As most wrestling fans around the world have heard, wrestling legend Randy "Macho Man" Savage(real name Randall Mario Poffo) died earlier today at the age of 58. He died of a heart attack behind the wheel of his vehicle which led to him going off the road causing an accident.
Savage was a very skilled in-ring wrestling entertainer that was as good as there was on the microphone, too.
He had legendary feuds with Ric Flair, the Ultimate Warrior, and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. But no other feud was he noted for more than with Hulk Hogan.
As a kid, I still can remember to this day when the Mega Powers formed on Saturday Night's Main Event when Miss Elizabeth brought out Hogan to the ring to help Savage from being beat down by the Honky Tonk Man and the Hart Foundation. This was after Elizabeth was shoved down by the Honky Tonk Man after he was wanting to use his guitar to hit Savage in the head.
I recall how this feud began as Savage won the WWF Title for the first time in his career at WrestleMania IV in Atlantic City, NJ in 1988. He defeated "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase in the finals of a tournament to determine a new WWF champion after the title was held up as a result of what happened in a match between Hogan and Andre The Giant on The Main Event earlier that year. I watched that Pay-Per-View.
Later, tension escalated between Savage and Hogan with Elizabeth being caught in the middle. Savage turned on Hogan which culminated in the main event between the two for the WWF title at WrestleMania V.
I was able to see Savage out a house show in 1988(the first time I watched WWF). He and DiBiase put on a great match that night. Well, Savage always worked hard to put on a great match.
At WrestleMania III, he and Steamboat put on what I would call a wrestling classic and clinic. The match told an amazing story and came off so well that it stole the show at that event. Savage would be in the main event the next two years during the WrestleMania events.
As time went on, Savage began to compete less in the ring for the WWF. So like other former WWF stars had done, Savage left for WCW in 1994.
In WCW, he was back in the ring full-time winning the main title in the promotion on two occasions. It was during a time when WCW was the top wrestling promotion in the world. But as time went on, injuries started to catch up with him which led to him leaving WCW by 1999.
I was always fascinated by the fact that Savage was a minor league baseball player before he wrestled full-time. He even taught himself to throw left-handed due to throwing out his right arm. That's how competitive he was.
Not only was he a professional athlete, he held his own as an actor in movies and commercials. But no one will ever forget his appearances in the Slim Jim commercials.
Savage had limitless charisma and was very competitive in everything he did. He was always known to be strict on detail and it showed when performing for wrestling promotions in the ring and on the microphone. He was flamboyant, but you'd be hard-pressed to find many that combined a cool voice that many often imitated with awesome athletic ability. He was really gifted and talented.
I was fortunate to see Savage a few times at live events. Most of those were in his WCW days, but he could still put on very high-quality matches. He never settled for anything less than putting up the best matches that he could whether he was a face or heel.
Thanks Macho Man for the entertainment and for the competitiveness and drive you always showed not only in the wrestling business but in all you did.
My condolences for the family Randy Savage.
RIP "Macho Man" Randy Savage
Photo shows Savage with Miss Elizabeth after winning the WWF title for the first time at WrestleMania IV in 1988.
Be sure to checkout Jim Ross with his take on Randy Savage. He put it very eloquently and it's a great tribute to the legend.
5/20/2011 11:37:00 PM David Funk