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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard: “Macho Man” Randy Savage – what Randy and Miss Elizabeth’s relationship was like, why he moved to commentary, how he was the John Cena of his day, final memories and place in history (Pt. 2) – (Ep. 64)

Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard – “Macho Man” Randy Savage: Episode 64

Release date: September 8, 2017

Length: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Recap By: Andrew Soucek, PWPodcasts.com Editor

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Link to Part 1 of the recap

Highlights:

-Savage once tore apart Hogan on Jim Ross’s radio show
-The Stephanie/Savage rumors are covered in detail
-Ultimate Warrior did NOT like the taste of Slim Jims
-The reason why Hogan and Savage’s friendship went south is revealed
-Savage wanted to retire because he could no longer be “The Macho Man”
-Randy insisted that Buster Douglas punch him full blast for an angle

(Just as a heads up, my question marks are what Conrad Thompson is asking. The answers are from Bruce)

2:02:44  Savage loses to Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake on TV. Is this because once Hogan can beat you, everyone can? No, Savage was on his way to becoming The Macho King.

Sherri was the antithesis of Miss Elizabeth, which is the direction they wanted to go with heel Savage. Bruce and Conrad both agree that as good as Elizabeth/Savage were together, they preferred Sherri/Savage. Their chemistry was perfect.

2:05:23 – SummerSlam ‘89 – Hogan and Beefcake vs. Savage and Zeus. The babyfaces win. Is Beefcake headlining a favor to Hogan or did they see money in him? Bruce said Beefcake was really over at the time and it was a natural progression. Conrad tries to get Bruce to admit Beefcake wasn’t that good. Bruce won’t cave.

Everybody loved working with Sherri. She would get clotheslined, boot to the face, etc. in matches and could take it.

Any memories of Tony Schiavone on this show? Bruce said Tony was a good play-by-play guy and worked hard. He doesn’t know why people think he hates him.

2:10:48 – Savage defeats Jim Duggan and becomes ‘The Macho King.’ Where did the idea for this gimmick come from? Randy was looking for his own title like the Million Dollar Man. Well, what was bigger than being a king? Randy fully embraced this new role.

Who made the crown? Some guy named Michael who lived in Florida.

At Survivor Series ‘89, Savage’s team takes on Jim Duggan’s. Savage pins Bret Hart to end the match. Conrad said it felt like a bit of a demotion for Savage. Savage/Duggan were headlining the B-shows at the time.

They talk a bit about how Duggan was a badass in Mid-South, but when he became a character in the WWF it became too cartoonish to take him to that next level.

2:17:42 – Royal Rumble ‘90. At the time, would a top star like Savage rather have been in the Royal match or in a singles one? Vince thought of the match itself as the attraction of the show. That’s where the big stars were supposed to be.

Was the WrestleMania VI match a demotion for Savage, considering how he main-evented the event the year prior? Randy didn’t think so. He loved that he was working with Elizabeth at the time.

2:22:12 – Commercial. Bruce does a Savage impression for ProFlowers.com

2:24:40 – The build to SummerSlam 1990. Savage pins Dusty Rhodes in 2:15. What gives? Bruce busts out a random Dusty impression. Conrad isn’t impressed. He wants an answer! Dusty wasn’t happy where he was and they could get Randy over. Was Vince just done with him? Bruce seems to think so and that Dusty was bringing Randy down.

What’s Bruce’s favorite Koko B. Ware story? Koko getting in a fight with Jimmy Troy, the Head of International, over in Paris. A bunch of the boys were out drinking and Troy was with them. Conrad stops Bruce and makes him do the impression as Dusty Rhodes. Troy kept talking about how tough he was an used a word he shouldn’t have. Koko and Troy brawled in the hotel lobby. Both of them got fired.

2:29:00 – Royal Rumble ‘91. Savage costs Warrior the title. Any heat on Savage for the scepter shot? Absolutely not. He was supposed to lay it in.

At Rumble ‘91, backstage they debated burning the flag. They found out the US was going to war that night. That’s Bruce’s biggest memory from it.

Did Savage have any problems with being pinned with one foot at WrestleMania VII? No, he was there to get Warrior over. Savage and Elizabeth then reunite. Where does this rank on the most emotional moments in WWF history? Bruce says top five. What was their relationship off camera at this point? It was great then. It went sour after they got married.

