We certainly don’t intend to disparage the dead and we absolutely aren’t trying to smear the good name of “The Macho Man” Randy Savage, may he rest in peace. Nonetheless, having already published a “Stupidest Things” list for The Undertaker and John Cena, we realized it was only a matter of time before we started mining unfortunate choices made by stars no longer with us. So we might as well peal that Band-Aid off early, right?!
Savage – real name Randy Poffo – was one of the most celebrated and beloved pro wrestlers of all time, and made countless great decisions with his life and career. He won a whole bunch of world championships. He participated in iconic storylines with the likes of The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Dallas Page, the entire nWo crew, and the list goes on. He also crossed over into recognizably among mainstream pop culture in ways very, very few other wrestlers ever have. Tons of people who never watched or cared about pro wrestling knew who he was. In fact, aside from Hogan, The Rock, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, arguably no one else made as many strides from the wrestling ring into “normal person” entertainment.
But, like all of us, he also committed his fair share of blunders. And of course, it’s all too easy for us to point them out now. Hindsight’s 20/20, as they say. Some of them were funny. Others, were decisively not funny. One entry on this list in particular could’ve potentially landed him in prison had the right person made the right phone call at the time. But regardless of all that, what follows, in no particular order, are the stupidest things Randy Savage ever did, or in some cases, didn’t do.
15. The Rap Album
Frequently cited as a work of unintentional comedy, “Be A Man” marks Randy Savage’s highly regrettable foray into rap music. In fairness, blending cheesebag metal and lazy rhymes had recently made Fred Durst and Kid Rock millionaires in the early ‘00s, so the enterprise probably seemed viable at the time. The closest thing “Be A Man” contains to a redeeming quality is Savage’s heartfelt tribute to Curt Hennig. Like a small child giving an older sibling a macaroni drawing instead of a real present for Christmas, you have to appreciate the sentiment, even if the song itself sucks.
14. Trying to Be Edgy in the Late ’90s
What’s the quickest way to make something hip and trendy suddenly cease to be cool? Of course, the answer to that question is simple – get someone’s parents involved. Granted, Hulk Hogan and Savage were about the same age, but the nWo lost a little bit of its sex appeal when the late ’90s version of the Macho Man – akin to a divorcee dad deep in the thralls of a midlife crisis – hopped on board.
Then with Team Madness, and we’re certainly not here to judge, the sight of “Mach” flaunting his relationships (kayfabe or otherwise) with women young enough to be his daughters made us all a little uncomfortable. But at least they were all consenting, legal adults!
13. Changing His Theme Song
When you’ve got an iconic, unmistakable theme like “Pomp And Circumstances,” you shouldn’t switch it out for some generic metal dump just because you’re taking your character in an “edgier” direction. Instead, you should threaten to sue every college and university in the county if they don’t stop playing it at graduation ceremonies. To heck with public domain copyright laws! Sadly, Mach dropped “Pomp” in favor of “What’s Up Mach?” during his Team Madness phase in WCW. This was only one of several bad decisions he made in the ‘90s.
12. Sleeping with Teenage Stephanie McMahon (Assuming That Actually Happened)
Only two people know 100 percent for sure if anything ever happened between the then-17-year-old Billionaire Princess and The Macho Man….One has passed and the other only brings it up in private when she’s trying to make Triple H feel inadequate. But assuming the rumor is true and what Vince McMahon saw as a major betrayal of his trust explains the scant mentions of Savage on WWE until after his death, Savage probably regretted this technically unlawful dalliance. Doubling down on the rumor by evoking the ire of a certain COO certainly didn’t help matters much, either.
11. Trash Talking Triple H
If he didn’t wish he could undo his indiscretion with Stephanie McMahon, chances are he regretted claiming that he’d like to b@#$$ slap the guy with hiring/firing power at WWE, then abscond with his wife. Such was Savage’s statement in this interview. Years earlier, he didn’t sound as interested in bashing WWE or anyone connected – namely in this 2000 shoot, where he describes WWE as “where the action is.” It sounds like if given the opportunity at that point, Savage would’ve happily wound down his career in the company where it experienced its zenith.
10. Not Getting Revenge For The Nacho Man
Sometime after Savage left WWE in 1994, Vince and co. introduced “The Nacho Man” and the “Huckster,” elderly parodies of their former top stars who worked for “Billionaire Ted,” meant to remind viewers that current WCW headliners were generally older than WWE’s big draws at the time. It’s noteworthy that Steve Austin executed a much, much funnier “Hogan = old” comedy shtick during his ECW run.
“Nacho Man” obviously frosted Macho Man’s bottom, but because he wasn’t welcomed back into WWE and he never got to extract vengeance against his geriatric counterpart for being unfunny at his expense.
While a squash match against The Nacho Man in a surprise, last-minute addition to WrestleMania would’ve made an excellent note to retire on, instead, Savage had to take what he could get…..
9. That Last Match
Let’s not mince words here – the finish of the main event of TNA Turning Point 2004 was pretty bad. “Anticlimactic” would be an understatement. In a six man tag team match with Savage, Jeff Hardy, and AJ Styles squaring off against Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall (the latter group having apparently all joined an Elvis Impersonator stable), Macho Man finally joined the action about 20 minutes into a 22 minute contest. Then, he pinned Jarrett after a punch. A punch, for Pete’s sake. Wisely, Savage retired once and for all shortly following this debacle.
