The Savage/Crush Summit Kick-Started a Great Rivalry
As I have stated throughout time in all different installments of the Professional 3, the WWE Network is an incredible asset to the world of pro wrestling. All different programs from a multitude of tape library exist on this digital streaming service for only $9.99. I am a spoiled individual to say the very least.
However, unlike a lot of fans that watch for a lot of the newer product, I’ve been watching solely for the old school product that the World Wrestling Federation put on. As much as I’ve wished for old Superstars and Wrestling Challenges to make their way to the network, I am more than content watching old school episodes of Monday Night Raw. Making my way through these episodes have really brought back enjoyment and, in certain cases, sad times in my life.
One of those moments involved the brutal attack of Macho Man Randy Savage by Crush in 1993.
With all the positive things that happened in 1993 on Raw, such as the 1-2-3 Kid’s upset of Razor Ramon, the Mr. Perfect vs Ric Flair “Loser Leaves the WWF” match on the 3rd ever Raw, and the short time of Bastion Booger, the fun loving Crush turning evil broke my heart. I LOVED the strong guitar riff entrance theme, the flashy colors of his ring gear, and the Cranium Crush submission hold of the big man from Kona, Hawaii. Seeing him grow the goatee and align himself with his old manager Mr. Fuji, while attacking the Macho Man really disappointed me.
I remember my father taping the episode of Raw on October 18, 1993 for me and just watching it over and over. I was absolutely flabbergasted seeing this vicious turn and just how angry Crush was over the whole situation. It got to the point where my father said, “It’s time to move on. Crush will get his.” Deep down, he enjoyed my emotional investment of the whole thing.
Obviously, the goal worked, as I was emotionally invested in watching the Macho Man getting his revenge through the fall of 1993 and winter of 1994. But what got these two men to that point on October 1993? How did the betrayal happen? Most of all, how would this rivalry end? The Savage/Crush Summit was a game changer in 1993. Here is why.
THE BACK STORY: The whole saga started in late 1992, believe it or not. After his second reign as WWF Champion and finishing his rivalry with Ric Flair at Survivor Series 1992, the Macho Man moved to the commentary booth to work on both Monday Night Raw and Superstars. While Savage was getting comfortable to his new position, Crush was on the rise throughout the World Wrestling Federation. The 6’6, 310 pound native from Kona, Hawaii, was beloved by wrestling fans and was seemingly looking like a few opportunities away from becoming the WWF Champion. However, you would hear the Macho Man GLOWINGLY state incredible things about the big man. Even though the Macho Man would keep things even keel for the most part at the booth, he would ALWAYS have a bias towards Crush and his success. On a subliminal level, Savage’s rub of positive encouragement for the Kona native gave Crush credibility as an in-ring performer. It was a very different way to get a performer “over” in the minds of the fans.
The friendship and admiration both men had for one another took a turn for the worse in July 1993. During the “Stars and Stripes” Bodyslam Challenge on the U.S.S. Intrepid on July 4, 1993, Crush participated in the contest to slam the WWF champion Yokozuna. Right as the big Hawaiian went to bodyslam the grand sumo competitor, Crush hurt his back, suffering a muscle injury. The Macho Man, his friend, took care of him at the Intrepid in New York City, but 8 days later, miles away at the Manhattan Center, Yokozuna would defend his title against that injured Crush. After Crush’s defeat on the July 12 Raw, Yokozuna, still mad that he was slammed by Lex Luger on the 4th, took out ALL of his anger on Crush, giving him FOUR Bonzai Drops to his injured back. After the fourth one and officials failing to pull the WWF champion away from the ring, the Macho Man finally ran in for the save, stopping more inflection of pain to his friend. Sadly, it was too late, as Crush’s back was injured further, forcing him out of action for almost 3 months.
