The official WWE website is looking back at the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage today with a story on his intense animosity with Jerry “The King” Lawler in the late 1970s and early ’80s.
In those days, Lawler’s home promotion, the Continental Wrestling Association, was the chief promotion in Tennessee, Kentucky and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana and Arkansas. In 1978, the International Championship Wrestling was created by WCW Hall of Famer Angelo Poffo, the father of Savage and “The Genius” Lanny Poffo. ICW was considered an “outlaw” promotion, since it was not a member of the National Wrestling Alliance and promoted shows in direct competition against NWA regional leagues such as the CWA.
“What happened was Randy Savage, his brother Lanny Poffo and his father Angelo Poffo got the idea that they wanted to start a little promotion of their own,” Lawler told WWE.com. “When you’re on the bottom rung of the ladder, you usually think the way to get attention is to try to get the rub off the established guys. Well what Randy and his group did is they started making challenges.
“Randy Savage would go out and say, ‘I’m going to wrestle Jerry Lawler this Saturday night in Lexington!’ ” Lawler continued. “Of course, I was never going to be there. I didn’t even know this was being done. Then Randy would go out to the ring and say, ‘Would you look at this? Jerry Lawler’s a coward!’ That was their philosophy on how to make a name for themselves.”
Members of the renegade promotion would at times come to arenas where Lawler was running shows and harass his wrestlers in the parking lot, which put them on edge. As a precautionary measure, some carried weapons in their cars.
“The animosity between Randy Savage and myself went beyond the ring,” Lawler said. “It became really personal.” The full story is available here.