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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Rise & Fall Of The Mega-Powers
May 24, 2006 by Steven P.


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In 2005, Batista finally had enough of Triple H and his antics. On an episode of Raw, Batista destroyed Ric Flair and "the Game", power-bombing the Champion threw a table. This reminded me of something that I had seen before. Then I heard someone say that Evolution had "exploded." That one word made it crystal clear of a great moment from the glory days of the World Wrestling Federation.

One of the best programs that I remember watching, not just in the WWF/E, but in all professional wrestling, was back in 1989, when the Mega-Powers "exploded." Hulk Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage were the two top stars in that period of time for the WWF. The two men had opposite styles when wrestling. Hogan used his size advantage to dominate his smaller opponents and used his unprecedented strength to take down his larger adversaries. Along with that, Hogan was remembered at that time for his super-heavyweight battles with Andre the Giant and King Kong Bundy.

Now, Savage was very different. The Macho Man was one of the smallest WWE Champions, ever. Savage was just over 6'0 and about 235 pounds. He was an innovator of unique manoeuvres and won many matches by using his high flying techniques. Savage also wrestled in many classics, most notably against Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat at WrestleMania III. But the two men formed an on-air relationship and an off air one. Savage turned from being an incredibly hated heel to a lovable face in one night by challenging the Honky Tonk Man. As Savage was about to capture his second Intercontinental Championship, the Hart Foundation put a beating on Savage. Elizabeth tried to get involved but was pushed down by The Honky Tonk Man. She ran from ringside and came back with Hulk Hogan who chased the three off and shook Savage's hand. At WrestleMania IV, there was a one night tournament featuring 14 wrestlers to decide the new WWF Champion.

Hogan got eliminated right away in a match with Andre when they were both disqualified. In that night alone, Savage wrestled four times against four different opponents. The wrestlers that opposed Savage were Butch Reed, Greg Valentine, One Man Gang and the "Million Dollar Man", Ted DiBiase. It's unheard of today to have one man wrestle four times and against four different men. In the final match of the tournament, Hulk Hogan and a steel chair assisted Savage to the WWF Championship. The night ended with the victorious Savage, the Hulkster and Miss Elizabeth, who would become a major part of the feud a year later.

There was no doubt in 1988 that Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant were out to get Hogan and Savage and destroy their careers. The two men formed the tag team, "The Mega-Bucks." To combat DiBiase and Andre, Hogan and Savage formed "The Mega-Powers." At the first ever SummerSlam in Madison Square Garden, the match was set as the main event. I really enjoyed the match for its drama and its hidden comedy. I thought it was hilarious to see Andre sit on Savage's face while he was down in the corner and hearing Gorilla Monsoon scream about it. The Mega-Powers won the match even with referee Jesse Ventura against them. They dressed alike and the crowd was really into them. It was shortly after the Survivor Series that the popular trio would explode.

Hogan and Savage had the main event of the 1988 Survivor Series. They teamed with Koko B. Ware, Hercules and Hillbilly Jim. Their opponents were Ted DiBiase, The Red Rooster, Haku, the Big Bossman and Akeem. The survivors at the end of the match were Hogan and Savage. But the damage was done after the match was over. The Big Bossman and Akeem put a savage beating on the two, no pun intended. Tensions started to grow, starting at the Royal Rumble, where Hogan had eliminated Savage and Elizabeth had to separate the two. Then, on an episode of Superstars following, The Mega-Powers were on the "Brother Love Show." It was a great interview that hinted at the possible turn. Brother Love refereed to Miss Elizabeth as a "jezebel" and Hogan lusting after her. Hogan drifted away from the conversation and Savage talked about their adversaries. "And let me tell you something else, Hulk Hogan, Akeem is a man who thinks he's got a lot of soul, but when he drops those 450 pounds on you, you know and I know the damage he can do." This was the second to last time that we would see the two on the same page. So, on The Main Event, Hogan and Savage squared off against Akeem and the Big Bossman. During the match, Savage accidentally fell on top of Miss Elizabeth, knocking her out. Hogan, in total panic, lifted her up and carried her to the back. As Hogan was walking with his back to the ring, Savage was befuddled. With his arms outstretched asking "what are you doing"" Savage was left to fight for himself. Hogan came back and Savage returned the favor by slapping him in the face and leaving. Hogan took a beating but eventually won the match. After the match, as Hogan continued to attend Elizabeth, Savage made a rush at him. Savage was asking Hogan why he left him alone and Hogan told him what happened. Savage stormed off and then it all came to a head. Hogan asked Elizabeth to "talk some sense into him" and Savage blindsided him with the title belt and also took down Hogan's friend, Brutus Beefcake, setting up the dream match at WrestleMania just about two months later.

It was officially announced that Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage would battle it out for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania V in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A year earlier, in the same arena (Trump Plaza), Savage won the WWF Championship and didn't let it put of his grasps. So former friends and now present enemies battled in front of a very hot crowd. Savage surprised the crowd by picking apart Hogan. Early in the contest, Savage opened up a small cut under Hogan's eye and Savage drove Hogan's throat into the steel guardrail. Miss Elizabeth, showing some compassion, checked up on Hogan. Savage, irate about it stormed to the floor and threatened to hit her. Referee Earl Hebner stepped in and ordered Savage to get in the ring and for Elizabeth to leave the ringside area. Savage continued to work on Hogan and concentrated on his throat. Savage grabbed Hogan and jumped over the top rope, dropping Hogan's throat on the top rope. Savage would take apart Hogan and choked him out with the tape on his wrist. Hogan, looking down and out, was helpless in the ring. Savage climbed to the top and was poised to hit the flying elbow drop. Savage posed and flew down with the elbow and drove it into the throat of Hogan. It looked like this was the end of Hulkamania. Cover by Savage, one, two, and then a strong kick out by Hogan. Hogan was feeding off the crowd and after three punches by Savage, Hogan climbed to his feet, pumping up. Savage hit on more shot. Hogan shook his finger at the Champion and unloaded with three right hands and then the big boot. Hogan then connected with one of the best looking leg drops that I've ever seen. Hogan got the cover and became a two time WWF Champion.

Thus, the Mega-Powers exploded. Hogan and Savage competed in more matches later that year, including another tag team main event match at SummerSlam, pitting Hogan and Brutus Beefcake against Randy Savage and Zeus, of all people. The short lived team proved to very entertaining and it would be very hard to duplicate it.

by Steven P. ..


LanceCrucifix wrote:
Good article, I had always heard about the tag team between Hogan and Macho Man, but never how they split, thanks for the insight
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