Question(s) on the Macho Man and his legacy. I remember reading in Ric Flair’s book that he was surprised and actually kind of shocked/frustrated that he had to go to Florida to actually practice their match before WrestleMania 8. And, of course, the fact that he drove Ricky Steamboat nuts with the move-by-move layout of their WrestleMania 3 match is well documented. I’ve also read he went apeshit a few times when someone tried to be a little too spontaneous in response to a crowd reaction. Seems like he was just really intense guy who hated and/or feared just letting a match flow wherever besides a few high spots and finish. Two very quick questions:
1) Does this hurt him and his legacy? He’s a Top 10 all-time guy in my eyes, but I could see how this could maybe knock him off anyone’s Mount Rushmore of the past 30 years. I would think at least a few matches suffered because, of course, how you think a crowd will react (and plan for) could be completely different from how they actually behave. An inability or refusal to call an audible could really hurt on occasion.
2) Is the "Macho Man Style" now commonplace in WWE? You rarely see anyone caught calling spots anymore, and the crowds at some of the RAWs and Smackdowns just seem comatose way too often. Seems as if no one has any leeway to freelance anymore and it’s really hurt the product.
1. All depends on the workers and situation, I guess. Look at how well Macho meshed with fellow OCD Dallas Page in their feud, for example. Sure, you could say a few matches suffered, but the overall body of work is so overwhelmingly positive that it’s hard to hold much against him. Guys like Flair, or Bockwinkel, who could just go there and lead someone through a *** match at minimum are the exception rather than the rule. Macho had so many awesome matches in so many different styles that his place in history is secured pretty easily.
2. Yeah, the whole Savage/DDP style has definitely become the norm and something that’s ingrained into the WWE training process now, which is fitting because so many guys grew up watching him and want to pay tribute to him. I think it’s a testament to Savage’s greatness that you could easily see him going out there and getting himself over just as easily as he did in 1985 because he’d be DIFFERENT and would instantly connect with people. Plus the dynamic with Liz would still work today, because pretty girls still hook up with jerks who are bad for them.