The Enduring Legacy of Hulk Hogan

Part Seventeen

Proverbs 6:34  “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”

 

As we saw last time, “Macho Man” Randy Savage was beginning to show signs that things weren’t perfect with his Mega Powers partnership with Hulk Hogan. Whether it was Savage’s apparent jealousy over the attention his girlfriend and manager Miss Elizabeth was paying Hogan, Savage’s anger at being accidentally eliminated at the Royal Rumble by Hogan, or Savage letting Hogan take a two on one beatdown by the Twin Towers (Big Boss Man and Akeem), something was amiss in the Mega Powers camp.

For months, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan had had their problems with the Twin Towers. While the Mega Powers had led their team to victory over the Twin Towers team at the 1988 Survivor Series, the Twin Towers continued to attack Savage and Hogan wherever they could. What usually happened would be that Hogan or Savage would wrestle one of the Twin Towers, only for the other Twin Tower to interfere and deliver a two-on-one beatdown. Determined to stop the Twin Towers, the Mega Powers challenged them to a match on the NBC prime-time special, the Main Event. 

 

The Main Event was a prime-time special that the World Wrestling Federation used to promote Wrestlemania. The previous year, Hulk Hogan had lost his WWF championship to Andre the Giant in controversial fashion, leading to the fourteen man tournament at WrestleMania IV for the WWF championship. The first Main Event had been a spectacular success and NBC was eager to air a second one.

In a pre-match interview, the Twin Towers’ manager Slick pointed out that the Twin Towers had a three to two advantage over the Mega Powers (dismissing the presence of the Mega Powers’ manager Miss Elizabeth). Slick said that three men will always beat two men. Even color commentator Jesse “The Body” Ventura pointed this out to his broadcast partner Vince McMahon at the start of the show. 

 

During a pre-match interview The Mega Powers were asked point blank if there was any dissension between Hogan and Savage. Hulk Hogan said that the Mega Powers were in good shape, repeating a previous statement that the Mega Powers relationship was held together by love, the brotherly love of Hogan for Elizabeth and Savage, and the romantic love between Savage and Elizabeth. Savage seemed to agree and it looked like the Mega Powers were out to get some much desired revenge on the Twin Towers.

The WWF aired a hype video set to the 1985 hit song “You’re a Friend of Mine”. Footage aired of the evolution of the Mega Powers, reminding the fans how much Savage and Hogan (as well as the lovely Elizabeth) had accomplished as well as the deep friendship that had developed. The video was well done and even the most jaded fans had to hope that the Mega Powers might manage to stay together.

The Mega Powers started the match off strong. The “Macho Man” prepared to start the match but the Big Boss Man demanded that he face Hogan instead. If the Bossman was trying to sow seeds of dissension between Hogan and Savage, his plan backfired. Savage tagged Hogan in and the Hulkster cleared the ring not only of the Boss Man but of Akeem as well. Even “The Doctor of Style” Slick got knocked down for his trouble. Savage entered the ring and congratulated Hogan. The Mega Powers never looked stronger.

 

Unfortunately the man advantage slowly began to wear down the Mega Powers as Slick interfered in the match time after time, giving the Twin Towers a chance to regroup and counterattack. Things got tough for Hogan but he managed to tag in Savage. However, Savage faced more of the same outside interference that had plagued the Hulkster and he found himself tossed outside of the ring by Akeem. A concerned Elizabeth went to check on Savage and Jesse Ventura pointed out how Elizabeth was of no help to Savage. When Vince McMahon pointed out that Elizabeth might be able to inspire Savage to new heights, Ventura dismissed McMahon’s statement.

Elizabeth had proven herself to be an asset to the Mega Powers in the past. However tonight she proved to be a liability when Savage was tossed out of the ring again by Akeem. This time Savage landed on Elizabeth, knocking her senseless. The Hulkster rang outside to check on the “Macho Man” and Elizabeth. It was clear that Elizabeth had taken the brunt of the damage.   Savage slowly got to his feet and watched as Hogan tended to their mutual manager.   

 

The look on Savage’s face made it clear that his jealous streak had risen to new levels. With a furious look on his face, Savage pointed at Hogan as Hogan checked on Elizabeth. It looked like Savage was about to explode but before he could do anything, Akeem reached outside the ring and dragged Savage inside. The Twin Towers attacked Savage but the “Macho Man” fought back, channeling his anger against his opponents.

 

Outside the ring, Hogan carried Elizabeth to the back. Medical attendants with a gurney were already making their way towards Elizabeth. Hogan set Elizabeth on the gurney and escorted the attendants back to the medical area. Color commentator Jesse Ventura continued to point out what a liability Elizabeth was to her team.

