Tuesday, 30 December 2014

WWE Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story DVD Review

WWE's Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story is out now on DVD (There's a Blu Ray version too), available from www.wwedvd.co.uk. The three disc set features a 90 minute documentary on Savage's life and career, as well as fifteen matches from between November 1986 and October 1997. The set includes matches featuring the likes of Hart Foundation, Shawn Michaels, Ricky Steamboat, Bruno Sammartino, Ted DiBiase and more. 

The Documentary

Quite simply, the documentary portion of this DVD should be required viewing for any wrestling fan. One of the best pieces WWE Home Video has ever created, it details the entire of Savage's life, with a lot of time spent on detailing Savage's early life and his personal life away from the wrestling ring. This is embellished with interviews with his brother, Lanny, his mother, Judy and a handful of Savage's personal friends and other acquantances. This gives the set a real sense of context and allows Savage's larger than life wrestling persona to be humanised, perhaps in a way it has never been before. 

An old interview with Savage's Dad, Angelo, is included.

Those looking for some meaty wrestling stories to get their teeth into also won't be disapointed as the likes of Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Diamond Dallas Page, Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash are all on hand, alongside Lanny, to provide a number of interesting tales about Savage both in and out of the ring. From these stories, Savage comes across as a die hard perfectionist, with some off camera footage of an interview taping helping to create this picture. Stories of his classic feud with Ricky Steamboat, including Steamboat's teary reaction, and his hot and cold friendship with Hulk Hogan were personal favourites of mine,

His relationship with WWE going sour is also not shyed away from, as Lanny explains Savage's plans to end his career in a lengthy feud with Shawn Michaels, before explaining why Savage never wished to go back to WWE after leaving for WCW. By the end of the documentary it's difficult not to have an emotional involvement, as Savage seems to spiral out of control, with his infamous video on Hulk Hogan included in part, as well as the death of his ex-wife Miss Elizabeth. Just as the story seems to be turning a corner, it's cut short, way way too soon. 

Savage's brother, Lanny, is heard from often.

The Matches

The set get's straight into some big time action as Savage faces Ricky Steamboat on a November 1986 episode of Superstars. The pair show all of the chemistry that would put together their classic WrestleMania III bout, with a number of great sequences and finish off with the classic moment that lead to their bout at Mania. This is followed up by an interesting clash of styles as Savage battles Bruno Sammartino in Lumberjack match at Boston Garden in February 1987. Whilst it's intriguing to see the two styles collide, there isn't much to this match at all. In the same month, Savage returns to his feud with Steamboat with the pair putting on another good bout, with solid wrestling and storyline progression. Savage's selling and the finish of this bout are particular highlight. 

A clash with Harley Race from September in Phildadelphia follow, with Savage now wrestling as a babyface. It's slow brawl, with Race clearly not capable of going at the required pace at this time in his career and whilst there is some decent wrestling, the lack of pace really hurts this one. A steel cage bout seeing Savage team with Strike Force to take on The Honky Tonk Man and The Hart Foundation at Boston Garden in May 1988 may be a paint by numbers affair, but it's still a compelling bout that is a lot of fun to watch. Savage is absolutely adored by fans at this point. The same venue host a match with Ted DiBiase in July, as the pair put on another good contest, including an electric comeback from Savage. It's a shame about the shite disqualification finish.

Oh yeah! 

Onto 1989 and Savage tangles with Bad News Brown in a Harlem Street Fight on Maple Leaf Wrestling in January. This match is certainly behind it's time with the use of chairs and table spot, and for that alone it is an interesting watch. However, it has perhaps the worst finish I have ever seen. After turning back heel, Savage battles Hulk Hogan at Madison Square Garden in April, in a match that screams Sports Entertainment. Bucket loads of storytelling and some awesome spots, this is what WWE is all about. Roddy Piper is the opponent for a dull bout in Miami in January 1990. The crowd couldn't care less and spend most of the match silent, and despite some attempts at comedy this bout falls flat. 

A hidden gem of a bout arises as Savage takes on Shawn Michaels in Munich in April 1992, with Savage returning as a babyface. The psychology in this bout is spot on throughout, with Savage selling throughout, creating a compelling story that drew me straight in. This bout deserved an extra five minutes and HBK and Savage deserved a lengthy rivalry. We stay in Europe for SummerSlam 1992's World Title match as Savage clashes with The Ultimate Warrior. It's another classic slice of sports entertainment, with the two stringing together an interesting match, although it does go a little too long and the interference becomes tiresome. The crowd loves it all however. Ric Flair is the opponent in Hershey in September 1992, in a bout rich in storytelling. Another classic encounter, an absolute pleasure to watch. 

Cunt Hogan

Onto WCW, historically where the quality of these sets decline. It was a little worrying when Savage's January 1995 Saturday Night clash with Arn Anderson was a dull bout full of rest holds and the two guys lying around. SuperBrawl VI presents Savage against Flair again, this time inside a steel cage. Whilst the bout never reaches the peak of their previous match on the set, it's still a good watch with a nice swerve as the finish. Finally, with Savage back heel and part of the NWO, he takes on Diamond Dallas Page in a Las Vegas Sudden Death match (Known to everyone else as a Last Man Standing Match) at Halloween Havoc 1997. The match attempts psychology, although Page doesn't sell his injured ribs once, however that doesn't stop this from being a fun and silly brawl with some decent spots. Not a bad way to close of the set.


Buy this DVD. Watch it. Thank me. No more of conclussion is needed. 

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