Classic Rivalries: Diamond Dallas Page vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage

In 1997, WCW was at the height of its popularity. The New World Order was spray-painting anyone who dared defy them and tensions between WCW competitors and nWo members were running high. While many fans were focused on Sting’s crusade to take down Hollywood Hogan, there was another, more personal rivalry captivating the audience.

Diamond Dallas Page and “Macho Man” Randy Savage were at odds throughout much of 1997 in one of the most bitter and physical rivalries of all-time. They never battled over a title and epitomized the true animosity between WCW and The New World Order. Shortly after Savage joined the infamous black and while clad faction, he attacked Page, but it was Savage’s involvement of DDP’s then-wife, Kimberly, that truly kicked off one of the most Classic Rivalries in WWE history.

In 1997, WCW was at the height of its popularity. The New World Order was spray-painting anyone who dared defy them and tensions between WCW competitors and nWo members were running high. While many fans were focused on Sting’s crusade to take down Hollywood Hogan, there was another, more personal rivalry captivating the audience.

Diamond Dallas Page and “Macho Man” Randy Savage were at odds throughout much of 1997 in one of the most bitter and physical rivalries of all-time. They never battled over a title, but they epitomized the true animosity between WCW and The New World Order. Shortly after Savage joined the infamous black and white clad faction, he attacked Page, but it was Savage’s verbal attacks on DDP’s then-wife, Kimberly, that truly kicked off this Classic Rivalry.

“It got really personal, really fast.”

Before he ever locked up with Randy Savage, Diamond Dallas Page already had a storied past with The New World Order. A former tag team partner of nWo founders Kevin Nash and Scott Hall early in his career, Page felt slighted when they recruited a number of members into the faction before him. When the time came for DDP’s enrollment, he turned down the black and white and became a target.

In the weeks following Savage’s initial attack, the hostility between the two competitors started to build, but it was at WCW Uncensored’s pay-per-view event in March of 1997 that the enmity reached a boiling point. At the time, WCW fans were not aware that DDP and his valet, Kimberly, were actually married. Savage exposed the couple’s relationship in order to get inside Page’s head and further enrage the New Jersey native. ( PHOTOS)

“For me, the whole thing got started at Uncensored when Savage attacked me and then spray-painted Kim.” DDP told WWE Classics, “It got really personal, really fast.”

The personal component of the rivalry with Savage didn’t only have an effect on DDP — the former WCW World Champion also believes it’s what really hooked the fans. With the added struggle of The nWo and WCW, the battle lines were drawn for epic clashes between the two legends. 

"Once that bell hit, we pulled out all the stops.”

Diamond Dallas Page gets the biggest win of his career to date over "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

The first meeting between DDP and “Macho Man” came at Spring Stampede in April of 1997 in a No Disqualification Match. At the time, Page believed that a normal match would not suffice for the personal nature of the rivalry and a bout with no rules was absolutely necessary.

“We both knew that we had to go all out and lay everything on the line,” Page recalled. “The thing about both me and Savage was that neither one of us liked to do a lot of talking when it came to settling our differences. We both wanted to just slug it out.” ( WATCH)

Spring Stampede 1997 was the first meeting between the two competitors, but Page has never forgotten the very beginning of that match. “As soon as we locked up, Savage was really aggressive,” Page said. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Okay, so this is how it’s going to be.’ I knew right from the opening bell that he would be coming hard.”

DDP recalls Savage’s aggression immediately triggering his own adrenaline, but that wasn’t the only thing that really had him ready for the match. “Even though it was personal, I was just jacked up to be out there with Randy Savage,” DDP enthusiastically reminisced. “But business is business,” he continued, “so once that bell hit, we pulled out all the stops.”

When ring announcer Michael Buffer introduced DDP inside Mississippi’s Tulepo Coliseum before the match, he spelled out Page’s intentions of defending both his honor, as well as Kimberly’s. As soon as the match got underway, it didn’t take long for the action to spill to the outside. Both competitors used whatever weapons and environmental hazards they could find in an effort to take the other down.

