on 29 June 2009
This is a set that wrestling fans have been wanting for years, myself included. There's no doubt that Randy "Macho Man" Savage is one of the true greats in sports entertainment. He was involved in some of the most memorable matches and angles that fans have ever seen and most certainly on a par with the likes of Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels in terms of in ring ability and the talent to entertain. The match selection for this set is absolutely top notch and contains bouts against a virtual who's who of professional wrestling: Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, Andre The Giant, Sting and more. A highly impressive list to say the least! Another point to make is that this set has no interaction with Randy Savage whatsoever. No interviews or documentary style footage at all. While this is a disappointment, it's hardly a surprise. Savage's turbulent relationship with WWE owner Vince McMahon is infamous so to see no involvement by Savage is no shock. Instead this compilation is hosted by Matt Striker and Maria and let me tell you that they do a truly awful job! Striker's constant impressions of Savage are poor, unfunny and frankly boring. Maria is clearly reading from a script and spends most of the show giggling awkwardly. Neither of them share any useful information about Savage or Elizabeth and as a whole the between match segments are almost unbearable! And its due to this terrible pairing that this set loses a star. For a release of this magnitude I would rather see "Mean" Gene Okerlund or Jim Ross as host. But where this collection does hit the mark is the matches. The quality varies but they're all highly entertaining. Most of his biggest matches and feuds are covered including his WrestleMania III classic against Steamboat, a match i never tire of viewing. The extras, while not vital, are nice inclusions also. From a wrestling standpoint this is first class. Its just a shame that the hosts are so poor and almost spoil this otherwise excellent dvd!
Why the Randy Savage DVD project was originally cancelled, I have no idea. I mean, Vince apparently held a huge grudge against Savage for leaving the WWF to go to WCW in 1994. But a lot of his stars jump-shipped and Vince has welcomed most of them back with open arms. If Vince could make peace with Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, the Hart Family, Roddy Piper, Sable, Eric Bischoff etc and do everything to keep their legacies alive...why not the Macho Man? It's a most perplexing mystery that we may never know the answer to.
Thankfully, the project was brought back on (with Vince realising that even he needs cash in the credit crunch). And now, Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection can FINALLY be yours to own.
For today's fans of wrestling who're wondering just who this guy is, you don't know wrestling until you've seen the Macho Man at work. In the golden days of the Federation Years, Randy Savage was second ONLY to Hulk Hogan. He was overwhelmingly popular, a HUGE draw, complete with colourful cowboy hats, shades and robes, his manager/wife - the late, great Miss Elizabeth - and the legendary catchphrase of "Oooooooooohhhh, yeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhh!"
In the ring, Savage was a TRUE artist. His aerial offence and technical expertise produced nothing but absolute quality. He's been a part of some of the greatest storylines the wrestling world has ever known, and has brought such glory to the Intercontinental and WWE/WCW world titles. By all accounts, Randy Savage is an undisputed legend and deserves to be recognised as such.
As with WWE Encyclopedia, Vince hasn't allowed his ego to spoil anything this time around. Don't expect a `Self-destruction of the Ultimate Warrior' job here. Randy Savage is praised wholeheartedly and given the utmost respect, admiration and reverence that he deserves, which is really pleasing, as it's what we all want to see.
However, there's no new interview footage with Savage and he played no part in this production whatsoever (probably because he and Vince have too much heat). So how does the format work? Well, it's a match compilation show, hosted by ECW commentator Matt Striker and WWE Diva Maria.
On the positive side, Striker is an intelligent, knowledgeable wrestling nerd who always does his homework. He's also a very talented impressionist and does some BRILLIANT impressions of the Macho Man. Maria (character-wise) is known for being very ditzy, but outside of the ring, she's reputed to be very intelligent, and her knowledge of Savage's roots speaks highly of her here. Both Matt and Maria idolized Randy and Elizabeth and provide an educational experience for the viewer, explaining just how inspirational they both were and why their accomplishments merited such greatness.
