Cageside Tournament Finalist: "Macho Man" Randy Savage - The WWE run (Pt. 2)

Photo by Jon McKeon via Flicker.

Randy Savage was ready to become a Superstar.

And that's exactly what he did.

Making his debut for WWE in 1985, Savage was instantly seen as "the next big thing" and was booked as such. By the time WrestleMania 2 rolled around the following April, he was already the promotion's Intercontinental Champion, having won the belt from Tito Santana.

It was this title reign which solidified "Macho Man" as a top Superstar in WWE and help cement his status as the greatest wrestler of all-time.

For Vince McMahon's promotion, he would also become a two-time WWE Champion as well as winning the King of the Ring.

He did this all operating under the giant shadow of Hulk Hogan who rarely lost, almost never looked weak and held the championship for nearly 2,000 days.

Savage, like he did in the tournament's semi-finals, broke Hogan's grip and carved his own niche, made his own name.

It took almost no time for Savage to win gold in WWE. Only months after his debut, he pinned Tito Santana for the Intercontinental strap in early 1986. He defended the title against George Steele at WrestleMania 2 but it was his match the next year which would drop jaws.

Savage was engaged in a bitter feud with Ricky Steamboat and the storyline came to a head in Pontiac, MI at WrestleMania III.

While the event was centered around Hogan's bout with André the Giant, it was Savage and Steamboat who stole the show with one of the greatest matches ever.

In fact, WWE names Savage as the greatest IC champion ever:

When Macho Man did finally lose the championship, it was to Ricky Steamboat in one of the most acclaimed matches in WWE history. Even in defeat, Savage was still the greatest.

Savage's greatest triumph would come a year after that at WrestleMania IV when he defeated Ted DiBiase in a tournament to crown the new WWE Champion.

I remember watching this match for the first time and being in awe. The image of Savage flying through the air with countless cameras flashing behind him is something I'll never forget. "Macho Man" was the first Superstar to win the title at WrestleMania, creating the dream and lifelong goal of many others who would follow in his footsteps. Every wrestling fan, as a child, dreams of winning the big one at WrestleMania. In a sense, every wrestling fan dreams of being Randy Savage.

He held the title for a year. During this time, cracks in his on-screen friendship with Hogan began to appear. When Savage debuted, he exhibited jealous behavior in regards to Miss Elizabeth but that aspect of his character was downplayed until his feud with Hogan.

The Mega Powers exploded at WrestleMania V and Savage dropped the title to his former partner. "Macho Man" became "Macho King" and traded in Elizabeth for Sensational Sherri. He would team up with his valet to take on Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire at WrestleMania VI.

But it was at WrestleMania VII, nearly two years after his split with Elizabeth, that everything came full circle.

After costing The Ultimate Warrior the title months earlier at the Royal Rumble, a Retirement match was planned for Los Angeles. In what is likely the only Warrior match worth watching, Savage carried his opponent to a classic. "Macho King" would not only lose but would be attacked by a ungrateful Sherri after the match. Elizabeth, who was watching in the audience, hopped the rail and saved her former beau from the attack.

Standing in the ring together for the first time in nearly two years, they shared a tearful embrace, reuniting.

Since Savage was now "retired," he spent his time on WWE TV as a commentator while he and Elizabeth planned their wedding. At SummerSlam 1991, they wed but the reception turned out to be a disaster.

Jake Roberts had hidden a cobra in one of the wedding gifts while The Undertaker attacked Savage from behind with his urn. But Savage couldn't take his revenge on Roberts due to his retirement. He asked to be reinstated but the requests fell on deaf ears.

That is, until, this:

I was horrified. Absolutely horrified. I was eight-years-old but I was crying like a baby. Reinstatement chants were louder than ever and finally, Jack Tunney had no choice but to allow "Macho Man" to return. He would win the match at This Tuesday in Texas and would eventually come out on top in the entire feud.

He would win his second WWE Championship against Ric Flair at WrestleMania but would lose the title back to him several months later. It was during this time, he formed an alliance with old foe, the Ultimate Warrior dubbed the Ultimate Maniacs (it didn't last long as Warrior was once again fired).

Savage spent a couple more years in WWE but was being phased out for younger stars such as Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. It seemed his time with WWE was over.

In late 1994, he followed Hogan's lead and signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and added the final chapter to his storied career.

The match with Steamboat at WrestleMania III, the title victory a year later, the retirement match with Warrior and the snake incident with Roberts.

How many classic WWE moments is Savage a part of?

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