The battle became so intense that ring announcers and referees were caught in the crossfire, but even the collateral damage did not keep Savage and Page from mercilessly attacking each other. However, with the referee knocked out, The nWo sent in one of their own officials to ensure Savage’s victory. As “Macho Man” prepared to finish off DDP, Page countered with his patented Diamond Cutter out of nowhere, forcing The nWo official to make the three count and give DDP the victory.

At that moment, it seemed that all was settled between Page and Savage. But The New World Order made their way to the ring to dispose of their traitorous official. In the process, Savage removed Page from the ring and set his sights on attacking Kimberly. Thankfully, the usually sleazy Eric Bischoff prevented the assault, but one thing was abundantly clear — the war between Diamond Dallas Page and “Macho Man” was far from over.

“I hit Savage so hard that you can see the crutch start to bend and break."

Randy "Macho Man" Savage gets more than he bargained for when Diamond Dallas Page hits the ring with a crutch in his hand at Slamboree '97

Following their physical battle at Spring Stampede, “Macho Man” suffered an injury that would keep him out of the ring for a couple of months. However, Savage’s impairment did not stop him from going after Page.

“The one thing about Randy is that even when he was hurt, he knew how to get inside people’s heads,” Page remembered about his former rival.

On WCW Monday Nitro, Savage came out on crutches and did an interview with “Mean” Gene Okerlund where he continued to taunt Page. DDP responded by taking one of Savage’s crutches and trying to attack “Macho Man,” who cowardly used Miss Elizabeth as a shield. Unfortunately for Page, he could not see the nefarious leader of the black and white, Hollywood Hogan, behind him and mercilessly attack him with another crutch.

“Hogan whipped the crap out of me with that crutch,” Page said, recalling the welts that were left on him. “When I finally got backstage, Kevin Greene saw my back and said to me ‘Diamond, what the hell happened to you?’ That’s how hard Hogan was hitting me, other guys were shocked.”

Page would find retribution for the attack at Slamboree. Waiting inside the ring with the bent crutch, DDP called out “Macho Man” who responded and charged the ring. Savage came up short in his attack as Page started using the crutch to his advantage, and then used it on nWo members who came to Savage’s aid.

“I hit Savage and those other nWo scumbags so hard that you can see the crutch start to bend and break,” Page explained. “You can actually see the crutch break and a piece sail into the ropes. I just thought how lucky it was that piece didn’t hit a fan.”

Both confrontations reinforced a very simple fact about this rivalry — it was physical.

“We knew the second match would be as wild as the first.”

Scott Hall attacks Diamond Dallas Page from behind to help Randy Savage score the pinfall.

Finally, Savage and Page would have their highly anticipated second battle at June’s Great American Bash. Once again, a contest with traditional rules would not be enough to settle the score between these two bitter rivals, thus they squared off in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Similar to their encounter at Spring Stampede, the two competitors battled all over the arena and even through the crowd.

“We knew the second match would be as wild as the first,” Page said. “So WCW promoted it as Savage/Page II, taking a page out of the Ali/Frazier days and it definitely added to the intensity of the match.”

Also, much like their previous contest, neither Page nor Savage were able to maintain momentum for very long. One of the most memorable moments of the match came when the two ring warriors battled their way up the entranceway late in the contest where a number of fans who had won a contest were seated in a “picnic area” next to the entrance stage.

The lucky fans had no idea that they would soon become part of the action as DDP and “Macho Man” made their way towards them. As Page sent Savage crashing through the wooden fence, the shocked crowd scattered just in time to witness DDP break a dinner plate over “Macho Man’s” head.

The brawl raged back inside the ring with neither competitor keeping momentum on his side for long, a true testament to the spirit of both competitors and the rivalry as a whole. But when Page took down Savage with his patented Diamond Cutter, it seemed to be a done deal.

“So I finally take him down. And I’m beat up, man, so as I’m trying to recover, down comes Scott Hall,” Page recalled.

Hall took down Page with The Outsider’s Edge, allowing “Macho Man” to execute his flying elbow drop for the win. However, DDP shared the immediate aftermath of that match with WWE Classics.

“That elbow drop knocked me out,” Page explained. “I got back up the ramp and I remember asking Kim, ‘Where am I? Nitro? Did I just have a match?’ My face swelled up and the next night I get to Nitro and I see Randy backstage, he takes one look at my face and says ‘Oh, sorry, brother,’ and walks away. Let’s just say that fired me up even more.”

