Thursday, April 5, 2007

WCW: "Macho Man" Randy Savage, part 1

Randall Mario Poffo (born November 15, 1952), better known by his ring name "Macho Man" Randy Savage, is a professional wrestler. Savage achieved prominence in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and later World Championship Wrestling. For much of his tenure in the WWF, he was managed by his real life wife, Miss Elizabeth, to whom he was married on December 30, 1984.

Savage signed a $6 million contract with WCW, joining his "friend" Hulk Hogan, who was feuding with the 3 Faces of Fear and later the Dungeon of Doom. Savage's first appearance was slated for Starrcade 1994, for which TV announcers speculated whether Savage would arrive to "shake [Hogan's] hand or slap his face". Savage eventually saved Hogan from an attack by the Faces Of Fear, shaking hands with his oft-friend and oft-rival.

Savage resumed his rivalry with Ric Flair during this time. During the 1995 WCW United States Championship tournament (created when former champion Leon White (Vader) was stripped of the belt for attacking WCW on-air Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel), Savage interfered in Flair's match vs. Alex Wright. He attacked Flair and caused Wright to get disqualified, setting up a tournament semifinal match where the winner would face the winner of the Sting/Meng match for the United States Championship at The Great American Bash that June. Savage and Flair's match never took place, as Savage and Flair brawled in the backstage area prior to the bell ringing. They were both eliminated from the tournament, and had their own match in the main event of the Bash, which Savage won. Later on that year, during part of the storyline where Arn Anderson and Ric Flair turned on each other, Flair (looking for a partner to take on Anderson and Brian Pillman in a tag match) tried to recruit Savage to be his partner. However, remembering the rivalry (and how Flair had attacked Savage's father, Angelo Poffo, which was the catalyst for their feud back in May), he refused, telling Flair point blank to "get the hell out of here!"

In 1995, Savage pushed for WCW to place his father, Angelo Poffo, in its Hall of Fame. Commentator and wrestling legend Gordon Solie opposed this decision, because he felt wrestlers (or in this case, family of wrestlers) should not be asking for spots in the Hall—in this case, especially, since Poffo did not have much of a career in WCW. Poffo's induction went on and Solie left the company shortly after.

On November 26, 1995 at World War 3, Macho Man won the WCW World Title by winning the 60-man three-ring battle royal. He lost the title to Flair a month later. Macho Man won the title back a month afterwards but lost the title back to Flair another month later.

In January 1996, he brought Elizabeth with him into WCW as his valet once again. Elizabeth turned on Savage in his last title loss to Flair. Thereafter, Flair claimed that Elizabeth had given him a sizable amount of Savage's money, taken in their divorce settlement, and which Flair used to set up a "VIP section" at Monday Nitro events. Flair and Savage continued to feud through the Great American Bash in June 1996.

In July 1996, the nWo was formed when Hulk Hogan turned on Savage and joined The Outsiders, a tag team of former WWF wrestlers Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. After their inception, one of their main enemies became Macho Man himself. At Halloween Havoc 1996, Macho Man faced Hogan for the WCW Title but lost when the rest of the nWo interfered.

After the loss at Halloween Havoc, Savage departed WCW as his two year deal had expired. He reportedly shopped his services to the WWF, but Vince McMahon could not meet his asking price at a time of financial difficulty for his company. Ultimately Savage resigned with WCW and would return to television on 20 January 1997's Nitro, emanating from Chicago's United Center.

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