While the Macho Man brooded by the commentary table for the next few months, it wasn’t until a few weeks before his return, when Crush was on a phone call with Vince McMahon, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan, and Savage himself. The big man from Kona was less than pleased talking to the Macho Man, showcasing anger towards him for his injuries. Seeing how these two friends were on the odds, WWF President Jack Tunney and his staff decided to hold a concept for these two men to successfully settle their differences. The October 18, 1993 Monday Night Raw would host The Savage/Crush Summit. Let me tell, it was QUITE the Summit.
SAVAGE AND CRUSH GOES FACE-TO-FACE: On October 18, 1993, an edgier Crush made his return to the World Wrestling Federation. In a black leather jacket and a goatee, Crush made his way to the ring…with MR. FUJI! After coming in the ring and shaking BOBBY HEENAN’S HAND, Crush faced the Macho Man, who was sitting next to Vince McMahon at the commentary table. Crush proceeded to lash into Savage, saying how he could have saved him on Raw on July 12 as he was SIX FEET AWAY at that VERY TABLE! Crush held Savage responsible for the four Bonzai Drops he received. Not only that, Savage saw the injured Crush to the flight back to Hawaii to heal his injuries, but apparently only called the Kona native TWICE, not to see how good he was feeling, but to see how BAD he was feeling. Meanwhile, Mr. Fuji, the manager of Yokozuna, called Crush every day. In spite of what his charge did to Crush, Fuji repeatedly checked on his well-being.
Savage, shocked, finally got up and walked into the ring. The Macho Man repeatedly stated that he is human and he made a mistake. Then, he pointed at the crowd and said that everyone in the arena had made a mistake as well. Savage apologized and pleaded with Crush to shake his hand, so they could go backstage and handle their issues privately. After some internal debating within himself, Crush ultimately relented and shook the Macho Man’s hand. As they left the ring, Crush raised the hand of Savage in the aisle. Suddenly, in a flash, CRUSH SNAPPED! Crush leveled the Macho Man with a clothesline and then gorilla-pressed him in the air.
With ease, Crush walked Savage over to the guardrail and dropped him MOUTH FIRST on it from 8 feet in the air! Crush then pummeled the Macho Man into oblivion and proceeded to leave the legend laying. Then, in a strange twist of fate, YOKOZUNA made his way to the ring. The WWF Champion set Savage up near the corner and dropped 580 pounds in a BONZAI! The Macho Man suffered a lacerated tongue, but a crushed spirit harmed him worse, as his friendship with Crush was dead and gone.
THE AFTERMATH: After the betrayal, the Macho Man and Crush went on a rampage against one another. Three weeks later, Savage returned to the commentary booth, but only to get closer to Crush, which was quickly becoming an absolute war being torn across the WWF land. WWF President Jack Tunney actually relieved Macho Man of commentary duties for a short period of time. At Survivor Series a few weeks later, Savage and Crush, in two separate matches, helped cause each other’s elimination. The Royal Rumble 1994 didn’t help matters either, as Crush helped cause the Macho Man’s elimination from the Royal Rumble match. On February 28, 1994’s Raw, the Kona native crossed the final line, costing Savage a chance at becoming a three-time WWF champion, causing a disqualification for Yokozuna when he seemed done for after a flying elbow.
WWF President Jack Tunney had seen enough, scheduling a Falls Count Anywhere match at WrestleMania X with Savage and Crush. After a major back and forth, the Macho Man won the war, pinning Crush and tying him up with cables backstage, causing him not to make it back to the ring after 60 seconds. The Macho Man finally had his redemption.
Watching WrestleMania X at Ed Scanlon’s house, I was extremely happy to see Macho Man Randy Savage get his revenge. I loved that Crush got his. Justice was indeed served! But that is what wrestling does: evoke emotion and wanting a fair result to transpire. The Macho Man got his.
You don’t get to this moment without the unique Savage/Crush Summit. It is segments like these that you never forget how it made you feel. With the way it came together, fell apart, and ultimately finished, I truly believe it was one of the most underrated segments in the early days of Raw.
Please check it out from start to finish on the WWE Network. It really is a highlight of all the old school Raw episodes from 1993.
Jon Harder firstname.lastname@example.org http://HardwayHQ.com