Ohhhhhh yeah! No two words more accurately sum up the career of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and they also happen to be the two words Miss Elizabeth used as her reply when Randy popped the question in the middle of a WWE ring. Unfortunately, the real life relationship between “Macho Man” and Elizabeth was anything but idyllic, with the truth being such a departure from what we saw on screen and the match made in heaven may have been living through a personal hell. It wasn’t all bad, though, and the two were the source of countless memorable and historic moments that changed the course of wrestling history along the way.
Savage and Liz predated the modern trend of wrestlers becoming romantically involved with any woman even tangentially connected to the business by several decades. In fact, at the time Elizabeth entered the wrestling business, women were virtually unrepresented in high profile roles. Through the relationship, Elizabeth also turned into perhaps the greatest female manager in WWE history or at least the very first to start writing a resume as impressive as her male contemporaries. Clearly, together and individually, on screen and off, the Macho Man and his first lady were one of the most fascinating and trendsetting couples the wrestling world has ever seen. Keep reading to learn 15 things you never knew about the marriage of the Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth.
15. They Met While Working For Randy’s Dad
Even though they entered WWE as a couple, Randy and Elizabeth can still credit the wrestling industry for bringing them together. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in communications, leading her to a job at a local TV station that happened to broadcast International Championship Wrestling. Angelo Poffo owned the company, and he also happened to be the Macho Man’s father. As is often the case in the wrestling industry, Poffo’s two biggest stars were his own children, Randy Savage and Lanny Poffo. Elizabeth started with ICW as a camera operator, although she soon proved to have a significant knowledge of the wrestling industry in addition to her stunning looks, so the Poffo family decided to make her the lead announcer of their programming. It wasn’t long until ICW’s lead announcer and the top star hit it off and though ICW closed almost at the same time, the two lovebirds would find wild success as their relationship took them out of Kentucky.
14. They Got Married In 1984
Despite how public their relationship was from the very beginning, Randy and Elizabeth hid the fact they were married for nearly an entire decade even as they made nightly trips towards the ring arm in arm. While Elizabeth was always treated like Randy’s girlfriend on screen, the truth is that she was already his wife far earlier than anyone realized. Savage and Elizabeth were married in late December 1984, nearly six months prior to either of them making their official WWE debuts. Savage and Elizabeth are hardly the only two people to have concealed a relationship in this way, as the practice has been a regular part of celebrity culture since John Lennon was pretending Julian and Cynthia didn’t exist. It was still a fairly new concept to the wrestling business, though, especially considering the implications of their pairing could have been even stronger were fans aware a wedding ring was involved. Of course, it would ruin some of the highlights you’ll read as this list goes on, so rather than get into spoiler alert territory, we’ll just acknowledge there may have been a method to this particular element of macho madness.
13. Elizabeth Was Named The First Lady of Wrestling In 1985
WWE has never had a woman who exhibited grace quite on the level of Miss Elizabeth and her unique class of beauty was evident from the very moment she entered a WWE ring. Savage made his WWE debut a few weeks prior to Elizabeth, starting an angle where every manager in wrestling was fighting for the opportunity to snag the Macho Man as their client. Future WWE Hall of Fame managers like Jimmy Hart, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Mr. Fuji, and “Classy” Freddie Blassie all gathered in the ring to hear who Savage picked, only for Savage to inform them he found someone better, introducing Miss Elizabeth to the global stage. Rather than complain about getting rebuffed, the other managers in the ring stood in silence and awe as Elizabeth made her grand entrance, while Vince McMahon compared her to an elegant movie star on commentary and Liz’s sparkling sequinned dress said more than words ever could.
12. Savage Was Terrible To Elizabeth Behind The Scenes
Despite appearances on screen, things rapidly deteriorated in Randy and Elizabeth’s marriage once they became stars in WWE. Savage’s rise from an independent standout to one of the biggest acts in wrestling happened almost overnight, albeit not in an unexpected manner. Expected or not, the sudden fame meant an influx of drugs and the combination of drugs and flashing lights by all accounts turned Savage into a jealous maniac. People who’ve worked with Savage, including Tito Santana, Bad News Brown, George “The Animal” Steele, Bobby Heenan, and even Randy’s own brother Lanny, have all claimed Savage would regularly lock Elizabeth in her dressing room and refuse to let her come out unless he was with her at all times. Part of this was a protective measure, but there’s a pretty clear line between protection and obsessive behavior, and freaking out any time your wife so much as talks to a male coworker (not to mention then locking her in a room to prevent her from doing so) is about as far past the line as a person can go.
