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History of the Intercontinental Championship
WWE.com Legacy Edition
Part Five

by Samoa Rowe

-Jack Korpela welcomes us to a special edition of this series. Randy Savage has just won the Intercontinental Championship, widely considered to be one of the best reigns ever.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage © (with Ms. Elizabeth) vs. George “The Animal” Steele
Wrestlemania 2
April 2nd 1986

Savage flees from the ring almost immediately, because Steele is just that damn scary. Savage tries to intimidate but gets chased out again. Steele finally chases Savage all over the place and bites the leg. Savage finally attacks but gets planted himself. Steele turns his back to admire Elizabeth and gets his legs caught in the ropes as Savage beats him down. Savage connects with a top rope flying cross body but only gets 2 on the cover. Steele tosses him to ringside. Steele is busy checking out Elizabeth as Savage crawls under the ropes and attacks from behind. Steele bites the arm. Savage assaults with a bouquet of flowers but Steele fights him off, shoving the flowers in his face. Steele bites apart the turnbuckle padding and rubs the insides into Savage’s face. Steele is again distracted by Elizabeth and takes a double axe handle from Savage. Macho Man goes high risk and nails the flying elbow drop. Steele kicks out and grabs the face. Savage makes a cover with his feet on the ropes and gets the win at 7:06. Savage worked hard to make this match entertaining, *½.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Randy Savage

“Macho Man” Randy Savage (with Ms. Elizabeth) vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Maple Leaf Wrestling
July 27th 1986

They feel each other out in excellent fashion in the early going. Steamboat gets the better of some chain wrestling so Savage teases taking a hike. They exchange wrist locks with The Dragon getting the upper hand. Deep armdrag by Dragon sets up the armbar. Steamboat dodges Macho Man before hitting a body slam for a quick cover and going back to work on the arm. Shoulder block gets another quick cover for Steamboat and then it’s back to the armbar. Steamboat reverses an Irish whip with a flying cross body, and rolls up Macho Man for a quick two count. Back to the armbar. Savage gets a rope break and starts clubbing. Dragon blocks a head ram and reverses. The fight heads to ringside, where Savage uses Elizabeth as a shield. The referee yells at Steamboat for shoving him earlier, giving Savage a chance to refresh. Savage is taking his sweet time getting back, taking advantage of the referee not counting in favor of scolding Steamboat. Savage finally returns and runs into a hip toss and armdrag. Steamboat reverses an Irish whip and pushes Dragon to ringside. Double axe handle off the apron by Savage, who then drives Steamboat into the steel barricade. Back to the ring, Savage goes high risk with an axe handle to the back of the head. Cover by Savage gets 2.5. Steamboat blocks a suplex, causing Savage to go top rope again. Steamboat catches Macho Man in midair with a fist and follows up with shots to the head. They brawl to ringside where Steamboat throws Savage over the barricade. The referee grabs Steamboat to prevent him from following up, but he manages to fling Savage back into the steel, busting him open. Steamboat connects with a karate shot off the ropes but only gets 2 on the cover. Savage gets a rope break on a second cover and kicks out of a third. The referee accidentally gets wiped out with a head shot. Small package by Steamboat but only gets a 2 count from the injured ref. They fight for a backslide and Steamboat gets it for a 2 count. Steamboat argues with the referee while Savage pulls a weapon from his tights. Savage scores the weapon shot in the eyes of Steamboat, who is now blinded and throwing wild punches. Dragon still manages to back drop Savage to ringside! Savage pulls the blind Steamboat to ringside and they brawl viciously. Steamboat crawls into the ring just in time to win by count-out at 19:07. This turned out to be quite an epic, despite the world’s worst referee, ****.
Winner by count-out: Ricky Steamboat

“Macho Man” Randy Savage © (with Ms. Elizabeth) vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
WWF Superstars
November 22nd 1986