“No one knew about it except La Parka.”

Randy "Macho Man" Savage receives a Diamond Cutter and then a big surprise when Diamond Dallas Page reveals himself under La Parka's mask.

One of the most memorable moments of the rivalry between DDP and “Macho Man” came in the weeks after Great American Bash on WCW Monday Nitro. Savage was scheduled to face the unmistakable luchador La Parka. A mismatch for sure, but no one was aware that under La Parka’s mask hid Diamond Dallas Page.

“No one knew about it except La Parka,” Page told WWE Classics. “I remember being in the dressing room with La Parka, he didn’t speak any English, but he was going over his mannerisms — that walk and his guitar thing — for me to mimic when I went out there.”

“So I’m dressed as La Parka and Paul Orndorff, who was a producer at the time, comes in to let La Parka know his match was next, “ Page recalled. “Paul looks at me and says, ‘La Parka, you’re up.’ He then looks at me, realizes I’m about three inches taller than La Parka and I’ve got blue eyes. At that point, he realized who was really under the mask and he says, ‘Nice. I like it.’”

Dressed as La Parka, DDP competed in the match and did not reveal that he was under the mask until after he executed the Diamond Cutter. When Page removed the hood, the crowd came unglued. DDP referred to that incident as a “defining moment” in the rivalry.

Following the La Parka incident, “Macho Man” teamed up with Scott Hall to battle DDP and Curt Hennig at Bash at the Beach. The match marked Hennig’s WCW debut, and Page was sure he could trust the WWE Hall of Famer, who had a history dating back to their time together in AWA. But during the match, Henning turned on DDP, allowing Hall and Savage to score the win.

After a battle with Henning at WCW’s Road Wild, Page once again squared off with Hall and Savage at Fall Brawl, but this time he chose a partner that he knew would not turn on him, WCW stalwart Lex Luger.

The physical battle highlighted the ongoing struggle between WCW and The nWo, but the match ended when Luger pinned Hall, leaving DDP and Savage’s animosity unresolved.

"The fans wanted to see a Diamond Cutter come out of nowhere."

The heated rivalry between Diamond Dallas Page and “Macho Man” Randy Savage would come to an end at Halloween Havoc in October of 1997. The two bitter rivals squared off in a Last Man Standing Match that was billed as a “Las Vegas Sudden Death Match.”

Once again, DDP and Savage pulled out all the stops and gave each other everything they had. They battled all over the arena, through the crowd and even used the graveyard set pieces of the entrance stage against one another. Both competitors showed their resilience, answering the official’s 10-count no matter how exhausted they were, emphasizing the true intensity of the rivalry.

However, DDP revealed that on a personal level, he didn’t feel the match at Halloween Havoc was up to par with the duo's previous meetings.

“To be honest, that was my least favorite match of the series,” Page explained. “I didn’t think a Last Man Standing Match was right for us. The way everything had gone up to that point, the fans wanted to see a Diamond Cutter come out of nowhere, or a flying elbow drop to seal the deal — not waiting for one of us to answer a 10-count.”

The battle and ultimately the rivalry ended when DDP rolled out of the ring and Savage distracted the referee. This allowed Hulk Hogan, dressed as Sting, to attack Page with a baseball bat and prevent DDP from answering the 10-count.

“In the end, my rivalry with ‘Macho’ was over, but Hogan’s attack gave me a reason to go after him!” Page exclaimed.

“That rivalry made me.”

The passionate rivalry between DDP and Randy Savage was undoubtedly one of WCW’s most intense and one of the most memorable in sports-entertainment history.

For the former WCW Champion, his battles with “Macho Man” Randy Savage are, without doubt, the highlight of his career.

“People ask me all time, ‘What was your favorite rivalry?’ and ‘Who was your favorite opponent?’ and the answer is always Randy,” DDP explained. “Sometimes you have great chemistry with an opponent and that’s what we had. Randy always treated his opponents as if they were on the same level — you were always at a main event level when you stepped into the ring with ‘Macho Man.’”

When asked if his war with Savage was the quintessential of his career, Page simply stated, “That rivalry made me.”

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