I came home from a party last night to hear the tragic news that “Macho Man” Randy Savage had died following a heart attack at the wheel of his car, resulting in a crash. I have no problem admitting that it hit me hard and left me crying.
Obviously its natural given the nature of the business to ask if his heart attack was wrestling-related, but there’s no way of knowing for now. For Randy, I suppose it doesn’t matter either way, but another death linked to wrestling would obviously be yet another warning sign for the business.
But getting to the better side of Savage’s life and of the business too, Savage can be claimed, without much controversy, as one of the men that laid the foundation for the explosion of wrestling at the end of the 20th century. He and Hulk Hogan tore up wrestling in both the Rock and Wrestling era and the Monday Night Wars with the nWo. Despite the ridiculousness of his character, he managed to stay relevant between these two radically different eras. He was, and will always be, one of the biggest and most popular wrestling stars ever, and for that, he deserves recognition.
I don’t want to write much more because the tremendous out-pouring for the Macho Man and his family has been so touching and so eloquent, and were made by people who knew him and the business much better than me. Instead, i’m just going to post some of the comments that touched me, personally, the most:
Jeff Jarrett: “I met him when I was 11yrs old. He would always teach, correct, encourage, and compliment as my… Career progressed. I have NEVER forgotten the intricacies and attention to detail he taught me over the years. Randy always had a method to His madness. Randy is gone, but will never be forgotten.”
The Rock: “RIP Randy “Macho Man” Savage – you were one of my childhood inspirations and heros.”
Kevin Nash: “I lost a close friend today. If anybody in heaven is wondering who the cat in the ugly cowboy hat is it’s Randy. Love you Bro. Never another.”
Hulk Hogan: “I’m completely devastated, after over 10 years of not talking with Randy, we’ve finally started to talk and communicate. He had so much life in his eyes & in his spirit, I just pray that he’s happy and in a better place and we miss him … This was a tough one.”
Christopher Daniels: “RIP Randy Savage, an inspiration who set the standard! As a fan, watching Randy in Wrestlemania 3,4 and 5 was incredible! True Story: at Turning Point 2004 (AMW-XXX cage match), I asked Randy’s permission to drop the elbow of the top of the cage! Randy’s reply? “God bless you, brother, I don’t even do the elbow anymore.” And, he gave me a thumbs up after the match as well!”
Claudio Castignoli: “When I was 12 I turned my jacket into a Macho Man Jacket, adding tassels on the sleeves and ran through my house yelling “oh yeah” The tower of power, too sweet to be sour, funky like a monkey uuuuh yeah! RIP.”
Bill DeMott: “When I got my start in WCW it was Randy that gave me the rub.”
Steve Corino: “Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at WM3 is still 1 of my favorite matches ever. I was 14 & though I “hated” Savage, I never booed him again.”
Jim Ross: (Part of a great blog on Savage’s career http://www.jrsbarbq.com/blog/randy-savage-dead-58thoughts-true-superstar ) “Randy Savage is arguably one of the top 2-3 wrestlers that helped establish the WWE as the dominate promotion of its kind in the world. Savage deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Andre, Hulk, Piper, etc.
When I arrived in WWE in 1993, Savage was, unknown to me, on his way out. Randy, Bobby Heenan and I broadcast WM9 from ringside at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on my first live, TV assignment for WWE. Broadcasting with ‘Macho Man’ was never easy but it was also never dull. He was as unpredictable wearing headsets as he was in his wrestling tights.”
Chris Jericho: “Randy Savage was a true influence and inspiration to me and taught me some very important lessons,in and out of the ring. Rest in peace Mach … I think Warrior at WM7 is the best example of how incredible Randy was. Best Warrior match ever.”
Jay Lethal: (Who had for a time a specific Macho Man gimmick) “You inspired me more than this world will ever know. Enjoy.
You were a tower of power that was too sweet to be sour,
You were funky like a monkey every minute of every hour.
For you, space was the place and time distortion had to be,
And your fans here on earth wanted the madness for eternity.
You met every challenge with fists clinched and face to face,
You even fought and defeats dragons and snakes.
Flying off the ropes with an elbow drop,
There was no way you could ever be stopped.
Identifiable by your voice alone,
Even being Dubbed the macho king while you sat on your throne.
We hung on your words with interviews memorable and classic,
And we knew it was serious when you took off your glasses.
I promise not to lose you in the sands of time,
For you will always be that all time hero of mine.”
Also, both Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins posted two incredibly touching photographs showing the impact Savage had on their careers and their lives. Ryder’s one was of him as a kid with Savage, clearly having a joyous, formative experience. As for Hawkins, he posted a picture of him with his “first tag team partner”, and inflatable Randy Savage.
What all this shows is the iconic status Savage earned and his influence and helpfulness with the future stars of the business. In so many ways he helped make it what it is today, and for that, respect and thankfulness should be shown.
Finally, I will show the excellent tribute video made by the WWE for Savage. It was good of them to do that, and hopefully it will air at Over the Limit or on RAW.
But other than that, I want to post his two greatest matches:
Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III
Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII
RIP Macho Man, and thank you.