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What else is there to say about this match? This remains probably the best bit of storytelling in the history of the WWF, tying up quite a few angles and letting Savage ride off into the sunset, albeit temporarily. I had a few thoughts watching this match. One is that this is still something I should check out anytime I'm feeling cynical about wrestling. Another is that sadly, real life doesn't always parallel "the movies", and the story of Randy and Liz wasn't quite a fairytale. But the story of the Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth certainly was. I may be overrating this, and people may be able to point to flaws in terms of the mechanics of the match, but I really don't give a shit. The whole is so, so much more than the sum of the parts ever could be, which is what makes this match so great.

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What a great match. It had a big time feel to it. Just having Warrior walk to the ring added an element to the match. Sherri was also working her ass off here. Savage was great here and truly is a master at pro wrestling.

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If I was only able to watch one final wrestling match this would be it. I'm not saying from a technical standpoint it's the greatest match of all time, but it's certainly favorite. This is the moment where Vince McMahon succeeds at "transcending" wrestling and becoming just flat out great entertainment for anyone. My mom cried at the post match. I showed Savage's Mania matches from 2-7 to my then gf years back and she lost it too. It's just the greatest moment in the history of our sport.

 

And if ANYONE predicted the Warrior would be the only one still alive involved in this 20 years ago they would have been locked up sadly.

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I have never loved this match quite as much as its biggest fans, but that's not a fault of the performance. I just can't completely get past being irritated by Warrior. On the other hand, this is always a reminder of how much I loved Savage, just the way he moved around the ring. They certainly nailed all the big beats. Savage's five elbows were such a great choice for a huge match on a huge stage. And even Warrior's moments of self-doubt worked with the arc of his character. Sherri gave a great performance, and the Elizabeth stuff delivered one of the great second endings in wrestling history. This was actually a fascinating Wrestlemania between the lower-card highlights, this peak of WWF melodrama and the jingoistic semi-misfire that was the main event.

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Those of you who feel like they missed out on Savage's first Royal Rumble attack, fear not: it's included in the video package, complete with one of my favorite moments ever: the light fixture shot.

 

Not much else to add here. I'll just point out that we have a ton of obvious nods to history in the post-match, but one during the match that I'd forgotten was Savage draping Warrior's throat over the guardrail, with Heenan pointing out that this is something he's done before. That's SUCH a great little touch, a desperation gambit from Savage that he hadn't unleashed in four years, that longtime fans would have picked up on that adds a little bit of spice to an already-transcendent whole. One of wrestling's absolute best chill scenes.

 

I should be annoyed by Heenan shitting all over the reunion and pointing out how this wasn't the time for him to be cracking jokes, but like the possible mechanical flaws in the match that's meaningless. His curt response, "I'd rather have the match" is one of my all-time favorite Bobby quotes, that just sort sums up who the Brain was.

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Miss Elizabeth in the crowd watching. Warrior catches a Macho cross body off the top rope. Instead of slamming he puts Macho down on his feet and then slaps him in face. Savage had a great reaction to that. Sherri was fantastic in this match. Willing to go right at Warrior and risking her health. This remains one of my favorite WrestleMania matches. Yeah, there are some issues but the great storytelling/drama covers up those things in my eyes. The post match is just great with Elizabeth/Savage reunited. Fans loved it. Wish the announcers went silent though as they really didn’t need to talk over what was going on.

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An incredible atmosphere as the fans didn't understand the stipulation (what "retirement" actually means in wrestling). They worked it really well as a big match with smart construction and shifts in momentum. For all his limitations the Warrior seemed to have one strong singles bout each year. He kicked out after 5 top rope elbows, but then Savage also survived a finisher and made the Warrior question his Gods. Epic stuff. There were some weaker moments such as the finish but this was top drawer WWF. In the aftermath Sherri attacks Randy before Liz makes the save in a heart warming moment. Their reconciliation brought a tear to many an eye.

 

A crowning glory for Sports Entertainment.

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Well here we are, my favorite match of all time. A match that transformed a pretty big wrestling fan into a lifelong one. This is the one match that is the toughest for me to view objectively but I think I did my best here and it is still absolutely wonderful and chill inducing. I had forgotten how desperate everything felt in this match. Sherri was magnificent and really added to the magnitude and pace of the match. Warrior is the worst of the main components of this match but I think I liked him better this time than on last watch and he does really sell him looking up to the heavens well. Savage gives the performance of a lifetime here and its inspiring to watch especially to me knowing the actual backstage stuff involving him and Elizabeth. My MOTY and I honestly can't see anything topping it.