 

Back in the ring, the numbers game took its toll on Savage. While Savage was initially able to rally against Akeem and the Big Boss Man, he turned his back on them to see what Hogan was doing. Savage was quickly reminded of why you don’t turn your back on your opponent, especially when they are dangerous men like the Twin Towers. The WWF champion found himself being double-teamed and thrown around the ring by men twice his weight.

 

Backstage, Hogan checked on Elizabeth as a doctor examined her. Hogan held Miss Elizabeth’s hand and agonized over her ultimate fate. Showing the acting chops that would catapult films such as No Holds Barred, Santa with Muscles, and Mr. Nanny to “Must Flee” status, Hogan asked the doctor whether Elizabeth was still breathing. Once he was assured that Elizabeth was still amongst the living, Hogan told Liz that the “Macho Man” hadn’t meant to hit her.  Only when Elizabeth regained consciousness and told Hogan to return to the ring did the Hulkster leave her side.

While Savage fought on against two to one odds, the fans in the Bradley Center erupted with excitement as Hogan made his way to the ring. Hogan jumped to his team’s corner and motioned for the “Macho Man” to tag in. Somehow, Savage found that extra something that only true champions possess and he rallied, throwing both the Big Bossman and Akeem through the ropes and onto the floor. Hogan held his hand out and waited for Savage to tag him in. To everyone’s surprise, Savage hesitated in tagging Hogan in. Then Savage shocked the world when he slapped Hogan in the face then dived outside of the ring. Hogan couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The angry look on Savage’s face made it clear that things were over. However. Hulk Hogan still seemed to think that the Mega Powers might be salvaged.   Hogan motioned for Savage to return to the ring. Instead, Savage took his WWF belt and left Hogan to face the Twin Towers by himself.

The Hulkster did his best but the combined forces of the Twin Towers seemed to be too much. Things looked grim when Akeem hit a Big Splash on the Hulkster and covered him for the pin. Once again, Hogan channeled the fans’ cheers and found a way to kick out. With Hulkamania running wild, the Hulkster ultimately delivered the legdrop to Akeem and covered him for the pinfall victory.  After the match, the Big Boss Man and Slick went to handcuff Hogan to the ring ropes. However Hogan used some of that old Hogan magic and cuffed the Boss Man and Slick to the ring ropes instead, ramming both men’s skulls together. Akeem tried to attack Hogan but the Hulkster was wise to Akeem’s tactics and left the ring.

 

Wondering how Elizabeth was doing and trying to figure out what had happened to Savage, Hogan returned to the medical area.   Savage launched into a tirade against both Hogan and Elizabeth, telling them that he was number one in the Mega Powers and not number three. Hogan tried to reason with Savage but there was nothing that Hogan could say to calm Savage.

 

Listening to Savage rant and rave, there was no doubt that Savage’s jealousy had caused him to snap.   Savage told Hogan that he never had the guts to ask for a title shot man to man. Savage then told Hogan that he couldn’t beat him even if he had taken the high road. Savage then accused Hogan of lusting after Elizabeth. Elizabeth pleaded with both men, reminding them that they were friends. Elizabeth’s words had no effect on Savage. Consumed with rage, Savage blasted Hogan in the head with the WWF championship, sending his former friend down to the ground. Elizabeth rushed to the Hulkster’s side and tried to cover him from further harm. 

 

Then in a moment that can only happen on live television, Brutus Beefcake missed his cue and ran in too early.   He looked at the camera then stepped away (Beefcake’s blunder would be edited out in future recaps but it is still available on YouTube).

The drama continued to unfold as Savage showed how far he’d sunk. In a despicable display, Savage lifted Elizabeth up and threw her aside knocking her to the floor. Savage wasn’t finished dishing out violence. He raised his WWF championship belt over his head and prepared to deliver a crushing blow to the Hulkster’s prone body. Just then, Brutus Beefcake ran in and shouted at Savage, demanding to know what he was doing. Savage promptly kicked Beefcake in the gut, and then followed up with a punch that knocked Beefcake down. 

 

WWF officials arrived on the scene and tried to break things up. Former Intercontinental champion Pat Patterson pleaded with Savage only to get knocked down for his efforts. Finally, Savage backed off and left the scene. The fans were left reeling. The Mega Powers had been a true dream team of professional wrestling.  Was there any way that the team could be salvaged or were both men on a collision course with one another?

Thanks again to Graham Cawthon for his awesome resource page The History of WWE!

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