Decades after making her World Wrestling Federation debut, Miss Elizabeth’s impact is still being felt today. Appropriately dubbed the “First Lady of Wrestling,” her gentle-yet-influential contributions helped pave the way for all females that followed.
Rare Photos Of Miss Elizabeth In World Championship Wrestling | Photos Of Elizabeth With Lex Luger | Early Success In The World Wrestling Federation | The Mega Powers Explode | Elizabeth and Randy Reunite | World Championship Wrestling | Backstage Stories
This University of Kentucky graduate was introduced to the professional wrestling industry as a camera operator working at her father’s Kentucky television station. Subsequently, she became the announcer and show host for local promotion International Championship Wrestling (using the name Liz Hulette, as she was known to her friends while growing up). It was there she where she met Randall Poffo, a professional wrestler with the stage name “Macho Man” Randy Savage. They would marry in December 1984.
Early Success In The World Wrestling Federation
When Savage debuted in the WWF in 1985, he set out on a search to find a manager. Nearly every personality with a manager’s license threw his hat in the ring, including Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart and Johnny Valiant. In the end, Savage unveiled an attractive, unnamed woman, to which announcer Bruno Sammartino remarked, “She must be some sort of movie star (Photos).” It was then revealed that her name was Miss Elizabeth. Over the next seven years, Savage and Elizabeth’s very public rollercoaster relationship provided fans with a soap-opera type romance never before seen in the Federation.
Upon her debut, both fans and WWF Superstars were smitten by her innocent smile and impeccable style. The admiration she received, however, didn’t sit well with Savage. The jealous Superstar continually took his frustrations out on his harmless manager, despite the fact that she never acted on anybody’s advances. The always-classy Elizabeth, however, took Savage’s verbal attacks in stride. Instead of simply walking away, she stood by her man and helped guide him to greatness. She led Savage to that greatness when he defeated Tito Santana on February 6, 1986 in the hallowed Boston Garden for the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
George “The Animal” Steele’s infatuation with the lovely Elizabeth fueled the feud between himself and Savage. At WrestleMania 2, Savage’s jealous nature surfaced along with his penchant for violence when he soundly defeated Steele. When he lost the Intercontinental Championship to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat at WrestleMania III, she helped ensure the successful progression of Savage’s career.
The Mega Powers Explode
Elizabeth consistently displayed her loyalty to Savage, especially during his October 3, 1987 Saturday Night’s Main Event match with newly crowned WWF Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man. When Savage was blindsided by The Hart Foundation and beaten down by the unscrupulous trio, Savage stepped in front of Savage to protect him from a guitar smashed over his head. When the cowardly Honky Tonk Man shoved her down to the mat, Elizabeth got up and went to the locker room for help. When she returned with Hulk Hogan, fans cheered in unison as “The Hulkster” and the “Macho Man” cleared the ring. Not only did she save her man from immediate danger, but she was responsible for forming one of the greatest alliances in World Wrestling Federation history as the duo became known as The Mega Powers.
At WrestleMania IV, Miss Elizabeth led Savage to the ring an impressive four times as the “Macho Man” defeated “The Natural” Butch Reed, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, One Man Gang and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase en route to becoming the undisputed WWF Champion. The victory made Elizabeth the first female to manage a WWF Champion. At the premiere SummerSlam on August 29, 1988, Savage and Hogan battled DiBiase and Andre the Giant in a match billed as “The Mega Powers versus “The Mega Bucks.” “The Mega Powers'” secret weapon, Elizabeth, stepped onto the ring apron and removed her skirt to reveal her underwear, or rather, a red bikini bottom, that halted the four-man brawl and left the Madison Square Garden crowd screaming for more.
Elizabeth’s relationship with Savage reached its boiling point in 1989 when her friendship with Hogan sent “Macho Man” into a jealous rage, culminating with an explosion in the main event at WrestleMania V. Though she remained neutral during the bout, she disassociated herself from Savage when it became clear he had returned to his villainous ways. Elizabeth managed Hogan for a brief period before taking a sabbatical. She returned at WrestleMania VI in the corner of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire in a mixed tag team match against Savage and Sensational Queen Sherri.
Elizabeth and Randy Reunite
Elizabeth disappeared from WWF airwaves until WrestleMania VII, when Savage lost a retirement match to Ultimate Warrior. Upon his loss, Sherri began beating and kicking the defeated man until Elizabeth emerged from the audience and gave chase to the Sensational One. Shocked by her re-emergence, Savage hoisted Elizabeth high on his shoulder as those in attendance wept at the heartwarming moment.
