For years, it’s unquestionably been the biggest “did they, or didn’t they” question in all of professional wrestling — did the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage have a sexual relationship with a then-underage Stephanie McMahon? That’s what many assume was the reason behind Savage seemingly being persona non grata in the WWE until his death in 2011, and the reason why it was only in 2015 when he was enshrined in the company’s Hall of Fame. In some ways, it did seem like a plausible justification for WWE to sour on the Macho Man, but thanks to some simple detective work and research, it looks like it can finally be said — there is no truth to the Macho Man/Steph urban legend.
As related by Wrestling News, the detective work was done by several Wrestling Observer forum members, who tried to get to the bottom of the aforementioned urban legend and trace how everything started. The members noted that Savage, who had last worked for WWE in 1994, had cut interviews in 2000, 2001, and 2003, yet said nothing wrong about the company or its owner and chairman, Vince McMahon. The 2003 interview, in particular, had the Macho Man talking to WWE Magazine about the recent death of his ex-wife, Miss Elizabeth, and also promoting his rap album, Be A Man. In addition to this, Savage’s classic WrestleMania III match against Ricky Steamboat was featured in a 2001 episode of WWE’s Excess show.
Things got heated between both sides, however, in late 2003 or early 2004, when Triple H had referred to Savage and Hulk Hogan as ”dinosaurs” in a magazine interview. As this was during the peak of Evolution’s reign of terror as a stable on the MRaw brand, that interview was presumably cut in The Game’s heel character. But Savage wasn’t amused by the “dinosaurs” comment, as he reportedly threatened to “b***h slap” Triple H and steal his wife Stephanie McMahon from him in a video recording on the members-only portion of his website.
The above incident marks the point where WWE, particularly Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, likely became disenchanted with Randy Savage and began to keep him at a distance. But what about the Macho Man/Steph urban legend? The Wrestling Observer forum members brought to light a 2004 thread called “Scummiest Wrestling Urban Legends?, We are DOI-esque” on the Death Valley Driver message board. And on September 16, 2004, a user called “G. Gordon Liddy” posted the following claim on that thread:
“Macho had his way with Stephanie (she was about 14 then) back in 94/95 and that Vince found out and that was the true ending for Macho Man in WWF.”
Aside from the poster using the name of the notorious Watergate conspirator to establish himself as a “s**t-stirrer,” Wrestling News pointed out that he had mistakenly stated Stephanie’s age—she had, in fact, turned 18 in September 1994. There also weren’t any corroborating facts or shoot interview citations in the post. But that didn’t stop the rumor from spreading, and many fans from blaming that purported affair for Savage’s pariah status till his untimely death.
There was always something iffy about the Savage/Steph rumor, so it’s no surprise that it’s been debunked a good 13 years later. The only surprise, to be honest, is that it took that long. But if we are to add our own two cents to the matter, Randy Savage’s 1994 departure from WWE mainly boiled down to two things that had nothing to do with the Billion Dollar Princess, as cited by this Bleacher Report article. One, Savage wasn’t happy with WWE mostly keeping him behind the announce table, and two, WCW simply made him an offer he can’t refuse, one where he could wrestle regularly and earn bigger money despite the lighter road schedule.
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