Savage as a draw

Scott –

Something I've always wondered: what kind of a draw was Randy Savage during his first year-long reign as WWF World champion? When Savage won the title at WMIV, was the plan always to have a year-long burn to losing the belt back to Hogan at WMV, or was that a decision made later?  Even if Hogan regaining the title was always the plan, what kind of numbers was Savage drawing as champion?

​I kind of thought we had covered this already, but I always enjoy talking about Savage and this is a quick and easy one.
Yes, they had the Hogan win planned from the moment Savage got the title.  He was always going to be getting it for the year and then dropping it back to Hogan.  And although he wasn't Hogan as a draw, he was still a giant star who sold out arenas against Ted Dibiase for months, and in particular caught fire at the tail end of his title reign after the heel turn.  He wasn't a flop like Warrior by any means, and I'd say he would be analogous to someone like John Cena, where business went down when he wasn't around but never really took the company to the next level or anything.  That being said, Summerslam 88 did 500K buys, which would be Wrestlemania-level today, and doing a scan of house shows from 88 shows that Savage-headlined B shows were doing between 7000-12000 people depending on the market whereas the C-shows were doing 2000-3000 (usually with some combo of Jake Roberts or Rick Rude or Jim Duggan on top).  So that's pretty definitive evidence that he was a big draw.