It was the most terrifying thing I'd ever seen. And for a seven-year-old boy, I'd seen a hell of a lot. My hero, Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat, lay helplessly while the WWF Intercontinental Champion, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, tried to kill him right in the middle of the ring. The first strike, a Savage double-axehandle from the top rope that drove a prone Steamboat's throat into the steel guard-rail, had been devastating. But this was criminal. I cried and yelled at Steamboat to move, but it was no use. "Macho Man" launched from the top rope and smashed the timekeeper's bell into Steamboat's throat.
My hero was surely dead.
I've shared my memories of that famous 1986 match several times in my book, in blogs, and in interviews. And I've credited Steamboat for being the one who inspired my dream of becoming a professional wrestler. But the one thing I haven't done is give credit to the other half of the team that created that magic: Randy Savage.
Lex Luthor. Darth Vader. The Joker. Marshmallow Man. Without villains, there are no heroes. And Savage was the most dastardly villain of my childhood. Not only did he try to kill my hero, he also treated his beautiful, pure-as-snow valet, Miss Elizabeth, like garbage. Men and boys of all ages daydreamed about rescuing her from him. But none of us ever did anything to help her and she suffered for it.
When "Macho Man" became a babyface (wrestling lingo for good guy), the wrestling fanatic in me was thrilled. But the Steamboat worshipper in me would never forget what he'd done to "The Dragon".
Randy Savage was one of wrestling's greatest success stories. He captivated millions, became a household name, enjoyed success in other forms of entertainment as a spokesman and actor.
Randy Savage. Rapper. Sorry, I just can't put those words in the same sentence. But it's cool that he tried.
As a wrestler, he was one of the top 5 stars from 1985-1998. He was believable, innovative, and intense. Fans either loved or hated him but they never felt indifference.
I'm saddened to hear about the death of Randall Mario Poffo, a.k.a. Randy "Macho Man" Savage. "Macho Man" was one of the greatest characters and a big influence on many of today's greatest stars. And while I'll always remember him as the villain who tried to kill my hero, I'll also remember him fondly.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad