The Early Years
Randall Mario Poffo was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 15, 1953 to parents Angelo and Judy Poffo. Before becoming a wrestler, Randy excelled in the sport of baseball, playing in the minors after graduating from college. In 1973, Poffo got his first taste of wrestling when he wrestled under the character "The Spider Friend," which was similar to Spider-Man. Before long, booker Ole Anderson suggested the name "Randy Savage", saying Poffo wasn't such a great name for someone who wrestles like a savage. For a while, Savage wrestled alongside his father and brother in many of the southern territories before joining the World Wrestling Federation in 1985.
Randy Savage entered the WWF with a bang, debuting at Tuesday Night Titans and already having several on-camera managers vying for him. Savage, however, would wind up managed by his future off-camera wife Miss Elizabeth. Early in 1986 he would win the Intercontinental Title from Tito Santana with a cheap shot from a weapon, establishing himself as a heel (or badguy) early in his career.
One of his greatest matches, however, would come at Wrestlemania III against Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, a match which was heavily choreographed and rehearsed by both men (as opposed to many matches which are more improvised). The match was named Match of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Wrestling Observer and is still widely considered one of the greatest in history.
He won the King of the Ring tournament later in 1987, but his career peak would come when he would get a face push (turn into a good guy) and team up with Hulk Hogan to form the tag-team The Mega Powers. As singles wrestlers, Hogan and Savage were wildly popular, but as a team, they have yet to be eclipsed in terms of sheer fan support.
At Wrestlemania IV, Savage would be one of the entrants in a 14-man tournament for the WWF title and emerge victorious. Shortly thereafter, things fell apart with the Mega Powers and Savage abandoned the tag-team while Hogan was attacked in the ring. Backstage politics may have contributed to this split, as Hogan and Savage's feud would see Hogan not only win, but often crush Savage, and Hogan's influence on the people who made the matches was and is legendary due to his enormous popularity. But even these politics couldn't keep the Macho Man down, as his popularity was nothing short of incredible.
In 1989 he won a televised match against the then-king of the WWF, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and declared himself "The Macho King." He feuded with Hogan one last time, from which Hogan emerged victorious and began a series of feuds against other wrestlers including Dusty Rhodes and most notably during this time, the Ultimate Warrior, whose interview style was similar to Macho Man's. In that they were both very over the top and prone to wild ranting. This particular feud began when Macho King caused the Ultimate Warrior to lose the WWE title at the 1991 Royal Rumble to Sgt. Slaughter due to Warrior not giving Randy a future shot at the title. The feud came to a head at Wrestlemania VII in what was going to be a retirement match. Meaning that the loser of the match had to retire. In the match Savage threw everything he could at Warrior, even five flying elbows in a row against Warrior, only to still lose the match in the end. Before the match, color commentator Bobby Heenan noticed that Miss Elizabeth happened to be in the stands. After the match Savage ended his relationship with Sensational Sherri, with Miss Elizabeth coming down to the ring after wards rushing to her fallen husband's side to a massive reaction as the two reunited. The match is widely considered one of Warrior's best due to Savage's penchant to plan matches meticulously. At this point Randy Savage supposedly retired from professional wrestling.
He naturally returned shortly thereafter, though as a commentator, a role which he fulfilled admirably. He was mostly a "face announcer," cheering good guys, but not above taking shots at his former in-ring rivals. After proposing on-camera to Miss Elizabeth, though the couple had already tied the knot off-camera, Jake "The Snake" Roberts showed up at his bachelor party to ruin the festivities. Also during an episode of "Superstars of Wrestling" Jake interrupted Savage while he was doing commentary to goad him into entering the ring with him. With culminated with Jake having a cobra bite Savage in a scene where the snake wouldn't let go, and Savage's blood could clearly be seen dripping from where the snake was biting him, garning the scene to be censored by WWE in future broadcasts. This culminated in Randy Savage's reinstatement as a wrestler so that he could properly battle Jake Roberts, which started at the PPV "This Tuesday In Texas", a match which gained notoriety in not just it's quality. But in it's results after the match when after Randy got the official win, the two continued to brawl with Jake finally laying Savage out with a series of DDTs. Jake then forced Elizabeth to beg for Randy's mercy, however unsatisfied with the result, Jake then slapped Elizabeth across the face. A situation, a man physically harming a woman in the middle of the ring, that was previously unheard of in wrestling. After the match both men had promos, with Jake famously asking Savage to "Let me touch her again", and Savage giving a very serious, angry promo over Jake's actions. Eventually the feud ended with Randy picking up the win over Jake on the feburary 8th, 1992 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event.