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Before I talk about what this match was, let me list what it wasn't. It wasn't the Match of the Month and the clubhouse favorite for Match of the Year: that's WarGames. It wasn't the greatest WrestleMania bell-to-bell match of all time: that's Steamer/Savage at Mania III. It's not even the greatest Mania moment of all time: that's Hogan slamming Andre at Mania III.

 

What this was was a transcendent performance by everyone involved, and that's rarer than you think at a Mania. And when I say "everyone", I mean the cornerpeople and announcers too. Liz did nothing of note at Mania III, and George Steele didn't play much of a part in the finish. Heenan did nothing at Mania III; he didn't even take any postmatch bumps from Hogan. To be fair, Liz and Heenan weren't in a position to be big parts of those particular matches, but I'm including them for comparison's sake.

 

Everyone here was at the top of their game: Savage was the daredevil he made his living being, Warrior wrestled a more varied match than he did even at Mania VI when he won the belt, and Sherri gave what might have been her last truly great managerial performance. Pete talked earlier about the callback to the neck-over-the-railing spot; it's only fitting that missing that spot is what directly cost him his career by giving Warrior his final offensive opening. I loved the "talking to the gods" routine as much as anyone, but even if Warrior had gotten the message to walk away, I'm sure he'd have fired those gods and found new ones to worship PDQ. Seriously, they finally succeeded in making the Warrior believably human, which stupid stuff like Amanda Ultimate Warrior couldn't even come close to doing.

 

The false finishes for both men were tremendous, as each man kicked out of the other's finisher. Of course, Warrior surviving Savage's elbow after it was dropped no less than five times killed that move deader than dirt, but since Randy was leaving, it really didn't matter. It also took three Warrior spears and the gorilla press to finally put Savage down, so they ended at least somewhat even.

 

Sherri pulled out every stop in the world, as you'd expect. Gino and Bobby made sure to point out that her reign as queen was on the line too, so this was in essence a handicap match. As I said earlier, I don't recall her giving a performance like this again, and I don't think she ever enjoyed a gimmick as much as she did this one, at least according to her shoot.

 

Gino was solid, but just like in the Hogan/Slaughter match, Heenan was the announcing star. This may be the best serious analysis of a match I've ever heard from him; he constantly puts over both men as competitors, describes the intensity he sees from each of them, and even lays off of Liz for the most part until the postmatch. Why wasn't Bobby this good more often? Because there weren't really enough good main-event style matches during his time as top heel commentator, certainly few of this magnitude that made his usual style out of place. Of course, he lets loose during Randy and Liz's reunion, but how much longer could anyone realistically hold him back? Besides, grown men and women crying over two strangers reuniting in a wrestling ring deserve to be made fun of, masterful storytelling aside.

 

The postmatch made me wish that Liz was just a bit bigger and had some training so we could see her go at it with Sherri. Apparently, Vince thought about having a series between them at one time right after Mania V, but either Randy, Liz, or both put a stop to it, and I'm not sure Sherri would have done it either. For those few who may not know, Liz picked Sherri as her successor in Savage's corner, and the two of them became close friends, so Sherri may not have wanted to put Liz in a position to be accidentally hurt. She sure sold for Liz like Liz was Wonder Woman here, though. I love Heenan's call of Sherri kicking Savage: "The woman's possessed!"

 

The reunion itself was sappy, but that was to be expected, especially since this really was supposed to be Savage's farewell bout for TV purposes. Not only the Macho King gimmick dies here, but the idea of a King of the WWF period, as Gino salutes the once-again "Macho Man" while he and Liz are departing ringside.

 

This was the Match of the Night for Mania without a doubt, and despite what I said above, Vince would give anything he possesses to get real emotion like this out of a crowd today. We can argue about its ranking in history all we like, but it's unquestionably one of those select few bouts that will never be forgotten by those who have seen it. For that, sincere congratulations to all involved, and it's a tragedy that we can't thank most of them personally anymore.

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Was there a reason they referred to this as a 'career ending' match rather than simply a retirement match? The former is just so much more awkward.

