Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Macho Madness Will Live Forever


I admit I had no idea today was the day we lost Randy Savage. Maybe I just have blocked it out of my mind as it was like a part of my childhood dying. The fact it was three years ago is almost shocking to me but just proof I am getting older faster.

Randy Savage was what I defined as cool as a kid. He had these flashy outfits and the lovely girl at his side Miss Elizabeth. I was hooked and this guy was the main reason I watched wrestling. He was always different from everyone else. He could cut a promo off the top of his head and they came off as brilliant, strange and ultimately creative.

He was also different in the ring. In a current world of high spots all over the place it is hard to understand how innovative he truly was in the Mid-80’s. His top rope elbow was a thing of beauty and nothing like the tribute to move C.M Punk would do for years. The truth is part of why I love Punk is how he brought Randy Savage back to life for a generation of fans that likely never saw him wrestle.

As a small child I dressed up as Savage and went out for Halloween doing my Savage impression that I still pull out at the start of almost every podcast I do as my tribute to him. I was devastated when he lost to Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III. I had no clue or care that I had watched perhaps the best wrestling match of all time. It didn’t matter to me just the fact that Savage had lost was devastating.

A year later I would get the exact opposite feeling as Savage would win the WWF title in a tournament and he would wrestle 4 times. He came out in a different outfit every time to the ring. I was far too nervous to realize by the time Savage faced Greg “The Hammer” Valentine it was fairly obvious he was going to win. I was clueless to the behind the scenes drama that the only reason Savage was in this spot is because The Honky Tonk Man allegedly refused to drop the I-C title to him. Wrestling was much simpler and I didn’t care about all the politics of it and was not worried about how good or bad a match was. I was just totally entertained and fascinated with this man Randy Savage. I was NEVER a Hulk-a-Maniac I was always a Savage fan.

Savage’s logic about Hogan being jealous and trying to steal Elizabeth seemed all very rational thinking to me. The real life events actually aren’t totally off base. Savage did see Hogan as trying to steal his spotlight as he would with everyone. Remind you of anyone in modern times? John Cena always becomes buddies with the hottest guys at the time he learned that from the Hulkster Brother! Savage also blamed Hogan for his marriage falling apart to some degree.

The relationship between Savage and Hogan was always a tense one. You hear stories now of how over protective Savage was of Elizabeth back in the day. You hear other stories as to the reasons he might not be in the WWE Hall of Fame that have little to do with wrestling and what he did in the business. You also have the story of his brother Lanny about Savage’s wishes about his entire family being inducted to the HOF. I have a hard time buying that story.

What is true is the WWE Hall of Fame will always be incomplete without Randy Savage and my life and all the lives of his fans are a little more empty without him with us. Still maybe the empty spot just becomes filled with all of the memories of Randy Savage that will flood our hearts and minds.

Randy Savage was my hero as a child and I will always love a man that I never got to meet but always felt I knew.

3 years ago today wrestling lost what is an over used word in wrestling but a TRUE ICON in Randy Poffo. From how he changed the business to how he inspired many of the people in it today to making millions and millions of fans love him and the sport of professional wrestling.

I will NEVER forget him for my entire life. He will always hold a special place in my heart and every time I talk, think, watch or am a part of wrestling in any way it is all because of him.

So thank you Randy Savage you are missed and loved by millions of people whose lives you touched, with mine being one of those millions.

Bonus: Here is the piece on the same topic I wrote for Between The Ropes feel free to read it as well.