Wrestlemania Greatest Matches #23: Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage

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The Build: Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan solidified their alliance at Wrestlemania IV, and one year later at Wrestlemania V it would explode. For the entire year, Hogan overshadowed Savage. When they teamed up at Summerslam, they came out to Hogan’s music even though Savage was the champion. During the celebration, Hogan copped a feel on Elizabeth. Maybe he was just balancing her. Or maybe not.

They teamed again and won again at Survivor Series, and once again Hogan was a bit too friendly with Elizabeth. At the Royal Rumble Hogan eliminated Savage. Every man for himself, but still, Hogan betrayed his friend. And it all came to a head on the Main Event, as Savage turned on Hogan and attacked him backstage. Hogan then threw down the challenge, Hogan vs. Savage for the title at Wrestlemania.
The Match
 
Elizabeth gets her own entrance and will be in a neutral corner for the match. Savage is out first even though he’s champion. Perfect for the story whether it was intentional or not. Hogan is out to the typical huge reaction.
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Savage is yelling at Liz as the bell rings. But he proceeds to use her as a human shield on the floor. Hogan tries to wrestle with Savage and gets Suplexed. Savage misses an Elbow Drop and Hogan decks with him big fists. Hogan continues to wrestle, grabbing Savage with an Arm Wringer. Savage goes to the eyes to escape and hits a Double Ax Handle.
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Hogan uses the tights for leverage to dump Savage to the floor. Jesse Ventura blows a gasket on commentary. Big Clothesline by Savage. Hogan blades. Hogan fights out of a hold but misses an Elbow Drop and Savage drives him to the floor with a High Knee. Savage goes after the cut. Hogan slams him to the floor, where Liz checks on him. Hogan wants to slam Savage into the ring post but Liz stops him.
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The referee sends Liz to the back to try to keep things under control. Savage hits his signature Ax Handle to the floor and then the Rope Drop Clothesline. Savage was so far ahead of his time. Savage slams Hogan and hits the Flying Elbow! Hogan totally no-sells, kicks out at one, and Hulks Up. Boot and Leg Drop get the pin for Hogan.
Rating: ****1/4. That was an awesome match, especially for the era. Hogan did some unusual stuff and Savage was on fire. They didn’t really blow the Liz story off but there wasn’t really anywhere for that to go, she wasn’t going to turn heel and she wasn’t going with Hogan. Only real complaint is Hogan no-selling the Elbow. Should have constructed that finish in a way that protected Savage more.
The Aftermath: This rivalry was far from over. Savage would bring in Zeus, Hogan’s rival from “No Holds Barred.” Zeus and Savage would come up short against Hogan at Summerslam, Survivor Series, and the No Holds Barred pay-per-view. On the way into Wrestlemania VI Savage would get a one-on-one rematch against Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event, coming up short once again. This rivalry continued both on-screen and off until Savage’s untimely death in 2011.

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