Unfortunately a lot of the time during the show, both Striker and Maria act very immaturely. It's perfectly fine to have fun with something like this, but their silliness gets out of hand to the point where it becomes cringingly bad. On the whole, they do a good job with their presenting, with their great knowledge and enthusiasm really coming into play at times. If only they'd matured more for this! Potentially, they could have done Randy and Elizabeth ABSOLUTE justice with their hosting, but instead it comes out being really flawed.
Match-wise, Macho Madness is without doubt one of the strongest collections I've ever seen. The majority of matches are absolutely spot-on. There are so many classics and so many outstanding bouts. The worst matches are the intergender tag match featuring Dusty Rhodes and Sensational Sherri (which is bogged down by the useless Sapphire) and the tag bout for the WCW title featuring Sting, Sid and Kevin Nash (where Randy was past his prime and involved in the COMPLETELY lame `Team Madness' gimmick) but even these are still good watching. All other bouts are just so high in quality, thanks to Savage's expertise and all the white-hot feuds he was involved in.
Obviously, they HAD to include the Intercontinental Championship match from WrestleMania 3 against Ricky `the Dragon' Steamboat. This bout surpassed everything that was on the card (even the awesome spectacle of Hogan vs. Andre). Over twenty years later, people are still talking about it, and with good reason. This is a timeless, PERFECT contest filled with thrilling exchanges, drama and storytelling. It's a bout that DOESN'T disappoint and is the undisputed highlight of the whole set.
Other diamonds include the Macho Man's unforgettable WWE Championship victory in the WrestleMania 4 tournament (shown in highlights with the thrilling finals against Ted Dibiase shown in full). There's also the godlike WrestleMania classics for the WWE title against Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, and an absolutely intense fight against Jake `The Snake' Roberts, all of which feature Miss Elizabeth playing such a strong emotional role. The Retirement bout against the Ultimate Warrior is yet another must-see classic, as is the Falls-Count-Anywhere match with Diamond Dallas Page, and the Intercontinental title bout against the legendary Bruno Sammartino is absolutely incredible.
Multiple bouts against Hogan, Flair, Steamboat and Dibiase, random bouts against Shawn Michaels and Yokozuna, a rare tag-team outing with Bret Hart, and IC title bouts against Tito Santana and the Honky Tonk Man are just nothing short of excellent. Even his WWE debut match against Rick McGraw is outstanding. The quality of the selection is just so consistent. Extras-wise, there's the beautiful wedding ceremony angle with Randy and Elizabeth from SummerSlam 1991, the legendary segments where he unveils Elizabeth for the first time and is crowned the Macho King, as well as a cracking batch of his interviews which are funny, hypnotic and classic.
Striker and Maria's flawed hosting stops this from being perfect but the staggering number of awesome matches, the brilliant special features and the well-presented subject matter succeed in (finally!) making sure this legend's career will NEVER be forgotten. Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection is TRULY essential. We can all see a flawless artist at work once again. Oooooooooohhhh, yeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhh!
on 26 January 2015
This is a great dvd of one of the biggest legends in pro wrestling history and a wide collection of his greatest matches from WWE and WCW and very memorable moments from the WWE hall of fame superstar Macho Man Randy Savage. Dig it!
Compiled three years before Randy "Macho Man" Savage's death, this 3-dvd set was definitely more of a cash-in (Savage being one of the few WW(F) legends not to have been the subject of such a release at the time) rather than showing any real signs of the thawing of the notoriously cold relationship between Savage and Vince McMahon. If, and that's a big IF, the rumours are true then you couldn't blame Vince, but that's a different argument for a different time. It might all go towards explaining why, though, this long-awaited release is presented by the dazzling duo of Matt Striker and Maria. The less said about them the better, but their involvement shouldn't spoil your enjoyment about what really matters in this set, the matches.
