WM Top 25: #14 – The Mega-Powers explode

Please click over to Examiner.com and check out this article and others I have posted recently, including a quick bio about the Von Erich family, who will be joining the WWE Hall of Fame. Thanks.

When you are only five years old, you probably don’t remember a whole lot. But, you are also quite impressionable at that age as well. So when I was five years old and stumbled upon some WWF action on a February 1989 night I was immediately intrigued. It was my first wrestling that I ever remember laying my eyes on. I was hooked. It turns out I was watching an NBC prime time special put on by the WWF, dubbed “The Main Event.”

Nineteen years later I am still a professional wrestling fan. My love for wrestling has only grown through the years when friends and family assumed it was only a “thing” and my enjoyment of it would pass. Here I am nineteen years to the month later to tell you all about it.

What my young eyes were watching was Hulk Hogan and then-WWF World Champion “The Macho Man” Randy Savage, known as “The Mega Powers” taking on “The Twin Towers” of Akeem & The Big Boss Man. A beautiful woman named Miss Elizabeth was in the corner of Hogan and Savage.

The story went that Hogan and Savage had been friends and partners since WrestleMania IV, nearly a year earlier, but they had been getting into fights recently and were not really on the same page. This ended up being their explosion and the set-up to their monstrous WrestleMania V pay per view.

From what I remember of the match from my initial viewing was that the Twin Towers were in control and ended up throwing Savage outside of the ring where he landed unintentionally on Miss Elizabeth. Savage came back into the ring to continue the match while Hogan jumped down to help Elizabeth. He ended up carrying her to the back for medical attention while Savage continued to get pounded by Akeem & Boss Man. Hogan soon returned to ringside to help out Savage. When Savage regained his composure he went over to his corner for a tag. He slapped Hogan in the face and walked off. Hogan put himself into a rage and took out both opponents. I remember him bodyslamming both guys, which was incredibly impressive to me considering their size and my impressionable mind, and getting the win.

But that was only the beginning of the story. After the match Hogan went to the backstage area where Elizabeth was still being looked after. Savage was there as well and accused Hogan of trying to steal Elizabeth. The two men got into a brawl backstage with Savage getting the upper hand. This officially signaled Savage’s return to being a bad guy and kicked off huge moneymaking storyline for the pair.

The two men would meet in the main event of WrestleMania V, live on pay per view on April 2, 1989 from Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Trump Plaza. The match was one of Hogan’s best at the time, as Savage was notorious for pre-planning his big matches down the last detail. He was perfect to lead the showman-like Hogan through a great, hate-filled match that was desperately needed to “sell” the storyline. Miss Elizabeth stood in a neutral corner for the match, not cheering for either man. When the smoke cleared after almost twenty minutes, it was Hogan who stood tall, bleeding as he celebrated with his second WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

Looking back this storyline featured elements that were rarely used by the World Wrestling Federation at the time. Up until this point, Miss Elizabeth had rarely become physically involved in the action. She was always just a beautiful sight who stayed on the outside of the ring and stood by The Macho Man at every turn. So when she was knocked down by men twice her size it was a big deal. She wasn’t a trained pro wrestler and wasn’t treated like one. That’s what set herself from other females and managers in the WWF at the time.

This match and story set off a huge rivalry for Hogan and Savage. From that point on Hogan and Savage became intrinsically linked through the rest of their wrestling careers. They continued to feud with each other off/on the WWF until they had both left the company in 1994. When both resurfaced in World Championship Wrestling they switched between being friend and foe so many times that it is hard to keep track off. Even to this day in real-life bad blood still exists between the two men.

This was the type of money drawing program that the WWF and WrestleMania used to be known for. It’s been rumored that Vince McMahon used to book the top card of the next year’s WrestleMania and then book backwards for the next year. In this type of situation it is easy to see the credence in that theory. From the moment Randy Savage won the WWF Championship at the WrestleMania IV the seeds were sown for the eventual Savage-Hogan showdown a year later.

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