Randy Savage went on to feud with wrestling great "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Flair claimed, on camera of course, to have slept with Miss Elizabeth, which Randy Savage, naturally, wasn't too happy about. This led up to Wrestlemania VIII in which Savage defeated Flair for the WWF Heavyweight Title. He would separate from Miss Elizabeth off-camera shortly afterward.
Savage went on to team with his erstwhile rival the Ultimate Warrior to feud with Money Inc. ("Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Shyster, the IRS Man) calling his team the Ultimate Maniacs, a rather apt title given their propensities for long-winded intense interviews. Savage and Warrior were set to face Ric Flair and Scott Hall (Razor Ramon), but Warrior was fired for failing to appear at several events and demanding more money, so Savage chose "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig as a replacement. The new team won the match.
Macho Man returned to color commentary at the debut of Monday Night Raw, though he had occasional forays into the ring, including a spot in the 1993 Royal Rumble, where he was the last person to be thrown over the top rope and eliminated. His final appearance was in the 1994 pay-per-view Summerslam, where he served as Master of Ceremonies. His contract expired that same October and he jumped ship to competing federation World Championship Wrestling.
Randy Savage made his WCW debut at Starrcade 1994. He originally teamed with veteran wrestler Sting to do battle with Avalanche and Big Bubba Rogers, which they won quite readily. In a rematch with Avalanche, a "fan" attacked Savage. The fan turned out to be "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and their WWF feud continued. During a tournament for the WCW United States title, Savage began a brawl with Flair backstage and Flair won their subsequent match. Flair and Macho Man would continue to trade titles and wins across WCW until Miss Elizabeth entered the fray. Flair claimed that she'd given him a sizable amount of her divorce settlement which Flair used to create a "VIP Section" in the crowd.
Things would come to a head when good guy Hulk Hogan would turn on Savage at Bash at the Beach 1996, and join the Outsiders, the team of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, to form the legendary nWo, or New World Order.
At Superbrawl VII, Savage would unexpectedly join the nWo and reunite, again, with Miss Elizabeth. They began to feud with Diamond Dallas Page and his on-air and real life wife Kimberly Page. Their feud went beyond singles wrestling and included several tag-team matches in which both women were involved all culminating in a Las Vegas Deathmatch at the Halloween Havoc 1997 pay per view, which Randy won.
At the beginning of 1998, Savage began a feud with Lex Luger which met it's climax at Souled Out in a Luger victory. He also won their rematch at Superbrawl VIII. He was also tapped to win the "nWo Title" from Sting, but Hogan was determined to make sure that he held the title since he was the leader of the nWo. Kevin Nash helped Savage beat Sting and managed to tear his ACL (for real). Hogan would defeat Savage, despite interference from Kevin Nash, with the help of Bret Hart and make Macho Man a good guy once more, joining Kevin Nash in the nWo Wolfpac, first of many off-shoots.
Macho Man needed a year off to recover from his knee injuries, appearing only on Monday Nitro to help Ric Flair defeat real life booker Eric Bischoff and become the on-camera President of WCW. He also did a few run-ins, particularly against Diamond Dallas Paige. Savage returned to active duty and defeated Sid Vicious for another title reign. This one lasted only 24 hours, as Nash interfered in Hogan's favor, a reversal of the previous behavior, to help Hogan win the title the next night on Nitro. Macho Man would soon exit the company after a feud with basketball player Dennis Rodman that ended with a match at Road Wild 1999. Shortly after this Randy's contact with the company ended, and he chose not to renew it.
Randy Savage first made his appearance for TNA at their first major PPV Victory Road in 2004, when he showed up at the end of the show confronting then champion Jeff Jarrett. Later at the PPV Turning Point Randy teamed up with "The Phenomenal One" AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy to take on a wrestling stable known as the "Kings of Wrestling" which consisted of Jeff Jerrett, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall. Randy Savage was going to go into a title match against Jeff Jerrett at Final Resolution. With Randy winning the title and then losing it back to Jeff in a month's time. However Randy ended up leaving TNA over a disagreement on the finish of the next scheduled PPV match.
- Macho Man was famed for his flying elbow drop finishing move, often referred to as the "Savage Elbow" or "Macho Elbow."
- Macho Man's entrance theme though out the majority of his career was "Pomp and Circumstance", best known as the music played at high school and college graduations.
- Randy's younger brother Lanny also had a career in professional wrestling, including time spent in the WWE. Where he was most known by two aliases. "Leaping" Lanny Poffo, and "The Genius". A highly prolific poet, Lanny was known for creating and reciting original poems before his matches in both aliases.
