Jerry Lawler has recalled Randy Savage breaking a window at his house during a promotional war in the early 1980’s.
Throughout the early and mid-1980’s professional wrestling was still dominated by the territory system. Despite frequent talent exchanges, there was still fierce competition between promotions.
During the early 1980’s a heated promotional war broke out between International Championship Wrestling run by Angelo Poffo, and the Memphis based Continental Wrestling Association. With ICW operating outside of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) they were considered a rebel organisation.
During the rivalry between the two promotions, things reportedly resulted in violence between the two sides. Including one memorable incident where it is alleged that Randy Savage, appearing for his father’s ICW promotion at the time, broke the jaw of Bill Dundee, a headliner with the CWA.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes’ own Findlay Martin for Issue 2 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, Lawler recalled the incident. The legendary commentator who appeared for the CWA, said that the story was blown out of all proportion. Although he revealed that Savage did throw a brick through a window at his house during the same period.
“That got all blown out of proportion. I think they did have an altercation when they met in passing at a service station on the interstate or something like that. There were words. I don’t know if it came to blows or anything. They did come to my house one day when they knew that I was down in Memphis on TV: they brought a film crew, and Randy came to my house in Hendersonville, Tennessee, when I was 200 miles away in Memphis, and he broke a window out of my house. He threw a rock and broke a window.”
“They filmed him doing it. He came up and beat on the door and everything, knowing nobody was home, and then he backed up and threw a rock through my window and then they went back and showed that on their TV [programme].”
Jerry Lawler continued, playing down the war between the two promotions, before explaining how they ended up working together to put on a huge show in Lexington, Kentucky.
“It was much ado about nothing. It was not a big promotional war. [ICW] only promoted in one city [that we also ran], Lexington, and that wasn’t even one of our major cities. Jerry Jarrett always [held] the position that the best way to deal with competition was to just ignore them. We never talked about them, we never gave them any publicity. Meanwhile, on their show, they went out and talked about us every week. They would actually book matches. They’d say, ‘This week, our main event is ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage going against ‘King’ Jerry Lawler, if he’s got the guts to show up.’ That was the way they would book shows: trying to imply that I was going to be on their show and that it was going to be a big grudge match—of course, knowing that I wasn’t going to be there.”
“We just ignored them and, finally, they called us up and said, ‘Look, we’re about out of money. Can we work with you guys and co-promote some shows?’ So that’s when we did the big show in Lexington, Kentucky, without telling any of the fans that we were working together. We put on a co-promotion and sold out Rupp Arena with 18,000 fans. That was unheard of to sell out Rupp Arena. Eighteen thousand fans came to see me and Randy Savage.”
Ahead of the match between Lawler and Savage, the latter appeared on Memphis TV totally incensed. He threatened announcers, attacked two local talents and for all intents and purposes appeared totally demented. It was a moment where Savage truly became his character. Reflecting on the appearance, Lawler said that off-camera Savage was totally different and lots of fun to work with.
“He was at that moment. But, you know, off camera, he wasn’t that way at all. He was perfectly normal. He was a fun guy to work with. I always enjoyed working with Randy: we had some great matches.”