Savage starts doing commentary on Superstars. Was this always the idea? Or were there plans to bring him back? Randy wanted time off. He wanted to spend some time at home. Management believed he would be back as a wrestler.

Did Bruce prefer Savage as a heel or a face? A heel. Conrad agrees.

Did Bruce keep in touch with Savage when he left the company for a year? He did, they kept in contact quite a bit.

2:35:22 – The SummerSlam ‘91 wedding goes down, which leads to Savage eventually becoming reinstated. He is later bitten by a snake from Jake Roberts. What can Bruce tell us about this? Some people backstage thought it would be funny to kick the snake before Jake’s matches so it would be riled up. Jake had a defanged cobra that he kept in a bag, hoping to scare anyone who would open it. When the snake actually bit, no one thought it would look that violent. The first time Bruce saw Jake with that cobra, he knew it was going to be used to bite someone.

2:38:36 – Ric Flair vs. Savage at iWrestleMania VIII. What did Bruce think? He loved the angle. Fans were genuinely wondering if something was going on between Flair and Liz. Bruce refers to Flair as a “cocksman,” Conrad is surprised by this phrase. What is a cocksman? “A gentleman who likes the ladies and a guy who lets the ladies see his c**k…man.” Bruce then laughs at his own joke.

SummerSlam ‘92 – Bruce wasn’t in the company and thought Flair and Savage together didn’t make a lot of sense.

Savage and Elizabeth ended up getting divorced. What happened? Was Hogan involved in any way? Elizabeth was confiding in Hogan’s wife Linda. Randy viewed it as a betrayal on Hulk’s part. Randy was a conspiracy theorist and thought everyone was out to get him. Anyone doing anything with Liz made him paranoid.

The WWF surprisingly printed news in their magazine that Savage and Liz had divorced. Why did they do that? Vince was probably having a bad day and told them to go ahead. Was there any plans to do more for Liz? She was already out of the company at the time and she was basically considered gone.

Bruce describes their divorce as “ouch.” Randy would be happy some days and be able to accept it, other times he’d be down in the dumps and miss her. It was a roller coaster. You never knew what Randy you were going to get.

How did Savage enjoy being a tag partner of the Ultimate Warrior? Savage considered himself a teacher who was out there to save the day. Fans enjoyed The Ultimate Maniacs pairing, could they have got more out of it? Bruce thinks so but thought they were too alike. Hulk and Randy were different enough where that pairing worked. Warrior and Hogan would have worked better even.

Savage started doing shows like Regis and Kathie Lee and Arsenio Hall. Why was he chosen? He was good. He was always in character and could fit into any situation. Everyone just liked him.

Warrior ends up getting fired and is paired with Mr. Perfect to take on Ric Flair and Razor Ramon at Survivor Series ‘92. Bruce felt the match could have been better (they discuss it in more detail in the Ramon episode).

2:50:36 – Savage On Commentary. Why did Randy join the commentary team on the first episode of Raw? Randy had moved to Connecticut and wanted to wind down his in-ring career. Vince wanted him to play a bigger role behind-the-scenes and be able to pick his brain. Did Randy lose his home to Liz? Bruce thinks they sold it and he took really good care of her in the divorce.

Rumors and innuendo say that Savage didn’t want to end his wrestling career. Bruce attests that Randy told him did want to hang up the tights, however, the WCW money may have changed his mind.

What about the rumor of Savage wanting a year-long feud against Shawn Michaels that would culminate at WrestleMania? Bruce has no recollection of this being pitched. Every time someone got hurt or had to miss a show, Savage could be placed into that role. He was a utility man.

Who came up with the way Savage was tossed out of the Royal Rumble by Yokozuna? It was Randy’s idea. He was a big fan of Yokozuna.

Savage wins a feud with the Repo Man over a “f***ing hat.” He moves on to Doink The Clown. Did Randy “get” Doink? Yeah, Bruce thinks all the old-timers did. Matt Osborne was a second generation wrestler as well and the two gelled.

2:58:03 – Lawler and Savage have a few matches in the USWA that draw great crowds. How did this come about? Jerry would request guys to come in and help them out. Lawler and Savage had worked together in Memphis in the past. It was a good chance for people to get their nostalgia fix.