The devotion Elizabeth and Savage showed each other over their years together would fully blossom at SummerSlam 1991, when the two entered into marriage for television. The following year, when Ric Flair made slanderous remarks about his alleged prior relationship with the beautiful manager, Elizabeth enjoyed double revenge at WrestleMania VIII as “Macho Man” came out of retirement to once again capture the WWF Championship. And although Elizabeth was banned from ringside, she rushed to be by Savage’s side to watch his victory and personally slap the taste out of Flair’s mouth.
Later that year, without any fanfare, Elizabeth abdicated her position at ringside and parted ways with the Federation. Her final appearance occurred on April 19, 1992 during an overseas tour of England. In the match, Savage pinned Shawn Michaels after Elizabeth, who had been directed backstage by the official, reemerged to prevent Sherri from interfering on “The Heartbreak Kid’s” behalf. Though departed, the Elizabeth-Flair storyline continued through most of the spring, which was notably highlighted by Flair and Mr. Perfect playing a voice mail from a woman identifying herself as Elizabeth and saying that she was “waiting at home” and “loved him.”
Following Elizabeth’s final appearance, the couple divorced. After the decree was finalized late that summer, Savage issued a statement via WWF Magazine revealing that he and Elizabeth were no longer together. The publication of Savage’s statement marked, at the time, a rare acknowledgement of the Superstars’ private lives for both the World Wrestling Federation and its flagship publication. Savage continued to appear for the company through 1994 with and the exception of his printed statement, his divorce from Elizabeth was neither referred to nor figured into television.
World Championship Wrestling
Years removed from the spotlight, Miss Elizabeth, now 35-years-old and a living “What Ever Happened To…?” trivia question, joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in January 1996 just as many of her contemporaries from the ‘Raging 80s’ era of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) had.
While keeping a low-profile as a salesperson at a retail clothing store at Adventura Mall in South Florida, Elizabeth was bit by the wrestling bug in 1995 and made contact with Zane Bresloff, WCW’s house show promoter who she, Randy Savage and “Mean” Gene Okerlund had often traveled with when touring the Rocky Mountain region in the WWF heyday. Appearing before WCW hierarchy at a show in Jacksonville, Florida, she was not offered a job at first due to the perception that she was older and not pretty enough to appear on television. It should be noted that Kevin Sullivan, who was the booker, was trying to get his then-wife Nancy (a/k/a Woman), back into the company, and there wasn’t room for more than one woman by the thought pattern of the time. One idea broached was for Nancy to be called “The New Elizabeth” and manage Savage in a feud with Hulk Hogan. Only a few weeks later, however, Eric Bischoff felt her return would provide a ratings boost and that various angles could be scripted with ex-husband Savage.
Elizabeth’s return on Clash of the Champions on January 23, 1996 as a valet for Savage and Hogan, her first appearance on television in nearly four years, garnered a 4.5 cable rating, which ranks as one of the most-watched wrestling programs in the history of TBS. She showed up two days earlier near the event’s site in Las Vegas, Nevada and her looks immediately became a prime topic of discussion among management. Numerous critical remarks were made over her lack of tan and appearing facially older. It was not until she appeared made-up that hierarchy felt she looked adequate for television.
Elizabeth turned on Savage in short order to align with Ric Flair in the Four Horsemen — on February 11, 1996 at SuperBrawl — and was depicted as having spent all of the money he gave her in their divorce settlement. Her involvement in the program brought life to WCW’s floundering house show business, just months before the company had a major turnaround with the success of WCW Monday Nitro and the nWo (New World Order) storyline.
Elizabeth deserted Flair and the Horsemen in the fall to join forces with Hollywood Hogan in the nWo, but appeared to still care deeply for the “Macho Man.” They would reunite in February 1997 when Savage joined the group himself. In May 1998, Elizabeth joined Savage in the nWo Wolfpac, but the duo split for good the following month when he took time off from wrestling to undergo major knee surgery. Though able to professionally co-exist during their reunion tour, Elizabeth confided to friends that it was uncomfortable for her to work in the same company as Savage at times, particularly since many angles were based on their marriage. It was noted by numerous employees that when he brought his 22-year-old buxom blonde girlfriend to the company in 1998, Stephanie Bellars (a/k/a Gorgeous George), she suddenly had cosmetic work done including a sizable breast augmentation.
Albeit still very attractive, the world of professional wrestling had changed and so had she. Elizabeth could no longer portray a symbolic beauty and was instead cast as a new woman — no longer in ballgowns but in a leather skirt and tank tops with the widely imitated “Rachel” haircut. Her ’80s success largely stemmed from her beauty since she was a mediocre at best performer, but was now several years older and in a completely different environment. Though she was often relegated to the background, she would play a pivotal role every now and then.
