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More On the Death of the Macho Man – Maybe It is the End of Times

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from www.miamiherlad.com – “Pomp and Circumstance” is a tradition at graduations nationwide. The music represents dignified acknowledgement for achievement.

No one made that musical score more famous than pro wrestling legend The Macho Man Randy Savage.

Dignified? A savage fighter in the ring who became the Macho King.

Acknowledgement? Fans loved to hate him and then learned to love him.

Achievement? Many for the Macho Man.

Savage, 58, one of the best ever, died Friday morning in an automobile accident, when he lost control of his vehicle in Seminole, near Tampa.

Each time he appeared at an arena for a show, and “Pomp and Circumstance” began, thousands of fans in attendance cheered wildly. He always gave fans their money’s worth.

Whether he portrayed the good guy or bad in the ring, he stayed true to his persona, and fans took to his character.

Before it was good to be bad in pro wrestling, Macho Man helped continue a trend bridged by greats like Dusty Rhodes, Jerry Lawler, Bruiser and Crusher. They weren’t your typical fan favorites as they had the attitude, charisma and right fist to prove it.

Following Savage’s atmospheric rise, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock took it to an even greater level.

Savage’s demeanor in the ring and on the mic coupled with that voice resonated with the mainstream. Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, The Rock are names people who don’t follow wrestling know. Savage is near there.

His fame and notoriety in WCW and WWF helped him become the spokesman for Slim Jim. “Ooooh Yeah! Snap into a Slim Jim.”

Voice work on various animated television shows, movies and kids’ cartoons gave him another outlet for work. You close your eyes and listen to the voice, and you know it’s him.

Savage can be heard on “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “King of the Hill,” “Duck Dodgers,” “Family Guy,” “Bolt” and “Space Ghost Coast to Coast.”

He can be seen on “The Jeff Foxworthy Show,” “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Mad About You,” “Baywatch” and “Arliss.”

His biggest role was in the 2002 “Spider-Man” movie as the wrestler Bonesaw McGraw, based on Stan Lee’s character Crusher Hogan. Not to be confused with the Hulkster, Chainsaw Charlie, Crusher Verdu or Quickdraw Rick McGraw.

A former minor league baseball player, Savage made some mark in the ring, especially feuding with Lalwer in Memphis. Like Gordon Solie did with so many, legendary announcer Lance Russell helped elevate a young Savage in Memphis.

That success in the Midsouth helped springboard his splash into the WWF, now titled WWE.

With Hulk-A-Mania the anchor of WWF’s meteoric rise under Vince McMahon Jr., Macho Man and his manager/real-life wife Elizabeth can also be credited for the big boom in pro wrestling during the 1980s.

Though she did not wrestle, the lovely Elizabeth was a trendsetter for divas. Elizabeth and Savage were opposites who attracted each other and fans.

Savage won the Intercontinental title and the big prize the WWF title. He also wore top gold in WCW.

The most memorable match with Savage was not a world title win but rather a defeat. Savage proved it doesn’t matter who is tabbed to win, just as long as you give fans a great match, a great show, working with your opponent..

Ricky the Dragon Steamboat and Savage exceeded that during WWE’s WrestleMania III in 1987 in Detroit before 90,000-plus fans at the Pontiac Silverdome. With the hot crowd and millions more watching on pay-per-view, Steamboat defeated Savage in one of the greatest matches all-time.

The following year, Savage won his first WWF title in a tournament by beating The Natural Butch Reed, Greg The Hammer Valentine, One Man Gang and The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase at WWF’s WrestleMania IV at the Trump Towers in New Jersey.

Savage was a two-time WWF champ. He won WCW gold four times.

Macho Man teamed with Hogan as the Mega Powers and feuded with him when he let his Macho-esk temper and jealousy toward Elizabeth ruin their mega friendship and money maker.

Savage delivered other high-profile battles with Jake The Snake Roberts, Ultimate Warrior, Steele, Ric Flair and even the Living Legend Bruno Sammartino.

Savage won King of the Ring honors with his manager queen Sherri Martel. He later took off some time from his action-packed, hard-hitting, air-elevated in-ring battles to call the action from outside the ring, and success continued for him as a color commentator for WWF.

