Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

5/20/11

'Macho Man' Randy Savage Dies In Car Accident At Age 58

'Macho Man' Randy Savage Dies In Car Accident At Age 58.

Wow. I wasn't a huge WWF/WCW fan, but this guy was an icon.

Randall Mario Poffo (November 15, 1952 - May 20, 2011),[5] better known by his ring name "Macho Man" Randy Savage, was an American professional wrestler and actor best known for his time with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He also had a short run with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Savage held twenty championships during his professional wrestling career and is a seven-time world champion: a two-time WWF Champion,[6] four-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion,[7] and one-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion.[8] Also a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, WWE has named Savage the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time and credited him for bringing "a higher level of credibility to the title through his amazing in-ring performances."[9] Aside from championships, Savage is the 1987 WWF King of the Ring and the 1995 WCW World War 3 winner. For much of his tenures in the WWF and WCW, he was managed by his real life wife, "Miss Elizabeth" Hulette.[5]

Savage was recognizable by wrestling fans for his distinctively deep and raspy voice, his ring attire (often comprising sunglasses, a bandana or head band, flashy robes, and a cowboy hat), intensity exhibited in and out of the ring, and his signature catch phrase ("Ooh yeah!").[5] WWE has said of Savage: "There has never been a Superstar more colorful than "Macho Man" Randy Savage. His style—perfectly punctuated by his entrance music, "Pomp and Circumstance"—has only been outshined by his performance in the ring."[1]

Contents [hide]
1 Personal life
1.1 Family
1.2 Death
2 Career
2.1 Early career
2.2 World Wrestling Federation (1985–1994)
2.2.1 Early heel push (1985)
2.2.2 Intercontinental Champion (1986–1987)
2.2.3 The Mega Powers (1987–1989)
2.2.4 Macho King and "retirement" (1989–1991)
2.2.5 Return and feud with Jake "The Snake" Roberts (1991–1992)
2.2.6 Feud with Ric Flair
2.2.7 Teaming with Ultimate Warrior
2.2.8 Color commentator, various feuds and departure (1993–1994)
2.3 World Championship Wrestling (1994–1999)
2.3.1 Sporadic feuds (1994–1996)
2.3.2 NWO member (1997–1998)
2.3.3 Feuds for the World Title and departure (1998–1999)
2.4 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2005)
2.4.1 In ring return and departure (2004-2005)
2.5 WWE DVD collection (2009)
2.6 WWE Defining Moments and WWE All Stars Video Game
2.7 Death
3 In wrestling
4 Championships and accomplishments
5 Career outside of wrestling
5.1 Acting career
5.1.1 Television
5.1.2 Film
5.1.3 Animated series/films
5.1.4 Music
6 References
7 Further reading
8 External links


[edit] Personal life[edit] FamilyPoffo was born in Columbus, Ohio to Angelo Poffo, an Italian American, and Judy, a Jewish American.[10] His father held the World Sit Up record at one point. Apparently, during World War II, he had German prisoners hold his feet down as he was breaking the record. His younger brother is former professional wrestler Lanny Poffo, better known by his ring names "The Genius" and "Leaping Lanny Poffo." He is a graduate of Downers Grove North High School in a suburb near Chicago, Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University and graduated in 1971. He later moved to Lexington, Ky and lived there for many years.

Savage married Elizabeth Ann Hulette on December 30, 1984. She later became his valet in the WWF; however, they separated in the summer of 1992 and their divorce was finalized on September 18, 1992.

Elizabeth Hulette was found dead in the home of professional wrestler Lex Luger on May 1, 2003, from a drug overdose. According to a 2003 shoot interview with Savage's brother, Lanny Poffo, Savage has no animosity towards Luger, and feels that Elizabeth brought about her own death due to her drug use.

On May 10, 2010, Savage married his long time girlfriend, Lynn Payne, making it his second marriage.

[edit] DeathOn May 20, 2011, TMZ reported that Savage suffered a heart attack around 10AM on a highway in Tampa, Florida before losing control of the vehicle and crashing. It was later confirmed by Savage's brother, Lanny Poffo.[11] According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Savage was driving a 2009 Jeep Wrangler when he "veered across a concrete median ... through oncoming traffic ... and "collided head-on with a tree." His wife Lynn was a passenger but survived with "minor injuries". According to officials, both were wearing their seatbelts at the time. Police confirmed that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

[edit] Career[edit] Early careerSavage was a second-generation professional wrestler; his father Angelo Poffo was a well-known wrestler in the 1950s and 1960s, who was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not! for his ability to do sit-ups for hours on end.[10] Randy's brother Lanny had a moderately successful career as a wrestler, too, most notably under the names "Leaping Lanny Poffo" and "The Genius."[10] After college, Randy was a minor league baseball outfielder[12] in the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox farm systems.[2] He injured his natural (right) throwing shoulder at one point so he learned to throw with his left arm instead. The team was managed by Jimmy Piersall.[13] Randy's last season was 1974, when he played for the Tampa Tarpons.[12]

