Reliving A Feud #26: Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page In WCW ’97
With over 23,000 votes, the feud between Randy Savage and Diamond Dallas Page was voted as the Feud of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated readers for 1997.
Prior to their involvement, Page had been mostly a mid card talent fighting for the WCW Television and WCW United States Championships by the end of 1996. Meanwhile, Savage was heavily involved in the WCW vs. NWO war and had been off television since October ’96 after losing to Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc.
By February 1997, Diamond Dallas Page had developed some momentum and the crowds started to get behind the once obnoxious heel. Now, Page was seen as a rebel for WCW and a man who could save WCW from the New World Order. The Outsiders, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, appeared to recognize this, and tried to recruit Page to their group. Page would tease joining the group, but ultimately he stayed with WCW after several attempts. Thus, Page became a prime target for the New World Order.
Previously, Savage had been a supporter of WCW trying to fight off the NWO. However, Savage returned to WCW television in February and turned his back on WCW by costing Roddy Piper the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a match with Hogan at Superbrawl VII.
Just like Hogan had done in July 1996, Savage stabbed the fans and WCW right in the heart joining the group he had one valiantly fought against.
On the February 24th edition of Nitro, Diamond Dallas Page was attacked by Randy Savage after the Outsiders provided a distraction at ringside. Savage sprayed Page with spray paint and proceeded to deliver a top rope elbow drop to leave WCW’s newfound hero laid out in the ring.
Due to the attack, and for Savage showing his loyalty towards the group, the New World Order decided to reward Savage with the services of his ex-wife, Miss Elizabeth. She came out to the ring and the announcers noted that it was the first time she had been smiling in months. Savage and Elizabeth were reunited, and it felt so good.
The following week on March 3rd, Page said that Savage would snap into the diamond cutter. On the March 10th edition of Nitro, Page told the world that he would not allow the New World Order to forget about him despite being attacked two weeks ago. Page was determined that Savage would remember his name when it’s all set and done. Later on in the night, Savage and the New World Order taunted Page by claiming to have forgotten his name while they were busy with more important people like Roddy Piper.
It was made evident that Savage was aware of not only who Page was but also who his wife Kimberly was as well. Most fans knew Kimberly as a valet for a few men in 1996, but reunited with DDP in 1997. She would become a focus of the feud as Savage and Elizabeth revealed risqué photos of Kimberly as he had posed for Playboy years prior. Savage would show the pictures off at the Uncensored pay per view on March 16th. Kimberly appeared wearing a dress that was covered in spray paint, hinting that she had been assaulted backstage. Naturally, Page was distracted by this and Savage went on the attack. Savage goes to deliver a piledriver but Kimberly protected her man instead. Kimberly would get another spray painting for her troubles. The segment added a lot more heat to their feud as now it was extremely personal.
The following night on the 3/17 Nitro, Savage agreed to a match whether it were to be sanctioned or non-sanctioned. Page wanted it right then and there, and made his way into the crowd where Savage and Elizabeth were talking, but Macho Man escaped without any physical interaction.
Randy Savage would wrestle the main event on the 3/24 Nitro against WCW Television Champion Prince Iaukea. After a few minutes, Page would come through the crowd and try to get his hands on Savage. Instead, he was overwhelmed by the New World Order and met with a jackknife power bomb from Nash and another elbow drop from Savage. Even Eric Bischoff kicked Page in the back of the head. Savage finished the show by spray painting a zero on the back of Page showing how little respect he has for DDP.
On the following 3/31 Nitro, Page was interviewed about what happened at UnCensored and how he would not forget the image of Savage grabbing Kimberly by the hair and spray painting her. Savage and Liz appeared and questioned if Page had any balls. We’d find out at Spring Stampede.
Six days later, Page and Savage squared off in the main event at Spring Stampede contested under a no disqualification stipulation. After fifteen minutes of action, Page was able to drop Savage with the Diamond Cutter and earn the biggest victory of his career. The victory would cement Page as a main event competitor for WCW for the next five years. After the match, Savage acted as if he was going to strike Kimberly, but Eric Bischoff surprisingly prevented that from happening.
The next night on the 4/7 Nitro, Page and Sting stood in the ring to keep the NWO at bay while holding baseball bats. Having DDP associated with Sting further cemented Page in a top act role for the company. On the 4/14 Nitro, Savage decides to taunt Page by telling him to tell Kimberly to stop calling him. That prompted DDP to chase Macho Man through the crowd. Over the course of the next few weeks, Savage would continually hint that he had slept with Kimberly just to get under Page’s skin.
On the 5/5 Nitro, Page is attacked by Hogan and Savage. Hogan attacked Page from behind with a crutch that Savage was using due to the previous pay per view battle with Page. NWO taunted Page and his wife as the show came to a close.