Savage moves on to Giant Gonzalez at house shows. Did he have his work cut out for him? Randy hated it. He couldn’t get a match out of him. “It sucked,” Bruce exclaims.

Ric Flair opened up a Gold’s Gym and had Savage come in as a special attraction. However, Flair was in WCW at the time. Was there any heat on either guy? No. Flair hadn’t burned any bridges with WCW and other wrestlers came in as well to make appearances.

Talk moves to Randy doing charity work. His reputation was that he went above-and-beyond. Randy loved working with kids. Part of him wanted to have a family with Liz but they never did. No one out-worked him when it came to charity. He was the John Cena of his time.

3:03:00 – Rumors in The Observer claim that Savage was in line to be the next head booker of the company. Prichard dismisses that report. Vince is always the head booker. Savage was considered to be a part of the creative team and sat in on writing. However, he’d get caught up on the minor details and couldn’t see the bigger picture of an angle.

Late in 1993, Savage appeared on Jim Ross’s radio show and called him a prima donna and said Terry Bollea was consumed by the Hogan character. He had lost a lot of respect for Hulk due to him lying on the Arsenio Hall Show.

Savage admitted to Ross he had done steroids in the past but claimed that was no longer the case. He knew Hogan was going to lie on TV and tried to talk him into telling the truth. Hulk refused, as he thought it would damage his image. Save then admitted to Ross  he was upset about Liz staying with the Hogans during the troubles in their marriage. Hulk would never admit she was there. Randy then buried him further and called him a “three time loser” due to his failed movies. Randy went to visit Hulk on the set of Mr. Nanny and claimed Liz was there for some reason. He said he still loved her but had to let her go.

Were McMahon, Savage, and Jim Ross behind this character assassination? Prichard says they knew it was coming. They wanted to address everything on-air. At the time, everyone in the WWF tried to get Hulk to tell the truth. “It bit him in the ass.”

What was the Hogan/Savage relationship like while they were both in the company after the divorce. “Tense, but both were professional.”

Did Hogan betray Savage in Bruce’s opinion? He doesn’t know, but thinks if what Randy says is true it wasn’t cool of Hulk. Don’t lie to your friends!

3:15:45 – Randy wins the USWA Title with Vince McMahon as his manager. Lawler asked Vince to be a part of it. Bruce and Pat Patterson also egged him on because they saw him as a heel.  

On TV, the Crush feud kicks off. Was it Savage’s idea to give Crush a rub? Yes, the two were friends in real life. He was putting him over at the end of the year at house shows. He was eliminated by him in the Royal Rumble as well. They battle at WrestleMania in a sub-10 minute match. Why was this such a “fall off a cliff for Randy” at Mania? Bruce says the miss was in the booking. Vince had a soft spot for Savage, who really wanted the match to help Crush. “Sometimes you give talent rope and they hang themselves.” Bruce says it’s the worst big Savage match. It was “terrible…nobody cared…sometimes things are DOA.” (I’m going to guess pun not intended due to Crush’s later entry in the group).

Conrad runs down all of Savage’s ‘Mania opponents and points out how Crush really sticks out. Bruce’s favorite ‘Mania match of Randy’s is WrestleMania IV due to sentimental reasons. They discuss more guest appearances by Randy in other promotions. He was a workhorse who always volunteered to help out.

They move onto Survivor Series where Art Donovan was a guest announcer. They agree it’s the worst night of commentary. Ever.

Yep.

3:25:25 – Randy leaves the WWF. At 41-years-old, the former champ is gone. People were stunned. He had patched things up with Hogan and jumped ship to WCW. A week prior, Savage had been shooting promos for being a referee in a match with Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund. On-air, Vince wished Randy well, something he had never done before. It was rumored that The Macho Man asked for $600,000 from WCW but they weren’t willing to go that high.

When did Bruce know Randy left the company? At the office, he was sitting in the parking lot in a car with Shane McMahon and Pat Patterson. They waited for Vince to show up, which wasn’t unusual. Finally Vince got in and told them that Randy is now “the proud property of WCW.” This was met by silence. Randy called up Vince drunk the night before and said he was thinking of leaving. He confirmed it in the morning.

