Bad Matches, Good Memories #7
One of the best things about YouTube is the ability to watch classic feuds/matches that WWE owns but is unwilling to release on DVD. Being able to see a standalone match is fine, but no match exists in a vacuum so it’s also nice when the events leading up to the match are available to view as well. Because that’s how you tell stories. Today’s update sees the last program the late, great Randy Savage was involved in before his WCW contract expired.
Savage’s character was borderline insane at this point, presumably from having his last World Heavyweight Title reign last a day before Hogan did what Hogan Knows Best and took it from him. Savage is casually wrestling Billy Kidman (with the guy from Arliss on commentary (IN CHARACTER) to hype Savage and Luger’s appearance) when all of a sudden…
I remember when Rodman appeared and everyone on-screen reacted like ”Oh shit it’s Dennis Rodman.” I was a white Englishman who had yet to discover Van Damme films so I had no idea who the hell this gangly looking, Gypsy clothes wearing smack-head was. I assumed he was some big shot former wrestler, just like I assumed Lawrence Taylor was a Legend/Former wrestler when he took on Bam Bam Bigelow at Wrestlemania XI. Turned out he was a basketball player who married Carmen Electra for a few minutes, so he at least sounded like a wrestler.
The feud showcases how much WCW was trying to fit into the Attitude style that WWF was doing so well at the time. There’s tons of censored swearing, trailer brawls and hittin’ women. Savage is Savage in name only, and it’s very hard to tell who the face and heel are supposed to be. You’d assume it’s supposed to be Rodman because Savage physically and verbally abuses his entourage, but then Rodman kidnaps Gorgeous George and implies he raped her. Which was a fairly babyface thing to do in 1999, I guess.
Perhaps the oddest thing about the whole feud is despite Savage’s character being a deranged woman-abuser who thinks he can run for President, he still treats his two jobber opponents (Kidman and Keriaagaagasiviaais) with respect before he beats them up. It’s reminiscent of TNA’s weird lust for using name value talent to act anything like their name value. i.e. ”Up next it’s Sting in a barbed wire board match!”
God knows why Rodman was brought in to wrestle Savage, but this was 1999. If WCW thought it could draw money, they signed it and put it on Nitro (KISS, Insane Clown Posse, No Limit Soldiers, The Misfits, half the ECW locker room etc.). Maybe the fact that Savage was physically spent at this point (he was wrestling with an injury when he won the fucking World title) they thought having such a weird choice like Rodman would distract from Savage’s short-comings. It’s like that old joke about a man complaining about a headache, so his friend kicks him in the shin. The man asks why he did that and his friend replies ”Well you stopped thinking about your headache!”
This all climaxed at Road Wild 1999, in a match that is only memorable for Rodman showing up in a state to perform (unlike Bash at the Beach 1998) and Rodman taking a bump into a port-a-potty. I thought it was the coolest match in the world because a WRESTLER was fighting a BASKETBALL PLAYER at a BIKER RALLY and using SHIT as a WEAPON. As silly and over-the-top the whole style was at the time, they definitely knew how to interest young males. All it needed was a Biker Mice From Mars run-in and I wouldn’t have needed to buy another tape ever again.
Macho Man’s thoughts on Dennis Rodman. He doesn’t have much good to say about him and would you? Savage wouldn’t make too many appearances for WCW following this series. He appeared much later to announce his successor in an angle that was then never mentioned again and his last appearance would be during a Battle Royal involving members of the New Blood and Millionaire’s Club.
I don’t really care happened to Rodman. All I know is he managed to get his own WCW action figure during this period and he wasn’t in Space Jam.