot tag (of course), cleans house of everything walking with an ugly mullet, hits Butcher with the big foot, Savage drops the elbow, and the leg drop finishes at 12:07. Savage took a good beating and I guess the crowd was into it, but the rest was junk. Did I mention how stupid and retarded the reviving elbow spot was? 3 for 8
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. "Stunning" Steve Austin (w/ Col. Robert Parker):
From the May 27th, 1995 episode of Saturday Night, and taped on May 11th, it's a Quarter-Final Round Match in the United States Championship Tournament. Lockup to start, and Austin gives a slap after a break in the ropes. Savage retaliates with an elbow and some choking across the top rope. Austin rakes the eyes and rams Austin to the buckle. Austin with a series of shoulders to the midsection, followed by some mudhole stomping. Austin tosses Savage out of the ring and continues to pound away on him. Back in the ring, and Austin takes him over with a snap mare, then drops a knee. Austin to the top rope, but he misses a splash. Savage tosses Austin out of the ring, then rams him into the Slim Jim ring post (as called by Schiavone!). Back in the ring, and Savage plants Austin with a slam. Savage heads to the top rope, and he nails the flying elbow, and that gets the three-count at 2:20. I enjoyed the intensity, but there wasn't much time to do much else. 3 for 9
WCW World Championship Match:
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair (w/ Jimmy Hart):
From the December 25th, 1995 episode of Monday Nitro
, taped on December 18th in Augusta, GA. Weird to book a title match here when the challenger is involved in a #1 Contenders Match at the PPV the same week. Lockup into the corner, and the referee forces a break. Flair thumbs the eyes and takes Savage over with a snap mare. Savage rolls away from a knee drop, drags Flair to the corner, and wraps the leg around the post on a several occasions. Savage pulls Flair to the center of the ring, and slaps on a Figure-Four! Flair manages to make it to the ropes, forcing the break. Lockup into the corner, and Savage with mounted punches. Flair counters with an inverted atomic drop but hurts himself. Flair goes for a figure-four of his own, but Savage counters with a cradle for a two count. Flair with a knee to the midsection, then dumps Savage out, through the ropes. Jimmy Hart gets his token cheap shots in. We return from an edit, and Flair whips Savage into the security rail. Savage grabs a padded folding chair, but the referee takes it away for being too lame. Flair hangs Savage up across the top rope, brings him back in with a snap mare, and catches him off the ropes with an elbow. Flair stomps away on the injured arm of Savage, then cranks on a hammerlock. SMART! Mongo's commentary sounds like a drunk idiot complaining about stuff... Irish whip, and Savage with a clothesline for a two count. Flair with a hip toss attempt, but Savage counters with a back slide for two. Slugfest, won by Savage, and he covers again for two.
Flair lures Savage into the corner with his begging taunt, then goes low with the referee not looking. I typed that before it happened, by the way, but it's a spot that always works. Flair with a semi-delayed suplex, then covers for a two count. We return from another break, and Flair is laying into Savage with chops in the corner. Savage attempts a comeback, trading blows with the Nature Boy. Whip to the corner and a back drop from Savage for a two count. Whip to the corner again, and Flair flips onto the apron. Savage to the top rope, and his axe-handle smash is countered with a well-placed fist to the midsection. Back in the ring, and Savage slaps on a sleeper hold. Flair counters and takes Savage down with an atomic drop to the knee. Flair jerks the hamstring and drops the weight of his body across the left knee of the WCW Champion. Flair puts him down with a chop, then calmly applies the Figure-Four, and yes, he does use the ropes for leverage. Savage manages to grab the rope but gets pulled away. That still should've forced a break, but whatever. Savage hooks the rope again, and this time gets the hold broken. Flair measures Savage up and brings him over with another snap mare. Flair to the top rope, and of course, Savage slams him off. Savage with a pair of clotheslines, and Flair responds