RIP “Macho Man” Randy Savage

“Macho Man” Randy Savage
(11/15/1952 – 05/20/2011)

I am writing this blog on May, 20th, 2016, which means it has been 5 years to the very day since Randy Savage passed away in a car accident, due to having a heart attack while driving. The Macho Man Randy Savage was my favourite wrestler of all time. This blog isn’t a retrospect of the Macho Man’s career. This isn’t a place where I list Randy Savage’s accomplishments. This isn’t a blog where I talk about the stories of the Madness. This isn’t meant to be the biography about Randy Poffo’s journey to the big time. This blog is about what the Macho Madness meant to The Wrestling Classic. This is about why the Macho Man is my all time favourite wrestler and how Randy Savage’s presence impacted my life. I’ll say now, there wouldn’t be a Wrestling Classic without Randy Savage. He was the very first post and if you search the hashtag #hulkwho , there is a plethora of Randy Savage posts. Long live the Madness.

In my mind, I have been watching wrestling my entire life, but realistically my earliest memories of it has to be around when I was 5 years old. If you have followed me on Instagram for a long time, you’ve heard this story before,  but it was my older brother who introduced me professional wrestling. My brother is actually quite older than me, as there is a ten year age gap between us. Growing up, he was a huge wrestling fan and a loyal Hulkamaniac. Growing up my brother slowly created himself a large collection of wrestling VHS tapes. He would record whatever he could off television and he used rent PPV or Coliseum Video wrestling tapes from the local movie rental place, to only record the content on his own VHS tape; a trick you could only do if you owned two VCR’s. He ended up with a collection of tapes that consisted on episodes of Superstars, TNT, Saturday Night’s Main Events, Prime Time Wrestling, Wrestling Challenge, Worldwide, WCW Saturday Night, Raw, Nitro, Thunder, Coliseum Video features, “Best Of” Coliseum videos, wrestlers on talk shows and both WWE and WCW PPVs. spanning from the mid 80’s all the way to late 90s . Therefore, I grew up not just watching the wrestling from my era as a child but having access to all this extra footage of classic wrestling from before I was born. Don’t get me wrong, I was your normal kid from past decades who watched cartoons, hockey and spent most of my time playing outside and using my imagination but whenever I could, I binge watched professional wrestling. I should also mention due to my brother I also had a large collection of WWF action figures made by LGN, Hasbro and Jakks and 80s/90s wrestling magazines.
The way I look at it, people around you have the most influence on you when you’re young. I’ll admit all of my top ten favourite wrestlers influenced and impacted me at some point of my life or in some way generally. Although, from as far back as I can remember, “Macho Man” Randy Savage captivated me as one of the most unique individuals I had ever seen, nobody impacted me as much as him. From the moment I remember first seeing him cut a promo, followed by a match, it was something magical. My eyes were glued to the television and I immediatley became a wrestling fan.

It was everything about the Macho Man character that captivated me and caught me with intrigue. Savage was the total package in my mind. Randy had that distinct raspy voice that was really his voice but it just elevated his character. Randy bursted on the scene with colours and charisma to make sure he stood out more than the others. Randy used pomp and circumstance as his theme music and had an entrance filled with pageantry, similar to one of his favourites Gorgeous George, which somehow just worked. Randy had the beautiful female valet in Miss Elizabeth, which was a rare thing in those days when most managers were males. It really added to the Macho Man gimmick. When Randy Savage was in the ring, it was like watching Picasso painting, where every move had a meaning and even his mistakes seemed like they were meant to happen. Macho Man could cut a promo like none other, with signature phrases such as “oh yeah!”, “doing the thing” and “dig it!?”, Savage became one of the most imitated wrestlers amongst fans all around the world. However, Savage is often imitated but never duplicated. He was larger than life. The Macho Man Randy Savage’s character grew to become a pop culture icon and a house hold name.
In my mind, watching those tapes as a kid, Hogan came off kind of cheesy, whereas the Macho Man played his character so well, you believed that the character he portrayed on the screen was really who he was in reality. I believed that Randy Savage was that colourful, intense and that the Madness was for real. Savage was apart of an era where kayfabe was still honoured and the roster was filled with over the top gimmicks; where some of the superstars had animal mascots such as snakes and dogs, yet the Macho Man still stood out above them all with just his presence and wrestling ability. In my opinion, the Macho Man Randy Savage is as big of star as anyone else in professional wrestling. I strongly believe Savage is large part responsible for the wrestling boom in the 80s and that wrestling wouldn’t be as popular as it is today without his contributions.  Savage’s name has to come up when you’re talking about wrestlings biggest stars. I know when I talk about professional wrestling being the greatest form of art and athleticism, Randy Savage personified both those aspects of the industry perfectly.

The Macho Man was a symbol of pure imagination to me, as he played off my childhood imagination with his larger than life persona. Personally, he stood out more to me than any other wrestler during the eras he involved in wrestling. I also think he would  have been a standout in the eras that followed, including the current one. I was drawn to Savage more than I was to Hogan, Warrior, Andre, Hart, Michaels, Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and so on. It was not that I was not drawn to those legends, but Savage just had that extra something, that made him must watch television. It wasn’t just his intense, flamboyant and mysterious personality that made him great, but the man could deliver in the ring. Randy seemed to be one of the smoothest artists and entertaining guys in the ring. It’s never boring watching a Randy Savage match.  I never get bored watching Savage wrestle. He made wrestling look easy and staying just as charismatic throughout his matches as he was on the mic look natural. Even with age, it always seemed like he would give everything he had to deliver a great match and tell a great story. Savage was a perfectionist and a professional as he believed in doing what was best for the business. He could make any other star look better then they were, and was capable of putting on a classic with equally talented stars such as Steamboat. He didn’t always win his matches or rivalries, and most of the time he lost due to his own insanity getting the best of him. Although, Savage was a prime example that you didn’t have to always win and you could still do what was best for the business yet still be incredibly over and a top star. A lot of Savage’s greatest matches are the ones he lost, some of those matches were the ones against Steamboat, Hogan, Flair, Warrior and DDP.