11. The Relationship Broke Up The Mega Powers
Regardless of what either man did later on in their lives or careers, few feuds will ever encapsulate what pro wrestling is all about quite like Hulk Hogan versus Randy Savage. This especially holds true for the first time the two started doing battle, in early 1989 when The Mega Powers infamously exploded. As is often the case, the only thing that could tear apart the most unstoppable tag team in WWE history was the love of a woman. On screen, The Mega Powers split up on NBC’s The Main Event II, Savage became jealous over errant glances he perceived were being exchanged between Liz and Hogan. Based on first hand accounts of the story, these feelings of envy were hardly relegated to the time cameras were rolling and Savage started to believe his wife and Hogan were genuinely having an affair in real life.
10. Hogan Wasn’t The Only One With Lustful Eyes
We may never know the truth about Elizabeth and Hulk Hogan, or if Randy was merely acting out of baseless jealousy when he accused them of having an affair. It would be pretty easy to assume it was the latter, though, considering Hogan wasn’t exactly the only person who became a victim of Savage’s intense jealousy in regards to his wife. In terms of what we saw in the ring, Savage engaged in plenty of feuds revolving around infidelity, most infamously against Ric Flair and George “The Animal” Steele. If the rumors are to be believed, the situation was far more widespread than just a few select names, as just about everybody to work with Savage and Elizabeth during their time in WWE have one story or another about Randy flipping out over some perceived offense or another.
9. They Feuded Against Each Other With Various Partners
After Elizabeth played Yoko Ono to The Mega Powers, her relationship with Randy started to fall apart both onscreen and off. For now, we’ll focus on what happened in the ring, which was a full on feud between formers lovers, although the time it took place obviously meant Elizabeth was never actually doing any fighting. Instead, once Savage replaced her with new manager Sensational Sherri Martel, Elizabeth returned to WWE as the manager of his rivals, Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. During this feud, Elizabeth also started getting physical for the first time in her career, interfering in matches to stop Sherri from doing so herself and to help Hogan win. Elizabeth continued aiding Randy’s allies in his feud against Dusty Rhodes, when she served as the manager for The American Dream and his number one fan, Sapphire. Eventually, however, fans wanted to see the couple reunite, leading to perhaps the greatest moment of their relationship…
8. They Reunited At WrestleMania VII
Miss Elizabeth slowly faded away from WWE in the wake of WrestleMania VI, where she helped Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire defeat her husband and Sherri Martel. One year later, Savage was back at WrestleMania participating in one of the top billed matches on the card against The Ultimate Warrior. To make things extra intense, the contest was a retirement match, where the loser would be forced to end their career. In a classic example of Chekov’s gun, Miss Elizabeth was spotted sitting in the crowd moments before the match began, clearly supporting Randy despite the couple having been estranged for nearly a full year. Warrior defeated Savage in one of the greatest battles Mania has ever seen, but the real story came afterwards, when Sherri Martel took out her frustrations on her client for his having lost the match. Elizabeth had seen enough and rushed to the ring, pulling Martel away from Savage and reuniting in a moment so emotional significant portions of the audience were captured bursting into tears. Savage was still forced to retire, at least for a few months, but with Elizabeth back at his side, there was no question who the real winner that night truly was. The sad part that people might not realize is that shortly after, they split up…
7. They Got “Married” Again At SummerSlam 1991
As beautiful and memorable as their WrestleMania reunion was, Randy and Elizabeth had been having trouble as a couple for years at the point they patched things up in the ring. While hugging and spending more time together probably helped, there was still a long way to go in real life before Savage and Liz could recapture the same kind of romance they once had. Something many couples do at a point like this is renew their vows and that’s essentially what Randy and Elizabeth did, live on Pay-Per-View during the “main event” of SummerSlam 1991. As we already covered, the two had actually been married nearly seven years at that point and yet their fake wedding ceremony still managed to become one of the most talked about wrestling events of the year. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite save their marriage, though, and in fact it may have served as the final nail in the coffin.
