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Growing Up FanboySpecial Tribute to Macho Man Randy Savage
POSTED BY CHRIS WOODS, May 21, 2011    Share

May 20, 2011 was a sad day for wrestling fans and the wrestling world. Legendary wrestler and multi-time world heavyweight champion, Macho Man Randy Savage was killed in a car accident in Seminole, Florida in the Tampa Bay area. It is suspected that he had a heart attack when he was driving, which caused him to crash into a tree. His wife, Lynn, was in the car with him, but received minor injuries from the crash. Savage was only 58 years old and the Tampa Bay area was his home for many years. As a wrestling fan myself and Macho Man being one of my all-time favorites it was a huge shock to hear about his passing.

Randy Savage who was born as Randall Mario Poffo on November 15, 1952 in Columbus, Ohio. His father, Angelo Poffo, was a well-known wrestler in the 1950’s and 60’s. Before Macho Man Randy Savage became Macho Man Randy Savage, he played baseball in the minor leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Red, and Chicago White Sox. He finished his baseball career with the Tampa Tarpons in 1974 and then started his wrestling career, which was the career that made him a superstar.

Macho Man with the WWF Championship in 1992

Macho Man wrestled in many different organizations when he started out, like Georgia Championship Wrestling, International Championship Wrestling, and Continental Wrestling Association. He started in 1973 when he was still playing baseball, but decided to do wrestling full-time in ’74. He first wrestled as Spider Friend (kind of a Spider-Man type character), but then later would change to Randy Savage and then would add Macho Man to his name. Macho Man also wrestled with his brother Lanny Poffo, who was also know as Leaping Lanny Poffo and later on would be known as The Genius in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

In 1985, Macho Man got the call to come to the WWF and had a successful career there for ten years. He was managed by his then wife, Miss Elizabeth, and was a force to be reckoned with. He was one of the company’s top heels (bad guys) and he would go on to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship in 1986 and hold that title for over a year. Macho Man was beat by Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat at WrestleMania III in 1987 for the title. This match is considered one of the best matches of all time.

From left: The early years, Randy with his brother Lanny; LJN Action Figure; Macho Man with Elizabeth; WWF Pillow Buddy

In late ’87, Macho Man became a babyface (good guy) and teamed up with Hulk Hogan and the two formed the Mega Powers. At WrestleMania IV in 1988, the WWF Championship was vacant and there was a tournament to crown a new champion at the event. Macho Man made it to the finals and won the championship. He would later win the title again at WrestleMania VIII in 1992 against Ric Flair. In his last few years in the WWF, Macho Man did more color commentary then wrestling because the company was making way for newer and younger stars. Macho Man left WWF in late 1994 and joined the company’s rival, World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

Macho Man made his WCW debut in December 1994. The company featured many former WWF wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan. Macho Man would capture the WCW World Championship on four separate occasions. He was also at one time a part of the biggest group in wrestling history, The New World Order (nWo) and would team up and feud with Hogan during his time in WCW. He finished out his wrestling career in WCW in 2000. He had a small stint in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) in 2004, but was only there for about a month and had like two or three appearances.

Macho Man with his wife Lynn

He also dabbled in music when he made a rap album in 2003 entitled Be a Man and was also featured in the 2002 Spider-Man film. Macho Man also did lots of charity work and would visit children’s hospitals in the Tampa Bay area and around the world. He also took part in George Steinbrenner annual Christmas concert four children in Tampa, Florida and would read Twas the Night Before Christmas to the kids.

My friend Simon got me into wrestling in the early 90’s and Macho Man was his favorite wrestler. He showed me old matches of Macho Man’s and I became an instant fan. I still say the best moment in wrestling happened in February 1989 on WWF’s Saturday Night’s Main Event and Macho Man and Hulk Hogan were in a tag team match and Macho Man turned on Hogan. Macho Man was the champ, but Hogan tried to steal his spotlight, so Macho Man had enough and got in Hogan’s face and laid him out with his title belt. Simon showed that to me on video and I remember copying it and watching it over and over again. You can find this somewhere on YouTube. Just type in Mega Powers vs. Twin Towers and you should find it.

Macho Man was great on the mic and he cut some of the best promos ever. Simon had a bunch of them on tape and they were classic. He also had some of the best matches ever. Ones that come to mind are his bouts at WrestleMania with him facing Ricky Steamboat, Ted DiBiase, The Ultimate Warrior, and Ric Flair. Also check out some of his older matches when he first came into the WWF and matches from the other promotions he was in during his early days.

From left: Slim Jim ad; Hasbro Action Figure; Halloween Mask; Randy in recent years

Living in the Tampa Bay area, which is basically wrestling city, there are tons of wrestlers that live here and I met a bunch of them throughout the years. I never met Randy, but I have seen him wrestle at shows and one time saw him eating at a Bennigans Restaurant and I have seen him driving his Hummer around town. You couldn’t miss it because the Hummer had Macho Man logos all over it. I wish I did get to meet him.

It is sad that Macho Man never got the proper farewell when he left wrestling. Most big stars have one big final match at a big event like WrestleMaina or get inducted into the Hall of Fame, but Savage never got that. His last match was over six years ago in TNA, which just had Macho Man come in at the end of this tag team match and was just in the ring for a few minutes. His last singles match was sometime in 1999 in WCW and I can’t remember who it was with. I wished that WWF, now WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) would have inducted him in the Hall of Fame or had him made an appearance at a big event when he was still alive. Hopefully now they will place him in the Hall of Fame.

Again, I am very saddened by the passing of Macho Man Randy Savage. He was one of the greatest wrestlers that ever lived and an icon in pop culture. Macho Man now joins his former wife, Miss Elizabeth, who passed away in 2003. My heart goes out to Randy’s family and friends. He leaves behind a great legacy. Randall Mario Poffo (Macho Man Randy Savage) will be greatly missed.

"Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2011 by Chris Woods. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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