Disc 1 starts with his WWF debut from 1985, a riotously entertaining squash match against Rick McGraw which certainly marked Savage out as one to watch. The thing is of course that Savage was already known as one to watch due to his work in the territories, but there is no mention of his pre-WWF career here, which is a slight shame. (Even The Ultimate Warrior's DVD acknowledged his pre WWF career). From there we get an early glimpse at his chemistry opposite Hulk Hogan in a good 1985 Madison Square Gardens match before he unseats Tito Santana to win the Intercontinental title match in a decent match that had to be on this collection for its historical value. A 1987 match with Bruno Sammartino is surprisingly entertaining (though it does feature a non-finish) and what else is there left to be said about his WrestleMania III classic opposite Ricky Steamboat? Sure it's a bout the WWE like to keep putting on collections but no Randy Savage feature could be complete without it. This is followed by a 1988 attempt to regain the IC title from the Honky Tonk Man in a typical Honky match which hasn't aged well. The disc ends with two separate matches against Ted DiBiase; Savage's World Title win at WrestleMania IV and a rematch for the title inside a Steel Cage from MSG. Both are good matches, but as momentous as Savage's Title win was Hogan does his best to overshadow it with his post match antics.
Disc 2 sees an overall upswing in match quality and is the best of the lot. It kicks off with the very good Summerslam 1988 main event where Savage & Hogan team up to beat Ted DiBiase & Andre The Giant and then takes us to the first of a trio of show-stealing WrestleMania matches, his epic against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V. Hogan is carried to what was by far the best match of his WWF career up to that date by a superb Macho Man performance and it is worth noting that this match was so successful that Hogan became the first wrestler in history earn One Million Dollars for one match. At WrestleMania VII he carries the Ultimate Warrior to what is definitely his greatest ever match, even though once again he is on the losing side and had to "retire" as a result. Of course twelve months later at WrestleMania VIII he had already been back long enough to tackle Ric Flair for the World Title and it is fitting that his win here in another great match closes disc 2. In between these matches we have a short, but intense tussle with Jake Roberts (which came hot on the heels of the ground-breaking angle where Savage was bitten by a snake) from This Tuesday In Texas and another good tussle with Hulk Hogan from 1990. The only down note on this disc is the inclusion of the baffling intergender match from WrestleMania VI where Savage teams with Sensational Sherri to take on Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire. Many long-time fans have noted the ridicule that the WWF subjected NWA legend Dusty Rhodes to at this time, few recall that it was somewhat of a travesty for Savage to be sucked into something as daft as this, a year after giving Hogan his greatest moment to date.
Disc 3 sees a slight dip in quality, although it still has it's moments. A 1992 European Rampage match with a young Shawn Michaels is an entertaining one as is a follow up from later than year where Savage teams with Bret Hart to take on Michaels and Ric Flair. The last sighting of a WWF Macho Man is in a RAW match against Yokozuna which if I'm being kind could at least be said to be about as good a Yokozuna match as you are likely to see. The disc (and collection) rounds off with four WCW matches. Two clashes with Ric Flair (including the ludicrous "Lifeguard Match" from Bash At The Beach 1995) only give you the impression that their WWE matches elsewhere on this disc were better and the last match pitting Savage & Sid Vicious against Kevin Nash & Sting only goes to show that big names do not always equal great matches. Perhaps surprisingly, to the uninitiated anyway, the best match of the four is his Great American Bash 1997 match with Diamond Dallas Page. People forget that for all the "Eric Bischoff's best mate" cynicism behind Page's unprecedented rise to the top the feud with Savage that carried him to that position was actually very good indeed. It certainly remains DDP's finest in-ring hour (or two) and perhaps shows just what an immense, and unselfish, worker Savage was in his prime (and even after it!)
In terms of extra's we get the over-the-top "wedding" of Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth from Summerslam 1991 (in real-life they'd been married for years), Elizabeth's WWF debut, a ludicrous "coronation" ceremony of the "Macho KING" and a whole host of Savage interviews/promo's spanning most of his career. You'll not be bored by the extras, but neither are the majority of them essential.
