Ranking the Most Memorable Moments of Legendary Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage Feud

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2020

Ranking the Most Memorable Moments of Legendary Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage Feud

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    B. Vartan Boyajian/Associated Press

    When wrestling fans think of all-time feuds, the list usually starts with Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage and few come after it. 

    Even for the mid-80s and beyond the commitment to kayfabe between two legendary figures, often featuring Miss Elizabeth in the middle, is unrivaled. 

    Both Superstars were on the ascent to legendary status quickly around the time they really started crossing paths in the mid-80s. What followed was unforgettable moments, team-ups, betrayal and world-championship titles that legitimately had fans breaking down in stands at major events. 

    Thanks to colorful top-of-world stars with some real-life beef mixed in for good measure, Hogan and Savage created some of WWE's top all-time moments and eventually took the never-ending feud to other promotions and the real world. 

    These are the most memorable moments from the legendary feud. 

The Mega Powers Form

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    By the time October 1987 rolled around, Macho Man was an established booming star with an unknowable ceiling. Earlier that year Hogan had slammed Andre at WrestleMania III—but Savage had stolen the show during his match with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. 

    It was only right they got together for work later that year. 

    Savage, now a babyface, got overwhelmed by baddies to the point Miss Elizabeth went to get help. That help happened to be Hogan, who dove in and performed the save on October 3. The above promo really got things rolling. 

    Rolling, in the sense this was the beginning of an unforgettable three-year arc for the two legends. 

Savage Wins the Big One

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    Every legendary wrestler has an unforgettable WrestleMania moment that solidifies them forever. 

    For Randy Savage, that happened at WrestleMania IV with his first World Wrestling Federation Championship.

    Savage, with Miss Elizabeth and partner Hulk Hogan in his corner, defeated "The Natural" Butch Reed, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, One Man Gang and "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase in a single night to become top champion and take the vacated belt. 

    This was April 1988 and the Mega Powers were the most dominant force in wrestling at the time. Thinking on it, they might be the strongest tag-team ever

    But as is prone to happen in such stories, it was only a matter of time before things blew up—Savage's moment came at the pushing aside of Hogan and Miss Elizabeth was stuck in the middle.

The Inaugural SummerSlam

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    The very first edition of SummerSlam featured both the apex of the Mega Powers and the beginning of the end. 

    The backdrop is August of 1988. Coming off Savage's big title win, he and Hogan naturally have to team against Andre and Ted DiBiase at Madison Square Garden in New York. 

    And as expected, the good guys win. Savage hits his elbow from the top rope, Hogan hits his legdrop and all is well. It's a brilliant start to WWE's summer version of 'Mania and features a classic moment between two allies who to this day stand at the top of the all-time lists. 

    During the post-match celebration, it also featured Hogan picking up Miss Elizabeth and Savage visibly noticing.

    Planting seeds, folks. 

Real Life Enters the Story

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    From there, Hogan and Savage dropped a few more adversaries as a team. But in the process, Savage repeatedly hinted at Hogan having eyes for Elizabeth, who even started accompanying The Hulkster to the ring for his solo matches. 

    Somewhere in the sprint to the end of '88, if not early '89, Hogan has even recalled a very real spat between the two over Elizabeth. 

    Hogan appeared on the Steve Austin Show in 2019 and recalled what was very close to being a real fistfight after Savage took offense to his picking up Elizabeth and placing her in the ring before one of their matches (h/t Gary Stonehouse, The Sun

    "He was so p—– at me. The match sucked; we had a horrible match… We went back to the dressing room in Paris, and I walked in. I said, ‘Randy, we need to talk right now’...I reached to open the door, and when I pulled the door I ripped it off the hinges. The door was so old and so rotted by termites… So, me and Randy went in the back and [he said] ‘Hey, man, I’m sorry I got mad.’"

    WWE loves to blend real life and its storytelling and both Hogan and Savage very much worked this into the feud over the long-term before a big betrayal.

Savage Betrays Hogan

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    The simmering feud between Hogan and Savage boiled over on February 3, 1989 on an episode of The Main Event. 

    In somewhat-typical WWE fashion now, Elizabeth took a bump during a Mega Powers tag match. Hogan left Savage, then Savage left Hogan, who eventually won. 

    Once both were in the back together and free of the confines of a match, Savage absolutely erupted, accusing Hogan of seeking the spotlight, being unable to beat him for the title and having eyes for Elizabeth. 

    Then, the attack.

    So started the rivalry portion of a legendary, multi-year story. 

The Mega Powers Explode

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    The prior landmarks set the stage for WrestleMania V. 

    As is the case in classical WWE storytelling the good guy prevailed, putting down the paranoid baddie. 

    Not that it was so simple. Elizabeth occupied a neutral corner of the ring before getting escorted out and generally, the live crowd seemed to be actually split—and heavily invested. 

    The ending is what fans would've come to expect by now. Hogan kicked out of the elbow drop and turned a big boot into a big leg drop for the championship win

    While the two had plenty of encounters beyond this one, it was the classical culmination of the good guy (Hogan) getting the title back he never really lost while putting down the unreasonable former friend. 

The Rematch

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    The rivalry sort of fizzled after the big payoff. Hogan got the win and a storyline that brewed and eventually boiled over culminated with Savage taking a loss. 

    But the "rematch" is worth bringing up too. 

    Savage officially got his rematch in February of 1990 with a special guest referee. He wouldn't win there either, but even then both guys were getting split reactions from the crowds and a dusty finish protected both. 

    This effectively capped things between the two...until they went elsewhere. 

The Beginning of NWO and Beyond

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    It's only fitting one of the most iconic moments and stables in wrestling history featured Hogan and Savage. 

    The scene is 1996 at WCW's Bash at the Beach. Hogan comes out to make what appears to be a save, rescuing friend and rival Savage. Instead, he attacks him and joins with The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall)  to form the NWO. 

    From there, Hogan and Savage crossed paths plenty and somewhat poetically, aligned and split again, as they were wont to do. 

    Fast forward to modern day, it was only fitting when Savage got posthumously inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame, it was Hogan who did it.