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Earl Hebner on Randy Savage: ‘He was a perfectionist’

The former WWE referee shares what it was like working with the Macho Man.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage is in the news again this holiday season. Earlier in the month, this writer penned a feature for Cageside Seats on the time Savage allegedly struck a 9-year-old at an event in 1987. Then, announcer Jim Ross went on record to say that the Macho Man was a bully.

Now, former longtime WWE referee Earl Hebner is chiming in with his experiences on what it was like working with the former six-time World Champion.

Speaking with Steve Fall of, Hebner was asked which superstar’s matches he dreaded working. Without hesitation, Hebner immediately mentioned Savage.

“I mean, when it’d come to WrestleMania, he’d give you a stack of papers that thick of the whole match way before it was ever going to go on, “said Hebner. “I mean, two weeks before the WrestleMania, and then he comes back, and I’d go, ‘Damn, this is a joke here.’ But that’s how he was. He was a perfectionist.”

Over the years, a common refrain from Macho’s peers is about Savage’s precise attention to detail and for everything to go as planned. During A&E’s 2021 biography of Savage, Ricky Steamboat talked about the painstaking creative process he went through with Savage before their historic match at WrestleMania III. Savage demanded that Steamboat write down every step, including the most obvious start to most matches, a lock-up.

“I have never met a performer that was such a stickler, a perfectionist,” said Steamboat.

According to Hebner, Savage was the same way about television tapings and house shows (live events), saying that Savage just wanted to write. Hebner added that if someone made an error, Savage wouldn’t be happy about it and would ask, “What the hell is going on here?”

That Savage’s former colleagues are quick to share a Macho Man story, for better or worse, speaks volumes about the impact the WWE Hall of Famer had on them during their careers. And though his passing was more than 12 years ago, the colorful and controversial legend of Randy Savage continues to live and grow, further cementing his greatness in the wrestling industry.

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