• Savage worked very well on interviews with Mean Gene Okerlund. One of my favorites was Savage’s cream of the crop, rise to the top.

• In South Florida, I recall Savage during his first WWE title run beating Bad News Brown at the West Palm Beach Auditorium. Fans cheered wildly for their champion and his beautiful lady.

• South Florida played a bigger part in Savage’s last title achievement. He won his final world title – WCW’s version – during the WCW Bash at the Beach pay-per-view in 1999 at the National Car Rental Center (now Bank Atlantic Center, home of the Florida Panthers NHL team, in Sunrise.

Savage surprised many with his win, pinning Kevin Nash in a tag match where the winner became champ. Sid Vicious and Savage along with Madussa and Miss Madness (Molly Holly) teamed against Sting and Nash with Gorgeous George, who was Savage’s real-life girlfriend, after divorcing Elizabeth.

• Miami saw the Macho King and Queen Sherri cost the Ultimate Warrior his WWF title against the American turncoat Sgt. Slaughter with General Adnan.

In 1991, the WWF Royal Rumble pay-per-view was at the Miami Arena, original home to the Panthers and Miami Heat. After Warrior refused to give Savage another title shot, Savage and Sherri interfered, knocking out Warrior with the Macho King’s scepter.

Slaughter, who said he would grant Savage a title match, pinned an unconscious Warrior for the gold to the displeasure of the masses.

The crowd booed loudly, but they weren’t as charged as when fans littered the ring with cups and words when Hogan turned on Savage, Lex Luger and Sting to form the nWo with Scott Hall and Nash at Bash at the Beach in 1996 at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.

from www.latimes.com “Macho Man” Randy Savage, the flamboyant, raspy-voiced former professional wrestler known for his bandanas, exotic sunglasses and “Ooh, yeah!” catchphrase, died Friday in a Florida car crash. He was 58.

Savage, whose legal name was Randy Mario Poffo, lost control of his Jeep Wrangler in Pinellas County on Florida’s Gulf Coast around 9:25 a.m. Friday, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

The Jeep veered, went over a concrete median divider, crossed eastbound lanes and smashed into a tree, the report said.

Savage may have suffered a “medical event” before the accident, but the report did not elaborate, authorities said.

The report identified a female passenger who suffered minor injuries as Barbara L. Poffo. A statement from Stamford, Conn.-based World Wrestling Entertainment said the passenger was Savage’s wife.

The charismatic Savage was a champion in Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation and later in Ted Turner’s now-defunct World Championship Wrestling. He was known for his rivalries with Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair — and for his flying elbow drop off the top rope.

With his multi-colored cowboy hats, oversized sunglasses and sequined robes bejeweled with “Macho Man” on the back, Savage defined the larger-than-life personalities of the 1980s World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).

“Do I like bright colors? Ooh, yeah!” Savage told the Canadian newspaper the Hamilton Spectator in 1993. “Elton John can’t dent my closet.”

For much of his career, his valet, Miss Elizabeth, was by his side. Elizabeth Hulette was also then his wife. They later divorced, and Hulette died at 42 in 2003 in what was ruled a prescription-drug overdose.

Savage, who appeared in TV commercials for Slim Jim snacks and made occasional guest appearances on TV shows, also played Bone Saw McGraw in the 2002 hit movie “Spider-Man.”

“My character is basically the ‘Macho Man’ with hair extensions,” he told the Bradenton Herald in 2002. “Let’s face it, the part was written for me. Bone Saw is a cocky, colorful professional wrestler who likes to surround himself with attractive ladies.”

Savage had not made appearances for a major wrestling organization since 2004.

Members of the wrestling community responded to Savage’s death via Twitter on Friday.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said Savage was one of his childhood inspirations and heroes. And Mick “Cactus Jack” Folley called him “one of my favorite performers.”

Hogan said he and Savage had just started speaking again after 10 years.

“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,” Hogan wrote.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1952, Savage grew up in Chicago and was a gifted three-sport athlete in high school. He spent time in baseball’s minor leagues before launching his wrestling career.

His father, Angelo Poffo, was a longtime pro wrestler, and his brother, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, also was a 1980s WWF mainstay.

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