WWE: Top 10 Current Wrestlers Striving to Be the Next Randy "Macho Man" Savage

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2011

WWE: Top 10 Current Wrestlers Striving to Be the Next Randy "Macho Man" Savage

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    Photo courtesy of intactradio.com
    Photo courtesy of intactradio.com

    As one of the most well-known wrestlers of all time, Randy “Macho Man” Savage was an icon who will probably never be replicated.

    Although he hadn’t been heard from much in recent years, his untimely death last month has caused many wrestling fans to reflect on his incredible career.

    With Savage being a one-of-a-kind performer, it would be unfair to expect any current wrestler to follow in his footsteps. Despite that, there would be few better options for present-day wrestlers to model their careers after than Savage.

    While there are plenty of wrestlers who possess some of the attributes that made Savage so special, it would take an extremely rare talent to approach Savage’s complete skill set. That won’t stop them from trying, however.

    Here are the top 10 wrestlers in the WWE who are striving to be like Randy “Macho Man” Savage.

10. Trent Barreta

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    Trent Barreta’s entry on this list has more to do with his potential than anything he has accomplished in the WWE to this point.

    As nothing more than enhancement talent currently, it’s tough for most people to envision Barreta ever reaching the level of the Macho Man. While I’m not saying it will ever happen, Barreta has some qualities that suggest he could be a big-time player down the line.

    Since Barreta gets absolutely no mic time on SmackDown, casual wrestling fans can’t really make a connection with him.

    During his time with WWE’s version of ECW and Florida Championship Wrestling as a member of the Dudebusters, however, Barreta displayed a fair amount of charisma.

    He had always been part of a stable, though, so it remains to be seen whether he has the mic ability to get himself over with the fans.

    Barreta’s biggest asset is his in-ring skills. As more of a high flyer, Barreta is similar to Savage in that respect.

    Although he’s a bit on the smaller side, Barreta does have an interesting look, which is something that was integral to Savage’s success. While there’s probably a better possibility of Barreta getting released than reaching the level of Savage, he appears to have the tools. He just needs the opportunity.

9. Alex Riley

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    It may be tough to draw comparisons between Alex Riley and Randy Savage with the naked eye, but there are certainly some underlying similarities.

    While Savage may have had a small fan base when he first entered the WWE as a heel, his popularity didn’t skyrocket until he turned face and became a member of the Mega Powers with Hulk Hogan.

    Riley was universally hated as The Miz’s apprentice, but after turning on The Miz, Riley is suddenly a breakthrough star.

    As The Miz’s lackey, Riley’s charisma and mic skills weren’t always apparent to the WWE Universe. He’s been able to spread his wings a bit since turning face, however, allowing fans to see his true potential.

    Riley also seems to be on track for early success as he has already scored a clean victory over The Miz, a former WWE Champion.

    Riley is a decent worker inside the ring, but most fans haven’t had the opportunity to see him in many matches unless they saw him on NXT or in FCW.

    Prior to his win at Capitol Punishment, most of his WWE singles matches were squash match losses to John Cena.

    If Riley is ever to be comparable to Savage, though, he’ll need to vary his move set. He does seem to have the demeanor to reach the pinnacle of the sport, however.

8. The Miz

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    Outside of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, perhaps nobody liked to talk more than Randy Savage during his run in the WWE. The same holds true for The Miz, as he is undoubtedly the most outspoken superstar in the WWE today.

    The Miz is more well-spoken and polished than Savage in his promos, but not as enthusiastic or entertaining for the most part.

    Because of The Miz’s propensity for cutting joke promos prior to his repackaging as a main event level talent, some perceive that he isn’t capable of cutting a good, serious promo.

    His run as WWE Champion proved that to be incorrect, however, as The Miz cut some very intense and believable promos, particularly against John Cena.

    While The Miz was considered flamboyant during his time as a Tag Team Champion with John Morrison, his current character is a bit more serious.

    There is no doubt that the change was good for his career, but he is probably further removed from Savage than he once was in that respect.

