The History of the Intercontinental Title: Part Five
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The History of the Intercontinental Title: Part Five
Your host is Jack “I <3 teh Jonas Brothers” Korpela.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. George “The Animal” Steele – (WrestleMania 2, 4/7/86)
Steele is in love with Elizabeth and Savage treats her like crap. It just so happens that Savage also has the IC strap, which I don’t even think Steele realizes. Savage wants nothing to with Steele to start, as he spends a good ninety seconds avoiding Steele. He finally gets caught in the ropes and George chews on Savage’s calf muscle. Actually he’s just biting Savage’s boot, but Savage sells it anyway. Back in, Steele choke-lifts Savage, but then Elizabeth steps within his peripheral vision. Steele gets distracted and stomped on while being tied up in the ropes. Savage comes off the top with something that resembled a crossbody block for two. Steele comes back and tosses Savage out to the floor, but gets distracted by Elizabeth again. Savage crawls underneath the ring to the other side and comes up behind Steele and nails him with a high knee. Nevertheless, Steele blocks a clothesline with more biting. Savage bails and grabs a bouquet of flowers from somebody at ringside and nails Steele with them. Steele bites some more and rubs the flowers in Savage’s face. He eats a turnbuckle and rakes Savage in the face with the stuffing. Savage rolls out to the floor to escape but Steele follows him out. Once Steele comes over by Elizabeth, Savage is able to scurry up to the top and dive off with a double-ax. Back in, Savage heads up top once again for the MACHO ELBOW and connects! 1-2-NO! Steele attacks Savage in the corner, but Savage is able to roll him up by using the ropes to retain the title. (7:08) Entertaining enough, albeit predictable. ½*
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ricky Steamboat – (Maple Leaf Wrestling, 7/27/86)
YESSSSSSSS! Steamboat works the arm early with his deep signature armdrags. Savage lays in some knees on Steamboat to slow him down, but he chops Savage out to the floor where he hides behind Liz. Long stall job REALLY starts to piss Steamboat off. Once he does lock up with Steamboat again, Savage manages to reverse a corner whip and tosses Steamboat to the floor for a ride into the guardrail. Back in, Savage hits a Flying Double Ax Handle for two. He tries another one and gets nailed. They head to the floor where Savage eats the ringpost and gets busted WIDE open. Quite the nasty blade job here. Steamboat brings Savage in and hits the Flying Judo Chop for 1-2-NO! Double Chop gets two, then Savage runs Steamboat and the ref’s heads together. While the ref is down, Steamboat catches Savage with an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Steamboat wins a backslide battle, but goes and argues with the ref while Savage reaches for something in his tights. When he heads back over to Savage, he has his eyes raked with something. Even with Steamboat blinded, Savage takes a CRAZY backdrop from the ring to the floor ala WrestleMania III! Steamboat starts feeling around and finds himself being tripped up and taken to the floor by Savage. He runs Steamboat into the apron, but Steamboat falls back on a slam and makes his way into the ring right before the ten-count. (18:44) Kind of a weak ending, but an incredible match. ****
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ricky Steamboat – (Superstars, 11/22/86)
A feud that is such a force, it has the capability of crushing your larynx. Steamboat gets sexy with the armbar exchanges to start. Savage finally gets a break once he takes Steamboat into the corner for a turnbuckle smash. Jumping knee drop gets two. Flying Double Ax Handle connects for 1-2-NO! Steamboat rolls through a crossbody out of the corner for two. He runs into a knee in the corner, but counters a turnbuckle smash and hits the Flying Judo Chop. Savage stops a sunset flip, but Steamboat skins-the-cat and O’Connor rolls Savage for 1-2-NO! The crowd is getting antsy. Savage collides with Dave Hebner, who takes a nasty bump. FLYING BODYPRESS connects for 1-2-NO! Evil ref Danny Davis comes in and stops the count to make sure Hebner is alright. Now the crowd is PISSED. While Steamboat yells at Danny, Savage knees him out to the floor and takes Steamboat over to the guardrail for the LARYNX CRUSHING FLYING DOUBLE AX HANDLE! Savage easily wins by countout. (6:55) After the bell, Savage brings Steamboat into the ring and comes off the top rope with the ring bell down on Steamboat’s throat. He wants to do it again, but Hebner gets Savage to leave. Now Steamboat does his infamous stretcher job where he convulses off the stretcher half way down the aisle. Awesome, awesome angle that sets up WrestleMania III. ***