 

Retirement sounds like something one chooses to do on their own, but "career ending" sounds more like you are being forced into it against your will.

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I admit that I teared up at the post match embrace, but I feel that it's entirely possibly that I might of found it rather sappy if it wasn't for the tragic deaths of Macho Man and Elizabeth. The match itself is special. Warrior doesn't do anything to bring the quality down and it's actually one of his better performance, even if Savage is mainly responsible for the workrate portion of this match to be as solid as it is. He bumps well for Warrior's abysmal punches. The reason everyone rates this match highly is because of the emotion behind it. The atmosphere was something else. I personally found Warrior 'talking to the gods' and Macho Man hitting the elbow five times to be overly hokey, but I can forgive it.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-100-51/

 

#81

 

Well, I've hit the first match I consider to be ***** on the countdown. This is at the very top of my personal favorite moments in wrestling history. The match, the moment, the story, the performances that put all that together - all perfect. The ending of this is so emotional, and I'm not sure there's been a better storytelling moment in wrestling. Macho Man was my first favorite wrestler (and he still is my favorite). I believe, after this match, was when I fell out of wrestling as a kid. The Macho/Liz stuff was what I was most attached to as a youngster. The only Mania I can remember seeing live as a little kid was Mania 5. I think after seeing this on rental VHS, and thinking Macho was really done, that was it for a while. Anyway, I still get chills watching this. I'm not sure what else can be said. I love this match. If I were making my own top 90s list, then I'd have this higher.

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Insanity. Just pure storytelling and WWF-style drama. Savage stooging and heeling it up with Sherri at his side. Warrior being an absolute brute force of nature, calling to the heavens for strength. The two nearfalls in the middle were HISTORIC. Insanity. That extended finishing stretch was so tense that it was great.

 

Then, an iconic moment to end the match. Pure WWF storytelling drama at its finest. Savage put on an amazing bump performance for Warrior.

 

****1/2

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This was pretty amazing. Warrior looks great even throwing shit punches. Savage and Sherri work double overtime to wring every bit of drama out of this match. The post-match stuff was sappy, but it works so damn well I don't care.

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"Macho Man" Randy Savage w/Sherri vs Ultimate Warrior - Wrestlemania VII Career Match

Even though, I have seen it a zillion times and I knew it was coming, they still got me. It was right when Liz hopped over the barricade, it was like I was in the dustiest room imaginable. It wasnt the embrace or putting her on the shoulder because I knew all that was coming. I had forgotten about the rope holding spot. I just had a good cry. Greatest moment in pro wrestling history. I am not even sure it is close. For a moment to consistently make me cry just shows the incredible power. 

I have reviewed over 1800 matches at this point. I breakdown these matches logically really going into the minutia of what works and why it works. To me, the best matches are not for critical thinking. They are not the matches that appease the mind. They are the matches that make you feel. That move you. That hit you in the gut and tug on the heartstrings. Thats why this match is ***** all the way and I honestly think any rating less than that is severely underrating the match. As so many others have pointed out the Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth story arc from Wrestlemania II to Wrestlemania VIII is incredible. What makes it so good you dont even have to see the intervening moments. You can just watch those seven matches and you get the complete story of a man that is loaded with character development, action, twists & turns and ultimately the feel good ending of him winning the WWF Title from Ric Flair. The climax of that story is right here at Wrestlemania VII. After the jealous explosion at Wrestlemania V and Elizabeth getting a modicum of revenge with the help of the American Dream at Wrestlemania VI, this is where it all comes to a head. The Macho Man vs The Ultimate Warrior where one man's career will be over.

I think you can assert that this is the most influential match of all time, at the very least the most influential WrestleMania match on other WrestleMania main events. "I'm sorry, I love you" comes right from this playbook. Now, it is not even WrestleMania main events but many WWE matches and indy matches that incorporate this style of cinematic storytelling. This is not an original thought many have picked up on the fact that Shawn Michaels popularized the style, BUT it was the Macho Man Randy Savage who innovated it. This is the pinnacle of Randy Savage's vision as a storytelling. To me this is the biggest reason, Vince McMahon loved Randy Savage so much is that they shared the very same vision of what pro wrestling could be. It could be a entertainment platform that truly captures every aspect of humanity. Vince loves moments. Pro wrestling even though it is a dynamic sport, Vince saw the value in distilling it into static images. I dont think there is a more powerful image than Randy hoisting Elizabeth on his shoulder. To me that is the pinnacle of Vince McMahon's vision of pro wrestling. Love is the most human experience. It is often sorely lacking in pro wrestling and even all these years later there is no greater love story. 