    The biggest knock against The Miz is likely his in-ring ability. Although he isn’t a terrible worker, he’s a bit one-dimensional.

    There may be some similarities between The Miz and Savage, but The Miz is more or less paving his own way.

7. Christian

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    At Christian’s age, he has already established himself in the wrestling business. He has blazed his own trail and isn’t necessarily looking to emulate another wrestler at this point of his career. His recent heel turn reminds me of Randy Savage in a lot of ways, however.

    Savage’s trademark trait during his time as a heel was his jealousy and paranoia. At first, he was jealous of all the attention that Elizabeth was getting.

    Then, he suspected Hulk Hogan of trying to steal Elizabeth away from him and became jealous of the fact that they may have been more popular than he was. This is similar to what Christian is currently going through.

    Christian is jealous of the fact that Randy Orton was “gifted” a spot in the WWE and he is also jealous of Orton’s fan support which allowed him to get a title shot against Christian just five days after Christian won the title.

    Christian is also an excellent all-around competitor in the ring. His penchant for attempting top-rope maneuvers is another aspect that links him to Savage as well.

    While it may seem as though Christian is reaching the twilight of his career, consider the fact that Savage didn’t win his first world title until the age of 36. Christian didn’t win his first until age 38.

    That means that Savage experienced most of his success at a more advanced age. With Christian’s heel push, he seems poised to stay in the title picture for an extended period of time, and could experience some late-career success like Savage.

6. CM Punk

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    CM Punk’s gimmick may not be reminiscent of the Macho Man’s, but Punk is certainly similar to Savage in a few ways. Punk obviously holds Savage in high regard as he paid tribute to him by wearing Savage-inspired trunks on an episode of RAW following Savage’s death.

    Although their personalities are different, they both have/had the ability to get the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands.

    Despite the fact that their promos are very different in tone, Punk possesses the rare ability to deliver a captivating promo, just like Savage did. Savage’s promos were all about energy.

    While he didn’t make much sense half the time, his intensity was incredible, and it made him successful on the mic.

    Punk is a more cerebral speaker, but along with The Miz, he is the WWE’s most effective mic worker today, much like Savage and Hulk Hogan were during their era.

    Punk, like many of the wrestlers on this list, also has a wrestling style that compares favorably to Savage. While Punk is a bit more vicious compared to Savage’s gracefulness in the ring, he has such a multi-faceted attack that he is able to blend well with most workers.

    Should Punk re-sign with the WWE, he is well on his way to being just as accomplished as Savage was over the course of his career.

5. Alberto Del Rio

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    As a native of Mexico, Alberto Del Rio may not seem as though he has much in common with Randy Savage. There are more similarities than one might think, however.

    Just as Savage did, Del Rio burst onto the scene upon his WWE debut, beating Rey Mysterio in his first official match. He then went on to win the Royal Rumble just months after his first television appearance.

    This is very much like Savage’s rapid ascent that saw him win the Intercontinental Championship eight months into his WWE tenure.

    Del Rio also has a certain amount of pizazz that might remind some of Savage. There was always plenty of pomp and circumstance surrounding Savage’s ring entrances, and the same can be said for Del Rio.

    While Savage’s entrances were centered on his crazy outfits and mannerisms, Del Rio uses his trademark Rolls Royce in order to make his foray to the ring seem like a major event in and of itself.

    One of Del Rio’s biggest strengths is his charisma and ability to deliver an effective promo. Due to his accent, it may be difficult for some to draw comparisons between Del Rio and Savage, but there are some subtle nuances that they both share.

    The biggest is the intensity they both display in their promos. Del Rio isn’t exactly over the top like Savage, but his mic work is always extremely convincing. Del Rio is on the fast track to becoming an iconic figure in the WWE, just like Savage.

4. Cody Rhodes

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    Although Cody Rhodes’ current gimmick of a dark and disfigured person may not remind most people of the Macho Man, his previous character, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, possessed a lot of the same qualities as Savage.

    Like Savage’s heel character, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes was very narcissistic and self-serving. He was also incredibly arrogant, which aided in his great presence as a heel.

