The SmarK Rant for Randy Savage Unreleased (Part 2)

(Technical note: Because this whole thing is going to be one big review when it’s done, I’m just gonna carry on with the points from the first part for this disc)

Our panel discusses the famous Savage-Steamboat match at Wrestlemania. DDP relates how he stole pieces of that match for his feud with Johnny B. Badd in WCW early on. He also points out that he gets a lot of heat for laying out matches in advance, but Savage was even more obsessive than he was!

Randy Savage & Hercules v. Ricky Steamboat & Billy Jack Haynes (03.21.87)

Looks like some kind of dark match from a Challenge taping, but Gorilla and Bobby are on commentary for it. Herc overpowers Steamboat to start and goads him into a test of strength, but Steamboat rolls out of it and throws the chops. Over to Billy Jerk, and Hercules immediately runs away and brings Savage in. Bobby notes that this is standard strategy for his family members: If you think you’re going to be double-teamed by two or three guys, take a walk. Haynes throws Savage around, but Macho hits him with a knee to the back when he turns around and Hercules comes in for the heat. Bobby: “He’s even dumber than I thought!” There’s no way Steamboat doesn’t play face in peril here anyway, so of course Billy makes a quick comeback and presses Savage, then clotheslines Herc out of the corner and gets cut off before the hot tag. Interesting dynamic, because you’d think Haynes would be the natural hot tag guy. Savage cuts off the ring with the facelock and then throws him over the top rope so Herc can abuse him outside. Back in, Herc slugs away, but Billy manages to clothesline Savage and it’s HOT TAG Steamboat. Everyone gets chopped and Ricky goes up with the flying chop on Macho, but Savage manages to run him into the post and Steamboat goes over the top on the bump. He tries a sunset flip on Hercules, but Savage breaks it up and the heels beat on him in the corner. Now all is right with the world. As usual, Gorilla is DISGUSTED with the low quality of the refereeing tonight. Steamboat gets a bodypress on Savage for two and makes the hot tag to Haynes, and he presses Hercules and drops an elbow for two. The heels are whipped together and they toss Savage, which sets up the full nelson on Hercules. However, Savage saves with the double axehandle and it’s a DQ at 12:02. 12 year old Scott would have been losing his mind watching this. In fact I’m pretty sure I saw a match very close to this as the main event of a house show in Vancouver at the time. 9 for 12.

Intercontinental title: Ricky Steamboat v. Randy Savage (05.15.87)

No idea where this is from, although it originates from Houston at a house show and there’s multiple cameras shooting it. I guess maybe it’s a bonus match from one of the Prime Time Wrestling tapings? No commentary, though. So weird to have Steamboat DEFENDING the IC title! Savage elbows him down to start and chokes him out on the ropes for two, and then tosses him. He stomps on poor Ricky as he tries to get into the ring and slams him back in, but Steamboat does the famous rollup for two. Savage springboards out of the corner with a bodypress, but Steamboat rolls through for two. New trick from Savage! Macho with the clothesline out of the corner and he goes up with the double axehandle and elbows Steamboat down for two. Ricky comes back with chops and Savage gets tied in the ropes, so Steamboat beats on him and hangs him in the Tree of Woe for more abuse. Steamboat fights back out of the corner and gets a chop for two, as these ropes are looser than the slot machines in Mr. Burns’ Casino! Savage goes up and Steamboat nails him on the way down and gets a sunset flip, but Savage punches him for two. Steamboat with a rollup for two, but Savage necks him on the middle rope while kicking out. He charges and gets hung up on the ropes, and Steamboat catapults him into the turnbuckles, but Savage goes to the eyes. Steamboat heads up with the flying chop for two, but Savage runs him into the corner and they collide for the double down. It’s RINGBELL TIME, but Steamboat dodges him and Savage hits himself in the head with it on the rebound, and Steamboat gets the pin to retain at 10:50. Crazy that they were running at 80% efficiency and still had a **** match. 10 for 13.

So we skip ahead to 1988 now, with Savage as World champion, and DDP talks about how Savage was self-conscious about his lack of height, so he wore lifts in his boots and made sure to be on his toes all the time. Sean says that Savage’s work ethic was such that he felt personally obligated to put on a performance for fans who paid their money to see him.

Cage match, WWF title: Randy Savage v. Ted Dibiase (09.24.88)

Dibiase attacks to start and makes a quick climb of the cage, but Savage pulls him down, so Dibiase elbows him and climbs again. Savage slams him off the top this time and gets a bodypress, but Dibiase clotheslines him and climbs again. Savage elbows him down and they ram each other into the cage, but Savage tries to climb and Virgil nails him to put him down again. Dibiase takes over with the fistdrops, but Savage gets a suplex and climbs the other corner. Virgil cuts him off and Dibiase brings him down again and pounds away, and they race up either side of the cage until Dibiase changes his mind and hauls Savage down again. Dibiase drops more fists as the offense has been pretty lazy and one-dimensional here, but this is WAY past the expiration date for this feud anyway. Savage sends him into the cage with an atomic drop, but Virgil slams the door on him to prevent his escape. Dibiase tries to crawl out next, but Savage pulls him back in by the hair and runs him into the cage. They fight on the top rope and Virgil tries to interfere again, so Savage rams them together and climbs out to retain at 12:32. An OK match, good enough for a point but nothing I’d watch again. 11 for 14.

WWF title: Randy Savage v. Akeem (10.07.88)

We’re in Paris for this one. Now I KNOW this was on Prime Time Wrestling, so this is really stretching the definition of “Unreleased”. Like, yeah, unreleased on DVD, but definitely available previously. Perhaps “Rare” would have been a better title? Akeem tries to power him into the corner, but Savage uses the beard to necksnap him and goes up with a flying bodypress for two. Akeem puts him down with a clothesline and gets an atomic drop, and a suplex gets two. Akeem with the bearhug and he slugs away, and he drops the leg for two. Savage makes a dull comeback and slugs away in the corner, then dumps Akeem and follows with the flying axehandle. Back in, another axehandle is blocked and Akeem hangs him in the Tree of Woe and chokes him down. The ref complains about that, so Akeem throws him out and it’s a DQ at 10:19. What a lame match. They couldn’t have booked a clean finish against AKEEM? 11 for 15.

WWF title: Randy Savage v. Andre the Giant (10.24.88)

From MSG, and again, this was broadcast on MSG Network. The entire show will probably end up on the WWE Network eventually, in fact. Not that I’m not enjoying the DVD so far, but it’s definitely not what it’s advertised to be. The last match between them ended with Savage getting counted out, so this has a stip where Savage loses the title if he’s counted out. That’s a weird way to book a babyface. Then Finkel informs us that if Bobby Heenan and/or Elizabeth leave their corner, then their man gets DQ’d as well. OK, any MORE stipulations to pile on here? Two referees? JJ Dillon in a cage suspended over the ring? Andre immediately headbutts Savage out of the ring and then chokes him out in the corner and continues choking him in the middle of the ring. Savage comes back and slugs away in the corner, but Andre punches him in the kidneys to take over. Andre kind of hooks Savage’s arms for a half-assed submission move, like a reverse full nelson. Savage fights back and Andre gets tied into the ropes as usual, so Savage hits him with a double axehandle and goes up with the flying elbow, which misses. Andre bails to escape, so Savage follows with another axehandle out there, and Bobby leaves his corner to interfere and gets DQ’d at 6:47 as warned. Jesus, no wonder Savage couldn’t draw, he was booked like a complete chump at this point. 11 for 16.

And that’s the first disc finished! Next time: Savage’s heel run in 1989.