She gained international fame for her role as the manager to wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage. The Elizabeth-Macho Man angle is a strong contender for most emotional kayfabe moment in history. It spanned years (from WrestleMania II—VIII) and paid off big for viewers. It went off like this: Macho Man is a showboat who treats Elizabeth like crap. He turns heel, replaces Liz with Queen Sherri, and declares himself the "Macho King". In the end, Macho loses his title and his career is over. Sherri, realizing hers is too, starts beating the already-battered Savage, but Liz jumps into the ring and saves him. It's as close to a Hollywood ending that wrestling has ever had, apart from the Ric Flair retirement match.
They later married—and divorced (both in kayfabe and real life), though they had an amicable working relationship. She followed Randy to WCW, where she turned heel on him and eventually became Lex Luger's valet.
She died as a result of a drug overdose on 2003 in the home she shared with Luger.
The First Lady's Tropes:
- '80s Hair: Well, she did make her TV debut in 1985.
- Book Ends: During his reunion with Elizabeth, when Randy realized what's happened and that his ex-partner saved him, he holds the ropes open for her as she did it for him for many years. It's also a callback to her first appearance: Savage was the hot commodity with all the managers in the ring hoping he would sign with them. When Elizabeth made her entrance, he refused to let the other managers hold the ropes for her. (Macho was jealous of anyone who looked her way.) So him holding the ropes is actually a full circle moment.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: You have to know the history with Savage treating Elizabeth like trash, ditching her after 'Mania V and then joining up with Sherri, to fully appreciate what happens after Savage loses to Warrior in his retirement match. Sherri goes off on him, and the meek Elizabeth jumps the rail and kicks Sherri out of the ring. That's the kind of payoff wrestling rarely gets.Gorilla Monsoon: What a woman! And what a man.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Liz left the WWF after WrestleMania VIII (the same year she split from Savage), and generally stayed away from wrestling until she was called back into action—along with Luger and Kimberly Page—to join WCW in '96. She turned heel on Savage at SuperBrawl VI, costing him the World Heavyweight Title in his match against Flair. Elizabeth remained with Flair's Horsemen until she defected to (where else?) the nWo in November. Liz's last angle in WCW had her as the valet for Luger.
- Damsel in Distress:
- In WWF, Liz always looked terrified. She was essentially a trophy, right down to Savage parading her on his shoulder like a belt. (Sherri knew exactly which button to push to lure Randy out to ringside: Choke out Miss Elizabeth!)
- During Savage's original heel run (1985-1987), he would repeatedly bully Elizabeth, even threatening to strike her, but never did. When Savage became a face (in the late summer of '87), Elizabeth was frequently a target of the heels, most notably Honky Tonk Man. In fact, it was Honky shoving her (at Saturday Night's Main Event) that was the tipping point in Savage's face turn. Savage's fiercest rival during his run as WWF Champion, Ted "The Million Dollar Man" DiBiase, never so much as made a physical threat to Elizabeth (Virgil did once restrain her and forced her to watch DiBiase and Andre beat Savage to unconsciousness), although at least once he did grab her ankle in frustration after losing a match against Savage. Big Boss Man, Akeem and André the Giant were also known to accost her on occasion, but Savage (or on at least one occasion, Jake the Snake) beat them up. She was even kidnapped by George "The Animal" Steele and King Kong Bundy a few times — a regular Fay Wray.
- The segment where Jake Roberts slapped Miss Elizabeth and made her beg for him to stop. The body language and the buildup is very unconfortable, even today. Two weeks later, in one of wrestling's most infamous matches, Jake struck Elizabeth when he saw her groveling for Randy's safety.
- In 1999-2001, she attracted the ire of Vince Russo, flagrantly abusing his office at WCW. He booked Elizabeth into some matches (including one with Daffney), with Luger sometimes having to bail her out. In 1992, during her last angle in the WWF, she was kissed forcibly by Ric Flair.
- Distracted by the Sexy: SummerSlam '88 saw Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan teaming up as the "Mega Powers" against the "Mega Bucks", DiBiase and André, with Jesse "The Body" Ventura as guest referee. At one point, Hogan and Savage were knocked out of the ring and Ventura was about to count them out, when Elizabeth (who had been built up as the Mega Powers' "secret weapon") got up on the ring apron and removed her skirt to reveal a red bikini bottom and a pair of shapely, tanned legs, to the roar of the crowd. Ventura, Andre, and DiBiase stopped dead in their tracks as Hogan and Savage shook hands outside the ring, climbed back in, and finished off the villains.