Following a brief hiatus from television, Elizabeth resurfaced on the January 4, 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, where she accused Bill Goldberg of “aggravated stalking” to law enforcement. WCW’s creative writers had originally intended for Goldberg to be accused of rape in the storyline, but he refused to go along with proposed idea. He was arrested during the show at the Georgia Dome, but released later that night because Elizabeth could not keep her story straight. It was later revealed that Elizabeth was a pawn for the nWo so that Goldberg would be unable to challenge Kevin Nash for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship that night. With Goldberg absent, Nash and the returning Hollywood Hogan masterminded the infamous “Fingerpoke of Doom.” The match saw Hogan poke Nash in the chest with his index finger, prompting Nash to fall to the mat and allow Hogan to pin him to capture the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
Elizabeth remarried during her time in WCW, to Cary Lubetsky, a South Florida attorney she began dating shortly shortly after divorcing Savage. Having been romantically involved for four years, the couple wed on December 6, 1997 at the Cuban Hebrew Temple in Miami Beach. The marriage was short-lived as they separated in short order and were officially divorced on April 19, 1999. It was during that period where she met Lex Luger, who was married. They began dating in 1998 and would soon live together at a townhouse in Marietta, Georgia. Luger eventually left his family and had a falling out so severe that when his son Brian played college basketball for Mercer University, he requested that his famous father not be mentioned in programs and media guides.
In January 1999, Elizabeth began accompanying Luger, to ringside, and Kevin Nash as well at times. They put Elizabeth’s hair on the line in a tag team match against Konnan and Rey Mysterio at SuperBrawl IX on February 21, 1999 — Mysterio put his mask on the line. Luger, however, could not compete in the contest due to a subsequent biceps injury. An angle was then devised to explain “The Total Package”‘s absence from the match.
As Luger and Elizabeth were exiting a limousine on the February 18, 1999 episode of WCW Thunder, Mysterio, Jr. grabbed the door and slammed it into Luger’s biceps, injuring him in the process. Elizabeth, horrified, screamed at Mysterio, who yelled “thug life!” As Elizabeth shut the door, the limousine left the E-Center in Salt Lake City, Utah with the couple inside. Luger was immediately replaced by Scott Hall as Nash’s tag team partner for the contest. The Outsiders successfully defended Elizabeth’s honor and hair in the match as Nash pinned Mysterio following an Outsider’s Edge from Hall, thus forcing the high flying wrestler to unmask. Following Spring Stampede on April 11, 1999, Elizabeth to took time off from the road to assist Luger in his injury recovery.
Luger returned to WCW television in August 1999, injecting himself in the feud between WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan and the man he considered to be his best friend, Sting. This culminated with Luger helping Sting wrest the gold away from “The Hulkster” at Fall Brawl on September 12, 1999. Following the pay-per-view event, Luger proclaimed that Lex Luger was “dead” and that he would be known going forward as The Total Package. He debuted the persona on the September 27, 1999 edition of WCW Monday Nitro with a Terminator-style entrance symbolizing his “rebirth” and Elizabeth returning to the fold as his manager. The reborn grappler’s ring entrance would conclude with Elizabeth tearing off his tracksuit in the middle of the squared. He would then pose as if he was competing in bodybuilding competition and conclude the theatrics by doing a pose in fireworks.
As 1999 concluded, The Total Package began to have some disagreements with Sting. He also treated Elizabeth in a poor manner, which prompted Sting to intervene. Elizabeth then switched her allegiance to the Sting and would accompany him for his match against The Total Package at Starrcade on December 19, 1999. Prior to the contest, Sting was shown handing Elizabeth a can of what he said was spray, and told her to use it if forced. The former Lex Luger attacked Sting as he entered the squared circle, giving him the advantage early in the contest. Elizabeth soon climbed onto the apron, thus allowing Sting to fight back. After the former WCW World Heavyweight Champions knocked each other down with a clothesline, Elizabeth entered ring and revealed her alliance with The Total Package by attempting to spray Sting. Unfortunately for the veteran vixen, it was actually a can of silly string, revealing that Sting anticipated being betrayed by his confidante. Sting then hit The Total Package with the Stinger Splash and tried to finish him off with the Scorpion Deathlock. Elizabeth then struck Sting with a baseball bat, which caused the Total Package to lose by disqualification. Immediately following the contest, The Total Package attacked Sting’s right arm with a steel chair and the bat. With Sting out of commission, The Total Package began dressing as his former best friend to mock him, with Elizabeth wielding a baseball bat.