Savage first broke into the wrestling business in 1973 during the fall and winter of the baseball off season.[5] His first wrestling character, "The Spider Friend", was similar to Spider-Man.[5] He later took the ring name Randy Savage at the suggestion of Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) booker Ole Anderson, who said that the name Poffo didn't fit someone who "wrestled like a savage".[5]

Savage eventually decided to end his baseball career and become a full time wrestler, working with his brother and father.[5] He wrestled his first match against Midwest territory wrestler the "Golden Boy" Paul Christy. Savage worked with his father and brother in Michigan, the Carolinas, Georgia, the Maritimes, and the eastern Tennessee territory run by Nick Gulas.[3]

After a while, his father felt that his sons were not getting the pushes they deserved so he started the "outlaw" International Championship Wrestling (ICW) promotion in the mid-American states.[2] Eventually, ICW disbanded and Randy and Lanny entered the Memphis scene, joining Jerry Lawler's Continental Wrestling Association (their former competitors). While there, Savage feuded with Lawler over the AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship. He also teamed with Lanny to battle The Rock 'n' Roll Express; this feud included one infamous match on June 25, 1984 in Memphis, where in the storyline, Savage injured Ricky Morton by piledriving him through the timekeeper's table, leading to the Express winning by disqualification. Later in 1984, Savage turned babyface and allied with Lawler against Jimmy Hart's First Family stable, only to turn heel on Lawler again in early 1985 and resume the feud with him over the title.[5] This ended when Lawler beat Savage in a Loser Leaves Town match on June 8 in Memphis, Tennessee.[5]

[edit] World Wrestling Federation (1985–1994)[edit] Early heel push (1985)In June 1985, Savage signed with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (WWF). One of Savage's first appearances was on Tuesday Night Titans, in which several established WWF managers (including Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, and "Classy" Freddie Blassie) offered their services to Savage.[2] He eventually declined their offers and chose Miss Elizabeth as his new manager.[2][3] His gimmick was a crazed, egomaniacal bully who would mistreat Miss Elizabeth and threaten anyone who even looked at her. He made his pay-per-view (PPV) debut at The Wrestling Classic on November 7, 1985, participating in a sixteen man tournament. He defeated Ivan Putski,[14][15] Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat,[14] and the Dynamite Kid[14][15] before losing by a countout in the finals to Junkyard Dog.[14][15]

[edit] Intercontinental Champion (1986–1987)
Savage (right) in a wrestling match.In late 1985, Savage started a feud with Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana over that title. On the November 2, 1985 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, he unsuccessfully challenged Santana for the title (Savage won the match by countout but not the title because a title does not change hands by countout).[16] In a rematch on the February 24, 1986 (taped February 8) edition of Prime Time Wrestling, he won the WWF Intercontinental title at the Boston Garden by using an illegal steel object stashed in his tights to knock out Santana.[17][18] Early in his WWF career, Savage also won two countout victories in Madison Square Garden over his future tag team partner WWF Champion Hulk Hogan (although the belt did not change hands due to the countout) as well as engaging in historic feuds with Bruno Sammartino and George "The Animal" Steele.[3]

Savage's feud with Steele began on the January 4, 1986 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, when Steele developed a crush on Miss Elizabeth.[19] At WrestleMania 2, Savage defeated Steele in a match to retain his Intercontinental title.[20] Another major title challenger was Jake "The Snake" Roberts, with whom he battled to a double disqualification on the November 29, 1986 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event.[21] He resumed his feud with George Steele in early 1987, culminating in two Intercontinental title matches, both won by Savage.[22][23]

Savage wrestled in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest matches in North American wrestling history when he faced Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III in the Pontiac Silverdome. The match was the culmination of a long and bitter feud (which saw Savage crush Steamboat's larynx), and featured tremendous athleticism and in-ring storytelling. After nineteen two-counts, Steamboat pinned Savage (with help from George Steele, who pushed Savage from the top rope seconds before he was pinned) to end his near 14 month reign as Intercontinental champion.[24][25] The match was extremely choreographed, as opposed to the "on the fly" nature of most wrestling matches at the time.[5] Savage was a stickler for detail, and he and Steamboat laid out and rehearsed every spot in the match prior to WrestleMania, at his home in Florida.[5] The highly influential match was considered an instant classic by both fans and critics and was named 1987's Match of the Year by both Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer. Steamboat and Randy Savage were seen cheering with and hugging other wrestlers after the match.[3][5]