Am I ever going to talk about this match? The match sees Randy Savage in full Memphis heel mode and Ultimate Warrior is in stalking avenging angel mode. Warrior was very careful not to blow up during this match. His movements were all measured and never wasted. He understood the moment and it could be explained in kayfabe that he was cautious given the stakes of the match. Normally, I dont include the managers in the title of the match, but this was effectively a handicap match and Sherri worked OVERTIME in this match. She was every bit a part of this match as Savage and Warrior. They established pretty early on that Savage was outgunned by the bigger & stronger Warrior so it would take a team effort to take him down. Savage loves the spot where his opponent chokes him and lifts him high up in the air, but this time he is thrown into Sherri. They tried many distraction tactics but they all failed against Warrior who was laser-focused in this match. Warrior was absorbing the punishment and returning it tenfold. Warrior was basically playing King of the Jungle carved out the center of the ring while Savage and Sherri were two hyenas trying to dislodge him. Try as they might, they were always thwarted. Warrior was very static. Savage and Sherri were supplying the energy: bumping 'n' running. One really impressive spot that I had forgotten about was when Warrior caught the Macho Man in his arms on a top rope crossbody. Then set him down and slapped him, the ultimate sign of disrespect.  

I loved that both transitions to Macho Man offense were because of Warrior leaving his feet. Warrior had the game plan of letting Savage come to him and then counterattacking, but twice Warrior went for big shouldertackles and missed. He deviated from the gameplan and had to pay for it. Sherri was brutal on the outside. You could argue that Sherri actually got more offense on Warrior than Savage did! Neither heat segment lasted all that long as the Warrior was simply too strong. Eventually one Sherri's distraction tactics paid off and Savage dropped Warrior throat first on the ropes. Some really good selling from the Warrior choking. Savage did his famous snap his opponent's head over top rope as he jumps to the floor. Savage was so damn good in this match and so was Sherri.

At this point, Savage drops the FIVE Top Rope Elbows and this is when it kicks into cinematic territory. That is such an insane number especially since one usually gets the job done. Then Warrior KICKS OUT! What I love about his match is that it is not just about Savage/Sherri/Elizabeth they give some room for Warrior to have character development. Remember, Warrior defeated Hogan at the previous WrestleMania, yes Savage cost him the WWF title at Royal Rumble, BUT the Warrior had NOT faced real adversity in match before. So when Warrior runs this his usual comeback complete with the Press Slam/Warrior Splash AND The Macho Man kicks out, that became a moment when we could learn a lot about the Warrior. Warrior showed vulnerability unaccustomed to a WWF babyface at the time. He looked up to the Heavens and wondered what he needed to do. He started talking to his hands and he realized that he might not have what it takes to get it done. Warrior was going to walk out on the WWF downtrodden if it was not for Savage's hubris attacking the Warrior. Sherri held Warrior for Savage to come crashing down on Warrior as he was on the railing. Warrior shoved Sherri and Savage took that bump chin-first on the steel railing. That was a nasty, nasty bump. He really threw himself into it. Macho Man had pretty much knocked himself out and was a victim of his own pride & greed. Warrior hits three King-Sized Shouldertackles that Savage sold beautifully. Then in emphatic fashion, Warrior, King of the Jungle, but one foot on the chest of the Macho Man and won the match 1-2-3! 

I love it all! All the gaga with Macho Man & Sherri trying every nefarious trick in the book to beat the Warrior. I loved Warrior's controlled anger. He was focused and here to win. Then the finish run starting with the FIVE Elbow Drops, Warrior Splash->Kickout->Warrior Self-Doubt, Savage eating the steel, Warrior's one foot cover is one of the most perfect endings to a pro wrestling match. Is it a technical marvel? Of course not! Thats missing the point. The match itself is an amazing roller coaster ride and then add in the greatest post-match in the history of pro wrestling, it is an iconic match that is the pinnacle of Vince McMahon's & Randy Savage's story telling and continues to influence pro wrestling to this day. *****

 

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