Shortly thereafter, a storyline was set where The Total Package would break the arms of his opponents by placing the limb inside a closed steel chair and stomping on it. In February, both he and Elizabeth joined forces with Ric Flair. Known as Team Package, the trio’s main goal was to take out Hulk Hogan, whom The Total Package had been publicly challenging to a match. “The Hulkster” made his return to WCW television on the February 2, 2000 episode of WCW Thunder, and while his back was turned during an interview segment, Elizabeth entered the ring, baseball bat raised. Hogan, however, quickly turned around and easily out-muscled the bat from her possession. As a receipt for her sinister act, and in a throwback to his attacks on Sensational Sherri in the WWF, Hogan picked up Liz and hoisted up high in the air to deliver his patented atomic drop. The veteran vixen, however, no-sold the maneuver and quickly rolled out of the ring. Later that week, Hogan claimed on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show that Elizabeth refused to take a bigger bump because she wasn’t wearing panties underneath her skirt.
Team Package went their separate ways in April when WCW was reformatted under the creative helm of Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff-The Total Package resumed appearing as Lex Luger. Elizabeth and Luger stayed together and turned face. During this time, Elizabeth engaged in brief feuds with Vince Russo and Kimberly. On May 8, 2000 on WCW Monday Nitro, Elizabeth competed in her first wrestling match, against Daffney — it was declared no contest following interference from Madusa. She faced Rhonda Singh two nights later in a brief match on WCW Thunder, with the contest immediately ending after Luger placed Singh in the Torture Rack.
Elizabeth and Luger often butted heads with Russo. To Russo, a life-long fan of the World Wrestling Federation, the only redeeming value he felt she had left was for her to titillate the audience by appearing in a state of undress. To have the famed wrestling starlet appear in her underwear is something that had never been seen by fans, some of whom, in Russo’s age bracket, would have lusted at for over a decade. Elizabeth, however, was a matronly figure by this point, and while there is little doubt she would not have wanted to appear undressed, Luger vehemently nixed ideas for her strip or wrestle. Due to professional difficulties, the couple was sent home in June 2000 — with pay. She was released from her $156,000 per year contract on August 19, 2000 in a cost-cutting measure and never appeared before wrestling fans again.
Miss Elizabeth Backstage Stories
Miss Elizabeth Contemplates Joining World Championship Wrestling In 1994
Less than two years after parting ways with the World Wrestling Federation, Elizabeth Hulette, famously known as Miss Elizabeth, reportedly considered joining rival promotion World Championship Wrestling in 1994. However, the terms of her contract release from the WWF prevented her from joining the Atlanta, Georgia-based organization at the time.
“Liz Huelette (formerly Elizabeth Poffo, Randy Savage’s ex) had considered coming in but her contract release from Titan in 1992 included a non-complete clause through 1995, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” Dave Meltzer reported in the February 21, 1994 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Meltzer reported a few weeks later that while Hulette was not negotiating with WCW officials at the time, she considered attending a television taping that was being held in the Orlando, Florida metropolitan area. From 1993 through 1997, WCW taped in-ring footage for their syndicated television programs such as WCW Worldwide, WCW Pro, and WCW Prime at the Disney/MGM Studios (now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in Lake Buena Vista, Florida (Lake Buena Vista is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area).
“Despite what has been reported elsewhere, Elizabeth was not at the Orlando tapings and she is not negotiating to come into WCW,” Meltzer reported in the March 21, 1994 issue of the the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. “Apparently she was thinking of going to the tapings but decided against it.”
After four years away from the ring, Hulette joined WCW in 1996 to manage “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
Elizabeth Written Off WCW Storylines, Expected To Be Released From Contract
In June 2000, Elizabeth and Lex Luger—Elizabeth’s partner both on-screen and off—were written off storylines entirely due to disagreements with creative writer Vince Russo over the direction of their respective characters.
“A couple verbal shots were taken at them during WCW Monday Nitro, but otherwise they are non-existent as far as WCW storylines go,” Wade Keller reported in the June 10, 2000 issue of the Pro Wrestling Torch. “WCW has an option on Liz’s contract every 90 days and they are expected to terminate her contract at the next opportunity.”
Keller continued, “Luger has a guaranteed contract, so his situation is more difficult to deal with. While Vince Russo is frustrated with Luger’s incessant unprofessionalism, apparently Eric Bischoff has completely run out of patience for Luger and is taking Luger’s attitude problems personally. The locker room belief is that Liz encouraged Luger’s behavior and riled him up anytime management asked something of him that they disagreed with.”
One WCW performer who grew tired of their backstage antics remarked to Keller, “Lex and Liz’s scam was to try to do as little as possible while still getting paid.”