The rumors of a relationship between Macho Man Randy Savage and Stephanie McMahon have been talked about for years. It’s a story that has taken a life of its own and has been used to rationalize why Savage was ostracized from WWE after WCW was sold. Was Vince McMahon angry at Savage for sleeping with his daughter? If so, then why did he induct him into the Hall of Fame and why did the company produce a DVD on his life and career?
This week, several members of the Wrestling Observer forum did some investigative work to piece together a timeline of events and figure out how the rumor got started. The thread in the Observer forum points out that Savage was doing interviews in 2000, 2001, and 2003 and praised the WWF and Vince McMahon. In 2001, the Saturday night WWF Excess show featured a “from the vault” match featuring the famous Savage/Steamboat match from WrestleMania III. Savage was interviewed by WWE Magazine in 2003 and talked about the passing of his ex-wife Elizabeth Huelette and he was allowed to promote his “Be A Man” rap album. Why would Vince McMahon allow Savage to promote his album in his magazine if Savage slept with his daughter? It’s simple, there was no heat between them at that time.
Here is what was uncovered in the Observer forum:
In 2003, things between Savage and WWE seemed to be ok and Savage was open to the idea of returning to the company if the terms were right for both sides. Sometime in late 2003 or early 2004, Triple H did an interview and was asked his thoughts on Savage and Hulk Hogan. Savage, who had previously praised Triple H’s work, was blindsided when Triple H described him and Hogan as dinosaurs in a magazine interview. Savage responded by ripping on Triple H in a video on his “members only” website. In the video (you can watch it below) Savage threatens to “bitch slap” Triple H and then take his wife Stephanie McMahon.
Less than a year later is when the Savage-McMahon rumors started. It turns out that the Savage-McMahon rumor started in 2004 in the Death Valley Driver messageboard. The thread, titled “Scummiest Wrestling Urban Legends?, We are DOI-esque,” includes posts from users offering their sleaziest wrestling stories. Some of them were taken from shoot interviews while others sounded plausible but were fabricated. For example, one person claimed: “I heard a rumour about Stephanie and Bruce Pritchard when she was younger.” For the record, the Prichard-McMahon story is 100 percent not true but that is an example of some of the crazy stories in that thread.
The Savage-McMahon rumor started on September 16, 2004, when posted user G. Gordon Liddy wrote, “Macho had his way with Stephanie (she was about 14 then) back in 94/95 and that Vince found out and that was the true ending for Macho Man in WWF.” The user never provided facts to back up the rumor and he was wrong about her age. She turned 18 (not 14) in September 1994. The thread has been deleted but it has been archived at this link so you can see for yourself when the rumor got started.
Another question was raised on the Observer forum – if Savage had sex with Stephanie, would Vince McMahon have allowed Savage to be featured in commercials for the WWE All-Stars game in 2011 and would McMahon produce a DVD on Savage’s life and career? Would McMahon have wanted to induct someone into his Hall of Fame while knowing that he had sex with his underage daughter? Absolutely not. But it certainly does make sense for Vince, Stephanie and Triple H to be upset at what Savage said in the “members only” video.
So, in a nutshell, there was no heat between WWE and Randy Savage until Savage reacted to Triple H’s “dinosaur” comment. Later, in 2004, the “Scummiest Wrestling Urban Legends?” thread was created and the Savage/McMahon rumor grew from there.
Some of this is backed up by Lanny Poffo. In a 2015 Sports Illustrated interview, Poffo explained where the rumors came from: “A reporter asked Triple H what he thought of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage,” Lanny said. “Triple H responded with, ‘They were great, but they’re dinosaurs.’ Randy saw this as a deliberate attempt to hurt his brand.”
If you subscribe to the Wrestling Observer website and want to see the thread with the evidence to debunk the Savage-McMahon rumors, click here. The thread also includes the 2003 WWF Magazine interview and other video interviews of Savage praising the company. The interviews took place before Triple H’s “dinosaur” comment.
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