There’s a timeless debate amongst wrestling fans over who their favorite wrestler is. It’s usually Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, or The Rock. There are about 200 others who come to mind, but if I list them then you’re just going to be reading names for the next hour and I’m going to be writing names for the next six. You don’t have an hour, and I don’t have six.
The thing is, it’s usually a connection that we make with a certain wrestler that sets them apart from the others. In the case of Steve Austin, he’s just a dude who hates his boss and drinks a lot. I mean, who amongst us doesn’t hate their boss and drink too much? Usually, drinking too much is a result of hating one’s boss. It’s a vicious cycle.
A less common debate comes from who is truly the greatest of all time. You can make a lot of cases: Shawn Michaels put on the best matches. Hulk Hogan’s charisma was unrivaled by anyone other than The Rock. Andre the Giant is the strongest of all time. Ultimate Warrior was jacked and intense. Kurt Angle and Bret Hart were so ridiculously technical that you couldn’t look away from their matches. The Godfather had a Ho Train (it puts him in the running, dammit).
Yet, Shawn Michaels wasn’t the prototypical wrestler. He was small, not what Vince loves. He wasn’t as ripped as Warrior. Hulk Hogan’s matches always left something to be desired. The Rock definitely had some excellent matches, but wasn’t always the greatest in the ring. Steve Austin was charismatic, yet very plain. It was black trunks and boots for him. Warrior was intense, but his matches fall into the same category as Hogan. What I’m saying here, is that, most of the time, in wrestling, you’re a master of a trade, but there’s always that illusive “IT” factor that you always hear them talking about in interviews. Something, especially in Vince McMahon’s eyes, is always missing.
Surely there must have been someone who had gobs of all of those traits. You know, a guy who could score an 8-10 in every category as a character in WWF Attitude: The Video Game for Nintendo 64 and Playstation (1999 reference).
Alas! There is one. None other than the headliner of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony: Randy “Macho Man” Savage.
I shall defend my stance and you’ll all be wowed and none of you will come after me on Twitter and blast me because social media is a place for us all to peacefully agree on everything ever.
Think about it. Macho Man had the look. Put him next to The Ultimate Warrior and you’ve got yourself two specimens. He had the charisma. Have you seen this man’s promos? If you haven’t, do a quick YouTube search for “Macho Man promos.” I’m telling you, he could cut a promo about nothing and make it gold. More on that in a bit. Let’s not even get into how flashy he was. You watched a show with the Macho Man on it, and it wasn’t just about the match, it was guessing what outrageous outfit he would wear that night. The black, the yellow, the white, the red, the glitter, the glam. He had it all, and he did it better than anyone. And his matches? Foggetaboutit. This is the age of the Internet, where everyone ever will say, “Everyone remembers Hogan slamming Andre at WrestleMania III, but I remember Savage vs. Steamboat being the greatest match of all time.” Everyone says that, it’s a fact, and an ironic one.
Randy Savage was a special talent that only comes around once. He’s not like anything that came before, and he’s not like anything that’s come since. Randy Savage, friends, is, quite frankly, the most perfect professional wrestler of all time. Perhaps you connected more with a guy like Steve Austin or CM Punk or The Rock, and that’s fine, but Savage was absolutely every single thing that a professional wrestler should or could be, and so much more.
Savage had this amazing ability to cut a promo and always make it mean something. I swear, he would just be sitting in a lunch room and Vince would say, “Randy, you’ve got a promo in two minutes. Are you ready?” Macho Man would say, “No. But it’s cool. I’m gonna grab this coffee creamer and make it into a promo.” Then he did it, and the rest is legend. This was every promo. I bet if he couldn’t find something to bring into his promos then he would have taken his own shoe off and started with, “That’s right, Hogan, the shoe’s on the other foot now…yeah…because this is Macho Man’s time…yeah.” And you would laugh and say to yourself, “I think I love this man and this pizza is cold, I should microwave it.”
Do you remember Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man movie? You know, the one with Willam Defoe as Green Goblin? Pretty good. But, what you definitely have never forgotten is the legendary cameo of BONESAW. In one scene, Macho Man completely overshadowed every single acting role ever done by a wrestler not named The Rock or Roddy Piper.
Randy could make you laugh, but holy God could he make you cry. Who will ever forget his reunion with Miss Elizabeth at WrestleMania VII? I dare you to watch that clip and not get goosebumps. I double dog dare you.
This is the tip of the iceberg, I’m sure you get the point without much more rambling.
Randy “Macho Man” Savage died tragically in 2011. I remember getting the text from a friend while I was at work. My heart has been broken since. I attribute every single relationship problem, broken promise I’ve made, my own attention deprivation, and every single time I drank too much and regretted it the next day to my broken spirit over the loss of Randy Savage. No other celebrity has ever left this world and made me feel so alone and hopeless.
This year, 2015, after years of relentless pressure from fans, Macho Man will at last be inducted into the Hall of Fame. This, in my eyes, is the inductee that makes the Hall of Fame legitimate. Savage was the man that any fan of wrestling should watch and admire. I, for one, will be watching the Hall of Fame Ceremony for the first time on the WWE Network (ONLY $9.99) just because I’m so elated that Randy Savage is being given the treatment so long overdue to him.
Follow me on Twitter so you can tell me how wrong I am, or how right I am. Or just to see pictures of my dog that I Tweet. Or because you are secretly in love with me and want to stalk me. It’s all good to me. @JakobDraper