Defrost Reviews – Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior

Defrost Reviews – Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior

Never let it be said I don’t think of the people. A few days ago Cewsh sent this tweet along to me.

So instead of our regularly scheduled Chris Jericho burial we’ll be taking a look at the matches between The Ultimate Warrior vs Macho Man Randy Savage. Well I guess a bit of disclosure is the honest way to go here. A lot of this review was written way before Cewsh showed me that tweet. I did do a rewrite though. Giving the people what they want.

WWF on NESN 2/11/89 (Boston Garden)
World Wrestling Federation Championship/World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Heavyweight Champion Macho Man Randy Savage vs WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior

WWF on MSG 1/21/91 (Madison Square Garden)
Steel Cage Match
Macho King Randy Savage (w/Sensational Queen Sherri) vs The Ultimate Warrior

Wrestlemania VII (LA Sports Arena)
Career Ending Match
Macho King Randy Savage (w/Sensational Queen Sherri) vs The Ultimate Warrior

Summerslam 1992 (Wembley Stadium)
World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Heavyweight Champion Macho Man Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior

Why would Rick Rude try and stop Warrior from winning the WWF Title if he had a match with Warrior coming up at Wrestlemania? He could have won both belts at Wrestlemania V. Then Hogan and Savage could have had the first WWF Ladder match with Elizabeth hanging from the rafters. Bit of a filibuster there. No way around it though. Nothing much happens in their double title match in the Boston Garden. Well other than the awesome picture of Macho Man holding up both belts. This is a match the Warrior haters would crow over while Savage is clearly treating this house show match like, well, a house show match. It feels Coliseum Video-y.

Having gone back and watched a bunch of old Coliseum videos you see a lot of half hearted efforts. I’d expect less so from one of their big arena shows though which lent to the disappointment. Well that, and I probably expected too much from Warrior. The Warrior haters are right about him at this point in time. It wasn’t until his months long run with Rude around that loop that you see obvious improvement. Obvious improvement from say this match in the Boston Garden. So don’t watch it.

The psychology of the Career Ending match is great and typified by the contrast between it and the MSG Cage Match. The cage match came first, duh, so it’s best to start there. The fight starts before they even get in the cage. Then Warrior just mauls Savage. Warrior has been fucked over by Savage and is now getting his revenge. His slow, plodding , and boring revenge but revenge nonetheless. It is really a nine mintue beating followed by enough Sherri shenanigans to get Macho out of the cage first. Why kill the heat before Mania? Then you look at the Career ending match.¬†

There is no wild brawling at Wrestlemania. Nor is anyone thinking out of anger that one would expect in such a heated feud, and that’s just perfect. Because in that match they have so much to lose that they had to leave their hate behind. That counter intuitive psychology puts the stakes of the match over more than most angles or promos could ever do. Both men were insane. Work and shoot. Yet here they were cautious. They were wrestling in their wrestling match not trying to tear each other apart. Warrior was especially great with the small flourishes here. Warrior is great with the small touches too. His ring gear being anvilicious, walking to the ring, when his finish fails asking if the Gods plan for this to be the end.

It goes without saying Macho is amazing as always. On his way out he puts Warrior over like a million bucks. The five elbows, the utter domination at the finish, only getting control with the help of Sherri. Warrior was staying and he was leaving. Plus Savage had to know he’d be fine after the post match angle.

Summerslam 1992 is the only match these two had against each other where Savage was a babyface. Not sure the 80,000 fans in Wembley Stadium got the memo on that though. The most fans the WWF ever put in a building by the way. That’s right I said it, . They were 100% behind Warrior and any Macho Man offense elicited a loud wave of boos. I’m sure Savage would have ran with that, but the storyline prevented that. When the entire story is, “who is turning heel?” you can’t work to the boos. Fun fact the idea was for Warrior to turn heel and win the title here, but he balked at it.

The match is good, but not near their Wrestlemania match. The angle hurt it, and the work level wasn’t the same. Not to mention it failed to have the same vibe as the babyface vs babyface Warrior vs Hogan match. It’s good. I mean it’s in the top ten Warrior matches ever. Not near that for Savage. It is a good match on a good show. That’s the best description for it. Not the best match on the show. Not a show saver or show stealer. Just a good bit of spice for a tasty stew.

Summerslam 1992 is a fun watch. If you are watching that show you’ll have a good time during this match. If your goal is to go out of your way to watch individual matches there is no real need to pick this one out.

Results and Ratings

WWF on NESN 2/11/89
WWF Heavyweight Champion Macho Man Randy Savage defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior at 10:32 via countout. Both men retained their titles. (Star Rating: *)

WWF on MSG 1/21/91
Macho King Randy Savage defeated The Ultimate Warrior at 10:33 when he escaped the cage (Star Rating: *3/4)

Wrestlemania VII
The Ultimate Warrior defeated Macho King Randy Savage at 20:46 via pinfall with multiple flying shoulder tackles. Macho King Randy Savage’s career was over. (Star Rating: ****)

Summerslam 1992
The Ultimate Warrior defeated WWF Heavyweight Champion Macho Man Randy Savage at 28:00 via countout. Macho Man Randy Savage retained the World Wrestling Federation Championship. (Star Rating: ***1/4)

Average Rating: **1/2

It’ll be a twofer this week when I get back on schedule posting the previously promised Jericho vs Guerrero review. Two for the price of one. Giving the people what they want. And if you have a request you can post it in the comments or tweet it to Cewsh. I don’t tweet. I probably should. I have an account. Never used it. Now I am just rambling. See you later this week.