They lock up and Savage is quick to escape in the ropes. Steamboat comes out on top of some chain wrestling and gets a deep armdrag for an armbar. Savage drives Dragon into the corner, but Steamboat bounces off the ropes and nails a scoop slam for a quick cover. Armdrag back to the armbar by Dragon. Couple of shoulder blocks by Savage, but Steamboat leap frogs and plants Savage for another armbar. Macho Man drives Steamboat into the turnbuckle and drops a knee for a 2 count. Savage goes high risk and scores a double axe handle. Cover by Savage gets 2. Savage reverses an Irish whip with a flying body press. Dragon tosses Savage into the ropes but runs into his boot. Steamboat blocks and drives Macho Man’s head into the turnbuckle. Top rope karate chop by Dragon followed up with shots to the head. Savage throws Dragon to ringside but eats a sunset flip moments later. Dragon skins the cat and gets a roll-up for 2. Savage inadvertently wipes out the referee. Steamboat goes high risk and scores the flying body press, but the referee is slow to count. A new referee comes out and stops the first ref. Steamboat argues with the officials and gets blindsided by Savage. Macho Man drops Steamboat on the steel barricade and leaves him draped. Savage goes top rope and drops a double axe onto Dragon, ramming his throat into the steel! Dragon gets counted out at 7:05. This was nonstop bell to bell action, ***.
Winner by count-out: Randy Savage

-After the match, Savage takes the ring bell and dives off the top rope, driving the bell into Steamboat’s injured throat! The referee prevents Savage from repeating the vicious act.

-Bobby Heenan interviews Savage, asking him if he feels any remorse for what he did to Steamboat. Savage says he felt sorry for Steamboat during all the violent attacks, but basically he’s not sorry.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage © (with Ms. Elizabeth) vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (with George Steele)
Wrestlemania III
March 29th 1987

Steamboat throws Savage off a waistlock. Deep armdrags by Steamboat who lifts Savage by the throat. Savage regroups at ringside. Steamboat pursues, but Savage levels him returning to the ring. Clothesline by Macho Man gets 2. Dragon lifts Savage by the wrist and drops it off the apron into the ropes. Savage blocks by grabbing the hair and tosses Steamboat to the floor. Dragon tries to return but Savage kicks him back to the floor. Macho Man grabs the hair and elbows the previously injured throat. Steamboat fights back from some covers and ties Savage up in the ropes, taking advantage with repeated shots. They reverse whips with Steamboat nailing a cross body and getting some quick near falls. Savage drives a knee to the back of the head. Steamboat skins the cat but gets clotheslined to the floor. Macho Man drives the knee to the head again at ringside, sending Steamboat crashing over the guard rail. Steel carries Steamboat back to the ring. Savage throws Steamboat out again. Double axe handle off the top to the floor by Macho Man! Back to the ring, Savage connects with another top rope axe handle. Cover by Savage gets 2. Macho Man hangs Steamboat up on the ropes and nails an atomic drop for a near fall. Suplex by Savage gets 2. Steamboat fights back but an eye rack regains control for the champ. Steamboat scores with some martial arts shots and he backdrops Savage over the ropes. Top rope karate shot by Dragon gets a near fall. Clothesline by Steamboat gets another quick cover. Shoulder block and sunset flip get a near fall for Steamboat. Savage kicks out of a series of pinning predicaments. Savage pulls the tights to send Dragon crashing into the turnbuckles. Savage whips Steamboat into the referee (accidentally, right?) and nails a clothesline. Flying elbow drop by Savage, but the referee is still out. Savage fetches the time bell, but Steel stops him from repeating the assault from Superstars. Small package by Steamboat gets the win at 14:40! Simply an amazing match, complete with bell to bell action, and it played off their previous matches excellently, ****¾.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Ricky Steamboat

-Korpela puts over Dragon/Steamboat as one of the greatest Wrestlemania matches of all time. But how long will Steamboat’s reign last?

Final Thoughts: This was an amazing edition. Three good/awesome matches from Savage and Steamboat make this an easy recommendation. Even the Steele match served it’s purpose as it helps put into perspective why his involvement in the Wrestlemania III match was so appropriate. The Maple Leaf Wrestling match on this episode is also considered something of a rarity, so head on over to WWE.com and check this out. Thumbs way up.

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