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Superstar Sleeze

[1987-02-15-WWF-Toronto, ONT] Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat

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WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat - WWF, Toronto 2/15/87

 

I could have sworn I had seen this match before, but I don't think I have. What a tremendous match! Perhaps even better than the Mania match, which I need to rewatch now. Steamboat made his return at the January Saturday's Night Main Event during Savage and Steele's match. I really enjoyed the Savage vs Steele feud and SNME matches. The turnbuckle stuffing spot is pretty funny. It was the perfect feud to put even more heat on Savage, but it was all to really get that heat on Savage for the Steamer.

 

After crushing having larynx crushed and needing to re-learn how to talk, many have criticized the Mania for the lack of violence and hatred from Steamboat. Around the horn in the Northeast loop (Boston, Philly, NYC and Toronto) for two shows in each city they saw Steamboat win or lose by DQ and not win the title. This explains the cleaness and neatness of the Mania match as Steamboat had gotten his licks in and now was coming from the title. Besides a single pinfall cover by Ricky which I think was out of force of habit. Steamboat focused on using his energy and technique to set up his chops and this maybe the most violent Steamboat ever looked. Savage was great at selling the discombobulation and tries to head for the hills, but Steamboat chucks him back in. Again, Macho Man powders and this time with some cat and mouse game Savage nails The Dragon and throws him over the top. Savage sells well, but once recuperated he sends Steamboat into the railing. Big bodyslam by Macho man on the floor. I like how this match has more selling and more drama. Savage is matching violence with Steamboat. The big spots on the floor is allowing more time to breathe. Finally, Savage lays Steamboat across the top rope and drills that throat with an elbow. I think if we got some choking and coughing from Steamboat that would have sealed the deal as this being a tippy top great match. Still Savage is coming off the top with the double axe handle and now a kneedrop to throat. Camera is not letting us see if he is choking or coughing. Classic Savage clothesline stymies a Steamboat rally. Savage is here to preserve his title reign so it makes more sense for him to go for all these covers. Steamboat is draped throat first across the middle rope and Savage looks to really hurt him by crushing with all his weight, but Steamboat moves! Love that spot! There was so much drama if he would or would not move. Somehow, Savage has a minor cut on his forehead, but dont know how.Steamboat does the skin the cat spot, but Savage dont play that and he just clobbers him with a clothesine. Savage looks to hit the double axehandle on the railing, but gets a punch in the stomach. Steamboat uses speed and armdrags and then chokes the hell out of Savage. I love how Steamboat is using his normal offense to create opportunities for violence. Now, it is a larynx for a larynx as he snaps Savage's throat against the top rope. Steamboat mocks Savage's throat selling. he drops Savage on the top rope. How does a taste of your own medicine feel! Savage powders and tries to send him in teh railing, but it is the Macho Man that tastes the steel. Savage with that awesome tippsy selling right into a Steamboat big karate shot from the top. Catapult and now Savage is busted wide open. The way Savage's body conforms to the turnbuckles on that spot was awesome. Savage is straight money in this match. He is selling so well! he always trying to escape, but he is so disoriented that he cant escape the Dragon. Savage has enough wherewithal to grab the tights to send him out. Savage drills from behind on the ramp with a high knee. Great use of the ramp! Steamboat chants and he is pissed! He goes for the sunset flip and only gets two and now they do the Mania match finish with a ton of nearfalls for Steamboat. It is the O'Connor Roll that does him as Savage is able to reverse and pull tights.

 

Awesome match! Savage is covered in blood with the championship, but Steamer is so pissed he runs down the ramp and blasts him. I think you can see the change in Steamboat within this match. Up until the end, he wants to get his licks in first with chops then targeting the larynx and finally busting Savage wide open. Eventually after all this payback, he does want to add on top of that taking the championship away from Savage thus why he goes for the pinfall barrage. The pinfall barrage plays right into Steamboat's wheelhouse of quickness. The object of wrestling is put your man down for three the more attempts you make that better chance you have of getting that win. I think this match and the other matches in Northeast showed Ricky he could get his revenge or he could get the championship, but not both. After two months of kicking ass, he set out to win the title at Mania. Savage's performance in this is just tremendous. I think above all his selling was just perfect. He was discombobulated from the being and that just sold how much fire Steamboat had. When he was on top, he slowed it down and really targeted the neck. The cheap win with the tights covered in blood and leaving with the title is just a great heel ending. One of the best matches in 80s WWF and one of the all-time classics. ****3/4

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I like this match better than the Wrestlemania III match. The match seems to have more emotion (or feeling) to it. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes when I watch the match from Mania it sort of feels like they are going through the motions in comparison to this one that just seems more organic and brutal. I do love the Wrestlemania match, but for my money I'll take this one over it.

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I certainly liked this more than the Mania match. Just a simple story of babyface vs. heel with Savage going back after Steamboat's throat. Loved the point in the match near the end where Steamboat goes after Savage's throat as revenge. Just really good stuff and the blade job added to the intensity and the heat. I felt actual annoyance (in all the right ways) at the ending. Just wonderful stuff. How smooth was Steamboat in his prime and how charismatic was Savage? Fantastic combination of workers.

 

****3/4

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Count me in as liking this more than the mania match. This is top 5 wwf MOTD for me. Just fantastic. I would like to see the wwf 80s project redone with all of the footage that has been made available since it was done. While the guys went with what footage was available at the time,the original set is missing some truely great matches. This match, Tito/Valentine,Backlund/Patera, and the 6 man tag from right before mania 3 to name a few.

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While I love their Wrestlemania classic this one here had more grit to it. You felt the intensity off the bat. Steamboat was a mad man here as the fiery babyface out for revenge. Savage was on another level bumping all over the place and selling his ass off. The blood was an extra plus making the crowd hotter than they already was. Excellent stuff overall.

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This is long overdue but I'll put my hand up as another hipster who loves this even more than the famous WM III match.

 

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I'm telling you, if you have not seen the complete version of 7/27/86, you are really missing out.

PM me if you want to see it.    Not the edited version on Coliseum Video.   The complete match

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I guess I should say why, like another poster above, why I think this match is a top 5 match for the decade in WWF.

First, this match is a great progression of a very heated feud, leading up to the famous WrestleMania climax. It has all the classic tropes of a babyface chasing the title who is equally desperate to get his revenge on the heel for the heinous injury angle that made this a blood feud on top of a title chase.

Secondly, in this encounter, Steamboat alters his tactics and shows more fire and determination to get his revenge by ratcheting up the violence and trying to give Savage his comeuppance. It makes for a compelling spectacle. 

Thirdly, this match is structured so well with escalating violence, awesome selling by Savage, and the amazing spot where Steamboat is vulnerable draped on the barricade outside the ring and Savage tries for a devastating axe handle jump from the top turnbuckle, aimed yet again for Ricky's throat. Steamboat desperately evades! This transitions to a tremendous finishing stretch where some big moves are exchanged, Savage is busted open, the near falls are convincing and you get the heel win at the end as Savage snatches the win at the end by nefarious means.

This is everything I want from pro wrestling, in 18 minutes of action that never loses momentum or overstays its welcome.

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