The Reason Randy Savage Didn’t Want To Be In The WWE Hall Of Fame

Few things are more iconic to the ’90s than “Macho Man” Randy Savage telling you to “snap into a Slim Jim.” Guess what? Randy Savage also had a prominent wrestling career. (We know, it’s crazy.) The guy was really good, too.

Savage started wrestling as “The Spider” in 1973. The character was nothing like the “Macho Man.” Think of him as a knockoff pro wrestling version of Spider-man. As “Macho Man,” Savage wasn’t just a pro, he was a champion. He won two titles in the WWE and four in the WCW. Savage was in the upper echelons of the wrestling world, next to names like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and The Undertaker — several personalities who went on to become Hall of Famers. For some reason, the WWE Hall of Fame wasn’t a place Savage wanted  his name.

Everyone in the wrestling world was shocked at how long it took the WWE to induct Savage into the Hall of Fame. Savage and his signature “ooooh yeeaahh”s were famous long before he left the WWE in 1994. His match against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, often considered “the moment” that destined him to take a place in the hall of fame, happened in 1987. Sports Illustrated quotes Jesse Ventura, himself a wrestler, who called the match that night: “That was the greatest match I’ve ever seen in my life.” He added, “It was as perfect as you would ever get for a match.”

Falling out with the WWE

Ventura pointed out that Hogan and Andre the Giant were the main event of the night — another match that will go down in wrestling history — but for sheer entertainment and technical accomplishment, Savage vs Steamboat was the greatest. Coming from Ventura, a fellow professional (who would later become the Governor of Minnesota), that’s a pretty big deal.

Other names were being entered into the Hall of Fame left and right, but not the “Macho Man.” For years, there was speculation over why Savage had been kept out. Savage left the WWE and hopped over to the WCW in 1994, and many believe it was the drama surrounding the wrestler’s exit that kept him from securing a golden spot as one of the greats.

Savage didn’t exactly leave the WWE on the best of terms. Allegedly, the wrestler had promised to resign with the production, but, instead, he burned that particular bridge. By 1994, Savage was doing very little wrestling and spent most of his time speaking into a mic at the announcer’s table. That’s not how a two-time champion wants to make his money. He wanted to wrestle. More specifically, he wanted to wrestle Shawn Michaels, according to Bleacher Report. Savage was 42. He didn’t plan to win, but he wanted to go out with a bang. The WWE essentially laughed, telling Savage he was too old to be in the ring with their “youth movement.”

The Macho Man didn't want to go in alone

So, Savage snapped into a new Slim Jim and “Oooh Yeeaahh”ed his way over to the WCW, where he did quite well for himself. He won the WCW championships four times, according to Bleacher Report, an amazing upward trend for an aging personality. The WWE didn’t take it kindly and began insulting “Macho Man’s” age, depicting him as the has-been “Nacho Man” rather than the star he was proving himself to still be. Though it may have contributed to Savage’s decision to refrain from the WWE Hall of Fame, it wasn’t the root issue.

Savage didn’t want to be inducted into the Hall of Fame by himself. Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, and his father, Angelo Poffo, were both professional wrestlers in the league as well. The guy had a serious soft spot for family, and according to another article on Bleacher Report, Savage didn’t want to be in the Hall of Fame unless the three of them were inducted as a trio. In time, Savage’s family agreed that he should take his rightful place among the all-greats of the sport, and allowed the WWE to induct him in 2015 — four years after his death from a heart attack at the wheel of his Jeep, at the age of 58.

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