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“Macho Man" Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat

“Macho Man” Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat (MMAMania)

This Sunday, WWE celebrates another WrestleMania. The event is a culmination of all of the companies hard work over the past year. Its also a chance to remember and celebrate the past wrestlers who helped pave the way. 30 years ago today, Hulk Hogan slammed Andre the Giant in a memorable moment at WrestleMania 3, in front of 93,173 fans in the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan. A match that will get more praise at that event was a true masterpiece: “Macho Man” Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat.

Some say that this was the first great WrestleMania match, and its hard to argue that. It still lives up to the hype all these years later. I may not have been born when they had their match, but its not hard to find. By watching on the WWE Network (for only $9.99), I got to get a closer look at the history-making match. Lets look back at why “Macho Man” Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat will always be remembered as one of the greatest matches of all time.


To start things off, this match came about during the hottest time to be a wrestling fan. Pro wrestling was just becoming a cultural phenomenon, and the two stars were a major reason why. Already in their early 30’s, Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat would repeatedly put on great matches for the fans, and they were just getting started. If anything, this match helped showcase them as legends in the eyes of the fans.

Before the match, the two had to convince those fans to watch it. Randy Savage almost destroyed Steamboat with a ring bell to the throat. The latter took off for an extended period of time, selling his injury. Fans wanted to see Steamboat back in the ring so bad, they started booing the great Randy Savage. Steamboat wanted revenge by any means necessary. In an era where styles were different and the storytelling wasn’t as over the top as it is now, these two made it work.

The match itself was very well done. In about 15 minutes, fans were able to see an intense match with something new mixed in. Its one of the first matches to ever produce the false finish style we see today. Nowadays, its normal to see this style at the end of the match, but these two went that route throughout the entire contest. It was like you were watching a movie. An interesting fact is how the two went about planning it. According to What Culture, Savage faxed Steamboat bullet points of the match to train with at house shows. Everyone knew Savage worked on making his matches perfect, and never relied on anyone to slow him down. By having these two be free to do what needed to be done with no interruptions, they performed a match wrestlers today only dream of being able to do.

One thing not to forget is that they fought over the Intercontinental Title. Back then, the title was considered something of great value. The match truly put the title on the map. In an ESPN piece reflecting on the match, Steamboat recalled what they were fighting for. He stated:

“We were both on the same page: To make it a championship match, it’s the number of times you are trying to beat a guy and the number of times that he is trying to save his championship. That’s the picture we wanted to paint where the fans think we are going to be calling a fall and then we sucker them.”

With enough material to last a lifetime, “Macho Man” Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat became something of a movement. It was beautiful, it was smooth and it got people talking. Its such a simple formula for success, yet its so hard to recreate nowadays.

The two icons stole the show that night inside the Silverdome. One view of this match and it will never escape your mind. Some may try to duplicate it, but nothing beats the original. Will we find the next Steamboat/Savage at WrestleMania 33? Stay tuned to find out.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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