From the WWE Network: Macho Madness

The Macho Man faces off with the Honky Tonk Man, Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant as he rules over the WWF in 1988!

The Network edits off the music from the intro where the WWF logo is flowing over mountains.  I think that was the first time they used that intro in the VHS releases on the Network. It’s a shame they hurt the nostalgia factor by not having the little bits like that intact. In this case they didn’t even replace the music, just leaving silence.

“Macho Man” co- hosts this tape with “Mean” Gene and Elizabeth.

We see the end of Randy Savage facing off with the Honky Tonk Man from “Saturday Night’s Main Event” (SNME). The Hart Foundation come to ringside and cause chaos as they attack Savage before he can score the pin after the big elbow. They edit the beating a bit as we flash to Honky about to strike Savage with his guitar as the Harts hold his arms back. Honky SHOVES Elizabeth to the mat! He shakes his cock in her face to add an extra level of perversion and shock to the scene.

Elizabeth runs to the locker room and drags HULK HOGAN to ringside. Hulk suffers a 3-way beatdown when he tries to make the save, but manages to fight the men off long enough for Savage to recover and help him clear the ring. The faces back into one another and we get a tense moment before Savage offers his hand. The MEGA POWERS are born!!!  I was a little tyke during all this, so I marked out like crazy watching this unfold again. Vince was at his hyperbolic best here, declaring this scene to be one of the greatest moments in all of the history of sports.

Intercontinental Champion the Honky Tonk Man vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

This is from MSG in December of 1987. Jimmy Hart has to sit in a shark cage above the ring to try and stop him from interfering. Hart and Honky protest, so Savage disposes of the champ and shoves Hart in the cage himself. They shove Hart WAY up in the sky. Peggy Sue (Sherri Martel) is still at ringside to run interference.

Savage dominates the early moments before Sue grabs his leg. The ref is bumped two or three minutes into the match. Savage starts to wreck Honky, so Sue attacks Elizabeth. Savage is distracted by that, allowing Honky to grab the title and knock him silly. The ref calls for the bell as this thing is over before it can even start. The ref awards the match to Savage by DQ.

Macho Man is laid out on the floor, but finally gets in the ring and knocks Honky and Hart together. He then tries to grab Sue but only gets her wig before she runs away. This was an angle disguised as a match. They had enough ballyhoo to make the fans happy though.

Next we see clips of Randy Savage vs. Ted Dibiase from SNME in March 1988, just prior to Wrestlemania 4. The ref is bumped. This allows Andre the Giant to hammer away on Macho Man. Liz runs to the back, which sets the fans off as they know what’s coming. The heel’s ruse works as Savage is counted out. Virgil and Dibiase beat on Savage a bit more before Hogan can run in with a steel chair. Why wasn’t Hogan watching his partner’s big match? Hogan helps the battered Savage to his feet but he can barely stand up.

Wrestlemania 4 is up next. We are joined in progress (JIP) as is Butch Reed facing off with Savage in round one. He downs Savage and goes for a flying shoulder block, Reed spends too much time jaw jacking with Liz, and gets slammed off. Savage hits the flying elbow for the pin.

Savage next faces Greg Valentine. The men are going back and forth with moves, trying to score a win before their stamina gives out. Savage is almost locked in the figure-four secures a cradle for the win.

JIP as the One Man Gang batters Savage in the semi-finals. Liz is harassed by Slick at ringside. The ref and Liz end up arguing, allowing the OMG to get Slick’s cane. OMG misses several times as he tries to jam Savage with it. The ref catches the Gang and calls for the DQ. Gang really looked like a fool here.

Savage faces Dibiase in the finals. JIP as Dibiase is slammed off the top rope, allowing Savage to try and score a quick flying elbow in a nice call back to the finish of the first round. Macho Man misses the elbow. Dibiase tries the Million Dollar Dream, and Andre keeps Savage’s hand from the ropes. The ref and Andre argue, allowing Hogan to sneak in and crack Dibiase with a chair. Savage drops the elbow and wins the title. Whenever I watch this show for my history series, I fear I’m going to spend the whole four hours staring at Donald Trump’s reactions in the front row.

JIP from SNME: World champion Macho Man faces off with the One Man Gang. Savage rocks Gang on the cement floor, but gets caught after trying another flying attack in the ring. Gang tries for a big splash from the second rope, but that misses. Slick starts to harass Elizabeth, distracting Savage and keeping the Gang in control. The ref argues with Liz as Slick tries to hit Savage with his cane, the Gang is whacked instead, allowing Savage to drop the elbow and score the win.

World champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

This is from MSG. Savage attacks Dibiase before the bell. Savage tries a top rope attack, but he is all wound up in his own cape and aborts the plan. Rod Trongard and “Superstar” Billy Graham are your commentators.

Savage abuses Dibiase, apparently catching him with a live round as Dibiase’s nose ends up bloody. Virgil runs interference, allowing Dibiase to take over. Dibiase stomps, chokes, and slugs away at will on the prone champion. A piledriver has Trongard in hysterics as he declares the move will kill somebody someday. Trongard exposes his AWA roots as he quotes Mad Dog Vachon by name.

