As a lifelong wrestling fan, the news of Randy Savage’s tragic death was shocking and upsetting. I grew up watching wrestling in the 1980′s when it was just reaching the mainstream audience and quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of entertainment. I was a Hulkamaniac even though I didn’t say prayers or take any vitamins. But I was also a huge fan of the Macho Man and his ridiculous sunglasses, shiny robes, quirky catchphrases, and his beautiful valet – Miss Elizabeth. He made people hate him with his brash attitude and mistreatment of Elizabeth. He had to fend off chivalrous men who wanted to fight for Elizabeth’s honor, such as George “The Animal” Steele. Savage was also known for his tremendous athleticism and ability to have a good match with anyone.
In the Hulkamania era, there were very few other wrestlers who could garner the reaction and emotion of the fans the way Hulk Hogan did. But Randy Savage was without a doubt one of those special individuals who was loved as a babyface and hated as a heel. He had the unique ability to be equally as entertaining as both a good guy and a bad guy. Even to this day, there are only a handful of wrestlers who can lay claim to this attribute. When Savage became associated with Hulk Hogan to form the Mega Powers, it was proof positive that the Macho Man was one of the main players.
He had catchphrases and gestures that kids loved to replicate. From “oooohhhh yeah!” to “freak out, freak out,” the Macho Man was someone that kids loved to emulate. His theme music of “Pomp and Circumstance” was fitting for a man with grace, class and deserved of the attention. His ring attire drew attention and could not be mistaken.
As a wrestling fan, the Macho Man is the source of a lot of good memories for me as a kid and then into my adulthood when he stuck around to be a part of the n.W.o. Lots of wrestlers have died over the years, and some have more of an impact than others. Eddie Guerrero was a tragic loss because he was in the prime of his career after overcoming his own personal demons. Chris Benoit and the murder-suicide of his family is obviously horrific. Many others have died young due to drug overdoses. But Macho Man lived to be 58, and even if he did use drugs or put other foreign substances into his body during his career, the point is that he lived long enough to retire and pursue his post-wrestling life.
I didn’t know Randy Savage personally, but he is a part of my childhood and the source of many great memories. I hope he is given the proper tribute and recognition by WWE as one of the true all-time greats and take his rightful spot in the Hall of Fame. Rest in peace Macho Man…your legacy will live on into immortality.