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[1993-10-18-WWF-Raw] Randy Savage and Crush

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I always felt like this was a really Memphis segment. If you look at how this is laid out, it's not your typical WWF turn at all. Crush's promo with the long explanation of his new philosophy. This is one of the better Savage moments too. He looks pretty gross with the lacerated tongue. Yoko's involvement giving the bansai drops just takes this to another level. Savage was probably thrilled to finally have something to do after being at the booth all year. This is one of my favorite WWF angles ever, and easily my favorite one of 1993.

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Crush really had a point.

 

Savage didn't come in and save him because he was worried about getting fired for interfering. That he eventually did was heroic. That he took so long to do so was damning. All of this was great, but my favorite thing was probably the calls over the weeks before, where Crush was super uber babyface on the phone with Vince but would shun Savage.

 

I do think they really mismanaged Crush in 93. He was super over at the start of the year but they took him out for months due to Doink, put Doink over at Mania, had a sort of go-nowhere match with Michaels at KOTR, apparently threatened him so he wouldn't go into business for himself on July 4 (which is a great story even if untrue), and then put him out for months to put Yoko over in the lead-in to Summerslam. I'm not sure how much of that was injury, though.

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Crush has adopted the evil goatee. Yep, I really like Crush's explanation and frustration of Savage. We can understand him being so upset at Savage for letting Yoko drop four Banzais on Crush. Fuji is the devious one we can see how he would try to manipulate a guy like Crush. Savage confronts Crush and it looks like the make up in the end. I really like that they did the turn in the aisle instead of the ring. Seemed like they would walk out of the arena together. The press slam on to the guard rail was vicious. Savage taking four Banzai drops would have been prefect symmetry to all this but I can understand not doing that as you would have to take him off TV for a while.

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Crush is back, with a new look, and a new manager. Crush's thick fake Hawaiian accent and PRO WRESTLING SHOUTING gets in the way, but Heenan does a great job of carrying him through the interview. Crush calls Savage out for not having his back against Yokozuna--he has a point, but he doesn't point out that the guy who interfered against him is the guy in the ring with him right now. Sort of like Dick Murdoch being upset about Dusty Rhodes teaming with that pinko commie Nikita Koloff, and getting revenge by teaming with pinko commie Ivan Koloff. Savage climbs into the ring and cuts a scorched-earth promo on Crush and Mr. Fuji, but leaves the door open for a reconciliation. Crush and Savage shake hands and leave together, only for Crush to level Savage with a clothesline in the aisle and drop him across the guardrail. Crush beats him down and makes sure to hold Savage's face up to the camera so we can see the blood coming out of his mouth. Probably an accident, but part of me wonders if Savage wasn't nuts enough to deliberately bite his own tongue on the bump just to sell that. Yokozuna adds an exclamation point with a banzai drop, and this was a terrific piece of business all around.

 

"Shake hands and then turn anyway" is one of the oldest heel trick books in wrestling, but they milked it really nicely here, dragging this to the point where you might think Crush was staying babyface after all.

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I know Savage wanted to work in the ring more, but the times he did (aside from maybe the Doink stuff) from '93 to his exit had a real special feel to them, as opposed to Perfect regularly working. This angle was no exception. Perfect character change for Crush, great reasoning for it, and perfect for Savage, whose babyface work against bigger guys was strong.

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I sympathized with Crush here. He did an excellent job of explaining exactly why he was mad at Savage, and unlike Pete I never felt that Heenan was carrying him through the interview. He even did a good job in explaining Fuji's presence in his life during his recovery. Savage, on the other hand, had nothing to offer beyond "You're making a mistake". I would have loved to hear Crush flat-out ask Randy in front of the crowd why he waited so long to pull him out of the ring against Yoko, but under the circumstances, "I didn't want to lose my job in the booth" would have felt really weak and may have even turned part of the crowd against Randy.

 

The beatdown reminded me in some ways of Orndorff's turn on Hogan, with Crush openly spurning both Heenan and Fuji the way Orndorff attacked Studd and Bundy and sent them fleeing. Then the turn happens. I may be in the minority, but I'd have rather seen Crush hit the heart punch (his heel finisher, if I recall correctly) than drop Savage across the railing, although that was a nice (unacknowledged) callback to what Savage had done to Steamboat seven years earlier. Yoko's banzai drop was a nice substitute, but they never followed up with even a brief Savage-Yoko program, so it ended up meaningless.

 

Heenan did just enough instigating to be noticed; he gave the pot the first stir, then backed away and let Crush take over. It would have been nice for continuity's sake if Corny had come out with Crush and Fuji, but I understand why Vince didn't go there after hearing the promo. It's actually kind of sweet in a weird way that Crush and Fuji rebonded, even if it's for evil purposes. (It would have been nice to mention that Crush had been managed by Fuji once before, but with Eadie and Darsow both gone and Adams' gimmick thoroughly changed, who would have thought of Demolition?)

 

I wonder if Fuji, who was really a native Hawaiian, actually owned part of a hotel on the beach. If he did, why in the world would he have retired to Knoxville, Tennessee?

 

I didn't notice Adams' fake accent too much here; it will probably come back with a vengeance in the future, but I think Adams wanted to make sure he was understood clearly in such an important promo, so he wisely chose to dial it back.

 

Yes, Randy was probably nuts enough to bite his own tongue in order to get the angle over, although I don't know if he actually did. He might have also been nuts enough to knock out a few of his own teeth, which is what Heenan thought had happened after Crush dropped him over the railing.

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Awesome angle. Savage feels energized and Crush actually has some logical points that he is able to mouth in between his brahs. Bobby was the right person to lead this segment and helped direct traffic while Fuji just stood there with the Japanese flag. The build up to the turn was really well done and milked to the extreme. Crush looks vicious on the beatdown and the blood forming in Savage's mouth was a nice tough. Yokozuna adding to the attack proves he is the biggest deal in WWF at this time and adds emphasis to the angle overall too. Tremendous.

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