8. Issues With Miss Elizabeth
As most thinking people realize, long term relationships can be very complicated and sometimes they don’t work out for reasons neither party should be blamed for. However, when one member of the union is jealous and controlling to the point of being kind of insane and emotionally abusive, that person can probably be blamed entirely for the relationship not working out and, in this case, the stories would lead us to believe Macho is at fault. And if the Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth had never split up, Savage would’ve been less likely to allegedly sleep with Stephanie McMahon, and thus, more likely to eventually make a return to WWE.
7. Refusing To Call It In The Ring
Wrestling historians often cite Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III as one of the best matches ever. It is said that Savage and Steamboat rehearsed all the spots beforehand, as opposed to calling them as the match went on, as was Savage’s unusual custom at the time.
All that rehearsing sounds like a lot of extra work for probably the same amount of money. If Savage had just taken the usual route of making it up as he went along, sure, his matches may have been a few notches less spectacular and the fans wouldn’t have been as entertained, but he would’ve had all the same riches and fame. Trying too hard is stupid.
6. A Match With Dennis Rodman
While one of the all-time greatest rebounders in NBA history and a snazzy dresser, Dennis Rodman not only makes a lot of poor choices, he inspires similar poor judgement in others around him. Savage was no exception. Why would a professional wrestler of the Macho Man’s stature compromise his career and legacy by agreeing to a match with not just a wrestling neophyte, but one who’s been notoriously unreliable and unpredictable in all other aspects of his life? If you’re within 15 feet of Dennis Rodman, odds are you aren’t thinking straight.
5. Slim Jim Commercials
Keep in mind this is a list of “stupid” things Savage did. Just because something is stupid doesn’t mean it can’t also be great. In his highly-memorable Slim Jim commercials, Macho Man would explode into a room where a mundane event of some kind transpired. Then, he would encourage those around him to snap into a Slim Jim. After they did so, other explosions commenced.
Anyone who’s ever eaten a Slim Jim can attest that such a depiction of the product is flat out absurd. Slim Jims don’t even usually make a “snap” sound once bitten into, much less provoke spontaneous combustion nearby. Those were still fun commercials, though.
4. The Revival Elbow
Way back during Clash of the Champions XXX, Hulk Hogan was having a heck of a time against Brutus “The Butcher” Beefcake (or maybe he was The Zodiac by that point?) and Kevin Sullivan. Beefcake had just put Hogan under with a sleeper hold, as The Hulkster’s partner, Savage, watched helplessly in the corner. While the ref was briefly distracted by Beefcake and Sullivan’s premature victory preening, Savage ascended the turnbuckles and delivered his Big Elbow to the fallen Hogan. Unlike the many, many times Savage’s elbow put its receiver down for the count, this time, it awakened Hulk’s innate ability to “Hulk Up.” Newly invincible, Hogan proceeded to rip Beefcake in half like a phone book and decapitated Sullivan with his Leg Drop, ending The Dungeon of Doom’s reign of terror once and for all.
3. Sadly Not Living Long Enough To See Hulk Hogan’s Downfall
The specifics of the heat between Hulk Hogan and his onscreen buddy Randy Savage are a little murky – but legend has it that Savage thinks it’s Hogan’s fault that Elizabeth divorced him. It also seems likely that Savage disliked Hogan for many of the same reasons lots of other people disliked Hogan. We do know for certain that Savage challenged Hogan to a shoot fight for charity – which Hogan turned down, possibly because he was afraid, or possibly because he and Savage were both 50-something steroid burnouts at that point, and would’ve embarrassed themselves in an unscripted athletic contest that would not have done any children’s hospital any favors.
Suffice to say that Hogan’s recent N-word-related struggles would’ve made the Macho Man a happier camper.
2. Wearing Sunglasses He Couldn’t Possibly Have Been Able To See Out Of
Remember those totally boss looking sunglasses Savage used to wear – that said “Madness” in bold letting across the two frames? Unless some sort of bizarre mirror mechanism allowed Mach to miraculously see through or past the plastic, those glasses must have blinded him completely. How did he avoid tripping and falling on his face during his many struts to the ring? How could he visually detect a Slim Jim before he snapped into it? At any given time, he could’ve snapped into a small child or adorable puppy by accident. As cool as Savage’s signature sunglasses looked at the time, they were also horribly irresponsible.
1. Agreeing to a Match Against Spider-Man
For reasons unknown to this day, throughout his life, Randy Savage felt an uncontrollable, irrational hated for the world’s most famous web slinger. Savage even went so far as attempting to bait Spider-Man into a fight by calling himself “The Spider” – implying that he was the superior spider-man – early in his career. Savage had to disguise himself as an unknown wrestler named “Bone Saw McGraw” – to finally get his crack at ending Spider-Man once and for all. But like so many before him – such as Doctor Octopus, The Green Goblin, and the Vulture – Savage could not match Spidey’s speed, strength, or wily disposition, and was thoroughly dispatched by the oft-misunderstood hero.
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