- Randy had a minor role in the first Spider-Man movie in 2002, playing Bonesaw, the wrestler Peter Parker defeats in his amateur wrestling match the night Uncle Ben dies. Savage's emphatic delivery of the line "BONESAW IS REEEEEAAADYYYY!" has caused it to become a catchphrase even outside the movie, particularly among Rifftrax contributors.
- There is some irony to Savage playing the above character as the character's name in the comics is "Crusher Hogan."
- While never fully explained why by either Vince McMahon or Randy Savage, there have been tension between the two that caused Randy Savage to not be mentioned much in the WWF/WWE after he left. Their are two rumors as to while this is that are the most popular among wrestling fans. One was Vince McMahon was angry over Randy Savage's deal with WCW meant that the WWF lost their sponsorship deal with Slim Jim, for whom Randy was a spokesperson. Another, more 'mature' theory was that during his time in the WWE Randy Savage made sexual advances towards Vince's then underaged daughter Stephanie. Still another, and somewhat more mundane rumor, is that Savage wanted to return to action as a full-time in-ring performer and Vince was more interested in using him as an occasional attraction who would primarily serve as an announcer on WWF broadcasts. It was only until recently that Randy had a relationship with the company; for instance, in 2009 the WWE released a three-disc DVD set titled "Macho Madness: The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection". Later in July 2010 at Comic Con, Mattel announced that one of the upcoming WWE Legends "Defining Moments" action figures was going to be of Randy Savage in his blue and white attire from Wrestlemania 7 against The Ultimate Warrior. To promote this they featured Randy Savage in a video giving a promo in his Macho Man persona about the new action figure. The first time the public had seen a new Macho Man promo in years. "Macho Man" Randy Savage has since been included as a playable character in THQ's arcade wrestling/brawler title " WWE All Stars". This is the first time since 2004 that Randy Savage had been featured in a video game, the 04 title being " Showdown: Legends of Wrestling", and his first appearance in a WWE licensed game since the early 90's. Most stories, however, seem to note that Savage's inclusion was more a call by THQ than anything forwarded by the WWE or the McMahons.
Randy Savage's career was filled with emotional and thought-provoking quotes. These are just few of the many.
- "Oooh yeah!" (Various Times)
- "Your mustache is crooked!" (Halloween Havoc, 1995)
- "What it is, is what it is!" (World War 3, 1995)
- "Yeah yeah yeah!" (Various Times)
- "Dig It!" (Various Times)
- "Oh yeah, did I say what I think I said?!"
- "I say I'm a million percent. That is better than a hundred percent!" (World War 3, 1995)
- "The cream of the crop! Nobody does it better..."
- "I'm the tower of power, too sweet to be sour. I'm funky like a monkey. Sky's the limit and space is the place!"
- "My curiosity is killing me, just like a cat would be killed by the curiosity, yeah!" (Halloween Havoc, 1995)
- "Before, I've been there before. I've been to the top of the mountain and I'm going back!"
- "I'm always jittery. It's my personality to be jittery! It's part of my charm!" (World War 3, 1995)
- "Bonesaw is ready!" (Spider-Man, 2002)
- Snap into a Slim Jim, ooooh yeah! (Slim-Jim Commercials, Early-Late 1990's)
Taking The Madness Outside The Squared Circle
Despite achieving incredible fame inside the squared circle, Macho Man Randy Savage decided to expand his horizons, taking on nearly every form of media out there.
In 2002, Randy Savage landed the role of wrestler Bone-Saw McGraw in the the movie Spider-Man, in which he wrestled Peter Parker in a cage match and lost. The wrestler was actually a stand-in for the original comic character "Crusher Hogan," which Macho Man would, naturally, have difficulty portraying as he shares a name with Savage's rival Hulk Hogan.
From the early-to-late 90's, Macho Man was the spokesman for the meat snacks brand Silm Jim. The commercials basically had him breaking things, like a set for the play Romeo and Juliet, and telling people, if they wanted a little more excitement, they should snap into a Slim Jim.
Macho Man released a rap album titled Be a Man on October 7, 2003. The album included fourteen tracks and featured both a tribute to the late Curt Hennig titled "Perfect Friend" and a diss track about Hulk Hogan named after the album.
- I'm Back
- R U Ready
- Hit The Floor
- Let's Get It On
- Remember Me
- Tear It Up
- Macho Thang
- Be A Man
- Get Back
- Feel The Madness
- What's That All About
- Gonna Be Trouble
- Perfect Friend
On May 20th, 2011 around 9:25 AM, Savage reportedly had a heart attack behind the wheel of his vehicle while driving in Florida. According to Florida Highway Patrol, he veered across a concrete median and collided with a tree.