[edit] The Mega Powers (1987–1989)Main article: The Mega Powers
Savage won the King of the Ring tournament later in 1987.[26][27] As the fans were drawn toward his charisma and in-ring ability, he began to turn face, becoming less hostile toward the fans and Miss Elizabeth. When The Honky Tonk Man declared himself "the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time", Savage began a feud with him to get the title back. On the October 3, 1987, edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, He got his shot at The Honky Tonk Man and the Intercontinental Championship, but lost out on the title when The Hart Foundation, who along with Honky were managed by Jimmy Hart, interrupted the match, getting Honky disqualified. In the ensuing beatdown, Miss Elizabeth got Hulk Hogan to save him, solidifying Savage's face turn and leading to the formation of "The Mega Powers."[28][29]

Savage reached the pinnacle of his career to date at WrestleMania IV, when he participated in the 14 man tournament for the vacant WWF Championship. He had successful matches against Butch Reed, Greg Valentine and One Man Gang, and then went on to the finals, in which he defeated "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, by pinning him with the help of Hulk Hogan.[30][31][32] Despite the WWF's disappointment in the "somber" crowd in Atlantic City, nothing like the one witnessed a year earlier in WrestleMania III in Pontiac, it was seen as a rejuvenation of a sport getting tired of the same champion.[5] Savage would retain the WWF title for over a year, defending it against the likes of One Man Gang[33] and André the Giant.[34] Savage would set a new trend, as during his face turn he would retain many fans who cheered for him as a heel.

The Mega Powers' main feuds were with The Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase and André the Giant), whom they defeated in the main event of the first-ever SummerSlam pay-per-view event,[35][36] and The Twin Towers, a tag team composed of super-heavyweights Big Boss Man and Akeem. In the case of the latter feud, Savage frequently became involved in Hogan's matches involving one of the two villains (and vice versa); the two rival factions captained opposing teams in the main event of the 1988 Survivor Series, which was won by the Mega Powers.

Problems between Savage and Hogan developed, however, in early 1989 after Hogan also took Elizabeth as his manager.[29] At Royal Rumble 1989, Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage from the Royal Rumble match and they started to fight until Elizabeth separated them.[37] On the February 3, 1989 edition of The Main Event, Savage turned heel on Hogan, getting jealous over Miss Elizabeth and his self-perceived third wheel standing in the Mega Powers. He solidified his heel turn after abandoning Hogan during a tag team match against the Twin Towers, though Hogan picked up the win in the end.[38] (A feud that ran concurrently with the Mega Powers-Twin Towers feud was Savage's with Bad News Brown over the WWF Championship, started after Brown implied that WWF President Jack Tunney "doing favors" for Elizabeth in her effort to protect Savage from Brown. Savage successfully fought back Brown's challenge.)

At WrestleMania V, Savage dropped the WWF title to Hogan after a reign of 371 days, becoming the sixth longest reigning WWF Champion in history (no champion after Savage would hold the title for more than a year until John Cena nineteen years later).[39][40] He eventually replaced Elizabeth with Sensational Sherri. Savage would co-main event SummerSlam 1989, teaming with Zeus, a character from Hulk Hogan's movie, No Holds Barred, against The Mega-Maniacs (Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake). In this match, Hogan "no-sold" Savage's flying elbow by standing straight up after Savage hit him with it in the center of the ring.[41][42] Savage and Zeus faced Hogan and Beefcake in a rematch contested in a steel cage at No Holds Barred, and lost again.[43]

[edit] Macho King and "retirement" (1989–1991)Savage adopted the moniker "Macho King" after defeating Jim Duggan for King of the Ring title in September 1989 (Duggan in turn had won it from Haku)[44] On a later wrestling episode, he had a coronation as the new "King of the WWF" led by wrestler The Genius (actually Savage's brother, Lanny Poffo), in which Ted DiBiase gave him a sceptre as a gift. Savage would use that sceptre as a weapon numerous times.

The "Macho King" and Hulk Hogan met one last time (intended to end their ongoing year long feud), when Savage got a shot at Hulk Hogan's WWF Championship on the February 23, 1990 edition of The Main Event.[45] The pinfall was counted by new heavyweight boxing champion James Buster Douglas, who then punched Savage in the face after he slapped Douglas.