- False Rape Accusation: Her involvement in the Finger Poke of Doom. In a subversion of her Princess Peach schtick, Liz—under orders from the nWo—brought charges against Goldberg for stalking. Goldberg was later released from custody after Elizabeth couldn't keep her story straight. But her interference slowed Goldberg long enough for Hogan to take his place as Kevin Nash's challenger. When Goldberg was released from jail and went on to attack Nash and Hogan, he was immediately set upon by nWo mooks.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: That's how the Mega Powers came together and what confirmed Savage's face turn. At the September 23, 1987 taping for the October 3 Saturday Night's Main Event, Savage had hit the Flying Elbow on the Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion (Honky Tonk Man), when the World Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) attacked Savage for the DQ. The Harts held Savage up for the guitar shot and Honky shoved Liz down. Liz ran off backstage while Honky and the Harts triple-teamed Savage and came back with Hulk Hogan, and he and Savage cleaned house and shook hands.
- Groin Attack: During the May 15, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Vince Russo forced Miss Elizabeth to participate in a steel cage match against Madusa. Fortunately for Elizabeth, Lex Luger arrived and was able to take care of Madusa via the Torture Rack. Russo then attempted to strike down Luger with a low blow uppercut punch, but this proved to be ineffective as Luger had a groin-protected cup from inside his pants, which he then removed so he could taunt Russo with it. Seeing that his plan had failed, Russo attempted to escape from the steel cage, but Elizabeth, who was standing in front of the steel cage's door, quickly threw a fast right kick towards Russo's family jewels and made him fall down to the wrestling mat in a state of agony. Adding insult to injury, Elizabeth had then took Luger's groin-protected cup and began to shove it down Russo's own mouth to humiliate him even further. That was the end of the Liz/Russo feud. Of course, before this particular ball bust, an earlier one had occurred during the May 3, 2000 episode of WCW Thunder, in which Russo attempted to use her as a Human Shield against Ric Flair (during their confrontation after the "Tables Match" between Luger and The Wall). Elizabeth responded with a right back mule kick. Ow.
- Head-Turning Beauty: She deuted in '85, to the surprise of many. The storyline was that all the heel managers were competing for the chance to sign Savage. When Savage first introduced her on the July 24, 1985 (taped July 30) WWF Championship Wrestling, commentator Bruno Sammartino asked, "Who is this, some movie star, what is this?"
- Hotter and Sexier: The eternal question: WWF Liz or WCW Liz? What made WWF Liz so endearing was her wholesome "princess from a fairy tale" appeareance, but WCW Liz... well...◊WrestleCrap: Winner by unanimous decision, WCW Liz. (Debate if you wish below. Just know that I am right.)
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: The George Steele-Randy Savage feud was sparked and fueled by Steele's interest in her. Though, in contrast to the WWE Divas who would follow her, she never did anything to provoke it. She was just standing there.
- Love Martyr: Though Savage wasn't so much evil as kind of a douche during his original heel run, Elizabeth could always be seen showing genuine concern for her client (at the time when they didn't have an on-screen relationship) when he was in trouble.
- Male Gaze: Saturday Night's Main Event III: Everyone was in costume, since it aired soon after Halloween. Savage and Elizabeth were dressed as Tarzan and Jane, and Liz effectively had no pants at all (she had black bikini briefs and that's it). And, yes, the camera was certain to make us well aware of it.
- Mistaken for Cheating: "She was mine before she was yours!" (Who doesn't use towels monogrammed with your first initial when you're poolside eating strawberries?) Flair photoshopped himself with Elizabeth and published it in the (real-life) WWF Magazine. He also faked a voicemail from Liz. It didn't make a lot of sense from a kayfabe standpoint (Randy was in the original pictures and Flair photoshopped himself into Randy's place in them, so why would Randy not remember taking those pictures?), and even Randy knew he was full of shit. He did a sitdown interview a week before WrestleMania VIII where he growled "UNTRUE!!! UNTRUE!!!" over and over. He was just upset Flair was besmirching Elizabeth's name. Bad News Brown also never harmed Elizabeth, but the claim he made about her — that she was secretly trying to seduce then-WWF president Jack Tunney into exempting Randy from a series of title matches — was actually worse.
- Morality Chain: She and Randy were partners until 1989, when Savage went so far over the line (attacking Hogan) that Elizabeth finally had enough and ditched him. So he replaced her with the worst possible alternative: a screeching, manipulative spider-woman desperate to keep her own career afloat, Sherri. Under her influence, he lost himself in the haze of being the "Macho King". All it got him was getting trolled by Dusty Rhodes at his goofiest and most polka-dotted (and "Queen" Sherri losing to a woman with literally no wrestling experience). He actually had to hit the other guys with her purse to win lousy matches anyone else would win. At 'Mania V, Macho's streak came to an end, and Sherri, thinking only of herself, turned on him. Elizabeth, out of sheer (and until that point, mostly unrequited) devotion, bitch-slapped Sherri and then apologized to Randy. Not even lunatics like Macho Man are immune to that sort of symbolism and he finally redeemed himself. From there, he went on to become one of the most beloved babyfaces ever.