Who knows what would have happened if this DVD had been produced in conjunction with Randy Savage, rather than without him. We'll obviously never know, but a couple of the pointless matches on show (such as the WM VI debacle) might have been jettisoned in favour of more fitting tributes to Savage's work and we certainly wouldn't have had to put up with the lamentable presenters we have. (I love Maria, but she was just not right here). That said, whilst this is a compilation that could have, and should have, been even better it still highlights what an amazing body of work Randy Savage knocked up in the WWF. "Old-time" fans will lap this up; younger fans wondering why Savage's death was so sadly mourned might watch this and see what the fuss was all about. Yes, folks, Randy "Macho Man" Savage really was THAT good.
on 25 May 2011
Only one word can describe Randy Savage... LEGEND!!! I've always been a huge fan of the Macho Man. When I heard of his recent passing, I just had to buy this. Now I will always remember the madness. Rest in peace Randy. God speed, and thank you!!
on 31 May 2016
Quality dvd collection! If your a fan of the macho man's storied career then this is the one for you! This covers his career from the early 80s through to the end of his career. Unlike the other macho man dvd this runs straight through all three discs, where as the other one has a wicked documentary one the first disc then just matches on the other 2 discs
on 3 July 2009
Excellent set, still working my way through it. Highlights so far would be Gorilla Monsoon stating that"...Randy Savage is not a regular guy..." - understatement! And Lord Alfred Hayes wetting his pants and hero worshipping Hogan in the Savage-Hogan title match. Highly recommended.
on 31 January 2010
Having been introduced to wrestling by my brother in the early 90's, I still witnessed "The Madness" in action for the former wwf. He was by far the best wrestler to ever step into the squared circle, maybe only surpassed by Bret Hart. His outfits were legendary and his matches even more so.
Looking back on those years, I have to say that Randy Savage was on of the big reasons why wrestling became what it is today.
On this 3-disc compilation you will find a consistent summary of the most importnat matches and story lines of this in ring genius. Amongst them are the brilliant matches against one Ricky Steamboat and the tournament win in Wrestlemania 4. But there is more to the story of the Macho Man than just these two. From the bginning right down to NWO days, these discs have them all and I dare say you wont be disappointed. His storylines are legendary and lets not forget the reason why I ,as a girl, started watching wrestling: Miss Elizabeth. If there was ever a true role-model for girls outthere then she is certainly ranked all the way up there. The two of them truly defined class and style in the wrestling world.
But to get back to the discs: The video and sound quality is superb, something the WWE has been known for many years. The commentaries are genius. (Listen to Roddy Piper when MM proposes in the ring!! Hilarious)
ALL in All this is a compilation for all those fans who were around in the hay day of wrestling and want to relive some of the memories again. A bit sad that Randy Savage is not there to share some of his memories but I guess thats between him and one Vince McMahon.
5 stars for "The Madness"!!
on 15 May 2009
For any WWF fan back in the late 1980's and 1990's, the Macho Man Randy Savage is a bonafide legend! Let's take a trip down memory lane and highlight some of the most unforgettable moments of the Macho Man's illustrious WWF career:
*His initial appearance onto the WWF stage in 1985
*His introduction of his real-life wife, the First Lady of the WWF, the lovely Miss Elizabeth
*Winning the WWF Intercontinental title from Tito Santana
*Winning the 14-man tournament to become the WWF Heavyweight Champion, defeating 4 opponents in one night at Wrestlemania IV
*The formation of the Mega Powers
*The demise of the Mega Powers and the highly anticipated showdown between Savage and Hogan at Wrestlemania V, with Elizabeth in a neutral corner
*His new alliance with Sensational Sherri and the beginning of the reign of the Macho King
*Savage and Sherri's feud with the American Dream Dusty Rhodes and Sweet Sapphire, culminating in a battle at Wrestlemania VI, in the first ever mixed tag match
*The career ending clash with the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VII
*The reconcilliation with Miss Elizabeth and their subsequent on-screen wedding at Summerslam 1991
*Jake "The Snake" Robert's campaign of terror against the newly-weds, including the infamous snake bite, which led to Savage's reinstatement as an active wrestler
*Macho Man unleashing his fury on Jake "The Snake" at Tuesday Night In Texas, where we witnessed the infamous slapping of Miss Elizabeth
*Ric Flair's claims that he had a relationship with Miss Elizabeth, which resulted in he and Savage squaring off at Wrestlemania VIII for the WWF Heavyweight title, which Macho eventually won
WOW! Just thinking about all of those classic matches, played out against the back-drop of some of the most dramatic storylines the WWF has ever produced, makes me long for the glory days of old.