Savage was a success in both WWF and WCW during the 80s and 90s, Randy Savage retired from wrestling in 2004, making his last appearance as an active wrestler in TNA. As I got older, after his retirement, I began to learn a lot more of exactly who Randy Poffo really was outside the ring. Randy Savage was weird, unique and different human being, and yet he had that strong essence of “cool”. The Macho Man was cool, Savage was one cool dude. As mentioned by Scott Hall, “he was so cool, he didn’t even know how cool how cool he was.” He never really grasped on how the world saw him, from all of the wrestling fans around the world to his peers he worked with over the years. He just never understood his impact on them. When I was younger we only had magazines and slow dial up internet, but as soon as the internet became more accessible, so did the information. Now, years later after reading multiple of his interviews, words from his peers, stories from autobiographies and much more, I realized I had a more in common with the man behind the Macho Madness than I thought.  From Savage’s unconditional love for his family, his passion to help others, his strong passion for true love, his drive to be the best at what he is passionate about, his love for children, his attention to details, his ability to turn it on and off when needed to his paranoid attitude, his intense personality, his insecurities about life, his battle to find peace at mind, his dedication to work, his commitment to doing things perfect, his need for privacy and his struggle with living on the edge with the madness within are all things I can relate to.
These are all more reasons to why I feel like I connect to Savage more than any other wrestler. I can’t tell you how many times I saw or read comments about Savage, about his personality and real life attitude did I think to myself, “damn, I can relate to that”. Randy Poffo was a normal dude, with normal emotions and feelings. He wasn’t perfect, however nobody is. It was just that the spotlight was more on him because of his fame, so his every decision he made was judged or debated. I couldn’t imagine how that must feel like, so I totally understood Savage’s decision to go into isolation and seclusion in his later years.
Randy Savage the character helped form my imagination as a child and self confidence that being different could still be cool. Randy Poffo the man, reminded me that it’s okay to not be perfect, because nobody is perfect, but that it’s also okay to be living on the edge. As long as you remember to care for those you love, save more money than you spend, give back to others whenever you can and putting all your effort and hard work in to do what your heart desires, it’ll all pay off. He made living on the edge seem like it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Poffo wasn’t just paranoid but he did everything at a different speed and on a different level. People might not have always understood Randy’s ways, decisions and thought process, but it didn’t matter to him. Randy always stayed true to what he believed in and always did what he thought was best for him, and those he loved. He didn’t care what people thought about him, but didn’t appreciate it if you crossed the line by taking personal jabs at him or if you tried taking something away from him. Poffo might have always been living life on another level, but it had both its benefits and flaws. I can’t explain it properly right now, but I find that all so relatable, as I am sure others do too.

In conclusion, Randy Savage was a unique, weird, intense, extraordinary, talented, charismatic, flamboyant, creative, larger than life, mysterious, super entertaining, intense, paranoid, one of a kind, yet oddly relatable, all around superstar. It’s all those things that made him my favourite. I’m a wrestling fan and wrestling is a big part of my life, and I can admit that among all the other stars in my top ten-twenty all time favourites, whom influenced me in specific ways, it’s all those things I said above that makes non other than Randy Savage the one who has inspired me the most. Savage’s character made me believe being different was cool. Savage altered my reality and made me believe you can be yourself and still be a World Champion as long as youre creative and put in the work. He inspired others and made a difference in this world. I still enjoy watching Savage clips or matches until this day, its never a dull moment. I was a kid when Savage was the man and for some of you, your favourite superstar may be from this current era or from that same era as mine. Maybe you’re a Warrior or Hogan guy. Maybe you’re a Shawn or Bret guy of a Rock or Austin guy or maybe even a Cena, Orton or Punk guy, but for me the Macho Man Randy Savage is and always will be my favourite. I remember going to the store as a kid with my brother to buy any action figure I wanted, and I chose Savage in the Wolfpack gear, even though I already had him in black and white. Why? It was because he always stood out to me the most. I really wish I could have met him before he passed away, but unfortunately I never got the opportunity to. I’m glad he finally got the recognition he deserved from his peers last year being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and having the documentary DVD/Blu Ray release about his life and career. However I wish Savage was alive to have given his own induction speech. He was truly taken from us too soon.
Overall, Savage lived his life and he did it his way. He lived his life to the fullest, on his terms and made it entertaining for the rest of the world. He captivated millions around the globe and still has this mystique to him that is unique to the Macho Man. Randy Savage was the perfect performer, wrestler and entertainer but Randy Poffo was not, but he didn’t need to be, as he was only human. From my research, Randy Poffo was a big hearted, caring, sensitive, competitive, friendly and intense individual. Randy always seemed to live on the edge of Madness, something I can relate to, but on that note I hope he has finally found peace of mind. The Wrestling Classic will continue to keep his memory alive whether we’re dropping “another day, another elbow” posts, or just doing the thing because the beat does goes on. Randy Savage was the cream of the crop…nobody did it better. History beckons the Macho Man. Oooh yeah, dig it?!  Thank you Mach.
Rest in Paradise
Randy Mario Poffo
The “Macho Man” Randy Savage