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"He had his life. And he did not yield."
May 24, 2013 2:08 PM   Subscribe

The Final Days of 'Macho Man' Randy Savage

Savage, previously on Mefi
* His obituary thread
* Wrestlemania III
* 25 Greatest Matches in Wrestlemania History
* Rap into a Slim Jim!
posted by zarq (28 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is really good.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:15 PM on May 24, 2013


Angelo Poffo did 6,033 consecutive sit-ups!
Angelo Poffo’s 6,033 push-ups were listed in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Photo Courtesy of Poffo Family.
Oh, Bleacher Report. Never change. Or copy-edit.

Anyhow, that's a really interesting story. I love the baseball card, especially the offhand note that he'd recently decided to add more weight-lifting to his regimen. Little biographical details that herald where people's lives would later go are always fascinating to me.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:15 PM on May 24, 2013


Leaping Lanny Poffo was the Macho Man's brother? I did not know that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:17 PM on May 24, 2013


I know that for some folks this article might be a little too tl;dr. That's okay, of course. :)

But I'd like to point out this photo towards the end, which is captioned, "After dad’s death, Randy and Lanny remained close to mother, Judy." -- just because I think it's sweet, and shows a different side of the man to those of us who only knew him through his wrestling persona.
posted by zarq at 2:18 PM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's an episode of Dexter's Labratory in which Randy Savage is a guest star on the "Dial 'M' for Monkey" b-cartoon. It's terrific.

There's an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with a character, Iron Will, who is not voiced by Savage, he having died a couple of years before. But you can tell, when the character talks, that they had written the character with the Macho Man's personality, voice and mannerisms in mind. I guess in a way he's kind of invented a character type that could outlive him, and even his wrestling legacy, by decades, like how cartoons preserve the vocal sounds and mannerisms of Phil Silvers and Paul Lynde to this day.
posted by JHarris at 2:21 PM on May 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Macho Man Dragons in Skyrim, a wonderful thing illustrated in this video.
posted by thewalrus at 2:40 PM on May 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


[I just want to say that Mike Mongo's much-loved comment in the Randy Savage obit thread is twelve types of awesome. And you know, now I think about it, it also reads eerily like Inherent Vice fanfic.]
posted by hydatius at 2:55 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


wheresrandysavage.tumblr.com
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:06 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


A couple days ago I was trying to remember if Savage was still alive. Funny this gets posted.

Savage was one the greatest "80's style" wrestler/performers, if not THE greatest. Eras before put most emphasis on the wrestling and athleticism of the performers, matches very frequently going to 60 minute draws (and having the audience be completely okay with that.. that sort of thing pisses modern fans off) with old school ring philosophy and back and forth storytelling. For better or worse, the "80's Style" was much more about theatricality, character, and personality then actual wrestling acumen. But Randy Poffo was a man who could put on a spine tinglingly great match AND was an incredibly magnetic personality in front of a camera. There really aren't very many current day analogs to him, Dwayne Johnson is an amazing personality but is a TERRIBLE wrestler, same for Terry Bollea, Steven James Anderson has/had the wrestling chops but his style was more or less destroyed by injury and the nature of his character but he never really had the charisma necessary to get too far outside of the wrestling world.

When I was a kid, I found a video store that had all the old Wrestlemanias for rent. I rented them two at a time. And to this day, the only thing I really remember about watching them is re-winding and re-watching the Savage/Steamboat match from Wrestlemania III so much my machine ate the tape and I had to Scotch-tape it up and hope no one noticed when I returned.
posted by mediocre at 3:28 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love the baseball card, especially the offhand note that he'd recently decided to add more weight-lifting to his regimen. Little biographical details that herald where people's lives would later go are always fascinating to me.

The baseball card is fake, unfortunately.
posted by NBelarski at 3:32 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a really sweet picture from the article.
posted by klausman at 3:45 PM on May 24, 2013


Great piece - thanks for posting. I can remember in high school hearing about Macho Man and Hulkster sightings all over town and occasionally they'd be hanging out with the same heels they'd be wrestling against on tv. It freaked people out because in the 80's there still was a veneer of authenticity in pro wrestling that would disappear just a few years later. It was awful how Savage died and the media were happy to report about the possibility of the accident being drug related. It's too bad this story couldn't have been written sooner to give him a more dignified send-off.
posted by photoslob at 3:59 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


What a well-written piece! Even if you fell out of watching wrestling years ago, it's definitely worth your time to read this.

