YouTube Finds: Bill Dundee’s tall tale about getting ‘gun-downed’ to size by ICW champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage
As I reported last week, at the peak of the Poffo/ICW vs. Jarrett/Lawler promotional “war” of 1979 to 1982, many of the Memphis crew were carrying handguns, just in case, on road trips around the territory’s loop should they encounter the seemingly crazed “Macho Man” Randy Savage–who reportedly lived his gimmick 24/7–or shooter Bob Roop on the road.
Even longtime announcers Lance Russell and Dave Brown were scared to death of the Macho Man after Randy confronted them outside the parking lot at Rupp Arena.
While the Memphis crew ignored the repeated shoot comments on ICW TV as mandated by Memphis promoter Jarrett–even when Savage cut a promo outside Lawler’s house–the Kentucky-based ICW boys would occasionally show up at Louisville and Lexington shows looking to stir up trouble before being promptly escorted out by security.
Eventually, it was only a matter of time before the ICW heavyweight champion of the world (who was arrested for shoplifting a steak from a supermarket during his reign) crossed paths with a top Jarrett star–in this case, Bill Dundee, the second-highest drawing card in the area behind Lawler in 1982.
Supposedly, the two exchanged words outside a diner with Dundee retreating to his car to grab a gun.Savage wrestled the gun away from Dundee and pistol-whipped him, breaking his jaw and putting the Superstar out of action for nearly six weeks. (Ironically, Dundee used to wear trunks with the words “Macho Man” on the backside in 1977-clearly false advertising.) More important, it gave the Jarrett group an embarrassing black eye as the Macho Man bragged loud and often about the incident on ICW TV.
When Dundee returned to Memphis TV in August 1982, he was forced to address the rumors, claiming that a 9-foot-behemoth had jumped him outside a gym. Nine feet? Wow–that even rules out Andre the Giant.
I don’t believe Dundee and Savage ever worked the same Memphis card following the Macho Man’s truce with Lawler and Jarrett. Despite Dundee’s claims, Lawler acknowledged last week that Savage “kicked Dundee’s ass”. (In Dundee’s defense, perhaps Savage only seemed 9 feet tall–after all, the Macho Man was larger than life. Dig it! And Dundee? Well, he was only about 5’6″. But as Dundee often said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog that matters.” On this night anyway, Savage was the alpha male.