It goes without saying that the SAP Center in San Jose, CA will be packed to capacity for the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. It is not limited to just the grandeur and spectacle of everything that Wrestlemania week encapsulates, but mainly due to one name that is being inducted, the “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
To be inducted by: Hulk Hogan
Since the WWE has been organizing the Hall of Fame event the same weekend as Wrestlemania (previously it used to be during the same weekend as Survivor Series or other parts of the year) in 2004, fans annually would gleefully speculate over whom the next one to be inducted would be. We have seen headlining names in the past years such as Hulk Hogan, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Nature Boy Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, some of the most iconic names in the history of wrestling. But wrestling fans would take notice and even verbally mention that Savage was the obvious icon that was missing from the list every year. In the spring of 2011 we were delivered the heartbreaking news of the untimely death of Randy Savage and knew that Wrestlemania the next year would be more than appropriate for his induction. Still, Wrestlemania 28 (even with it being in Florida) came and went and still no Macho Man.
Finally wrestling fans will be able to satiate their thirst by seeing one of their all time heroes be immortalized on the stage to give tribute and recognition for one of the most successful careers in wrestling, and what a career it was. Many will forget to mention that Savage was an avid baseball player before he broke into wrestling. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals directly out of HS to play as catcher. He would go on to play with various major league baseball farm systems around the country. Savage’s last season was in 1974 when he played with the Tampa Tarpoons, but an injury would cause Savage to transition from the sport and into a career in professional wrestling. Savage being a natural athlete still wanted to hone in on his skill set of competition. Savage would work on his craft doing some stints with Georgia Championship Wrestling, International Championship Wrestling and even Carlos Colons promotion in Puerto Rico.
In the summer of 1985 Savage would debut in the World Wrestling Federation being signed by Vince McMahon Jr. This would be the moment when “Madness” was birthed. Savage had a very unique persona and took the company, and the fans, by storm. He would participate in the first-ever WWF PPV “The Wrestling Classic” in late 1985, participating in a 16-man tournament where he would go on to the finals, losing to the Junk Yard Dog. Savage would have an intense feud with the likes of George “The Animal” Steele and transcend to a program with then-Intercontinental Champion, Tito Santana. In February 1986, Savage would defeat Santana and win his first championship. Many matches were held between him and Tito throughout the year and all around the country, but it would be one match that truly defined his career; against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3. Savage and Steamboat would put on an unexpected classic and completely shake up the wrestling world by showcasing some of the greatest moves and story telling ever witnessed. At this time, this type of wrestling was never seen; so much finesse and organic flow, wrestling fans were mesmerized by this unlimited talent before them, before they witnessed Ricky defeating Savage to win the title.
Not discouraged by the loss, Savage would use that as his gain where at next years Wrestlemania he would be (once again) part of a 16-man tournament to declare an undisputed WWF World Champion. Not allowing his loss in the last 16-man tournament or the previous Wrestlemania to get the best of him, Savage would go on to win the tournament and win the Heavyweight Championship of the World.
The factor that was always most noteworthy of Savage was his ability to tell some amazing stories in the ring. Randy would never deliver the same match twice, and the bigger the event, the greater the story. When you look at his Wrestlemania matches with Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Ric Flair and even Crush, you see that each match holds on to its own identity and captures a different emotion from the wrestling audience. This is what made this man special in our eyes; aside from the very iconic voice, his catch phrases and his beautiful endless wardrobe, Savage knew just what to do when to delivering to wrestling fans and making sure that we knew that he was giving everything in the ring, to us for us. THIS is why we love Macho Man, this is why we cheered and booed him, this is why we cried when he died and this is why we are here to celebrate his long awaited and well-deserved induction into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Thank you Randy, from us to you, forever and always… OOOOOOH YEAH!