Cageside Tournament Finalist: "Macho Man" Randy Savage heads south (Pt. 3)


In late 1994, Randy Savage left the promotion he had been with for nearly a decade and found himself a new home.

Despite a historic run with WWE, the company was moving in a new direction and Savage wasn't part of it. But World Championship Wrestling (WCW), long-time rival of Vince McMahon, was more than happy to sign "Macho Man" as he still had plenty to offer.

Upon debuting with the company in Dec. 1994, he formed an uneasy alliance with Hulk Hogan -- who has signed some 18 months earlier -- and then rekindled his rivalry with Ric Flair, who he had defeated at WrestleMania VIII for the WWE Championship.

In all, he spent six successful years in WCW after spending a decade making history in WWE.

Can Steve Austin say that?

My only qualm with Savage's first appearance with WCW is the company didn't know how to freakin' debut anyone. Their best idea to debut someone were lame vignette videos like they did for Glacier.

Here's his first promo with "Mean" Gene Okerlund in WCW Saturday Night:

And think Savage wasn't up to Austin's snuff on promos? Then look no further:

Savage was as beloved in WCW as he was in WWE. He entered a tournament to crown the vacant United States Championship and manipulated the results so he could face Flair -- who had attacked Savage's father -- in the semi-finals. Oh, and he defeated some "Stunning" guy in the tournament as well.

Flair and Savage ended up getting their match thrown out after a wild brawl but continued their feud throughout the summer. Then, in Nov. 1995, less than a year after his WCW debut, Savage won their World Heavyweight Championship in a 60-man World War 3 match.

His feud with Flair continued and they traded the belt back and forth until the rivalry ended in June 1996.

Then, of course, the New World Order (nWo).

When the nWo formed at Bash at the Beach 1996, everything else took a backseat to the storyline. Savage was one of the WCW crusaders in the match and ended up taking the leg drop from Hogan which turned his friend/rival rulebreaker.

He would challenge Hogan for the title at Halloween Havoc but was unsuccessful. He temporarily left WCW for a few months but returned and soon after joined Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall et al. in the renegade faction.

He feuded with Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger before getting a crack at the newly minted champion Sting after Hogan was unable to win the title back from him. Hogan didn't want any other nWo member to be champion besides him and tried to sabotage Savage's match. Thanks to help from Nash, it failed. This led to the splitting of the stable into Wolfpac and Hollywood factions.

After knee surgeries, Savage spent only two more years in WCW. He debuted his Team Madness "stable" and won his fourth and final World Heavyweight Championship when he pinned Kevin Nash at the 1999 Great American Bash.

In typical WCW fashion, he lost it the next night to Hogan on Nitro.

Savage left WWE where he was a king and found as much success in WCW, wrestling the likes of Flair, Sting, Page and Luger all who were homegrown talent.

Politics, schmolitics... if you're that good, you'll make it to the top of the card.

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