OH YEAH! “Macho Man” Randy Savage // 1952-2011

A new addition… [Previously: Top 5…. Dead wrestlers.]

Miss Elizabeth chooses her side prior to Wrestlemania V, with real-life husband “Macho Man” Randy Savage set to face challenger Hulk Hogan for the WWF world championship (watch match here).

Elizabeth Hulette died of a drug and alcohol overdose in 2003. Earlier today, Randall Poffo (Macho Man) died after suffered a heart attack while driving in Tampa, Florida. His car veered across a concrete median, traveled through oncoming traffic and crashed into a tree. He later died in hospital.

In a world in which enormous, half-naked men hurl their bodies at one another in front of thousands of people — complete with elaborate story lines, sequined costumes and theme music — Savage managed to stand out, perhaps because he spoke and dressed more loudly than most, or perhaps because he was equally successful playing a villain (known in the industry as a heel) and a good guy (a face).

Colleagues who knew him at the height of his success, when he wrestled alongside Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, said he had charisma and a knack for spontaneity.

more : Randy Savage, Pro Wrestling’s Macho Man, Dies at 58 (nytimes.com)

For me, Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan were the original trio of wrestlers who got everybody and their dog hooked on wrestling in the late 1980s. Before Bret Hart, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels (and subsequently “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock and Triple H I guess) arrived on the scene, their over-the-top characters personified the camp, farcical entertainment that the WWF prided itself on a quarter-century ago.

Watching any interview with Savage is still hilarious, and whether it was cocaine, skittles or sheer imagination that fueled these intense promos doesn’t matter all that much as it was this incredibly captivating character that he crated which managed to get this 10 year old going around repeating his catchphrase “Ooooh yeeeahh” before jumping off a windowsill onto the bed.

After the WWF, Savage (or should I call him by his amusing real-life surname of Poffo?) showed up in WCW and TNA, but was off my radar until his appearance in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-man movie in 2002 where he played the character of Bonesaw McGraw. Bad-ass.

So a sad loss and another unfortunate addition to that ever growing list of dead wrestlers.

Randy Savage puts Hulk Hogan in a headlock in 1989. (AP)

also… pay tribute with a giggle >> wheresrandysavage.tumblr.com

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