    Where Rhodes most closely mirrors Savage is inside the squared circle. His vast repertoire of moves allows him to adapt to almost any style of wrestling, much like Savage.

    One of Savage’s greatest talents was his ability to put on great matches with wrestlers of all sizes and skill levels.

    Whether it be a technical marvel like Ricky Steamboat or a plodding muscle man like the Ultimate Warrior, Savage could carry anyone. Rhodes seems to have the potential to do that as well.

    Rhodes’ current gimmick is entertaining in its own right, but there is an obvious built-in shelf life as his face can’t be “destroyed” forever. I fully expect Rhodes to return to his “Dashing” character at some point, which lends itself much more to Savage’s style.

3. Dolph Ziggler

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    While Dolph Ziggler is still in the process of refining his character, many parallels can be drawn between him and Randy Savage.

    Ziggler isn’t as demonstrative of a personality as Savage, but he is very cocky and arrogant, much like Savage was during his stints as a heel.

    Ziggler is also the only current WWE wrestler with a female valet. Vickie Guerrero is no Elizabeth, but her presence gives Ziggler a certain old-school feel.

    Like Savage, Ziggler possesses a very well-rounded array of moves in the ring. He’s capable of mat wrestling, brawling and high flying, which is one of the things that made Savage such a complete superstar. Ziggler also has a body type that is very similar to that of Savage’s in his prime.

    Ziggler may not be completely incapable on the mic, but he has a long way to go in that regard if he wishes to ultimately be as successful as Savage. Ziggler is fairly clean in his promos, but there is no real excitement in them.

    Also, his slightly high voice simply can’t compare to the iconic baritone voice of Savage. Because of his deficiencies on the mic, Vickie has essentially been Dolph’s mouthpiece to this point.

    That will have to change, though, if Ziggler wants to be viewed in the same light as Savage.

2. Zack Ryder

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    With his wacky entrance gear, infectious enthusiasm and popular catchphrases, Zack Ryder has a lot in common with the late Randy Savage.

    Although Ryder doesn’t receive much TV time, his entertaining YouTube videos are an excellent showcase of his Savage-esque personality.

    If Ryder is ever to become the total package like Savage was, however, he will need to work on his in-ring skills. Ryder is by no means a poor wrestler, but his matches lack the excitement that almost all of Savage’s matches featured.

    Some of this may have to do with the fact that Ryder hasn’t been in any meaningful singles matches, though. Savage had the advantage of wrestling in almost exclusively high-profile matches from the time he debuted in the WWE.

    The main thing standing in Ryder’s way is opportunity. There’s little doubt that he has the personality and enthusiasm to succeed like Savage did, but he has yet to be given a significant push.

    Due to Savage’s prior accomplishments while wrestling in the territories, he was given a great valet in Elizabeth as well as the Intercontinental Championship very early in his career in the WWE.

    While things may not come so easily for Ryder, the potential is certainly present.

1. John Morrison

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    In terms of looks and flamboyance, no WWE superstar more closely resembles Randy Savage than John Morrison.

    Although Morrison may not be quite as flashy as Savage was, he possesses a certain swagger that is reminiscent of the Macho Man.

    Morrison’s wardrobe consisting of a fur coat and furry boots allows him to stand out from the crowd, much like Savage’s wild and colorful outfits did for him.

    There are also many similarities between Morrison and Savage in terms of their in-ring ability. Both men are among the most athletic wrestlers of their time, and they each have very diverse move sets.

    Just as Savage was always willing to go to the top rope for his patented flying elbow or double axe handle, Morrison heavily features high-risk maneuvers such as Starship Pain.

    If Morrison is ever to reach the heights Savage did during his career, however, he’ll have to improve heavily on the mic. Morrison lacks the intensity that Savage was able to bring to the table in nearly every promo he ever delivered.

    Perhaps a heel turn would allow Morrison to get more comfortable when delivering promos as he seems to be more of a natural heel to begin with.

    If Morrison can make significant strides in that area, he has a better chance than anyone to follow Savage’s career arc.