The sudden death of professional wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage was a shock not just to WWE fans, but to a generation of kids who grew up watching the famously flamboyant character on Saturday mornings. In honor of the late grappler, MF looks back at five of his greatest matches. vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V In the eyes of many, Macho Man's feud with Hulk Hogan was the one that defined him and this was the most important match between the two rivals. Taking place at WrestleMania V in 1989, the bout was the blow-off to a rivalry which had been building since 1988's WrestleMania IV. At that event, Savage won a tournament to claim his first WWF Title, but he wasn't too happy about the hug Hogan gave Macho Man's valet, Miss Elizabeth, during the championship celebration. The men formed a successful, but shaky partnership after that, until Savage's jealousy got the better of him and he turned his back on The Hulkster. This epic encounter would be the first major showdown between the two, but definitely not the last.
vs. Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII Macho Man won his second WWF Championship at this event in the Hoosier Dome in 1992. Much like his WrestleMania V bout with Hogan, Savage's enmity with the legendary Ric Flair involved the beautiful Miss Elizabeth. Only this time, Macho Man was in the right as Flair publicly claimed to have romanced Savage's lady — and had the pictures to prove it. As the soap opera story unfolded, it was revealed that Flair’s images were actually doctored, but that didn’t stop Macho Man from giving his rival a classic beating at the biggest show of the year.
vs. Diamond Dallas Page at Great American Bash 1997 Along with classic WWF personalities like "Mean" Gene Okerlund and Hulk Hogan, Savage left the WWF in 1994 and signed up with Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling. It was a big money deal for a wrestler who was entering his mid-40s, but Savage could still go in the ring. He proved that during a brutal and lengthy feud with a working class hero by the name of Diamond Dallas Page. Dubbed "a falls count anywhere match," the bout's rules allowed for a pinfall to happen anywhere in the arena, which resulted in the two brawlers fighting their way through the crowd and onto the entrance ramp. It was probably Savage's wildest bout in WCW besides his 1999 showdown with, believe it or not, Dennis Rodman at a biker rally.
vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III Ask any serious wrestling fan to name the greatest WrestleMania matches and they will always mention this bout. Taking place at the same event where Hogan battled Andre the Giant, this match for the Intercontinental Championship was a show-stealer. Fast-paced, dramatic and athletic, it showcased two of WWF's brightest talents operating at the peak of their abilities and managed to blow away with the 93,000-plus fans in attendance at Michigan's Pontiac Silverdome. A meticulous planner, Macho Man was said to have mapped out this match, move for move, months in advance.
vs. Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII The Ultimate Warrior was a massive, electric personality that won legions of fans in the early '90s, but, in the opinion of most of his peers, he was a terrible wrestler. So how did he have a classic match at WrestleMania VII? Therein lies the talent of Randy Savage. Carrying his uncoordinated opponent to a classic encounter, Macho Man had his career on the line in the bout and was able to communicate the drama of a man struggling to hold on to the one thing he loves in this world. In the end, he lost (which barely mattered, he was wrestling again within the year), but created another classic moment when he tearfully reconciled with Miss Elizabeth after the match.