, ,

Macho Man Randy Savage (November 15, 1952 – May 20, 2011)

Randy Mario Poffo was born in Columbus, Ohio. His father Angelo Poffo was featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not during the 50s and 60s for his ability to do sit-ups for hours. Randy’s younger brother is a professional wrestler, better known as The Genius or Leaping Lanny Poffo.

After graduating high school, Savage was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team as a catcher. During the fall and winter (baseball’s off season) of 1973, Savage began wrestling as The Spider. At the suggestion of Ole Anderson, he changed his stage name to Randy Savage. Eventually, he decided to leave baseball to focus on a full-time wrestling career and worked with his brother and father.

In June 1985, Savage made his debut with, what at that time, was called the World Wrestling Federation. In September 1989 Savage adopted the moniker “Macho King” after defeating Jim Duggan in a King of the Match. Towards the end of 1990, he decided to retire from active wrestling and focus on broadcasting where he adopted the name “Macho Man.” (He occasionally wrestled from this point and officially — and completely — retired in 2005.)

During his wrestling career, he held the WWF Championship twice, and the WCW Heavyweight Championship six times. He was a ICW World Heavyweight Champion three times and the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion once.

Savage’s first wife was wrestling figure “Miss Elizabeth” Hulette. They divorced in September 1992. In May 2010, he married his long-time girlfriend, Barbara Lynn Payne. Savage is most recognized for his distinct raspy voice, his flashy wardrobe, his catch phrase “Ooh yeah!” and his intensity for wrestling.

Initial reports indicated that Savage died during a car accident on May 20, 2011. Autopsy reports said Savage died after suffering a sudden heart attack while driving with his second wife in Seminole, Florida. Both Savage and his wife were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. His wife received minor injuries. Savage was only 58 years old.