Lanny Poffo has recalled a series of backstage brawls which took place shortly after Randy Savage joined WWE in 1985. Although the Macho Man was careful to be on his best behaviour.
Backstage fights are almost as entrenched in wrestling folklore as the action inside the ring. While fans clamour for details, off-screen confrontations have been taking place inside of professional wrestling ever since the sport was created.
One man who was known for his fiery side, both on and off camera was Macho Man Randy Savage.
By the time that Savage and his bother Lanny Poffo arrived in WWE in the summer of 1985, the Macho Man already had a reputation for being somewhat temperamental, despite his obvious talents as a performer.
Speaking to Inside The Ropes’ own Keith Elliott Greenberg for Issue 8 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, Lanny Poffo explained that when Savage joined WWE, he was essentially placed on probation by Vince McMahon.
“Randy was a very serious man in a very unserious business sometimes. So they let him know that he was on probation. There were a lot of backstage fights those first few years he was with the company, but Randy wasn’t in any of them.”
Poffo continued, recalling a number of backstage incidents which occurred shortly after their arrival.
“Jacques felt like he was being bullied and had to stand up for himself. Billy Jack Haynes thought Iron Mike Sharpe was being stiff with him in the ring, but the truth was Sharpe was stiff with everybody. Boom, boom, boom. It was over pretty fast, and Billy Jack was the winner. Spivey was fired because Vince McMahon said, “I can’t have you beating up my talent.” And Spivey answered, “I don’t consider that fat piece of sh*t to be talented.”
It was then put to Poffo that Adonis was in fact quite talented. Poffo agreed before recalling Randy Savage’s role as peacemaker in the incident.
“You’re being subjective in an objective world. Of course, he was talented. Nobody got to the level of Adrian Adonis without talent. However, he was also very rude when he was on drugs. Now, Randy was involved in that one a little bit. Well, he got involved afterwards. You know how Randy didn’t want anybody in the same dressing room with [his manager and real-life wife] Elizabeth? Well, he took Danny into the room with Elizabeth, and asked me to get a bucket of ice because Danny’s fist was swollen. And he said to Danny, “I want you to stay in this room. I don’t want any more trouble at all.” So Randy was the peacemaker. And blessed are the peacemakers.”
Poffo explained that Savage was very aware that that he needed to keep himself out of trouble as joining the then WWF was such a huge opportunity.
“Oh, yes. He knew that he had to be on his best behaviour at all times. This was his biggest opportunity, and he didn’t want to have a reputation as a guy people couldn’t work with. He wanted another reputation. He was OCD about trying to have the best match that he could possibly have.”
Randy Savage remained with WWE until 1994 when he moved to WCW. Savage made his final appearance for the company in 2000 after winning the World Championship four times.
The Macho Man was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.