6. They Got Divorced In April Of 1992
If a big, bombastic ceremony meant to celebrate your love with the entire world still leaves you feeling cold, it might be time to say goodnight to your relationship. This is how Randy and Elizabeth felt in the months following their televised second wedding ceremony and, in April of 1992, only six months after the ceremony took place, the two decided to call it quits for good and officially filed for divorce. They stayed together on screen almost until the very end, working together in a feud with Ric Flair that ended abruptly once the divorce proceedings began. In a rare display of honesty, WWE acknowledged the real life nature of the situation by allowing Savage to write an open letter to his fans, printed in WWE Magazine. Savage explained things between him and Liz hadn’t been working out for some time, and he thanked the fans for their support during the difficult time.
5. They Both Performed Commentary
Even amongst the many married or dating couples that have existed throughout wrestling history, Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth deserve special distinction for a number of reasons. The two pulled off some huge accolades, like how they were the first husband and wife duo to get over as a main event act, Elizabeth was the first woman to manage her husband to a World Championship, but they also managed to achieve a number of more trivial achievements, as well. Specifically, Randy Savage and Elizabeth are probably the only husband and wife duo where both members of the couple regularly performed commentary. We mentioned already that Elizabeth performed commentary for ICW and she also did so in WWE on the regional recap show Wrestling Spotlight. Savage’s exploits in commentary were far more storied, including a stint as one of the original hosts of Monday Night Raw. Granted, part of this distinction comes from the fact Elizabeth was one of only a handful of women to have performed wrestling commentary on a mainstream level, regardless of who she was married to.
4. Randy Brought Elizabeth To WCW For Closure
Once the divorce was finalized, Elizabeth obviously didn’t have much need or desire to stick around the wrestling industry and thus she took a nearly four year sabbatical from all things sport entertainment. Savage jumped from WWE to WCW in the midst of her absence and it wasn’t long before he had the idea to reunite their old team and bring the old magic to Ted Turner’s networks. According to Randy’s brother Lanny, the idea was equal parts to put on a good show and give Randy, Elizabeth, and all of their fans a more public closure on their relationship. That closure would be stretched out over the span of several months, with Elizabeth joining the company on Randy’s side, turning on him to join Ric Flair, and then coupling with Randy one more time in the nWo. And speaking of Elizabeth and the nWo…
3. Elizabeth Kept Making History In The nWo
Obviously, Elizabeth was pretty important for women in the wrestling industry and there’s still one more significant fact about her career that deserves to be mentioned: once again acting as Hulk Hogan’s and then Randy Savage’s manager, Liz was the first (and for a long time, only) female member of the infamous new World order. Later on, the group would briefly be joined by Samantha/Torrie Wilson and a creepy harem for Scott Steiner, but none of these ladies had the same impact Liz did. Elizabeth’s stint in the nWo is also noteworthy for being her biggest brush with heeldom, as she had always managed to retain a certain level of her grace and class even as she managed crazy people like her husband or suave playboys like Ric Flair. In the nWo, Liz started choking and slapping Randy’s opponents and generally acting like a jerk and people took notice and actually booed the First Lady of Wrestling. Unfortunately, heel or face, Randy and Liz simply weren’t meant to last and they split up again onscreen during the nWo/Wolfpac schism.
2. They Both Moved On And Met New People
Randy said he brought Elizabeth to WCW for closure and, if that was the case, we can only hope the two found it before they started using the company to publicly parade their new lives with younger partners. Surprisingly, it seems as though they did, considering no stories arose about Randy having any sort of problem with Elizabeth starting a high profile relationship with Lex Luger. Nor did Elizabeth or Liz ever say anything about Randy introducing his much, much younger girlfriend, Gorgeous George. Sadly, the relationship with Luger may well have played a role in Elizabeth’s early death, as it was with Luger she began heavily experimenting with the pills and alcohol that took her life. Savage moved on from women half his age to rekindle things with his “high school sweetheart,” who he married in May of 2010.
1. A Match Made In Heaven
The most famous romances in history tend to be the ones with tragic endings and sadly Randy Savage and Elizabeth fit this cliché to a T. Their roller coaster romance had a few endings along the way and yet the real tragedy is that their lives both ended prematurely, as well. Elizabeth passed away due to a drug overdose at the age of 42 and Savage suffered a heart attack less than 10 years later while only 58. Both of them could blame the wrestling industry for their early deaths in some way, with the industry drug problem as well known as the fact people who abuse performance enhancing drugs are prone to heart problems later in life. Savage was eventually inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, while Elizabeth’s fans still await the day she receives the honor as of 2016.
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