Better known as Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Randall Mario Poffowas born on November 15, 1952, on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His father, Angelo Poffo, was a well-known wrestler in the 1950′s and 60′s. In 1971, after graduating high-school, Randy was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team as a catcher. Savage moved through the farm systems of the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox before leaving baseball in 1974. His career batting average in the minor leagues was .254, and he hit 16 home runs over four seasons.
In 1973, during the baseball off-season, Randy decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and give wrestling a try. Calling himself “the Spider” Randy wrestled his first professional match against “Golden Boy” Paul Christy. At the suggestion of a Booker, Randy took the name “Randy Savage” and began to work with his father and his brother, Lanny, who was also a wrestler. The two brothers found themselves working around Memphis, TN, joining Jerry Lawler’s Continental Wrestling Association. Savage feuded with Lawler and others in the CWA, and for a time he and Lanny worked as a tag-team opposing “the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. on June 25, 1984 in Memphis, the two brothers were lost by disqualification after Randy injured Ricky Morton by pile-driving him through a table. After a loss in June, 1985 to Jerry Lawler, Randy left town and signed with Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation.
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Savage arrived at the WWF as a star-to-be, and before he had even stepped into the ring, he found himself being courted by many of the top managers of the day. Both Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart extended management offers to Savage, but he declined, instead choosing a female manager, Miss Elizabeth. Although Savage was often verbally abusive towards his manager, he would react with insane jealousy if other wrestlers sought her attention. It was an interesting gimmick, and the crowds loved it. Savage had his first pay-per-view match on November, 7, 1985, when he was a part of a 16 man tournament. Randy defeated several other wrestlers before losing by count-out to the Junkyard Dog.
Next, Savage set his sights on becoming intercontinental champion, and began a feud with reigning champ Tito Santana over that title. He defeated Santana by count-out on the November 2, 1985 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, however a title does not change hands by count-out, so Savage’s bid for the title was unsuccessful. Savage would ultimately win the WWF Intercontinental Title on February 8, 1986 by knocking out Satana with an illegal steel object. Early in 1986, Savage began a feud with George the Animal Steele, defeating him at Wrestlemaina II to retain his title. Randy Savage would hold the Intercontinental title for almost 14 months, finally losing to Ricky Steamboat in an extremely well-choreographed match at Wrestlemaina III in March of 1987. Ultimately, Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer named the Savage/Steamboat match 1987′s match of the year.
As 1987 wore on, Randy became less hostile towards his manger and the fans, and he won the King of the Ring tournament later in the year. In October of 1987, Randy tried to regain the Intercontinental Title from the Honky Tonk Man, but the attempt failed when the Hart Foundation interrupted the match, causing Honky Tonk Man to be disqualified.
Wrestlemania IV was notable for a 14-man tournament to award the WWF title. Macho Man won 3 matches to advance to the finals, where he defeated Ted Dibiase with the help of Hulk Hogan. Randy held the title for over a year, successfully defending it against Andre the Giant and One Man Gang. Ironically, Savage would eventually lose the title to Hogan at Wreslemania V, after holding the title for 371 days. Shortly after the loss, Savage replaced Miss Elizabeth with Sensational Sherri.
A feud with the Ultimate Warrior came to a head at the Royal Rumble 1991, when the Ultimate Warrior refused to grant Savage a title shot. Savage vowed revenge, and attacked Warrior before his match with Sgt. Slaughter, causing the Ultimate Warrior to have to crawl into the ring. Later, in the match, Savage leapt into the ring and struck Warrior in the head, knocking him out. These events led to a “career ending match” at Wreslemaina VII which Savage lost.
After WrestleMania VII, Savage began using the name “Macho Man” and returned to wrestling as a broadcaster. Savage was eventually reinstated as a wrestler in time for the This Tuesday in Texas PPV event on December 3, 1991, where Macho Man defeated Jake the Snake Roberts. A feud with Ric Flair came about when Flair claimed to have slept with Mach Man’s wife. This led to a title match at Wrestlemaina VII, which Savage won, becoming WWF champion for the second time.
In 1992 Savage joined The Ultimate Warrior to form a tag team known as the “Ultimate Maniacs” challenging Money Inc. for the WWF tag-team championship. Money. Inc. lost the match count-out but did not lose their title. After Warrior was fired from WWF, he was replaced in the Ultimate Maniacs by Mr. Perfect.
Savage joined Monday Night Raw in 1993, primarily as a color commentator, and only wrestling occasionally. He finished 2nd at the Royal Rumble 1993, and also competed in the 1994 Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania X. Savage’s WWF contract expired at the end of 1994 chose to sign with World Championship Wrestling WCW). Vince McMahon gave savage Savage an on air farewell on the November 7, 1994 edition of Monday Night Raw.
Savage’s first WCW feud was against Avalanche. He teamed up with Sting at Superbrawl V, and defeated Avalanche and Big Bubba Rogers in a tag team match. Savage won his first WCW world heavyweight championship, At World War 3, by winning the first-ever 60-man battle royal. Savage joined nWo at SuperBrawl VII and helped Hulk Hogan defeat Roddy Piper.
In 1998, Savage took a a leave of absence in order to recover from two major knee surgeries. When Savage returned, he brought a different look and new theme music, showing up with slicked back hair, earrings, and a new evil persona. He introduced his then 22-year-old girlfriend Gorgeous George as his new valet/manager. Savage served as the guest referee at the Spring Stampede for the main event. Savage made his last appearance for WCW at Thunder on May 3, 2000, participating in a 41-man battle royal.
On May 20, 2011 Randy Savage suffered a sudden massive fatal heart attack while driving with his wife. He lost control of his truck and crashed into a tree. His wife suffered minor injuries. He was 58 years old.