Neither Page or Savage were booked for a match on Slamboree, but we saw both men at the pay per view. Savage cut a promo suggesting that Page didn’t want to mess with the Macho Man anymore, and that brought out DDP to refute that. Savage left the ring and DDP told everyone that Savage goes to Hulk Hogan’s house to wash his car and kiss his ass! That led to a brawl involving Page hitting members of the NWO with a crutch, but is overwhelmed by the numbers until the Giant made the save for Page.
The 5/26 Nitro saw Page and Kimberly have a broken crutch and a strand of Kimberly’s hair due to The NWO’s attack a few weeks ago. Page said that he is going to be a SOB at the Great American Bash, which is when they would wrestle again.
Savage appeared to snap on the 6/2 Nitro as he attacked JJ Dillion due to Dillion claiming that Savage had lost all his respect and was hiding behind Elizabeth. The 6/9 Nitro saw Elizabeth slam a car door on DDP’s shoulder. Their second pay per view match happened at the Great American Bash, and with help from the NWO, Savage was able to pin DDP after an elbow drop.
The following night on 6/16 Nitro, Page issued a challenge to Scott Hall, who helped Savage win the previous night at Bash, and Savage to a tag team match at the Bash at the Beach pay per view in July. Page said he had found himself a partner for the event.
The singles feud between Savage and Page continued on the 6/28 house show in Inglewood, CA which saw Page pin Savage in a rather quick match. The show was an audio special for fans and went up against a WWF show in Anaheim the same day. Two nights later on the 6/30 Nitro saw the end of the show feature a Page/Savage brawl with the NWO and WCW wrestlers. They both hit their finishing moves on the other and the show teased whether or not Curt Hennig or Raven would be the mystery partner for DDP at the Bash at the Beach pay per view.
Page one upped Savage on the 7/7 Nitro as he dressed up as La Parka and surprised Savage by defeating the Macho Man. It’s still regarded as one of the more memorable moments in WCW Nitro history. At Bash at the Beach, Page would team with Curt Hennig against Savage and Hall. Sadly for Page, Hennig turned on him, and aligned himself with Savage and the New World Order. As a result, the feud between Page and Savage would go on the back burner.
But, it wouldn’t take long before their paths would cross again. Page would team with Lex Luger to take on Savage and Hall at Clash of the Champions 35, but yet again Page would come up short as he accidentally hit Luger with a blinded diamond cutter. In a rematch at Fall Brawl, Luger and Page would get a three count thanks to Larry Zbyszko counting the pin fall.
On the following night 9/15 Nitro, Page said that he wanted a piece of Savage at Halloween Havoc. The match would be made official the next week. A few weeks later, Page dropped Savage with a diamond cutter on the concrete floor on the 10/6 Nitro and Savage would be stretchered out of the arena as a result.
Twenty days later, Savage and Page would finish off their six month feud in a Las Vega death match at Halloween Havoc ’97. For eighteen minutes these two brutalize each other until a fake Sting, who was actually Hulk Hogan, came out and whacked Page in the ribs with a baseball bat while Page was on the floor. That allowed Savage to standup in the ring and get up before ten, beating Page in the finale of the feud.
I honestly would have never thought that Diamond Dallas Page would become the huge star that he became for WCW. His time from 1992 to most of 1996 saw him generate very little crowd reaction, but something just clicked and the fans needed someone to cheer for that would actually wrestle while Sting was absent. Page fit that role perfectly. He seemingly was allowed to be more like himself attitude wise and he became a WCW hero.
The first PPV match between the two of them at Stampede was huge, especially after the Uncensored angle advancement. Had Page not won at Stampede, it would have not worked out as a long lasting feud. However, the victory gave Page immediate creditability and Savage was very good at getting his heat back. It was obvious that a loss to Page wasn’t going to hurt Macho Man at all, but it helped Page for the rest of his career. It effectively made Page a star.
Savage getting the win at the Great American Bash extended the feud, and it wasn’t even clean, which the Stampede victory for Page was. I honestly thought Page had only gotten one victory over Macho, but along with the 6/28 house show victory and the La Parka fake out, Page had gotten a his fair share of victories over Savage.
The only match that may have been done differently would be the Havoc match. Page probably should have gone over since Savage was really at the last leg of his career and Page was on the rise big time. The loss may have held Page back from rising up the rank even more. Sure, by December Page was the WCW United States Championship, but he could have been much, much more.
Personally, it’s one of the better feuds that happened for WCW during the Monday Night Wars and didn’t feel like it went on for too long. Whenever a feud can last six months and elevate a talent, you know it’s been a worthwhile venture.
What are your memories of the Randy Savage/Diamond Dallas Page feud? Did you enjoy it, or not? Leave your thoughts below!
Thanks for reading.