When you’re a wrestling fan, you almost become desensitized to the high mortality rate in this profession. Being a professional wrestler means taking a tremendous physical toll on your body and a natural tendency towards drug and alcohol abuse, so it’s become an all-too-familiar tale when news breaks that a wrestler has been found dead at a very young age. However, when the news hit that Randy “Macho Man” Savage had been killed in a car accident on May 20, 2011 after suffering a heart attack while driving, it was still a huge shock. Unlike many others in his profession, the Macho Man was willing to walk away from the business when his time was up. After his contract with World Championship Wrestling expired in 2000, Savage pretty much completely left the spotlight for the next decade, only popping up to make the odd sporadic appearance. Of course, one of those appearances was his memorable turn as Bone Saw McGraw in Spider-Man.
His appearance in Spider-Man pretty much signified what a lasting legacy Randy “Macho Man” Savage had made for himself. He had such a unique, one-of-a-kind persona that even non-wrestling fans knew his name. I think the impact he had was measured by the amount of media outlets that actually listed Savage’s death as one of their top news stories. Not many professional wrestlers could ever dream of garnering that much mainstream attention, but that’s how iconic the Macho Man was. Anyway, I don’t think you will find a wrestling fan anywhere who does not list Randy Savage amongst their all-time favourites. He was unquestionably one of wrestling’s all-time greatest performers, participating in some of the most memorable matches and storylines of all time. If you’ve never watched one of his matches, I’d recommend you check out my “Top Ten Favourite Wrestlemania Matches” column. I posted his Wrestlemania III match with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and his Wrestlemania VII match with the Ultimate Warrior on the list, as I think they are two of the greatest examples of in-ring storytelling you will ever see. However, those two matches don’t even scratch the surface of the amount of memorable moments in Randy Savage’s career. Writing a full career retrospective would take forever, so I’ve simply decided to assemble a random collection of Macho Man awesomeness below. R.I.P. Randy. You will be missed, but you provided wrestling fans with so many great memories.
Now, as much as I loved the guy, I will be the first person to admit that Randy Savage was completely insane. If not, he was the one of the greatest actors the world has ever seen. But of course, the aura of insanity that he exuded is one of the main reasons he became such a huge wrestling superstar. The level of intensity he always projected was unparalleled, and his crazy eccentric personality is what drew fans to him. He provided some of the most insane interviews the wrestling business has ever seen and after watching something like this, how could you possibly not feel compelled to watch this guy?
To demonstrate how Randy Savage lived his Macho Man persona 24/7, here’s a clip of him on The Arsenio Hall Show where he remains completely in character the entire time.
After entering the WWF in 1985, Macho Man introduced his real-life wife, Elizabeth, as his manager. All sources will tell you that the on-camera jealousy and paranoia Randy displayed over Elizabeth was 100 % real! Their relationship was the basis for some of the greatest angles of all time, but sadly, they wound up getting divorced in 1992 and Elizabeth would die of a drug overdose in 2003.
When I started watching wrestling, I hated Randy “Macho Man” Savage more than any other person in the world because he dared use a ring bell to crush the throat of my personal favourite wrestler, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Bastard!
However, Macho Man soon became a good guy and, in one of the most iconic moments of my childhood, Hulk Hogan would save him from a beatdown and the Mega Powers would be formed.
With Hogan’s help, Savage would go on to capture his first WWF Championship after wrestling four matches to win a one-night tournament at Wrestlemania IV.
Right before Wrestlemania V, the Mega Powers explode! Macho Man became paranoid and insanely jealous that Hulk Hogan had eyes for Elizabeth, so he turned on him. Once again, the intensity he displays here is incredible!
More Macho Man insanity has he cuts a batshit promo alongside Sensational Sherri and Zeus (a.k.a character actor/”That Guy” Tom ‘Tiny’ Lister Jr.).
One of the most heated intense rivalries in the history of wrestling is the feud between Macho Man and Jake “The Snake” Roberts in 1991. Rarely has a wrestling heel exuded pure evil better than Jake does here and Savage makes the perfect foil.
Macho Man captured his second WWF Championship at Wrestlemania VIII after defeating Ric Flair in a classic match. Once again, the intensity Randy displays when he’s being protective of Elizabeth is just unparalleled.
Of course, non-wrestling fans will probably be familiar with Randy Savage for his several years of being the commercial spokesman for Slim Jim’s.
I wasn’t sure the world could handle the combined awesomeness of Randy Savage and Weird Al Yankovic in the same scene together, but we survived.
And last but not least, here’s a brief look at Randy Savage’s attempts at a musical career. This track from Wrestlemania: The Album is called “Speaking from the Heart” and features the Macho Man… uh, speaking from the heart. Yes, this album is hilariously bad, but of course I bought it right when it came out!
Of course, I could not close this column without a spotlight on the Macho Man’s short-lived post-wrestling career as a rap star! Yes, he actually released a rap album in 2003 entitled Be a Man where he used one of his songs to throw out an open challenge to Hulk Hogan! Bad music lovers have an obligation to listen to this.