Best Two - Randy Savage
It's great to see the "Best Two" series is picking up steam, even so far as to have somebody new emulate it with the Cena thread. Though I do ask that, moving forward, people kindly abstain from adding people. I am going somewhere with this Best Two thing...
Anyway, that out of the way, it's time for one of my all time favs - and one of the hardest to decide on - Randy Savage. I have regularly called (and reminded you all that Ihave called) him the single "Greatest Feud Participant" in wrestling history. Some of his matches are the reason why, and here's my two:
Randy Savage vs Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania 5
With the excepton of a 1-day reign by Andre the Giant, the WWF Championship was held by two men from January of 1984 through April of 1990, and those two men were The Mega Powers, Hogan and Savage. Aside from the simple fact that these two were by far THE BEST in the world for 6 years, factor in the drama caused when a woman got involved. It made for a classic feud that took one full year to develop:
The heat between these guys was so real, and so well executed, that Savage went from top-face to top-heel mid title reign. That's almost impossible to accomplish, but Savage did it, and at Wrestlemania 5, they tore the house down.
Savage vs Flair, Wrestlemania 8
Vindication. That's the word I use to describe Randy's hard fought win at Wrestlemania 8. After months of anguish and torment directed at both he and his wife Elizabeth, a recently reinstated Savage (1 year removed from losing a retirement match to The Ultimate Warrior) regained the WWF Gold in an emotionally charged classic. Both men worked flawlessly, but Savage once again proved why he was called "Macho Madness." I thought this was his finest hour.
Disagree? Please, rip me to shreds, beat me to death, teach me a lesson!
I agree that the match at Wrestlemnia 5 was one of his best two. As you said the feud developed for a year and when it finally culminated you had the two best guys in the company going head to head.
For the second match I'm going with Savage vs Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3. This was the greatest match in Wrestlemania history, as well as the greatest match in Savage's career. These two guys put on an absolute clinic, and this match is a big reason why Wrestlemania is considered the greatest wrestling pay per view in the world. Hogan vs Andre drew the crowd, but Savage and Steamboat gave them there moneys worth.
Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat
A match that many label as one of the greatest of all times. And you know what, it truly is. Wrestlemania 3 was the turning point from being a big new thing for wrestling, into a massive enterprise. Everyone will talk about the Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant match, but after the event, it was Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat who the guys were probably buying drinks for.
Randy Savage vs Slim Jim
Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior
The retirement match. I loved it as a kid, watching it a few years after it had happened on a good ol' VCR. Randy Savage faught so hard to put down the Warrior, but the Warrior, to might delight, battled back and was able to beat the Macho King. Randy was forced to retire, but the big moment came moments later when Elizabeth came to his rescue, and the reunion happened. Now, for the rest of my life, I will remember the scene that panned out. One of my favourite matches, just because of the afterscene.
First off to IrishCanadian, both picks are fantastic choices. The Flair/Savage match would make my top 5 Savage matches, while the Hogan one would possibly as well. But my two choices are different.
They're actually the exact same two matches that TM Punk posted. But I will of course give my viewpoints on why those are the two top Savage matches.
Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat, Wrestlemania III
This match I liken to a game of chess. This match perhaps moreso than any other wrestling match I've seen is simply one guy upping the other, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, like a masterful game of chess.
You have quite possibly the two greatest workers of the 1980's (as far as American wrestling goes) in Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat showing the wrestling world how it's done. 20 years later, the match is still showing everyone how it's done. It was also probably one of the first big WWF/E matches to feature outside interference causing the heel to lose rather than win. This matchup has inspired countless wrestlers. Heck, even Chris Jericho stated this match made him want to be a wrestler. One of the all-time classic matches in wrestling history.
Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior, Retirement Match, Wrestlemania VII
This matchup is one of the greatest matches I've ever seen. This matchup should be given ***** by every wrestling critic as far as I'm concerned. The feud itself was highly entertaining. The Warrior upped his game to look like one of the best wrestlers in the world (Savage always brought the best out of the Warrior as their match at Summerslam 92 was very good too), and Savage showed why he was the real MVP of the WWF from 1986-1992, until Bret Hart took his place. You had the retirement angle looming on fans and the wrestlers. No one probably knew who was going to retire. At this point, at least in the WWF, there hadn't been enough retirement matches for everyone to know that the loser would eventually come back. So you had a huge consequence to losing making this match very meaningful and important and exciting. You had the action which was just flawless. You had brilliant storytelling, especially towards the end where the Warrior almost gives up after having Savage kick out of his splash and wondering if he no longer had the power to go on and continue wrestling, and if he should give up. That part might seem corny, but I thought it was an essential part to the story of the match. Then you have the brillant spot where Savage drops the elbow 4 times, and the Warrior still kicks out. This was one of the earliest matches where the wrestlers kicked out of each other's finishers, maybe a first in WWE history. Savage gave the Warrior everything he had, and still couldn't put him away. Then Warrior does his finisher multiple times before finally beating him.
We've already seen one of the most action-packed matches in WWE history, but no, that's not enough. After we've been blown away by the action-filled drama, now it's time for emotional drama. In one of the greatest babyface turns ever, Sherri turns on Savage, and Elizabeth comes out of nowhere after being gone for 2 years, saves him, and you have the most emotional moment arguably in wrestling history, the reunion of Liz and Randy.
This match had it all. Importance of result (the retirement angle), brilliant ring psychology, tons of action, 2 wrestlers wrestling at their very best, a hot crowd, revolutionary and influential spots, and ridiculously high amounts of drama and emotion.
One of the best matches in WWE history and quite possibly the most underrated match in wrestling history.
That's my take on it.
And Wrestlemania 3 was a classic as well. Savage could have great matches, and this was 1. The fact that it is still talked about is proof. The funny thing is, is that argueably his best 2 were losing efforts. May be hard to find that for most other guys.
I have to throw this out there. Survivor Series 1993 was supposed to feature Ric Flair and Razor Ramon vs "The Ultimate Maniacs," an expected redux of the Mega Powers with Savage and Warrior (who had put on a terrific match at Summerslam together for the WWF Title at Wembley) and due to Warrior's issues, Mr. Perfect came out of retirement, made a face turn, and teamed with Savage instead.
How does the Savage / Perfect vs Flair / Ramon match rank for you? I personally felt it was another vintage performance, though more for the Flair / Perfect drama than for Savage. But still, what a match!
Actually the Savage/Hennig vs. Flair/Ramon match was from Survivor Series 92.
But anywhos, I think I watched it again pretty recently on WWE 24/7, and it was a pretty solid and entertaining tag matchup. I don't remember it quite as well as the other matches that have been mentioned in this thread, but yeah from what I remember it was really good.
I wouldn't say it was one of his best matches ever, but it was definitely another good one, although with the 4 workers in the matchup it would be pretty difficult to have a bad matchup with those guys.
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