After "The Mega Powers Explode" angle finally ended Savage began feuding with the "Common Man" Dusty Rhodes, losing a mixed tag match (along with Sherri) to Rhodes and Sapphire at WrestleMania VI[46] but beating him in a singles match at SummerSlam 1990.[47]

In late 1990, Savage started a feud with then-WWF champion The Ultimate Warrior. The feud escalated at Royal Rumble 1991, when Warrior refused to promise Savage the right to challenge him for the title, should Warrior defend it successfully against Sgt. Slaughter (Slaughter had already granted Savage this opportunity, should he beat Warrior). Savage had sent Sensational Queen Sherri out before the match to try to persuade the Warrior to promise this in a face-to-face interview laced with sexual innuendos, but was unsuccessful. Outraged, Savage promised revenge, which he got during the Slaughter-Warrior title match. Before the match began, Randy "Macho King" Savage attacked the champion, resulting in the Ultimate Warrior having to crawl to the ring. Later, Savage ran out to the ring and smashed the sceptre over Warrior's head, (knocking him unconscious for Slaughter to pin), and then immediately sprinted back to the locker room. In the Royal Rumble match later that night, Savage was due to enter the ring as the 18th entrant, but failed to show.[48]

The events at the Royal Rumble led to a career-ending match at WrestleMania VII. Savage lost the match after delivering five consecutive elbow drops as the Warrior somehow managed to kick out and return to score the victory after several flying clotheslines and shoulder blocks.[49] After the match, Savage was attacked by Queen Sherri as he lay dejected in the ring.[5] This was too much for Miss Elizabeth who happened to be in the audience.[2] Elizabeth rushed to Savage's aid, fighting off Sherri and reuniting with her one-time love to huge crowd appreciation.[5] Some fans were spotted crying in the audience. Despite his retirement from active wrestling, Savage stayed in the WWF in an non-wrestling capacity while the Ultimate Warrior was fired by Vince McMahon after SummerSlam later that year.[5]

[edit] Return and feud with Jake "The Snake" Roberts (1991–1992)Savage returned to TV in a non-wrestling role as the "Macho Man" after WrestleMania VII as a broadcaster. Despite being for the most part a face announcer, he still regularly made potshots at his old rivals in wrestling, especially Hogan and Warrior. Meanwhile the angle with Miss Elizabeth continued, culminating with Savage proposing to her in the ring leading to an on-air wedding at SummerSlam 1991 dubbed The Match Made in Heaven. It was at this time that Savage was targeted by Jake "The Snake" Roberts, who was by now a heel. On an edition of Prime Time Wrestling prior to SummerSlam, the announcers and several other babyface wrestlers threw a "bachelor party" for Savage, with Roberts' arrival deemed unwelcome by the rest of the contingent due to his heel turn.[17]

In the post-SummerSlam wedding reception, Roberts and his new ally, The Undertaker, made their presence known by hiding a live snake in one of the newly married couple's wedding presents; Elizabeth was frightened when she opened the gift box, and the Undertaker blindsided Savage by knocking him out with the urn. Sid Justice ran off both Roberts and The Undertaker. Savage, still unable to compete due to his WrestleMania VII loss to the Ultimate Warrior, immediately began a public campaign to have himself reinstated as an active wrestler to gain revenge on Roberts; however, WWF president Jack Tunney refused. Meanwhile, Roberts cut a series of promos berating Savage. The feud began to boil over during a television taping for WWF Superstars of Wrestling October 21 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when Roberts cut an in-ring promo to goad Savage — who was providing TV commentary — into the ring. After he was lured into the ring, Roberts brutally attacked Savage, eventually tying Savage into the ropes before getting a live cobra to bite his arm. The snake was devenomized and, according to Roberts' DVD Pick Your Poison, he had trouble getting the cobra to release his bite. The segment went on longer than planned, and Savage's blood was clearly visible as it dripped from the puncture wounds. The footage of Savage suffering was censored with a large "X" on WWF Superstars of Wrestling when aired November 23, but the segment aired uncensored on cable television, The Snake Bite was originally supposed to be for Sid Justice, But due to Sid's biceps injury, The Snake bite was given to Savage.

Savage then urged fans to lobby Tunney to reinstate Savage, under the rallying cry "Reinstatement! That's the plan! Reinstate the Macho Man!" In response, Tunney reinstated Savage and announced a match between him and Roberts for the This Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view event. Savage won the match[50] and the two continued to brawl afterward; Roberts turned things up another level when he gained the upper hand, beat him down with three DDTs, then forced Elizabeth to beg for mercy for her husband; Roberts was dissatisfied with the result and slapped her across the face. The feud continued throughout the winter, ending after a match on the February 8, 1992 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, which Savage won;[51] Roberts had planned a backstage ambush of Savage and Elizabeth after losing the match, but was stopped by The Undertaker.

[edit] Feud with Ric FlairSavage then began an on screen feud with WWF Champion "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. According to the storyline, Flair claimed that he had slept with Savage's wife Miss Elizabeth, going as far as presenting pictures of Elizabeth in which Flair had himself superimposed. This culminated in a title match at WrestleMania VIII; Savage won the match and his second WWF Championship.[52][53][54]

During this time, Savage and Elizabeth separated in real life, and Elizabeth made her final WWF appearance on April 19, 1992, during an overseas tour of England. However, the Savage-Flair feud continued, keeping the Flair-Elizabeth television storyline intact until Elizabeth's final WWF appearance (a match between Savage and Shawn Michaels) aired on WWF Prime Time Wrestling in June. About this same time, WWF Magazine published photos of Savage and Elizabeth, which were identical to those featuring Elizabeth and Flair; it was revealed that Flair had doctored the Savage-Elizabeth pictures.

