Oh hey. Welcome to the blog that just keeps coming back, no matter how many times it’s been buried alive.
For anyone who missed parts 1 and 2, don’t forget to check them out and let me know how wrong I am about everything :). And while you’re at it, check out my articles covering the ending of the streak and a retro review of ECW Wrestlepalooza 98!
For those not in the loop, this series is meant to compare highly publicized (often well received) matches and compare them to their follow up matches that are often less fondly remembered. Now (like with Undertaker and Kane), some matches listed will be between guys who have had dozens of matches together. I’m looking for the match with the biggest, most well remembered initial entry, as well as the most notable 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) installment.
Vol 3 – Savage vs Warrior – Mania 7, SummerSlam 92
Video package bay-bay:
Main Event November 23, 1990: the Macho King Randy Savage attacks The Ultimate Warrior and beats him down with his royal scepter.
Royal Rumble 91: the Macho King’s manager, Sensational Sherri, attempts to seduce The Warrior as a means of getting a title shot for Randy down the line. Her affections are rebuffed. Later that night, both Sherri and the Macho King interfere in Warrior’s match against Sargent Slaughter and cost him (Warrior) the title.
Post package we learn that this is a career vs career match. We also see Savage’s former manager, Ms. Elizabeth, sitting in the crowd.
Savage and Sherri out first. They are carried to the ring on a “golden” throne. Interestingly, the guys carrying them to the ring are all dressed in wrestling gear. So yeah, Savage is literally wrestling royalty.
Warrior out next. Uncharacteristically, he walks to the ring. He gets in a little posing on the apron before stepping into the ring (Savage bails out). Warrior is a massive dude. The steroid scandal isn’t far off.
Warrior has “means much more than this” written on the back of his trunks with a picture of the WWF title in the center. IE: this feud means more then the title. Rock on.
Bell rings and both men get crowd heat.
Lock up. They jockey for position against the ropes. Savage breaks clean and talks trash. Lock up 2. Warrior shows his power and throws Savage across the ring. Savage, the aggressor, gets in a little offense before getting taken down by a shoulder tackle. He takes a powder.
Sherri distracts Warrior from the apron and Savage attacks him from behind. Warrior recovers with a stiff clothesline. Warrior in control. Pair of atomic drops. Two handed choke spot. Sherri runs into the ring and Savage is thrown right into her. She bumps to the outside.
Savage gets in a little more offensive. His top rope cross body is caught but Warrior actually places him on his feet…. And gives him a slap. Great spot. Another powder for Savage.
The action is non-stop. Savage throws a chair into the ring and when Warrior turns his back (distracted by the chair), Savage jumps him. Warrior regains control again before missing a corner splash and flying to the outside.
Sherri gets in a few cheap shots including a back rake!
Back in the ring we get another stand off and Savage spits at the Warrior before taking another powder. The heels attempt another distraction spot but Savage is caught this time. Some more back and forth and we get a double clothesline. Both men down.
Warrior manages a small package but the ref is busy dealing with Sherri. Two count. Ref bump.
Savage holds Warrior as Sherri climbs to the top rope, shoe in hand. Warrior breaks free and she clocks Savage. Warrior chases Sherri around the ring until Savage catches him with a school boy. Two count.
Savage in control and he hits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 top rope elbow drops. Warrior preps for his kick out right away (boo) but kicks out late (yay). Warrior also has the decency to slowly “Hulk up” and not just shoot up to his feet.
Warrior hits punches and clotheslines. Press Slam. Splash. Kick out!
Warrior in shock, looks up to the Gods. Disenchanted, he slowly makes his way to the ring apron. The ref tries to talk him out of it (if he’s counted out, his career is over). Savage blindsides the Warrior and he topples to the outside. Sherri holds Warrior’s neck over the guardrail. Savage off the top rope… Warrior counters.
A teary eyed Liz watches from the crowd.
Back in the ring, a huge shoulder tackle from Warrior. Then a 2nd. Then a 3rd. Warrior places his foot on Savage’s chest and gets the 1, 2, 3. (20:47)
Warrior re-jackets and poses and heads off.
Sherri into the ring. She beats on Savage. Cue Elizabeth storming the ring. She tosses Sherri to the outside.
Savage staggers to his feet and nearly takes a swing at Liz. Drama as Sherri screams from the outside.
Just Savage and Liz now. Liz crying…. BIG HUG!
Liz on Savages shoulder, posing. Fans crying in the crowd. A little more pomp and circumstance as Savage poses for the crowd. Liz and Savage head to the back together.
****1/4. Great up-tempo, action packed match. A well told story of Warrior’s strength vs Savage’s speed and conning. Maybe the best worked match of Warrior’s career. There were a large number of inference spots but I never felt they hurt the flow of the match. Even though the 5 elbow drops/kick out spot was a bit overkill, I’d imagine it was Savage’s decision to go through with it. The post match was wonderful as well. The reuniting of Savage and Liz as Savage walks off towards the sunset…. Though (spoiler alert) he would be WWF champion this time the following year. But hey, who would have known that at this point? I will say the actual finish to the match was a little flat, if sensible, after the 3 tackles and the nonchalant pin.
Mean Gene backstage. He wants an answer to the question everyone is asking, whose corner will Mr Perfect be in for Savage vs Warrior? Note: both Savage and Warrior are face going into this match.
Video package: Savage (now WWF champion) and Warrior facing off on an episode of Superstars in an out-of-ring interview segment. Flair and Perfect enter and mock Savage from the ring. Savage runs in and gets beat down. Warrior makes the save.
The next week, there’s a Warrior segment that Flair interrupts and a Savage segment that Perfect interrupts. Basically the heels are playing mind games, trying to convince each man that their opponent isn’t on the level. Very “but whose side is he on?” kind of stuff.