3:31:22 – Stephanie. Conrad has heard this story many times. He was told the reason Randy left the company by some people in the industry. He brings up the fact that Randy wasn’t treated as a legend the same way as Andre. It also took far too many years for him to get into the Hall of Fame. Why is this? Bruce doesn’t know. He even asked Vince, who didn’t tell him why.

Conrad says the rumor and innuendo he heard was Stephanie slept with Savage is supposedly true, but she also became pregnant and Linda helped Stephanie “sort the situation out” and they kept it from Vince. When he found out years later, Randy was out forever.

Bruce said he had never, ever heard that. Conrad said he’d been hearing it from others after their Mega Powers episode aired. People close to Savage had told him. Bruce is adamant he’d never heard that before until this moment. He feels people just wanted to sensationalize it and if it was the case, he doesn’t see Vince ever succumbing to putting him in the Hall. Both hosts agree there is “something,” but Bruce won’t believe the Steph rumor. He says that’s something that Conrad’s buddy in Greensboro would come up with (a random shot at Bruce Mitchell).

At Hall of Fame time every year, Bruce had two names on his list: Savage and Howard Finkel. Eventually he was told to not put Randy on the list and that Howard would go in posthumously (both men are now in).

Why does Bruce think Savage left the WWF? He was offered a position to wrestle and maybe realized commentary wasn’t for him. WCW saw value in him when Vince no longer did.

3:39:00 – If Randy had to do it over again, would he pick wrestling over baseball? “Yes. Absolutely.”

They go back to Savage being “too old” to continue wrestling. Jericho is 46. A.J. Styles is 40. It’s hard to imagine six years ago hearing talk of Jericho being too old. Bruce says nobody said Randy was washed up. He’d just taken a lot of bumps and needed to find something easier on his body.

Did WWE have a deal with Slim Jim or was that Savage? Ultimate Warrior originally had the deal. Warrior would bite into the Slim Jims then spit them out because he thought they were gross. Savage approached the company and won them over. He ended up taking the deal with him to WCW. Conrad says this kind of paved the way for Savage to leave by putting him in that spot.

3:41:53 – Savage passes away. He had a heart attack while driving and ran his vehicle into a tree. How did this hit Bruce? The news struck Bruce hard. It was two weeks before Bruce and Hogan had ran into each other and they discussed how things with Savage were now good between them and they’d made peace. Bruce had travelled up and down the road with Randy. He’d stayed at his house. There was no closure though. They only had one conversation after he left the company. They never talked again. Bruce regrets it and wishes he could have told him he loved him one more time.

Randy once told Bruce about a scene in the King of Comedy, where one of the character’s tells his brother “you’re good, but you could have been a little nicer.” Savage said the same thing to Bruce. It’s part of being in that bubble and you don’t care who you offend.

3:46:11 – Savage in TNA. The last fans saw of him in a national scene was in 2004. Jeff Jarrett was trying to bring in both Macho Man and Hogan. Once Hulk was in, Randy immediately wants out. The plan was to set up a title match between Savage and Jarrett. According to Dusty Rhodes, Savage told him he didn’t want people seeing him looking like that (if you check out the match, it’s a much, much smaller Savage…it is a pretty sad sight). He still wanted to be “Macho Man” and wanted to be remembered for how he was.  

Did Bruce think it was cool of Randy to walk away on his own terms and be one of the few to actually know when it was time to hang it up? Yes. To this day, people still remember The Macho Man, he’s one of the greatest of all-time.

Who were the four major stars who helped Vince build his company when he first took over? Hogan, Andre, Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka.

3:49:45 – Twitter questions.

Why was Randy interviewed by Smackdown magazine in 2003?

“Those things happened.” That’s part of why he doesn’t believe all that rumor and innuendo.

Warrior was often a failure, yet he’s the one who gets the statue and the award named after him. Will Savage ever get the respect he deserves?

Yes, someday we’ll see a statue and award of him.

Will Bruce finally admit The Nacho Man is a rib?

It was a parody.

What is Bruce’s favorite Macho promo?

Post-’Mania 4 promos that started with “Thinking, thinking, thinking…” Conrad loves Macho Man telling Sean Mooney to bow!

Why did Randy cover up his physique post ‘91?

Randy just wanted to have a different look. He had nothing to hide.

Why was there never a Savage/Undertaker feud?

Just wasn’t the right time and the right place. It would have been great.

