On May 20, 2011, the wrestling world lost a legend when WWE Hall of Fame inductee “Macho Man” Randy Savage passed away. The WWE superstar and wrestling icon was endeared by millions, and numerous fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to Randy Savage on the anniversary of his death. With his unique mannerisms and voice, his wrestling ability, and his knack for telling great in-ring stories, “Macho Man” left behind a career that will forever be remembered by professional wrestling fans worldwide.
Born Randall Mario Poffo on November 15, 1952, Savage performed in the ring for the greater part of 32 years. He was the son of professional wrestler Angelo Poffo and brother to former WWE superstar Lanny Poffo (“Leaping Lanny,” The Genius). Randy started his in-ring career in 1973, and his first big break came around 1984 with Jerry Lawler’s Continental Wrestling Association. Just a year later, in June of ’85, Savage’s career skyrocketed to the WWE (known then as the WWF).
Many managers, including Bobby Heenan and Freddie Blassie, tried to recruit the talented athlete, and that’s when the WWE debuted Miss Elizabeth as his manager (who was also his real-life wife; the couple got married in 1984 and divorced in 1992). Randy would win the Intercontinental title that same year when he defeated champion Tito Santana. In that epoch, the Intercontinental championship was nearly as coveted as the WWE Championship. The fact the company put the belt on him so swiftly spoke volumes about his abilities.
Savage had a legendary match with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat at WrestleMania 3, and many experts still call it one of the all-time greatest matches. He would go on to become a two-time WWE champion and feuded with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and The Ultimate Warrior.
Savage was later put in the role as a color commentator alongside Vince McMahon. Vince loved the charisma that “The Macho King” brought to the commentators’ table, but the superstar was still looking to wrestle full-time. Because of this, in 1994, Randy Savage was one of the first big names to follow the lead of Hulk Hogan by making the leap from the WWE to WCW.
During his tenure with WCW, the wrestling legend would become a three-time WCW world heavyweight champion. He feuded with the likes of Ric Flair, Diamond Dallas Page, and his longtime rival (and sometimes real-life rival) Hulk Hogan. He was also a former member of the famed stable the NWO. After a few brief appearances in TNA (currently Impact Wrestling), Randy Savage retired from in-ring action in 2005 due to health concerns.
Outside of the wrestling ring, “The Macho King” appeared in numerous TV shows, including Walker, Texas Ranger and Mad About You, and portrayed Bonesaw McGraw in the 2002 Marvel film Spider-Man. He also released a rap album titled Be A Man.
Tragically, Savage passed away in 2011 after suffering from a heart attack while driving with his wife, Barbara Payne, in Florida. On March 28, 2015, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hulk Hogan inducted the legend, and Lanny Poffo accepted the award on Randy’s behalf with a heartwarming speech.
The wrestling icon will remain in the hearts of millions. You can view the majority of his wrestling career on the WWE Network as well as the documentary, Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story.