The former couple were divorced on September 18, 1992. Afterward, Savage issued a statement that was printed in WWE Magazine, revealing the status of their relationship and thanking the fans for their support through the years. Savage's statement marked, at the time, a rare acknowledgement of the wrestlers' private lives for both the WWF and its flagship publication. Savage continued with the WWF for two more years, and except for the statement in WWF Magazine, his divorce from Elizabeth was neither referred to nor figured into any of Savage's future feuds.

[edit] Teaming with Ultimate WarriorFor the better part of 1992, Savage and his old nemesis Warrior (who returned to the WWF at Wrestlemania VIII), peacefully co-existed as faces. However, when it was announced that Warrior was the new Number One Contender for Savage's WWF Championship, old tensions resurfaced and they had several heated exchanges prior to the match. Savage defended the title against Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam 1992. Savage lost the match by countout, after having his knee injured by Flair and Perfect but retained the championship. After the match Warrior helped a badly injured Savage to the back.[55][56] On the September 14 episode of Prime Time Wrestling (taped September 1), Savage lost the WWF title to Flair after interference by Razor Ramon.[17] Savage and Flair later swapped the WCW World Heavyweight Championship during their 1995–96 feud, making them the only duo to win and lose both the WWF/E and WCW versions of the world title to each other.

He formed a tag team with The Ultimate Warrior known as the Ultimate Maniacs after both men were attacked by Flair and Mr. Perfect during their heated match at SummerSlam. After his title loss shortly after, an injured Savage backed Warrior to be the man to dethrone Flair. On the November 8, 1992 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, they took on Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) for the WWF Tag Team Championship. Money. Inc. lost by countout but retained their titles.[57] Savage and Warrior were scheduled to face Flair and Ramon in a tag team match at Survivor Series 1992. Warrior was fired from the WWF weeks before the event, so Savage chose Mr. Perfect, executive consultant to Flair, as his partner to replace Warrior. Perfect initially laughed off the suggestion, but was angered by Bobby Heenan and his insinuations that he could never again wrestle at his previous level, and accepted the match. Despite initial distrust (an interview prior to the match had Savage admit to Perfect that he neither liked nor trusted him), the duo defeated Flair and Ramon via a disqualification.[58]

[edit] Color commentator, various feuds and departure (1993–1994)When Monday Night Raw began in January 1993, Savage served primarily as a color commentator, wrestling only occasionally against characters such as Doink, The Repo Man, Rick Martel, and Crush. However, he was the runner up in the Royal Rumble match at Royal Rumble 1993, where he was eliminated by Yokozuna.[59][60] He returned to pay-per-view at Survivor Series 1993 as a substitute for Mr. Perfect, and competed in the 1994 Royal Rumble match. His last WWF pay-per-view appearance as a competitor was a victory over Crush in a Falls Count Anywhere Match at WrestleMania X.[61] This came after Crush punctuated his heel turn by attacking Savage on Monday Night Raw, dropping him face-first on the guardrail, lacerating Savage's tongue. Savage also made periodic appearances in Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion in fall 1994. Meanwhile, Savage was also a color commentator for the 1994 King of the Ring and made his final WWF pay-per-view appearance at the 1994 SummerSlam, where he served as the master of ceremonies. Behind the scenes, Savage was becoming increasingly unhappy with his diminishing role within the company, as he felt he could still perform as a top level star. At the end of October 1994, Savage's WWF contract expired and he abruptly left to sign with the competing WCW. Savage was given an on air farewell by Vince McMahon on the November 7, 1994 edition of Monday Night Raw.[62]

[edit] World Championship Wrestling (1994–1999)[edit] Sporadic feuds (1994–1996)Savage signed with WCW, and his first appearance was on the December 3, 1994 edition of WCW Saturday Night prior to Starrcade 1994. Savage made reference to the love/hate relationship he had with Hulk Hogan, then the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. For weeks TV announcers speculated whether Savage would arrive to "shake [Hogan's] hand or slap his face". Savage eventually saved Hogan from an attack by the 3 Faces of Fear, shaking hands with his friend and rival. His first WCW feud was against Avalanche. At SuperBrawl V, he teamed up with Sting and took on Avalanche and Big Bubba Rogers in a tag team match, which Sting and Savage won.[63] However, his encounter with Avalanche continued and ended at Uncensored 1995, with Savage getting the win by disqualification after a fan, who happened to be Ric Flair dressed in drag, attacked Savage.[64] This led to Savage and Flair resuming their earlier feud. At Halloween Havoc 95 he defeated The Zodiac to meet Lex Luger the very same night in a match where he defeated Luger as well.

