Randy Savage v Austin Idol (5/7/84)
Yeah, this was great. I seemed to be one of the few that thought the Savage/Lawler Loser Leaves Town match was pretty disappointing, but I was a big fan of their other matches and I came out of the set with an even higher opinion of Savage in general. The Savage section on the Extras discs rocked the house as well. I wasn't all that familiar with Idol before the Memphis project, but I wound up liking him a lot by the end of it too. This is as simple as can be, nothing fancy at all, but I'd sure as shit take guys these days working matches like this over whatever it is Tyler Black and his buddies are doing.
Starts out like many a heel Savage in Memphis match starts out - Savage stalling for time while people get all riled up. His old man is on the floor constantly running distractions whenever the situation calls for it, and that's sort of a theme throughout the match: Idol's fighting an uphill battle, because any time he gets something going, old man Poffo is there to create an opening for Savage, usually so he can cheat. First big instance of this comes when Idol's manhandling Savage on the floor, and Pa' distracts the ref' long enough for Savage to crack Idol with the title belt (I don't recall which title they were fighting for now).
Savage's strikes were as good as I've ever seen them here. Awesome looking jabs, bionic elbows to the head and neck, flying axe handles; all looked clean and nasty. Memphis was a territory that seemed to have this rep for being all about good punches and not much else. That turned out to be a crock, but holy fuck was the good punches part still true. Lawler, Dundee, Mantell, Savage, Gilbert... them's some good pro-wrestling punches.
Idol's comeback is pretty Lawler-esque in its "punch me in the face all you want. I'm fucking you up whether you like it or not"-ness. Dudes with bleached blond hair turned bright red (or orange, depending on the amount of peroxide) getting punched in the face and walking tall IS pro-wrestling. Savage giving up and just trying to run away is great, as is the reaction to Idol catching him. "You're MY bitch now, boy!" Crowd goes wild, all is good in the world.
Finish pays off the whole "Savage always has an out as long as his daddy's there" deal as Idol has him set up for the figure-four (which he calls the Las Vegas Leg Lock or something, which is boss), and Angelo gets up on the apron so he can draw Idol away long enough to toss something to Savage. Once Savage nails him and shoves something in his tights you know it's game over. You don't get up from the foreign object, son.
Like most of these matches, I remembered next to nothing about this, but it got a nice amount of time to build (almost 15 minutes), two guys playing their roles well, and a finish that I found satisfying to boot. Savage was tonnes of fun here as well. It wasn't a "Savage show" like the tag match at #58 was a Bill Dundee show, because Idol was perfectly good in his own right, but Savage was especially great and most of the best stuff came from him, I thought. I had their rematch ten spots below this, but I'll watch that again once I'm done with the top 60.