Matt O’Brien writes and maintains the Wrestleview.com poll every two weeks
The unfortunate death of Macho Man Randy Savage shocked and saddened friends, family, and his fans. The Randy Savage wrestling fans knew was the man they saw in the ring. Savage had a storied career with many great rivalries and matches. In honor of Macho Man, Wrestleview asked readers to vote for their favorite Randy Savage rivalry. The results of the voting are as follows:
What was your favorite Randy Savage rivalry?
vs. Ricky Steamboat 30.11% (1,816 votes)
vs. Hulk Hogan 29.71% (1,792 votes)
vs. Ultimate Warrior 13.83% (834 votes)
vs. Jake Roberts 10.26% (619 votes)
vs. Ric Flair 8.06% (486 votes)
vs. Jerry Lawler 2.97% (179 votes)
Other 2.47% (149 votes)
vs. Crush 1.81% (109 votes)
vs. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express 0.8% (48 votes)
Total votes casted: 6,032
The rivalry that garnered the most votes was his series with Ricky Steamboat. Savage and Steamboat battles it out in the late 1980s in a series of matches most recognized for their classic encounter at WrestleMania III. When people talk about great WrestleMania matches, Steamboat-Savage still cracks a lot of people’s top ten, if not top five. Ric Flair wrote about the match in his autobiography, To Be the Man. He claims that Steamboat would just kind of shrug when people called Steamboat-Savage the greatest match ever. Flair talks about it in almost a jealous manner, declaring that the best matches are the ones called in the ring, while the Mania match between Steamboat and Savage was carefully planned out beforehand.
Steamboat has talked about the match and how they planned it out. They would design spots of the match and try them out at house shows to test the waters and see how the crowd reacted. They used to talk on the plane and locker room and quiz one another on their planned spots. The match was hailed as one of the greatest Intercontinental Championship matches to ever take place. Fans still feel that way today.
Coming in second place by only twenty-four votes was Savage’s rivalry with Hulk Hogan. Most people think of Hogan’s epic feud with Hogan in the latter part of the 1980s. The formation and destruction of the Mega Powers was one of the greatest stories WWE ever told. Savage managed to take Hulk Hogan and humanize his character in a way that had not yet been done. For years Hogan was a demigod to wrestling fans. Savage’s friendship and subsequent split from Hogan showed everyone a side to Hogan nobody had seen and refreshed the Hogan character.
Savage also had a couple of rivalries with Hogan in the 1990s in WCW. The World Wrestling Federation ran an angle where the title was declared vacant after a controversial match between Hogan and a giant. Savage would then emerge from the contest that determined the new champion. That is the exact same format WCW used in 1995 when Savage won the first World War III battle royal. Hogan and Savage seemed at odds over the title, but they remained partners. WCW appeared to be recreating the Mega Powers, perhaps for another epic encounter when they split. Instead, WCW’s version of the Mega Powers sizzled out. A rivalry would, however, still ignite between Savage and Hogan later that year, just not in the way fans imagined.
The formation of the NWO and heel turn of Hulk Hogan had Randy Savage as one of WCW’s charging soldiers. Savage and Hogan squared off at Halloween Havoc in 1996 with the Savage as the hero and Hogan as the villain. The two would reunite some weeks later when Savage became a member of the NWO. That peace would not last too long as Savage became one of the first to splinter off from the group. He became a tweener as he feuded with both Hogan and Sting, eventually becoming a baby face again to battle Hogan’s faction.
We would see one more Hogan-Savage match in 1999 when Hogan returned as a baby face, and Savage as a heel with a new look. They would do battle on Nitro for the WCW Championship one more time. That would be the end of the Hogan and Savage rivalry inside the ring. Their rivalry outside the ring would continue for years to come.
Savage began a feud with Ultimate Warrior towards the end of 1990. Savage would cost Warrior the WWF Championship at the Royal Rumble show in early 1991, leading to a Retirement Match between the two at WrestleMania VII. Most fans remember the aftermath of the match as Savage reunited with Elizabeth.
Later on in the year Savage would come out of retirement to face Jake Roberts. This feud garnered a lot of votes. Who could forget the horrifying image of the snake biting down on Savage’s arm?
Savage would quickly move on from Roberts to Ric Flair. Like Hogan, Flair had a couple of different feuds with Savage. They faced off at WrestleMania VIII in what was only the beginning. They would continue feuding throughout most of 1992. In 1995, Flair and Savage would once again go at it in a series that brought Ric Flair out of retirement. The end of the year saw them pick things up again as they went to war over the WCW Championship. The rivalry continued into 1996 and even saw Elizabeth turn heel.
Remaining votes went for men such as Jerry Lawler, Crush, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. The Other category also picked up votes as those who left comments mostly referenced Savage’s feud with Dallas Page. The rivalry between Savage and Page was the perfect testament to Savage’s ability. Had it not been for Savage, Page would have never been a main event guy in WCW. In an era when fans foamed at the mouth for WCW to build new stars, Savage single-handedly put Page on the map and helped breathe some fresh air to the main event.
There were so many great Randy Savage moments, and his feuds were so memorable. There were so many programs of his that you look back on and realize just how good they were. This poll was meant to be a tribute to Macho Man. A big thanks to all those who votes and paid tribute to Randy Savage.