He participated in the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship tournament (created when former champion Vader was stripped of the belt in April 1995 for attacking WCW on-air Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel) and went on to defeat The Butcher in the first round[65] and "Stunning" Steve Austin in the quarterfinals.[65] He interfered in Flair's match against Alex Wright, attacking Flair and causing Wright to get disqualified, which set up a tournament semifinal match in which the winner would face the winner of the Sting and Meng match for the United States Championship at the June 1995 Great American Bash. Savage and Flair's tournament semifinal match never took place however, due to Savage and Flair brawling in the backstage area prior to the match and being eliminated from the tournament.[65] They were instead given their own match in the main event, which Flair won with underhanded tactics.[66]

Savage defeated Flair in a later Lifeguard Lumberjack match at Bash at the Beach 1995.[67] Later that year, during part of the storyline in which Arn Anderson and Ric Flair turned on each other, Flair (looking for a partner to take on Anderson and Brian Pillman in a tag match) tried to recruit Savage to be his partner. Remembering the rivalry (and how Flair had attacked Savage's father, Angelo Poffo, which was the catalyst for their feud back in May), Savage refused, telling Flair point blank to "get the hell out of here!"

In 1995, Savage pushed for WCW to place his father, Angelo Poffo, in its Hall of Fame. Commentator and wrestling legend Gordon Solie opposed this decision, because he felt wrestlers (or in this case, family of wrestlers) should not be asking for spots in the Hall, in this case, especially, since Poffo did not have much of a career in WCW. Poffo's induction was granted, however, and Solie left the company shortly after. At World War 3 1995, Savage won his first WCW World Heavyweight Championship by winning the first-ever 60-man three-ring battle royal.[68][69] He lost the title to Flair a month later at Starrcade 1995: World Cup of Wrestling; earlier that night, he defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan.[70] Savage won his second WCW World Heavyweight Championship back from Flair on the January 22, 1996 edition of Nitro[71][72] but lost the title back to Flair the next month in a steel cage match at SuperBrawl VI.[73]

In January 1996, Savage brought Elizabeth with him into WCW as his valet once again, but she turned on Savage in his last title loss to Flair. Thereafter, Flair claimed that Elizabeth had given him a sizable amount of Savage's money, taken in their divorce settlement, which Flair used to set up a "VIP section" at Monday Nitro events. Flair and Savage continued to feud until June 1996. At Bash at the Beach 1996, the nWo was formed when Hulk Hogan turned on Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger and joined "The Outsiders", a tag team of former WWF wrestlers Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.[74] After their inception, one of their main enemies became Savage himself, who was one of the leaders of the WCW crusaders against the nWo before joining them a year later. At Halloween Havoc 1996, Savage faced Hogan for the WCW title but lost when the Giant interfered and chokeslammed him.[75]

Savage's initial WCW contract, which he had signed toward the end of 1994, expired shortly thereafter. He eventually signed a new contract with the company and returned to WCW on the January 20, 1997 edition of Nitro from Chicago's United Center. He made sporadic appearances for the next several weeks.

[edit] NWO member (1997–1998)After months of abuse from the nWo, Savage joined them at SuperBrawl VII, when he helped Hogan defeat Roddy Piper in a rematch of their Starrcade match the previous year. He also reunited with Elizabeth, who had joined the nWo several months earlier. He began feuding with Diamond Dallas Page and DDP's wife Kimberly. Their feud lasted almost eight months which included tag team matches,[76][77][78] a no disqualification match at Spring Stampede 1997,[79] a falls count anywhere match at The Great American Bash 1997: Savage/Page II,[80] and a Las Vegas Death match at Halloween Havoc.[81]

In early 1998, Savage started a feud with Lex Luger which culminated in a match at Souled Out, which Luger won.[82] Luger also won a rematch between the two at SuperBrawl VIII.[83] When Hogan failed to recapture his "nWo" Title from Sting, it was Savage's turn, and he got his shot at Spring Stampede 1998. Hogan tried to make sure that Savage would not win the title because Hogan felt that he was the only nWo member who should be World Champion, since he was the leader of the stable. With the help of Nash, however, Savage beat Sting for his third WCW World Heavyweight Championship, despite tearing the ACL in his knee during the match.[84][85] The following night on Nitro, Hogan faced Savage for the championship. For a while it looked like Hogan had Savage beat,[86] but for the second consecutive night, Nash came to Savage's aid, powerbombing Hogan.[86] Savage tried to capitalize on this, but an interfering Bret Hart attacked Savage and preserved the victory for Hogan.[86] This resulted in Savage turning babyface. He joined with Nash and others to form the nWo Wolfpac, a split from Hogan's group, which became known as nWo Black and Red (Wolfpac) and nWo Black and White (Hollywood).[87] Savage went on to feud with both Bret Hart and Roddy Piper.[88][89]