Dibiase is caught with a shot to the gut and Savage rallies by dumping Dibiase’s throat across the top rope. He charges Dibiase, only to be sent to the floor. Dibiase scores a near fall off a suplex. Both men collapse to the mat after Savage manages to knock Dibiase in to Virgil. Virgil runs in for the lame DQ finish. The crowd goes wild for Savage laying boots to Virgil. Dibiase attacks Savage from behind and knocks him to the floor. Savage grabs his title and chases the heels off. Perfectly acceptable wrestling here.

WWF champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Virgil

This is from WWF Superstars. Virgil is jacked to the gills. Savage is jumped from behind and Virgil controls the early going. Virgil looks sloppy in there as his strikes look slightly awkward. Dibiase interferes, allowing Virgil to attempt a top rope attack that misses. Savage connects on a flying double axe handle, but Dibiase prevents him from delivering the flying elbow.

Dibiase distracts Savage by harassing Liz, allowing Virgil recovery time. Virgil tosses Savage to the cement. Virgil and Dibiase get side tracked trying to buy off Liz. Savage jumps Virgil from behind, then scores the big elbow in the ring for the win.

Dibaise jumps Savage afterwards, then shoves a 100-dollar bill in Macho Man’s mouth. The heels collide accidentally as they try and continue the abuse. Suddenly a slew of heels and babyfaces pour in the ring to separate the two men. Savage manages to climb the ropes for a double-axe handle on Virgil before the two parties are finally split up for good.

Steel cage: World champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

Dibiase attacks Savage before he can even get in the door. Savage rallies by slamming Dibiase’s head into the buckle, but the challenger retakes control quickly. Dibiase attempts to escape several times, but Savage has enough left in the tank to cut him off each time.

Savage manages to tangle Dibiase’s feet in the cage and hang him upside down. Savage attempts to get out, but Virgil slugs him off. Savage downs Dibiase and makes another escape attempt, with Virgil again cutting him off. I’m sensing a pattern.

The men collide in a double clothesline as the drama builds. The champ goes for the door, but Virgil is there to make sure Savage doesn’t escape. The men connect with a second double clothesline and the men take opposite directions as they try to scale the cage. Virgil knocks Savage off. Dibiase climbs down in a foolish move and tries to add more abuse to Savage. The champ manages to reverse a suplex, then drives Dibiase into the steel. Savage goes for the door, but Virgil slams it in his face.

Billy Graham on commentary says over and over again that he wants Liz to gain 80 pounds of muscle and make herself useful. Savage knocks Dibiase into the steel and attempts another escape. Virgil cuts him off at the top. A teenage fan scales the cage and tries to hit Virgil. Security gets him down as Macho Man knocks the heels together. Virgil takes a good fall to the floor as Dibiase falls to the mat. Savage escapes and the fans go wild.

This had good storytelling, and the fan interfering is a semi-famous moment, so this was a fun watch.

World champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

The series continues…. This is from “Wrestlefest” in Milwaukee in a packed baseball stadium. Virgil interferes right away, and the crowd chants for Hogan to save the day. Savage dominates the early going, forcing Dibiase to take a breather to recoup.

Dibiase dominates the meat of the match, as one would expect. After seeing this match over and over on this tape, I’m kind of mentally checking out, although the ring work is solid. The match is a bit longer than normal, probably due to being on the big stadium show. Savage teases a comeback, but Virgil interferes and Dibiase is able to lock on the Million Dollar Dream. Savage gets to the ropes.

Dibiase takes the ref for a walk, allowing VIrgil to crack the champ with a chair. Dibiase can’t finish Macho with that and actually winds up cradled out of nowhere for the flash finish. Dibiase and Virgil beat on the champ once again. The crowd chants for Hogan, but it is not to be. A limping Savage manages to grab a chair and the heels scatter.

We see clips of the build up of the Mega Powers against the Mega Bucks. It is odd/funny that Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura have to act a bit surprised that Savage would choose Hogan as his partner. The Mega Powers are going to do it for the fans…Elizabeth…and the cause of good…

Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Hulk Hogan vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant

There is only six minutes left on the tape, so I suspect they are going to edit this. We get the whole Jesse Ventura bit where Ventura changes around the tag ropes for no reason included. Is it fair to guess that Ventura wore long sleeves to avoid having to match muscles with the Hulkster?

Savage turns around and runs right into Andre. Dibiase tags in almost instantly. Hogan and Savage dominate Dibiase as they trade quick tags. We skip ahead to Andre dumping both faces to the floor. Liz, Heenan and Virgil all get on the apron, preventing Ventura from counting the faces out. Liz removes her dress bottom and everyone but Andre has to pretend they have never seen a woman in a bikini before as they gawk. Andre seems to be screaming to keep counting, but it’s a lost cause.

Hogan and Savage do the Mega Power handshake on the floor and climb back into battle. Andre goes after Hogan, but Savage drops a double axe handle which knocks the big man to the floor. Dibiase eats the big elbow and leg drop to give the faces the win.

Why in the world did they keep in the entrances and Ventura messing around, then gut the match?

Final thoughts: Well, I was burnt out on seeing Savage vs. Dibiase by the end of this two hours, but your mileage may vary.

 

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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