with a thumb to the eyes. Irish whip, and Flair slaps on a sleeper hold. Savage takes it to the corner to break, and Flair does his face flop. Savage with a cradle, and that gets a two count. Flair goes for a piledriver, but Savage escapes with a back drop for two. Savage to the top rope, and he nails an axe-handle for a two count. Savage gets tripped by Hart, but then Luger hits the ring to draw the DQ at 14:26. Savage fights Luger off, but then Sting makes it to the rope, and gets cuts off by Flair. Who was he going to help!? Sting sends Flair to the corner and hits the splash, then takes him over with a press slam. In the meantime, Savage dumps Luger out of the ring. Sting and Savage punk each other out, as the show ends. Solid match but not a lost classic or anything. 4 for 10
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Hulk Hogan) vs. Kurasawa:
From the March 25th, 1996 episode of WCW Pro. That's the equivalent of putting a match from WWF Metal/Jakked on a DVD set. Hogan distracts Kurasawa, allowing Savage to attack from behind. WOW. Savage tosses Kurasawa over the top rope, but this isn't your daddies WCW, it's not a DQ anymore. Whip to the corner and Kurasawa comes back with a big chop. Dusty Rhodes commentary is ridiculously bad, and then Larry Zbyszko makes a comment at the expense of Savage's thinning hair. Kurasawa goes for the eternally injured arm. Savage fights free but a suplex is countered with the Kurasawa Crush (side arm-bar). Savage rolls away from a flying senton. Savage with a double axe-handle, clothesline, and Flying Elbow for three at 2:48. The highlight was the horrendous commentary. 4 for 11
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. "Earl" Robert Eaton (w/ Geaves):
From the April 15th, 1996 episode of Monday Nitro. You put a Bobby Eaton match on DVD and it's from the era where he's completely washed up. BRA-VO. Looks like WCW doesn't know how to spell "Jeeves". I don't know why, but the Rock n' Roll Remix of "Pomp and Circumstance" does nothing for me. Lockup into the corner and Savage unloads with right hands. Eaton charges and takes a back drop to the floor. Eric Bischoff shills Savage doing voice-work on a Hanna-Barbera cartoon "Dial M for Monkey." Oh MY GOD. I REMEMBER THAT DEXTER's LABORATORY SHORT! Speaking of Hanna-Barbera, Fred Flintstone is in the crowd. Eaton took control during my marking out for a forgettable cartoon. Eaton clips the knee as Mongo commits to Eaton being from England. He also impersonates Ric Flair and hooks a Figure-Four while taunting him with a Horsemen t-shirt. Savage escapes the hold, drops Eaton across the top rope, and chokes. Geaves gets his wig ripped off and runs off. Savage with a slam and the Flying Elbow finishes at 3:58. Train-wreck quality watchable. 5 for 12
- Diamond Dallas Page talks about his rivalry with Randy Savage, probably the last sustained highlight of Savage's in-ring career.
- From the March 31st, 1997 episode of Monday Nitro, Gene Okerlund is in the ring with Diamond Dallas Page. Dallas Page is holding an issue of Playboy, featuring his wife among real celebrities. He talks about Savage and Elizabeth taking advantage of Kimberly at Uncensored. If Savage wants to come into his real world, he's going to snap into his. Savage interrupts from the crowd ("where? Where? There!") to rub salt in the wound. Savage says DDP will never hit him with the Diamond Cutter and says he doesn't care or not if Kimberly is at ringside for Spring Stampede. We're all going to see if DDP has got any family jewels at all. DDP says since he's bringing his lady, Savage might as well bring his tramp. Out of context, this did nothing for me. 5 for 13
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Curt Hennig:
From the August 11th, 1997 episode of Monday Nitro from Denver, CO. WCW has some of the most generic music possible for Perfect. Did I say Perfect? I meant Curt Hennig. The music fits Perfect as well as a size 9 shoe fits me (I'm a size 13, so that means not well at all). Perfect with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Savage lays Hennig out with a clothesline. Hennig recovers and Savage unsuccessfully hides behind Elizabeth. We come back from commercial with Hennig throwing Savage back into the ring. He unloads with kicks and follows with the rolling neck snap. Savage comes back, kicking the leg from under Hennig. He flips head over heels in spectacular fashion. Hennig with a handful of tights, throwing Savage too the floor. DDP runs in for the lame Disqualification at 2:30. What was the point of another 2-minute match? 5 for 14