Have ordered it now (got slightly confused between regions 1 & 2), but although I have not seen it yet, I have given a 5-star rating because the DVD is bound to cover all of the above history and will no doubt be a MUST for any old school WWF fan's treasured collection.
Trust me folks, Macho Madness is still running wild!!
on 8 June 2011
Even though this DVD collection features no new interview footage with 'Macho Man' Randy Savage or any of his wrestling colleagues, one thing is made abundantly clear throughout without needing to be spoken. That is that the hatred between Randy 'Savage' Poffo and WWE owner Vince McMahon has never subsided.
The very title of this DVD, 'Macho Madness', should give the viewer an idea of Vince's feelings towards Savage, encompassing as it does a well-known phrase associated with the Macho Man character and an implied jibe at Poffo's self-aggrandising personality. The fact that the idea for the DVD was originally vetoed by Vince should also ring alarm bells.
In the end it seems Vince grudgingly agreed to it, probably purely based on the potential it had as a money-maker. This would seem a bizarre attitude towards one of the best-loved and most succesful characters WWE has ever produced. It is even more strange, as Vince has allowed bygones to be bygones with virtually every other wrestler or promoter that he has fallen out with previously. Even if it were just for professional reasons, Vince has eaten humble pie in order to entice the likes of Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan back, and bring in rival promoters like Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff. But no such armistice was ever reached with Poffo - and never will be now.
As for the DVD, its content tells its own story. It features 19 matches from Savage's nine-year WWF stint and only 4 from his six years in WCW. Many of the matches are good and all the revered WWF milestones that you would expect are featured: the classic wtih Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3, both Savage's WWF title victories and matches from every Wrestlemania of which Savage was an active part, barring his 'Falls Count Anywhere' match with Crush at Wrestlemania X. There is also some very interesting content from Savage's early WWF career in 1985, when crowds were already desperate to cheer him despite his heel status. We also see the development of the 'Miss Elizabeth' character who Savage was involved with in real life and eventually married.
It's actually just as well that the matches tell their own story, as the presentation of the DVD certainly doesn't. As stated earlier, there is no new interview footage here. With anyone. There is no documentary. In fact, the only thing present here other than archive footage is the hosts Matt Striker and Maria, who provide the most concrete confirmation yet that Vince McMahon could not have cared less about this DVD. Both of them are totally awful in their painfully simple roles of reading a banal script as they skate over Savage's key feuds in seconds while chattering inanely with eachother. The good news is I'm sure they were cheap - clearly Vince wasn't going to pay anyone but the lowest dimwits on the totem pole to present this DVD.
Having said that, if you think the coverage of Savage's WWF career leaves something to be desired you may have to rethink that when you come to the WCW portion. In a plainly deliberate ploy to ignore the significance of Savage's defection to WCW, two of his four title reigns are barely mentioned at all, while only four largely forgettable bouts are included. Admittedly, the standard of WCW matches often left something to be desired when the ring was filled with old men or they were taking place on an atmosphere-free beach. But the fact remains that Savage was a key player in Atlanta for a long time and this is almost totally ignored in the DVD.
Extras on the DVD include the nauseating and interminable "wedding" from Summerslam 91, Elizabeth's WWF debut, the Macho King's 'coronation' and a staggering 17 interview spots, which, in my opinion, gives Savage more credit as a talker than he really deserved.
I don't want to be too negative about a DVD like this, because WWE does not put archive footage like this to use often enough in my opinion. It's nice to have a collection of all the key matches down the years and some of the efforts made in that respect have been superb. But it can't be ignored that this is somewhat half-baked, and only made watchable by the match action contained within it.
Randy Poffo died in a car crash following a heart attack on 20th May 2011. I wonder whether, if this DVD had been released after his death, maybe Vince would have been willing to put the time and effort into it that it truly deserved. Then again, maybe not.