I am saddened to learn of the untimely death of legendary sports entertainer – aka pro wrestler – Macho Man Randy Savage.
I first learned of Randy while being introduced at a very young age to televised professional wrestling. My family got cable in 1979 or 1980. Back then, our cable box had three buttons: one for the local channels (2-13), another button for HBO, and the other button for WTBS whose Georgia Championship Wrestling program introduced me to pro wrestling. And soon after that, I found a program televised on a local station (WOAY-4, Beckley/Oak Hill). That program was International Championship Wrestling, which was owned and operated by Randy Savage’s father Angelo Poffo.
My family would make frequent trips to the ICW shows when they came to our area. Most of the shows we attended were in Marmet at the Marmet Rec Center. We would see all the ICW stars including – but not limited to – Bob Orton Jr., the Devils’ Duo and their manager Izzy Slapowitz (I still remember either Jeff Sword or Doug Vines patting me on the head after a show), Ronnie Garvin, Crusher Broomfield (aka One Man Gang and Akeem), the Mighty Cupid (who would later become the Canadian Bumblebee), the Convertible Blondes (Rip Rogers, Gary Royal, and even Pez Whatley), George Weingeroff, Leaping Lanny Poffo, and last – but certainly not least – Macho Man Randy Savage. At all the shows we attended, when Randy Savage was there, he was the ICW World Heavyweight Champion.
After ICW went out of business, I lost track of Randy Savage. We didn’t get the Memphis wrestling where we lived. Otherwise I would have witnessed the Savage/Lawler feud. Then in 1985, I saw Savage debut in the then-WWF (World Wrestling Federation). Shortly after his debut, his real-life wife Liz Huelette started as his valet. I enjoyed seeing Macho Madness, and it was clear by then that he had fine-tuned the Macho Man personna into what would become a classic. I enjoyed the feuds he had with Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, and although I knew Hogan would beat Savage for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania V, I secretly hoped Savage would come out on top.
I also enjoyed seeing the Madness in WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and seeing Savage reignite his feud with Flair. And I also enjoyed seeing Macho Man become a heel once again when he joined the nWo.
Eventually, the bumps and slams would take its toll on Savage’s body and force him to retire.
When Randy Savage did a video message on behalf of the now-WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) at ComicCon, I began to wonder if the Madness was about to come home to the WWE. And then when Savage did a promo for the WWE All-Stars video game, I began to wonder even more if Savage would come to the WWE, perhaps to feud with Mr. McMahon at WrestleMania XXVIII based on the rumors on why Savage was considered persona non grata by the WWE. (Out of respect to Savage, I will not dignify those rumors with mentioning them.)
But sadly, that will never happen. But then again, Randall Mario “Macho Man Randy Savage” Poffo is in a much better place. He is reunited with his father Angelo and all the legendary sports entertainers who left before their time. Somewhere in Heaven, Randy Savage is having a Triple Threat match against Eddie Guerrero and Owen Hart.
Godspeed Macho Man Randy Savage, and thanks for the memories, brother. OOOOOOH YEAHHHHHH! DIG IT!