As the wrestling fan on the team, I have the sad duty to eulogize Macho Man Randy Savage. It’s not at all unusual for pro wrestlers to die before their time or even for a guy in his fifties to have a heart attack, but this news hit close to home for a child of the 80s. Macho Man started in the WWF shortly after I began watching wrestling and was probably the first character I had seen get a big introduction on TV. The guy had charisma, in-ring skills to match, and all the top managers in the WWF wanted to work for him, so I certainly thought he was important. I had no idea the he would become one of the greatest superstars of that era.
Despite being introduced as a bad guy (heel), Savage’s character clicked with me and he was one of my favorite wrestlers by the time he won the Intercontinental Title from Tito Santana. He had several good feuds and a great one with Ricky Steamboat over the next couple years, then was elevated to main event status alongside Hulk Hogan. I had never liked Hogan much, but when Savage turned on him in 1989 so did I. The moment when Macho Man attacked Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event is one of the most vivid memories of my entire childhood let alone my time as a wrestling fan. Yeah, I really am a nerd.
Savage would go on to headline a few WrestleManias, be a top star in World Championship Wrestling, be the spokesman for Slim Jim snacks, lend his voice to several cartoons, and play Bone Saw McGraw in the first Spiderman movie. Not too shabby.
RIP, Macho Man. You were one of the greats. OOOOHHHHHHH YEEEAAAAAHHHHHH!