Thursday, April 5, 2007

WCW: "Macho Man" Randy Savage, part 2

After months of abuse from the nWo, Savage joined them at SuperBrawl VII in 1997, when he helped Hogan defeat Roddy Piper in a rematch from their Starrcade match the previous year. He also reunited with Elizabeth, who had joined the nWo several months earlier. He began feuding with Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly. When Hogan failed to recapture his "nWo" Title from Sting, it was Savage's turn, and he got his shot at Spring Stampede 1998. Hogan tried everything he could to make sure that Savage would not win the title because Hogan felt that he was the only nWo member who should be World Champion, since he was the leader of the stable. With the help of Nash, however, Savage beat Sting for the belt, despite tearing the ACL in his knee during the match.

The following night on WCW Monday Nitro, Hogan faced Savage for the championship. For a while it looked like Hogan had Savage beat, but for the second consecutive night, Nash came to Savage's aid, powerbombing Hogan. Savage tried to capitalize, but an interfering Bret Hart attacked Savage and preserved the victory for Hogan.

After that, Savage joined with Nash and others to form the nWo Wolfpac, a split from Hogan's group, which became known as nWo Black and White or nWo Hollywood. He went on to feud with both Bret Hart and Roddy Piper before leaving the company due to his knee injury.

For nearly a year, Randy Savage took a hiatus from the company due to recover from at least two major knee surgeries. He made only one more appearance in 1998, helping Ric Flair defeat Eric Bischoff for the Presidency of WCW on the December 28, 1998 episode of Monday Nitro. When Macho Man returned, he came back with a new look and new attitude and also brought with him his then 22-year-old girlfriend Gorgeous George as a valet. His first action was as the guest referee in the WCW world title matchup at Spring Stampede 1999, which was won by Diamond Dallas Page. For a short time after, Randy interfered in DDP's matches to make sure that Page kept his World Title (for reasons unknown and never explained by WCW), but when Kevin Nash won it at Slamboree 1999, Savage went after the title himself. It was around that time that Madusa and Miss Madness joined Macho Man as his other two valets; together they were known as Team Madness.

At The Great American Bash 1999, Sid Vicious returned to WCW and helped Macho Man attack Kevin Nash. This led to a tag team match between Kevin Nash and Sting against Randy Savage and Sid Vicious, in which whoever pinned Nash (including Sting) would win the World Title, at Bash at the Beach 1999. Savage won the WCW title for the fourth time when he pinned Nash but lost the title again to Hollywood Hogan the next night, when Nash interfered and powerbombed Macho Man (in a reversal of the situation from the previous year, where Nash had attacked Hogan to help Savage keep his title, albeit unsuccessfully).

After that, Team Madness slowly started to disband as Madusa and Miss Madness started fighting each other because they blamed the other for Savage's title loss. Savage soon fired both of them and started a feud with Dennis Rodman, defeating him at Road Wild 1999. He eventually joined the Millionaire's Club with Hogan, Jim Duggan, Flair, DDP, and other popular veteran wrestlers. When Vince Russo came to WCW and Savage's WCW contract expired, Savage and George left WCW and never returned.

His former wife Elizabeth Hulette was found dead in the home of professional wrestler Lex Luger on May 1, 2003 from a drug overdose.

In 2005, Savage told a Missouri newspaper that he couldn't wrestle right at the moment because of "health concerns," as he had apparently injured his back and shoulder blade.

Jakks Pacific tried to sign him up for the Classic Superstars line up only to be denied by Vince McMahon, despite the fact that he allowed them to sign a number of wrestlers on bad terms with WWE, including The Ultimate Warrior (signed twice by Jakks), Bruno Sammartino, The Honky Tonk Man, and even Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Savage remains one of the only big stars who hasn't signed up with Jakks for a figure.
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