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Lex Luger:
From the December 22nd, 1997 episode of nWo. Monday Nitro from Macon, GA. If you don't know about the nWo nitro, don't ask. It was an abomination. Savage stops by the announcer's table to have a quick conversation with Rick Rude. Luger ducks a clothesline and unloads with rights. Whip to the corner and Luger hits a clothesline of his own. Luger stomps Savage down in the corner, and I can't believe it, but this match seems to be Luger following the same formula as their match from the WWF in 1993! Luger with a suplex and more boots. Savage gets a boot up to counter a charge into the corner and chokes Luger across the middle rope. For whatever reason, n.W.o. soundbites randomly play. Luger tosses Savage over the barricade and pounds away. Back inside, Luger with three clotheslines. He nails referee Randy Anderson with the "loaded" forearm. He press slams Savage and signals for the Torture Rack, but Savage bails. Buff Bagwell runs down to attack from behind. Kevin Nash joins the fun and plants Luger with the Jackknife Powerbomb. Savage with the Flying Elbow, and the referee wakes up to make the three-count at 6:01. Awful. 5 for 15
"Macho Man" Randy Savage & Madusa (w/ Gorgeous George & Miss Madness) vs. Ric Flair & Charles Robinson (w/ Asya):
From the May 17th, 1999 episode of Monday Nitro from Cedar Rapids, IA. I see we're ending things on the shit swirling down the drain era of WCW. I think we all know the joke with "Asya", and Vince Russo isn't responsible! Gorgeous George is Savage's then-girlfriend, and again, don't ask why that name, "Because WCW" is more than enough of an answer. Savage looks ridiculously jacked up. Charles Robinson as "Little Naitch" is a true lost gem. Madusa and Robinson start, with Robinson doing his best Flair impression. Madusa grabs the arm and trips Robinson up. Robinson takes Madusa over, but she pops right up and decks him, giving him a chance to flop on his face. She sweeps the geek out of the corner and drops her legs across his knees. Savage (who was a babyface this week, I guess) and Flair go at it for old time's sake. Savage with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Savage with the mounted corner punches. He no-sells a chop but does sell getting hit in the Macho jewels. Savage regains control when Robinson tags in. Madusa takes him over with three snap mares and connects with a reverse piledriver for two. Heenan makes a Charles in Charge reference in 1999. Even Flair makes himself look like an ass for Madusa. Flair counters the side headlock with a back suplex. Flair taunts Savage and goes to work on the leg. Madusa counters the Figure-Four with a small package. School boy for two. Flair with another back suplex and the Figure-Four. Savage makes the save and Madusa goes low before making the hot tag. Savage with clotheslines to both Ric and Fake Ric Flair. Flair to the top and gets slammed off. Robinson tries the same, with the predictable result. Savage slams Robinson and finishes with the Flying Elbow (and landing square on his chest) at 8:55. Flair literally carried a part-time female wrestler and a washed-up Savage to a watchable match. 6 for 16.
- And the hosts wrap things up as I've had my fill of bad Randy Savage matches to last me for the next 5 years.
Final Thoughts: 3-discs and 9-hours later, and I can honestly say I've had my fill of Randy Savage matches for a good, long while. The set started off fine, but things quickly fell apart halfway through the 2nd Disc, and the 3rd Disc was a complete waste of my time, with only a handful of decent matches, and way more matches that were better off staying unreleased. As cool as a concept "Unreleased" is (when most of the matches aren't recycled from TV, and in the case of the WCW selections, almost all from Monday Nitro!), these sets are better off being random compilations rather than focusing 9-hours on one Superstar. I'd hate to disrespect the memory of Randy Savage, but stick with the first and second DVD sets dedicated to his career.
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