I’ve made myself a deal that this month will be “Mania March” – my posting, Tweeting and WWE Network viewing will likely be focused on “The Granddaddy of them All” (despite Starrcade technically being born first), although I also will be continuing my quest to watch every NWA / WCW PPV as well.
Oh, and I want to watch NXT.
And Jason might finally talk me into trying out this Ring of Honor business.
*sigh* I guess I’ll keep watching RAW, too.
Damn, how many sick days do I have left?
. . .
Moving rapidly along, today’s “What If Wednesday” stemmed from a conversation Jason and I had the other day when discussing yesterday’s column on Daniel Bryan. If you remember (and how could you forget?), Savage won two WWE titles – one at Wrestlemania IV and the other at Mania VIII. Needless to say, his second wasn’t nearly as famous as the first. In fact, I don’t remember all that much about it.
What I do remember is his presence at Mania IX, where he was carried to ringside and being fed fruit, to go along with the Caesar’s Palace theme, to do commentary.
Before too long, Savage, like just about every other 80’s WWF star, was WCW bound, where his career, and ultimately his life, took a series of strange turns.
Which begs the question. . .
What If Randy Savage never left WWF?
I won’t go into the “Did he or didn’t he” rumors regarding the reasons for his departure and more importantly, his prolonged absence from the Hall of Fame. Let’s deal with the facts.
Randy Savage had been with the company since Wrestlemania 2, spending the majority of that time in a prominent to main event role. One could even make the case that he was “Mr. WWF”. Hogan may have had the bigger name value but when you thought of the quintessential “wrestler” in the 80’s McMahonLand, you really thought of Savage.
According to numerous reports, Savage did not want to end his career as an active wrestler in the early 90’s – That decision was, in many ways, made for him by the WWF powers-that-be, presumably as part of their “youth movement”. This seems to be a major factor for Savage in going to WCW. Besides. . .You know. . .The money.
So we need to go back a bit in order to truly flesh out this thought experiment. Let’s assume that in our “alternate universe”, Randy Savage had continued wrestling well into the 90’s.
Well, he won the World title at WM8, as a face. He lost it to Flair who then lost it to Bret Hart, so let’s cut out the middle man and assume that at some point in 1992, Savage turns heel and begins a feud with the Hitman.
Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage. Already this alternate universe is panning out nicely.
He does the honors for Bret but continues to be active. Perhaps in losing to Bret, he shakes his hand, earning back some cheers from the crowd. Now he takes on some of the up-and-coming heels, namely Razor Ramon and the Heartbreak Kid.
Savage / Ramon and Savage / Michaels. Seriously, this is good stuff.
He probably offers up some challenge to Yokozuna, much as he did in 1993, I believe. Perhaps he even, just by being active, prevent the entire “Lex Express” thing from happening. Or perhaps I’m just being really optimistic.
By the time Wrestlemania 11 or 12 rolls around, Savage is probably more agreeable to transitioning to a less active role. Maybe he’s the one who fights Goldust at 12 instead of Piper, maybe he actually takes on Lawrence Taylor instead of Bam Bam? These are all open options.
By ’96 or ’97, Savage is “dean emeritus” of WWF, just like Flair was in WCW. He probably gets in the way of this punk kid Steve Austin somewhere along the line, or he winds up getting beaten down by Mankind or Vader.
Hell, we could even see him pick up the American flag and defend WWF against the pro-Canadian Hart Foundation, giving us Savage vs. Bret one more time.
Whether or not he moves to commentary (would we have had Jerry Lawler if Savage was around?), he has an on-screen position in WWE until he decides he’s done.
And he’s in the Hall of Fame by 2002. ’04 at the latest.
Tell me that’s not a world you would want to live in.