It’s been several days since the world learned about the death of the “Macho Man” Randy Savage. In a way it remains shocking. Sure. Wrestlers can pass away in a whim, as we’ve seen throughout the years, but Savage was someone that I thought wouldn’t meet an early fate. The man had been out of the business for sometime, and from what I’ve read, was just living a quiet existence in Florida with his second wife. I guess it also didn’t help that I read this interesting story about Vince McMahon’s animosity towards Savage a couple of weeks before his accident.
For all of us that grew up on the WWF, the Macho Man was one of the most iconic wrestlers. He was pretty much the complete package. He had charisma and the athleticism to back it up – unlike Hulk Hogan who was charismatic, but was a pretty poor wrestler. Savage was also one of the few wrestlers that could pull off being a face or heel. Even when he was the bad guy, fans still cheered him on. Guys like Roddy Piper, Steve Austin and The Rock are also in that category. I’m sure some of them learned a thing or two on how to play that role from Savage. Besides his wrestling career, Savage managed to break into the mainstream of pop culture. With that in mind, here’s a look back on the life of The Macho Man Randy Savage.
Randall Mario Poffo was born on November 15, 1953 in Columbus, OH. His dad, Angelo, was known for doing an uncanny amount of sit-ups and also did some wrestling himself. Poffo was actually a half decent baseball player in his youth. He spent five seasons in the minor league farm systems for the White Sox, Cardinals and Reds. But it was in 1973 when Poffo found his true calling.
Poffo made his wrestling debut in November of 1973, during the baseball off-season, which eventually became a full time gig. His first character, oddly enough, was named “The Spider” and based off of Spider-Man. He spent several years wrestling in Florida and Georgia. He would go on to win the Southern Tag Team Titles with his brother Lanny. At the suggestion of fellow wrestler Ole Anderson, Poffo changed his name to Randy Savage because he wrestled like a savage. In 1978, Randy’s father began his own wrestling promotion called International Championship Wrestling. By 1983, Savage left ICW for one of it’s competitors, Jerry Lawler’s AWA in Memphis. During this time Savage and Lawler had one of the bloodiest feuds in Memphis, maybe even in all of wrestling. They had everything from cage to barbed wire matches. Savage even piledrived Lawler onto a metal plate, which put Lawler in the hospital. The feud ended when Savage lost a “loser leaves town” match. In 1985, Savage joined the WWF and took on the moniker of Randy “Macho Man” Savage. And from here is when a legend was born.
* November 7, 1985: Makes pay-per-view debut at The Wrestling Classic.
* February 6, 1986: Randy Savage defeats Tito Santana to win the Intercontinental title.
* March 29, 1987: Randy Savage is defeated by Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III. Many consider this the greatest WWF match of all time.
March 27, 1988: Randy Savage wins a 14-Man Tournament to become the WWF Undisputed Champion at WrestleMania IV.
* August 28, 1988: The Megapowers (Savage and Hogan) are victorious over Ted DiBiase & Andre the Giant at SummerSlam. Jesse Ventura is guest referee.
* January 15, 1989 – August 28, 1989: Savage embarks in a feud with Hulk Hogan. It begins at the Royal Rumble, when Hogan accidentally eliminates Savage. It heats up when Macho Man accuses Hogan of having a thing for Miss Elizabeth. Hogan then defeats Savage for the WWF title at WrestleMania V on April 5. The feud wounds down at SummerSlam with a match between Hogan and Brutus Beefcake defeating Randy Savage and Tom “Tiny” Lister (aka Zeus and Hogan’s co-star in No Holds Barred).
September 4, 1989: Savage defeats Jim Duggan to become the new “King of Wrestling” at the King of the Ring, of course, with the help of Sherri, who would become “Queen Sherri”.
* April 1, 1990:: Macho King & Queen Sherri lose to Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire at WrestleMania VI. This was WWF’s first inter-gender match
* March 24, 1991: The Ultimate Warrior is victorious over the Macho King in a “Retirement Match” at WrestleMania VII. Savage goes on to do commentary for the WWF.