[edit] Feuds for the World Title and departure (1998–1999)Main article: Team Madness
After the June 15 edition of Nitro, Randy Savage took a hiatus from the company to recover from at least two major knee surgeries. He made only one more appearance in 1998, helping Ric Flair defeat Eric Bischoff for the Presidency of WCW on the December 28, 1998 edition of Monday Nitro.[90] When Savage returned, he debuted a new look and theme music, sporting a slicked back ponytail, earrings, and a new heel attitude, as well as introducing his then 22-year-old girlfriend Gorgeous George as his valet.[5] His first action was as the guest referee in the main event at Spring Stampede 1999, which was won by Diamond Dallas Page.[5] For a short time afterward, Randy interfered in DDP's matches to make sure that Page kept his World Title, but when Kevin Nash won it at Slamboree 1999, Savage went after the title himself.[2] It was around that time that Madusa and Miss Madness joined Macho Man as his other two valets; together they were known as Team Madness.[91]

At The Great American Bash 1999, Sid Vicious returned to WCW and helped Macho Man attack Kevin Nash.[5] This led to a tag team match at Bash at the Beach between Kevin Nash and Sting against Randy Savage and Sid Vicious, in which whoever scored the winning fall would win the WCW World Title. Savage won his fourth and final WCW World Heavyweight Championship when he pinned Nash.[92][93] The title was also Savage's sixth and final recognized world championship.

Savage's last reign as champion did not last long. The next night on Nitro, he lost the title to a returning Hollywood Hogan, when Nash interfered and powerbombed Macho Man (in a reversal of the situation from the previous year, in which Nash had attacked Hogan to help Savage keep his title, albeit unsuccessfully).[94] All of Savage's world title reigns (both WWF and WCW) ended with him losing the title to either Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair.[6][7]

Team Madness slowly started to disband, after Madusa and Miss Madness began fighting each other over who was responsible for Savage's title loss.[2] Savage soon fired both of them and started a feud with Dennis Rodman, defeating him at Road Wild.[95] By the end of the summer of 1999, Savage's WCW contract expired and he departed the company. Savage made an appearance on Thunder on May 3, 2000 where he participated in the 41-man battle royal for a title shot at The Great American Bash. Savage would not be seen by wrestling fans for five years.

[edit] Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2005)[edit] In ring return and departure (2004-2005)Savage made his return at Victory Road by confronting Jeff Jarrett.[96] At Turning Point, he teamed up with Jeff Hardy and A.J. Styles to defeat the Kings of Wrestling (Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall).[97][98] The main event of Final Resolution 2005 was scheduled to be Jeff Jarrett and Randy Savage for the NWA Title.[5] Savage's plan was to win the belt and then drop it back to Jarrett at the next pay-per-view. In December, 2004, Savage left TNA over a disagreement on the finish of the next scheduled PPV.[5]

[edit] WWE DVD collection (2009)In February 2009, it was announced that WWE would produce a DVD collection based on Savage titled Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection. Hosted by Maria Kanellis and Matt Striker, the three disc set contains over eight hours of matches and promos but no biography or documentary.

[edit] WWE Defining Moments and WWE All Stars Video GameIn July 2010, Mattel announced that they had signed a deal with Randy Savage to be a part of their "WWE Defining Moments" action figure line-up. To promote the figure a video-message was shown of Savage cutting a classic "Macho Man" promo while holding the figurine, which was dressed in the same outfit he wore at Wrestlemania VII, the first promo under his Macho Man character to be seen in years by fans. It is also worth noting that this will be the first Randy Savage action figure released under the WWE in over 15 years.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage is a part of the roster in THQ’s WWE video game WWE All-Stars, released on March 29, 2011 for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2 and PSP. This marked the first appearance by Savage in a video game since 2004's Showdown: Legends of Wrestling and his first appearance in a WWE game since the Game Gear version of 1994's WWF Raw.

[edit] DeathIt appears that on May 20,2011 at around 10am Macho Man had suffered a heart attack while driving. His car went all out of control and died of a car accident.

