It's probably not coincidence that Punk started using Randy "Macho Man" Savage's trademark flying elbow drop in tribute not long after Savage died in May 2011. Punk has long cited Savage as a favorite and an influence, which makes Punk's mid-reign heel turn all the more interesting when paralleled with Savage's run after WrestleMania IV in 1988. Like Punk, Savage won the title at a time when another wholesome, clean-cut superhero, Hulk Hogan (who also was generally accepted by "smart marks" as being less skilled in the ring than the new champ), was the top dog in the yard. Sure, Hogan took time off in the Spring and early Summer after WMIV in order to film his debut as a lead "actor" in No Holds Barred while Savage got some time to establish himself as champ, but by late Summer he was back and ready to join up with Savage and Elizabeth (now the manager of both men) at the inaugural SummerSlam in a tag team match against Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant. From then on, the subtle digs started in the WWF's positioning of the two men--Savage may be holding the strap, but Hulk's still our guy. And it was only a matter of time before the storyline began to reflect what was depicted as Macho Man's long-simmering resentment over the situation.
Whether Savage's frustration was as real-life as Punk's isn't known to me, although stories have been told for years about Hogan's backstage politicking (not that Vince and the WWF were likely in any way interested in moving on from Hogan until the well was beyond dry). But Savage was channeling something during the February 3 edition of The Main Event where, after a tag team match against the Twin Towers (Akeem--more on him below--and The Big Bossman) (never forget), Savage turned on Hogan and delivered the beatdown. See, during the match, Elizabeth got knocked out during an inadvertent collision with Savage, leading Hogan to carry her toward the medical facilities in the back, sobbing and flipping his shit the whole time. He eventually comes back to the ring, but the damage is done--Savage's old jealous streak is reignited and he not only bails on Hogan at the end of the match (which Hulk still wins because, come on, it's Hulk Hogan), but he jumps Hogan in the first aid room, basically accuses him of wanting to bone Liz, and goes on with the rampant ass-kickery. It was almost disturbing as a kid to see Savage so wild-eyed, insane, and rage-filled, although today, hindsight shows me that i've seen a lot worse since.
So the stage was set for WrestleMania V: Hogan would challenge Randy Savage for the title that he only lost a year before so he could go make a movie, looking to make a casualty of Randy Savage's 371-day title reign--a reign that wasn't very long in the context of Hogan's four-year reign that preceded it, but nonetheless, a reign whose length wouldn't be sniffed at for nearly 20 years, only surpassed by John Cena in 2006-2007, and by CM Punk (who would eventually drop the title to another guy who left the company to make movies, The Rock, who would then drop the title at the next 'Mania...to John Cena. Parallels!).
OK, should we get on with this already?