A pic of a much-younger me and the Macho Man.
posted by kimberussell at 4:30 PM on May 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine who was a wrestler (mostly amateur; the highlight of his wrestling experiences being that he went to the Commonwealth games one year and won a medal, bronze I think) knew Randy and his ex-wife Elizabeth and said it was a sad story, that he was insanely jealous and controlling and would lock her in dressing rooms until it was time for her to appear so that she couldn't talk to anyone. She ended up dying of an overdose in 2003.
posted by orange swan at 4:37 PM on May 24, 2013


Thanks, zarq. That was a good read. It's been a super long time since I was into wrestling (one of those things I shed in my early teens...earlier?), but the Macho Man was en vogue at that time. I too did not know that "Leaping" Lanny Poffo was his brother. Huh.

His actual persona seems to reflect more of his stage persona than I would have thought. It seems like he was a pretty intense guy. But anyway, yeah, it's interesting to learn more about the real history of a period of time that I had only ever associated with its stage story.
posted by Brak at 5:04 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't know that his real name was Randy Mario Poffo. I can see why he changed his last name to Savage when he started wrestling.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:28 PM on May 24, 2013


He really was the perfect pitchman for slim jim. Only better match I can think of is Wilford Brimley for oat meal.

I've always wondered what that would be like. Being the sort of slave to the persona. People all over you all the time in public.
Makes me better understand Salinger.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:41 PM on May 24, 2013


Supposedly, the only reason Macho Man hasn't been inducted into the WWE hall of fame is that Leaping Lanny won't let them use any of the trademarks around Macho Man unless they also induct Leaping Lanny as well.

So, essentially, even after the Macho Man is gone, his less talented brother is still trying to ride his coat tails.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:49 PM on May 24, 2013


Read the article, Ghidorah. Lanny comes off as acutely aware and grateful that his brother dragged him along behind him, and Randy (if you can believe the article) was the driving force behind the Poffos being inducted into the Hall of Fame as a family (more in recognition of Angelo's career than Lanny's, though).
posted by Etrigan at 6:00 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I am in the midst of the article. It's pretty much the opposite of everything I've read or heard up until now. My bad.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:02 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lanny Poffo once got paid well into the 6 figures (I think something like $250,000) per year by WCW while never wrestling a single match and literally sitting at home the whole time. If nothing else, that's pretty awesome. Plus I liked The Genius' terrible poetry, it was like the WWF's version of the Vogons.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:04 PM on May 24, 2013


Thanks for posting this. I'd have missed it otherwise.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:46 PM on May 24, 2013


This website is sneering and dismissive of a trained mathematician who believes he's made a breakthrough in theoretical physics, and in the very next post, applauds the hagiography of a professional wrestler, a lifelong charlatan.

This is why I love Metafilter. It's got its priorities straight...

The math dude is deluding himself to feel better about his place in the world... the wrestler worked his whole career to put on the best show he could, and was admired by his colleagues and fans.

said it was a sad story, that he was insanely jealous and controlling and would lock her in dressing rooms until it was time for her to appear so that she couldn't talk to anyone

There's no evidence Randy mistreated her... if anything, it was a marriage of convenience later on in their relationship. On the other hand, her second husband, wrestler Lex Luger (Lex Pfohl), was charged with domestic abuse a few days before she killed herself. Your friend may be thinking of Luger rather than Savage... she accompanied him on the road a few times later in his career.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:40 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always liked Leaping Lanny's act way more than Macho Man's.
posted by oddman at 7:43 PM on May 24, 2013


If you like the Macho Man and you play Borderlands 2, do yourself a favor and get the Mr Torgue's Campaign of Carnage DLC.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:46 PM on May 24, 2013


Pope Guilty: "If you like the Macho Man and you play Borderlands 2, do yourself a favor and get the Mr Torgue's Campaign of Carnage DLC."

Oh YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! [explosions!]
posted by Samizdata at 12:51 AM on May 25, 2013


This website is sneering and dismissive of a trained mathematician who believes he's made a breakthrough in theoretical physics, and in the very next post, applauds the hagiography of a professional wrestler, a lifelong charlatan.

This is why I love Metafilter. It's got its priorities straight...


Apples and oranges; see this comment for a little perspective. Also, too, the "trained mathematician" has been working for a hedge fund for the last decade, and hasn't published his work.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:49 AM on May 25, 2013


Well, yeah, thus the next line: "The math dude is deluding himself to feel better about his place in the world... the wrestler worked his whole career to put on the best show he could, and was admired by his colleagues and fans." I don't think that's sarcasm.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:59 AM on May 25, 2013


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