[edit] In wrestlingFinishing moves
Diving elbow drop[1][5]
Signature moves
Alternating jabs to the opponent's chest and head[99]
Atomic drop[100]
Diving crossbody[99]
Diving double axe handle,[5] sometimes to an opponent outside the ring[5]
Hair-pull hangman[5]
High knee smash[99]
Jumping knee drop[5]
Lariat takedown[5]
Piledriver[99]
Scoop slam[99]
Snapmare[99]
Various elbow strikes[99]
Vertical suplex[99]
Managers
Angelo Poffo
Miss Elizabeth[100]
Jimmy Hart[101]
Sensational Sherri / Queen Sherri
Gorgeous George
Team Madness (Gorgeous George, Madusa, and Miss Madness)
Entrance themes
Savage's ring entrance music in ICW and CWA (as well as some house shows early in his WWF run) was Irene Cara's Fame; for a time in ICW, he also used "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer and "Macho Man" by The Village People.
In the WWF, Savage used Pomp and Circumstance. The song was originally used by legendary wrestler "Gorgeous George" (who is credited as being the first wrestler to use an entrance theme). Because the song was in the public domain and therefore could not be copyrighted by the WWF like most themes, Savage was able to bring it with him to WCW and used a rock version of the theme for much of his early to mid-WCW career. During his short TNA stint, Savage used a similar rock version as his theme.
"Rockhouse" by J.Hart and H.Helm (used while a part of the New World Order; 1997–1998)
"Wolfpac Theme" (used while a part of the nWo Wolfpac; 1998)
"What up Mach" (Team Madness entrance theme; 1999)
[edit] Championships and accomplishmentsContinental Wrestling Association
AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[102]
CWA International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[103]
NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Championship (3 times)[104]
Grand Prix Wrestling
GPW International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[105]
Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling
NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Lanny Poffo[106]
International Championship Wrestling
ICW World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)[107]
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
PWI Comeback of the Year (1995)
PWI Feud of the Year (1997) vs. Diamond Dallas Page
PWI Match of the Year (1987) vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III
PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1989)
PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (1988)
PWI Wrestler of the Year (1988)
PWI ranked him #2 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1992[108]
PWI ranked him #9 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003[109]
PWI ranked him #57 of the Top 100 Tag Teams of the "PWI Years" with Hulk Hogan in 2003[110]
Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
Class of 2009
United States Wrestling Association
USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[8]
World Championship Wrestling
WCW World Heavyweight Championship (4 times)[7]
WCW World War 3 (1995)
King of Cable Tournament (1995)[111]
World Wrestling Council
WWC North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[112]
World Wrestling Federation
WWF Championship (2 times)[6]
WWF Intercontinental Championship (1 time)[113]
King of the Ring (1987)[27]
Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
Match of the Year (1987) vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III
Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
Worst Worked Match of the Year (1996) with Hulk Hogan vs. Arn Anderson, Meng, The Barbarian, Ric Flair, Kevin Sullivan, Z-Gangsta, and The Ultimate Solution in a Towers of Doom match at Uncensored
Best Pro Wrestling DVD (2009) Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection
[edit] Career outside of wrestlingHe was the celebrity spokesman for Slim Jim snack foods in the mid-to-late 1990s and still is noted for this today. His catch phrase in the ads was "Snap into a Slim Jim, oooooh yeah!" In 1998, Savage accepted an award from Harvard University's humor society Harvard Lampoon as Man of the Year.

[edit] Acting career[edit] TelevisionThe Jeff Foxworthy Show - himself
Nikki - pro wrestler James "Pretty Boy" Carter, in episode "Fallback"
Walker, Texas Ranger - prison inmate, in episode "Fight or Die"
Mad About You - himself, in episode "Separated Beds"
The Weird Al Show
Arliss - himself (1 Episode)
Baywatch - himself (1 episode as well, along with *Hulk Hogan *Ric Flair *Big Van Vader)
[edit] FilmSavage was cast in the 2002 film Spider-Man as the wrestler Bonesaw McGraw, based on the comics character Crusher Hogan. He made an appearance as himself in the movie Ready to Rumble, and played character Jim Davies in Velcro Revolver. He also provided the voice of "the Thug," an agent in Disney's 2008 animated film Bolt.

[edit] Animated series/filmsDexter's Laboratory - Rasslor, in a Dial M For Monkey segment
College University - himself
Space Ghost Coast to Coast - Leonard "the Gray Ghost" Ghostal, a former professional wrestler (and Space Ghost's grandfather), in episode "Piledriver"
The X's - Sasquatch
King of the Hill - Gorilla, in episode, "Bill, Bulk and the Body Buddies"
Duck Dodgers - Master Sergeant Emily Dickinson Jones
Bolt - thug
Family Guy- Himself
[edit] MusicOn October 7, 2003, Savage released a rap album entitled Be a Man. It includes a tribute to "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig as well as a diss track aimed at Hulk Hogan.[114] While more a fan of hard rock, he chose rap due to his lack of singing ability. Savage promoted Be A Man with a concert tour featuring Brian Adams as his bodyguard and Ron Harris as touring manager. During this time, the development of a second album was already in progress with Savage exclaiming, "We are absolutely going to have more records."[115] However, no further albums were released.

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