They air a Randy Savage interview conducted by Bobby Heenan. It might be on the Savage DVD. Does Savage feel any remorse for what he did to Steamboat? He says he does, but I don’t think he really does.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Ricky Steamboat – (WrestleMania III, 3/29/87)
Yes, it’s *that* match. Steamboat counters a waistlock to start, and then sees that Steele is too close to Elizabeth so he climbs out and takes her over to the other side of the ring. Back in, Steamboat delivers a pair of armdrags and gives Savage a quick choke lift. Savage bails, but Steamboat chases him into the ring and gets nailed. Savage chokes away in the corner and then charges, but Steamboat moves out of the way. Steamboat works an arm wringer, but Savage whips him into the ropes and gives him a back elbow. Steamboat gets dumped and then Savage elbows him in the throat on the apron. Savage snapmares Steamboat back in and delivers a knee drop to the throat for two. Steamboat blocks a head to the buckle and returns the favor to Savage. Steamboat chops away and connects with a crossbody for two. Steamboat gets an armdrag and a couple shoulderblock near-falls. Savage sidesteps the third shoulderblock and catches Steamboat with a running knee to the back. Savage tosses Steamboat over the top rope, but Steamboat skins the cat back in the ring and then takes a clothesline out to the floor. Savage sneaks up from behind Steamboat and sends him into the front row with another running knee! Savage KNOWS he can’t beat Steamboat by a pinfall or submission, so he’s trying to get the countout win. I LOVE that. Steele tries to revive Steamboat and helps him out by picking him up and placing him back into the ring. Savage tosses Steamboat out AGAIN and heads up top for the dreaded double-axe handle and he connects! Instead of allowing the ten-count to happen, Savage gets impatient and tosses Steamboat back in the ring. He heads up to the top again and delivers another double-axe handle, then gives Steamboat a running elbow for two. Hotshot from Savage gets two. Atomic drop from Savage gets two. Suplex from Savage gets two. Haha, poor Dave Hebner. Steamboat comes back with chops, but Savage goes to the eyes and delivers a gutwrench suplex for two. Steamboat flips out of a back suplex and then backdrops Savage out to the floor. CRAZY BUMP! Steamboat brings Savage back in the ring and goes up top. He LEAPS over Dave Hebner and catches Savage with a Judo chop! (Possibly the most poetic moment in wrestling history) Steamboat covers for a close near-fall! The crowd even thought it was over. Double-arm chop from Steamboat gets two. Savage rolls out onto the apron and gets knocked out to the floor. Steamboat chases Savage back into the ring and delivers a sunset flip from the apron for two. Steamboat gets several near-falls from various rollups and then sends Savage headfirst into the ringpost with a catapult for another two! Steamboat rolls him up again for two, but then Savage pulls him back by his tights into a roll up for two. Steamboat fires away on Savage, but then gets yanked shoulder-first into the ringpost. Hebner gets bumped and Savage sets up for the MACHO ELBOW! He connects, but there’s no ref! Since there’s no ref, Savage goes out and grabs the ring bell! He heads up top, but Steele snatches the bell away from him. Savage kicks him in the head and grabs the bell back and climbs up top again, so Steele shoves him off. Savage goes for another slam to possibly set up for another Macho Elbow, but Steamboat counters it into a small package for the three-count to win the WWF Intercontinental title. (14:35) If there ever was a perfect match, this was it. From top to bottom, start to finish, there’s none better even to this day. Psychology, booking, workrate; it’s all done to perfection. *****
Final Thoughts: You can skip past the first match, but everything else is gold. Easy thumbs up for episode five!