By NICK TYLWALK — For SLAM! Wrestling

The Four Horsemen – wrestling’s elite stable. While the current roster may not equal some in the group’s illustrious past, a Horseman roll call can still thrill the hearts of wrestling fans. Ric Flair. Chris Benoit. Dean Malenko. Randy Savage.

Wait a minute… Savage?

Lest you start to think this column is the product of a deranged author or a sloppy editor, rest assured that Steve “Mongo” McMichael is currently the fourth Horseman. Never the most charismatic performer, the group’s resident power merchant has long been dogged by rumors of his replacement, and Ric Flair’s recent poisoning angle has the rumor mill churning again.

Diamond Dallas Page is a name being tossed around should Mongo’s spot open up. Sting is a possibility too – after all, he’s served as a Horseman before.

But if Flair and the gang used a healthy dose of imagination, they might find their newest recruit in a most surprising place.

You want elite? Savage has been World Champ five times – seven if you count his ICW and USWA “World” titles. He may have a lot of miles on the odometer, and he won’t be lecturing Benoit and Malenko on the finer points of technical wrestling, but the Macho Man looked to be in great shape during his late December Nitro appearance. It’s a safe bet he’s got at least as much gas left in the tank as the Horsemen’s spirited but aging leader.

A Horseman also has to be able to kick back and party. The Madness is rarely in a jovial mood, but he does have two words going for him: Gorgeous George. Savage’s new, cleverly named valet shows he has the proper Horseman appreciation for life’s finer things.

With Flair serving a three-month term as WCW president and feuding with Eric Bischoff, it’s a plus for prospective members to have a healthy dislike of Easy E. and the nWo. Savage qualifies on that count too. His low blow on The Giant helped Flair defeat Bischoff the night after Starrcade, and he’s stated in a recent interview on that the nWo can kiss his backside.

There is one big problem: Savage does not play well with others. His volatile temper and wild mood swings have made most of his past alliances fleeting ones to say the least. Still, he did serve with both the nWo and the Wolfpac, so he can be an effective (if unpredictable) team player if he so chooses.

To paraphrase the owner of WCW’s chief competitor, there is virtually no chance in hell Savage will be taking Mongo’s place. But in the ring of the mind’s eye, it’s not impossible to see.

Just imagine: an nWo thug lies on the mat helpless after one of the Nature Boy’s patented low blows. Then Flair tags in his partner, who proceeds to climb to the top rope and throw four fingers in the air, right before he leaps, elbow-first…