When Macho Man was on The Arsenio Hall Show
In the Summer of 1991, Randy Savage would shed his heel “bad guy” persona, and become a full fledge face by marrying Miss Elizabeth at SummerSlam. It was the “Match Made in Heaven” as opposed to Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior taking on Sgt. Slaughter, Colonial Mustafa and General Adnon in the “MATCH MADE IN HELLLLLLLL” (imagine Vince McMahons voice when reading that).
I was so into wrestling at that point, my mom re-did my bedroom in WWF shit. I had a WWF comforter, WWF bedsheets, and she cut out that summer slam poster and framed it to hang on my wall.
Fast forward to 1992, Ric Flair shows up in the WWF. He’s got his own belt and wins the WWF by being the last man standing at the Royal Rumble. He then produced pictures that show he had a past relationship with Miss Liz. This made a young 9 year old RK INFINITELY upset. My mom said it couldn’t be true, and I was so elated when I finally go the WWF magazine that showed they were fakes and it was actually Macho Man in those pics.
Cut to Wrestlemania 8, Macho Man defeats Ric Flair to win back the WWF world heavyweight championship. Macho Man was once again on the top of the wrestling world. As a kid, I was a HUGE Hulk Hogan fan. He was my idol. I had the Hogan Wrestling Buddy and carried him and wrestled him everywhere, but I also had the Macho King. I never liked the Warrior, but was always a fan of Macho!
This is what led me to the Arsenio Hall show. It was Friday July 31st 1992. The 92 Summer Olympics in Barcelona were in full swing, and would become the first time I took notice of the Olympics. I turned 10 years old 2.5 weeks ago. I was matured! That morning, my mom was reading the newspaper and she called me into the kitchen to tell me that the Macho Man as going to be on the Arsenio Hall show that night. I knew about the show mostly because Bill Clinton was on it playing the Saxophone the month prior and it made every news program on the planet. The show came on at 11:30 and my mom agreed to let me stay up and watch.
My buddy Matt from down the street was gonna sleep over and we were both gonna eat junk food and watch. It was a muggy day and a Thunderstorm rolled through mid-day chasing us out of his above ground swimming pool and into his basement playing Sega Genesis. We got changed and went to Burger King for some kids club meals. The toy was Pinocchio summer inflatables, which some of you got mint in package if you ordered a Rad Years T-Shirt (get your own here). We went to the mall, browsed comics at Walden Books, stopped in KB Toys, maybe picked up an action figure or two. That was the Summer Batman Returns came out and we were big into those actions figures. (read about it here)
Then we went Grocery Shopping, stocked up on snacks for the night, Eagle Snack Mix, Pringles Ridges, a block on Munster cheese, some Keebler O’Boisies or Tato Skins, maybe even some Crunch Tators. We would for sure stock up on Sunny Delight and Ecto Cooler to wash it all down.
The sun would finally be setting around 8:15 that night, around when we got home and since there was still an inkling of daylight out, we decided there was time to run around outside for a while. We’d work up a sweat and fight over this novelty battery pocket fan that was about the size of a VHS tape, and had a small flash light in it and an air freshener. We thought that it was so brutally hot that this fan was the only thing that could cool us down in the summer heat.
We finally went inside and it was getting to be time for Arsenio, time for MACHO MAN! We gathered our junk food downstairs, and had our action figures laid out to kill that minuscule amount of time before the show came out. Now I can sit and stare at a wall and wait, but back then we had to be constantly occupied.
The show started at 11:30 on WWOR Channel 9 NY. Yes the same Channel 9 that aired the Howard Stern Channel 9 show. Living in the Lehigh Valley we were a split market, we got both NYC channels and Philly Channels. The show started with the typical “woof woof woofing” and his monologue, Shannen Doherty was a guest also, but I wouldn’t become “familiar” with her until Mallrats a few years later. Then came the moment we were waiting for. Macho Man in his black and white outfit, wearing the WWF winged eagle title. It was a glorious appearance and we are so excited to see it. Now a days, people talk about wrestling fatigue, but back then we only had 5 PPV’s (Summer Slam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble King of the Ring and Wrestlemania). There was no Raw, no Smackdown, just Challenge, Superstars and Prime Time Wrestling. So any outside appearance of a WWF Superstar was a big deal and Macho Man was getting ready to face the Ultimate Warrior for the belt at Summerslam. We stayed up late playing with our WWF Hasbro action figures and wrestling our wrestling buddies late into the night while we watched VHS tapes or informercials.
Grab some junk food, and wrestling figures and watch along with me. Pretend it’s the summer of 1992
I’d try to catch Arsenio after that night as he made a fan out of me. He’d always have off beat guests like Urkle, Weird Al, and even Jason Vorhees. It was a great summer night during one of the best summers ever!
Thanks for reading!