* August 26, 1991: Randy & Elizabeth are married in the middle of the ring in what was called “A Match Made in Heaven” at SummerSlam.
* December 3, 1991: Savage beats Jake “The Snake Roberts at “Tuesday in Texas”. This marks the return of in ring action for Savage.
* February 8, 1992: After months of feuding, Savage defeats Roberts and it’s it once and for all.
* April 5, 1992: Randy Savage is victorious over Ric Flair (who had made claims that he had an affair with Elizabeth) to become WWF Heavyweight champion for the second time at WrestleMania VIII.
* August 29, 1992: The Ultimate Warrior defeats Randy Savage by count out at SummerSlam, so Savage retains the title.
* September 1, 1992: Ric Flair regains the title from Savage. 1992 is also the year that Savage’s Slim Jim commercials debut.
* January 11, 1993: “Monday Night Raw” debuts. Randy is one of the original commentators and only wrestles occasionally. He also records and releases “Speaking From The Heart” (which is produced by one Simon Cowell).
* March 20, 1994: Randy Savage defeats Crush in a “Falls Count Anywhere Match” at WreslteMania X.
* Fall 1994: Randy Savage’s WWF contract expires and he departs the WWF.
* December 3, 1994: Savage makes his WCW debut.
* November 26, 1995: Randy gains his first WCW World title by winning a 60-man three-ring battle royal.
* Feburary 3, 1997: Randy joins the nWo by assisting Hogan in a win over Roddy Piper at Super Brawl VII.
* June 15, 1997: Randy Savage defeats Diamond Dallas Page in a Falls Count Anywhere match at Great American Bash.
* August 21, 1997: Scott Hall & Randy Savage (who replaced Kevin Nash) defeat Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger to retain the WCW World Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions.
* October 26, 1997: Randy “Macho Man” Savage is victorious over Diamond Dallas Page in a Sudden Death match at Halloween Havoc.
* March 15, 1998: The Hollywood Hogan vs Randy “Macho Man” Savage Steel Cage match ends in a no contest at Uncensored.
* April 19, 1998: Randy Savage defeats Sting to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title at Spring Stampede.
* July 11, 1999: Sid Vicious & Randy Savage defeat Kevin Nash & Sting in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach. Since Savage pinned the WCW World champion Kevin Nash, he was able to capture his forth WCW World Heavyweight title.
* July 12, 1999: Hollywood Hogan regains the World Heavyweight Title over Savage on “Nitro”. Shortly afterward, Savage’s contract expires and he leaves WCW.
* May 3, 2002: Randy Savage is a scene stealer when he appears in the film adaptation of Spider-Man as wrestler “Bonesaw McGraw”.
* October 7, 2003: Randy Savage releases his first, and thankfully last, rap album. It features the song “Be A Man Hulk!”
* November 7, 2004: Randy Savage debuts for TNA at Victory Road. Unfortunately, their are reports circulate that he had a backstage confrontation with Hulk Hogan.
* November 19, 2004 : Randy makes up with with TNA (a week earlier he said was leaving) and appeared on “Impact” to confront the Kings of Wrestling (Jeff Jarrett, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash).
* November 26, 2004: Randy Savage appears at the end of “Impact” and leads an attack against the King of Wrestling.
* December 5, 2004: Randy Savage, Jeff Hardy & AJ Styles defeat The Kings of Wrestling (Jarrett & Nash & Hall) at TNA’s Turning Point.
* December 8, 2004: Randy leaves TNA again over a disagreement on the finish of the next scheduled PPV.
* January 2005: Savage appears at several World League Wrestling gigs and takes part in several training sessions with students. By June he announces that he has stopped taking bookings because of a recent back injury sustained at a WLW promotion.
* November 21, 2008: Appears in the animated film Bolt as the voice of Thug.
* June 9, 2009: WWE releases the DVD Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection.
* March 29, 2011: Randy is featured in the video game WWE All-Stars. This was the first time he appeared in a WWE game since 1994′s WWF Raw.
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