Of course, the face of the 1980s in wrestling and possibly all of sports was Hulk Hogan. Hogan redefined wrestling and made it popular again, even making it global in the process. Living in Hogan's hovering shadow was one "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Savage clearly was in Hogan's circle as an elite competitor, and in fact was a much better in-ring performer, but seldom got the same praise.
Along with the late, beautiful Ms. Elizabeth, Savage formed the "power couple" of the '80s and one that would live in the minds of wrestling fans forever. Aside from Hogan, Savage was the premiere face of this Rock 'n' Wrestling Era, although he only held the WWE title twice.
His extravagant clothing made him a one-of-a-kind figure and was also very likable due to his credo and work ethic. In the ring, he had all of the tools. Savage was a high-flyer, known for his patented flying elbow off of the top rope. However, he was not limited to aerial attacks as he was perhaps the most well-rounded wrestler of this time and did revolutionary things in the ring.
Savage's match at WrestleMania III with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat for the Intercontinental Championship will undoubtedly go down as one of the best ever. Those two fabulous technicians slugged it out for about 15 minutes back-and-forth before Steamboat won the title from Savage via small package. This is the contest that fans will always associate with Savage's career.
The defining moment of Savage's career came at WrestleMania IV in a tournament for the WWE Title. His victory over "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase came through the aid of Hogan as they celebrated with Elizabeth at the world famous Trump Plaza. The "Macho Man" and Hulk Hogan would go on to form the Mega Powers and be a dominant duo. This, however, set up their eventual feud and showdown for the title at WrestleMania V.
From there, Savage would feud with the likes of Ric Flair and The Ultimate Warrior before leaving for WCW in 1994. Again, Savage would prove to be a key foundation of a major wrestling company, this time, however, for Ted Turner's southern-based WCW. Savage was a main cog in the wheel and even won four World Championships there.
Wrestling ran deep in Savage's bloodline, as his father Angelo Poffo and brother Lanny were also wrestlers.
The entire wrestling community will feel this death for quite some time, as Savage was a major influence for many young wrestlers today. His ability to combine class with charisma and talent was admirable and entertaining. Savage's often insane promos were unique and fun to watch. The WWE now needs to make him the first inductee into the Class of 2012 Hall of Fame to solidify his legacy forever.
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