Lanny Poffo said Randy always wanted the whole Poffo family in the HOF. Is that true?

Bruce doesn’t know, but does believe that’s something Randy would want.

Why was Angelo Poffo never used in the legends battle royal?

Randy thought his dad was slighted. Bruce says it was an oversight.

If Savage never went to WCW, what would his legacy be?

It’s still his time in the WWF and being “The Macho Man.”

Did Randy ever take offense to people doing impressions of his voice?

Yes! Piper and Savage hated when people would imitate them. Bruce would rib Randy and mimic his voice to his face.

Did Randy complain to anyone in the office of Ted DiBiase not leaving the ring at WrestleMania IV?

No.

Any funny Savage stories involving his throne?

Randy was the first one to take a bump on “the Sedan.” He was pretty pissed off about it.

What did Vince think of Savage’s color commentary?

Vince liked his work because he sounded different. He’d throw out things out-of-the-blue and Vince liked not knowing.

Did Randy pitch doing more with his brother?

No. Randy was about letting Lanny take care of Lanny. (Well…except maybe that whole Lanny getting signed by WCW thing where he made hundreds of thousands of dollars and didn’t appear on TV a single time)

Who were Randy’s closest friends backstage?

Rick Martel. Bruce himself. Crush. Undertaker.

Did Savage’s personal problems cut his ‘92 title run short?

Vince just wanted to go in a different direction. Everything at that time felt old between Savage/Warrior/Flair. Conrad points out that Cena is 40. Bruce agrees and points out how long Cena has been on top compared to those guys.

Any fun Savage/Buster Douglas stories?

Randy wanted to get knocked out by Mike Tyson since he was the original referee of the match. Randy wanted to do the same thing with Buster. In the back, Patterson and Bruce ran into Buster’s fist and thought it could break Randy’s jaw. He didn’t care. He thought it was good for the business. Savage told him to hit him with everything he had, otherwise he’d get back up and get in his face. Buster whiffed on the first punch, Savage got up, and pie-faced him. Buster then punched him hard.

Has Bruce heard Savage’s rap album?

Nope.

Was Savage high on coke before doing interviews?

No. Savage was too cheap to do coke. He was just naturally like that.

Any good Savage fight stories?

Savage would go to Jerry Lawler shows and sit in the front row and challenge guys. In the WWF, Vince made it clear he could no longer be like that.

Did Savage ever lock Liz in a closet backstage?

Bruce says that story came about because the dressing rooms at shows were very small. Liz dressed in the female locker room and if there wasn’t one, the women would dress in other places. Bruce says Savage was protective of her but you could talk to Liz backstage.

4:01:52 – Vote on what next week’s show should be. 

The show closes with the Savage rap classic “Be A Man Hulk.”

Nice.

Rating: 9/10

I’m not as well-versed in Something to Wrestle as Jeff is (I’ve probably listened to 15 full episodes), but this is the best one I’ve heard yet. Of course, this is a behemoth of an entry. It’s hard to sit through anything this long, but it’s well worth the lengthy trip if you have any interest in Savage. 

One of my big complaints from the Mega Powers episode was how the Stephanie rumor was glossed over. The Conrad of that time wasn’t as combative and as well-researched. This time around they went into it a bit more. It’s a disturbing story, but one you can’t help but wonder if it’s true. You also can’t really cover Savage’s career in full-detail without at least addressing it at some point. 

My only complaint for this episode is that Savage’s WCW run is basically left off (though I guess it’s hard to complain that a four hour podcast should be longer). Of course, Bruce wasn’t in that company but Randy was competing against them in an off-again-on-again role for a few years. A few notes and details of his time there would have been interesting. Otherwise, this was an excellent rundown of The Macho Man’s iconic career and it provided a ton of details and stories I’d never heard before. Highly recommended. 

The Savage episode had heart. It had some laughs. It had a ton of impressions. This is Something to Wrestle at its strongest. 

Timestamps

2:05:23 – SummerSlam ‘89
2:38:36 – Ric Flair vs. Savage at WrestleMania VIII
2:50:36 – Savage On Commentary
3:25:25 – Randy leaves the WWF
3:31:22 – Stephanie
3:41:53 – Savage passes away
3:46:11 – Savage in TNA

For more, check out our archives of current and classic episodes of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard.

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