WWE: Randy Savage Unreleased – The Unseen Matches of the Macho Man, 2018.
A collection of rare and previously unreleased matches from the career of Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage, from his earliest days in WWF all the way through to his WCW stint.
Everyone knows Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage. He was one of the most unique and charismatic performers in WWF during the 1980s, shining during a time period that boasted some of the most unique and charismatic individuals ever to step inside a wrestling ring. Indeed, many of those men show up in this three-disc collection of rare and occasionally unreleased matches from the Macho Man’s illustrious career. It’s a combination of little-seen TV matches and very rare footage from house show bouts.
As with so many of these WWE DVD collections, there’s only the loosest possible narration to link the matches together. In this case, the framing device is a chat moderated by Corey Graves in which Sean Mooney, Diamond Dallas Page and Savage superfan Bayley discuss their various memories of the Macho Man. It’s in these discussions that the milestones of Savage’s career come to the fore – fighting Steamboat at WrestleMania III, the explosion of the Mega Powers and his reunion with Miss Elizabeth. These chats, while fun enough, feel as if they should have accompanied a more straightforward Savage collection.
This isn’t a DVD for the casual wrestling fan, or the novice Savage viewer. It mentions his biggest moments without ever depicting them. That’s not a problem for fans who have seen these matches dozens of times, but it will leave a novice unsure of precisely why this man is being discussed with such reverence by the WWE employees on the panel.
The collection itself is a real mixed bag. There are some gems lurking in there – a mixed tag in which the heel duo of Savage and Sensational Sherri take on Dusty Rhodes and Sweet Sapphire is a wild highlight – but you often have to delve through a lot of insignificant stuff to get there. In its quest to assemble a collection of unseen material, WWE has too often chosen repetitive house show bouts with screwy non-finishes and bland enhancement matches.
Savage completists may well find real joy in seeing one of the greatest of all time take part in matches that aren’t readily available in prominent places on the WWE Network. For others, however, the spectacle of a very long, very clunky match against Akeem from a 1988 tour of France will be too much to sit through. There’s often the feeling that we’re getting the bridesmaid matches rather than the brides, with the discussion of Savage and Steamboat’s iconic clash directly followed by a vastly inferior match the two had just after the WrestleMania battle.
Thankfully, there’s an enormous oasis in the shape of promo segments. Savage is one of the all-time great mic men and that talent is in full effect on this collection. One of the highlights of the first disc is a segment in which Gene Okerlund travels to the house where Savage and Elizabeth were living for an interview. He’s greeted by Savage working out, who then discusses how he’s “very great at wrestling” and turns down a magazine centrefold for which he would have been paid more than Burt Reynolds. It’s the Macho Man at the peak of his powers.
In short, this is a collection that has plenty of rewards lurking within its hours of content – particularly for those who are huge fans of the Macho Man. However, there’s also a lot of absolute dreck on show and, with the best will in the world, it all gets a bit repetitive when there has been half a dozen near-identical countout finishes in a row. This isn’t ever trying to be an exhaustive portrait of the Macho Man but, precisely because of that, it’s very much made for the completists and the devotees, rather than any agnostics.
Tom Beasley is a freelance film journalist and wrestling fan. Follow him on Twitter via @TomJBeasley for movie opinions, wrestling stuff and puns.