Updated: Jul 19, 2020
When each of us started watching professional wrestling, someone or something drew us into watching it and kept us there, whether it was for a short period of time, or an extension into the modern day product.
Push comes to shove, we all flock to wrestling to escape from the everyday turmoil that we encounter. For that two to three hours, nothing else matters. We are enthralled in the story of good versus evil, and superior versus inferior. Whatever you believe in comes to the forefront, and memories of better days flood your brain membrane - succumbed by emotion. That is what professional wrestling does to a true fan, and that is what I am looking to bring back in this series of articles. Each article will feature a match from wrestling history that improved the business during that era and the future. Good match or bad, it doesn’t matter to me. I will delve deep into each match and make you relive a time that was most important to you.
In 1989, there were two men that ran the wrestling business: Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage.
The Mega Powers were a force to be reckoned with until the eventual explosion of their friendship. Be it a work or a shoot, Savage and Hogan were the two men that drew wresting fans through the turnstiles for the then WWF. In 1989, the WWF was a family type of wrestling promotion, but the feud between Hogan and Savage drew the parents that remembered the days of Flair vs Race to the promotion with their fists full of cash. Crowds knew what the outcome would be: one hell of a match at the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania.
The match between Macho Man and Hulk Hogan had some of the best buds that the WWF had seen in years. The feud had grown legs, as Savage noticed the “lust” in the eyes of the Hulkster towards his valet and real life wife at the time, Miss Elizabeth. As one of the best workers in wresting history, and being the heavyweight champion, Savage had a huge mountain to climb. That mountain was the immortal Hulk Hogan, the man that put WWF on the map in the business.
The feud had been building for almost a year when cracks in the foundation of the Mega Powers began to show, as Savage became overprotective of Miss Elizabeth. On February 3rd, at the Main Event when the unconscious Miss Elizabeth was carried backstage by Hulk Hogan, Macho Man’s emotions got the best of him. He attacked Hogan, thus turning heel and setting up the title match at Wrestle Mania V at the Boardwalk Hall in New Jersey.
In front of 18,000 fans, Savage and Hogan put on a wresting clinic according to some, but others disagreed. This match made these two men icons and future hall of famers. The story they told inside and outside the ring was unmatched for years. While Savage losing the WWF Title was disappointing to some, it legitimized him as one of the best workers if not the best worker in wrestling history.
He didn’t win, but in the long run he did in fact win.
On many accounts from the so called “experts,” they write that this is when Savage became unruly and unpredictable, but this fan thinks the complete opposite. This is the beginning of the “Madness” character of Randy Savage. Yes, sometimes losing a title can pull at ones heart strings, but this loss made Macho Man even better than he already was.
This match shaped the wresting business into what we have today, causing all promotions to have a build for their respective feuds after reveling in the greatness of this feud. We may never see another feud like this one, and I am okay with that. The Savage vs Hogan feud is a feud that will go into the annals of wresting history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest feud, of all time in regards to the extensive work of both men and the first lady of professional wresting, Miss Elizabeth. When you watch this match, or feud, you are brought back to that time period and dive back into the psyche when you were that age watching this match and get lost in the story that Savage and Hogan were telling. That is why this is one of the many matches that shaped us and will continue to do so until we pass on to the other side.
RJ Kruszynski is the host of Ringside Rant podcast. He is a lifelong wresting fan and a huge Yankees and Bills fan. Follow him on Twitter @Ringsiderant_RJ