- Paint It Black: Her stint as a heel in WCW. Her wardrobe drastically changed as well as she began wearing black vinyl, short skirts and lots of makeup to look as far removed from the kittenish "Miss Elizabeth" persona as she could.
- Perky Female Minion: During her WWF run, Elizabeth was always placed in the sympathetic role, even when Randy Savage was wrestling as a heel (at a point in 1986 and early 1987, he was WWF's most hated wrestler). Her popularity and reputation as the all-American good girl only increased when Savage turned face. It helped that she herself never partook in any of Savage's heel work, and acted more as a tempering element to him. Compare the original Heel Savage to his maniacal "Macho King" persona in 1989-1991, when he had Sensational Sherri as his manager.
- Pietà Plagiarism: After Akeem threw Savage outside the ring and onto Liz, Hogan held her this way. That led directly to the dissolution of the Mega Powers.
- Power Stable:
- Precision F-Strike: To Vince Russo on the May 1, 2000, WCW Monday Nitro: "Hey Russo, you're from New York, right? Well, even you can understand this: kiss my Kentucky ass!"
- Red Baron: "The First Lady of Wrestling"
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She was a Non-Action Blue to Savage's Red.
- She’s Dead, Hulk: Famously what Hulk Hogan was fully expecting medics to tell him after she got injured during the 1989 Main Event Megapowers-vs.-Twin Towers (Big Boss Man and Akeem) match. Of course it didn’t happen, but the (melo)drama — with a well-timed commercial break helping to increase the tension and suspense — made it appear to viewers, when the show returned from the break, that a medic uttering those words to a distraught Hogan was all but a certainty.
- Shoe Slap: Heel Elizabeth came to ringside in stilettos. If Liz lost her shoe and you got hit in the face with it, you had to sell it like Boss Tanaka getting his head collected in Kill Bill. An instant critical.
- The Silent Bob:
- She wasn't much of a talker; she was a valet. Of course, she was usually standing next to Savage or Hogan or Flair, who didn't need anyone to talk for them (in the early interviews, Macho would ask her a question and immediately cut her off all the time). The exceptions were when Macho asked if she would marry him, and she went, "OHH YEAHHHH", and when she choose who she was going to corner at WrestleMania V.
- Elizabeth was given a mic on the Nitro after SuperBrawl VI in February 1996, where she turned against Savage to help Ric Flair win the WCW world title, to explain her actions. Soon, the fact that she hadn't had a speaking role for roughly a decade became obvious.Jay Hunter: WCW decide to hand Elizabeth a mic live on Nitro and say, "Explain your heel turn."
OOC: [whistles] How'd it go, Jay?
Jay: Amazing, brilliant, urbane, witty, effervescent... how do you THINK it went?
- Silk Hiding Steel:
- The Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus match at SummerSlam '89. After Hogan won, Elizabeth took a loaded purse and put out Sherri's lights. That's the closest she came to direct combat in the Federation. She also knocked Ric Flair on his ass with an open hand slap across the face after she finally got fed up with his creepy stalker behavior towards her during the Savage/Flair feud.
- Her first official match in WCW was vs. Daffney. These two were about as opposite as you can get. Elizabeth nearly broke her in half!
- Token Wholesome: In the years before the Monday Night Wars. Even in WCW (apart from than the aforementioned skirt removal incident), she almost never did anything particularly fanservicey - she was more into looking demure and pretty, no one really expected anything salacious of her.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Liz had this dynamic with Woman while they were both valeting for the 4 Horsemen. Elizabeth played the girly girl, distracting the referee and occasionally playing innocent while Woman (Nancy Benoit), playing the tomboy, introduced a weapon for the Horsemen to use or just got involved in the match herself.
- Wardrobe Malfunction: The strap of her dress broke when the Honky Tonk Man shoved her down to the mat, and she had to spend the rest of the segment holding it up herself.
- Wedding Episode: They had their Kayfabe wedding at SummerSlam '91, with Randy wearing a tuxedo version of his ring gear. Even the smarkiest smark still gets a warm feeling inside when she (badly) says "ooooh Oeeeah" to Randy's proposal.
- Wrestling Managers Are Heels:
- Averted during her time in the WWF, even when Macho Man was himself a heel. She then actively subverted this by helping Savage accomplish his Heel–Face Turn by encouraging his alliance with Hulk Hogan. She then ceased to be Savage's manager when he turned heel again, but their reunion led to his final face turn.
- Played more straight in WCW, where she had her own Face–Heel Turn against Savage and became a valet first to Ric Flair and then in the New World Order to Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Once Savage joined the NWO, Elizabeth returned to being his valet.