Randy Savage

Active - 1985 - 2011  |   Born - Nov 15, 1952 in Columbus, Ohio, United States  |   Died - May 20, 2011 in Tampa, FL  |   Genres - Sports & Recreation [nf]

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Born Randy Poffo in Sarasota, FL, professional wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage actually began his athletic life as a minor league baseball player on teams including the Cardinals and the White Sox, then moved into wrestling alongside his brother Larry. He spent successive years working his way up through the ranks of various wrestling federations; Larry and Randy occasionally worked as a tag team, but also went head-to-head against one another from time to time, and indeed, Randy's first two big breaks materialized in the form of an ICW Title victory against Larry and a defeat of Jerry Lawler in the ring, which granted Savage the title of Southern Heavyweight Champion.

Savage attained greatest leverage, however, via his involvement in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) under the management of his late wife, "Miss" Elizabeth Hulette; in that venue, the wrestler racked up a series of defeats against opponents including Tito Santana, Lex Luger, Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, and others. After netting the WWF heavyweight title, he eventually left for the WCW amid a contractual dispute and won the heavyweight bout there as well. In that venue, Savage was particularly successful in the creation of the nWo (or New World Order in professional wrestling). Savage's various WCW opponents included Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Bret Hart, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. One particularly memorable and colorful series of events involved Savage's ongoing battle-of-wills with Kevin Nash.

Unlike fellow wrestler Hulk Hogan (with whom he often jostled), Savage kept his distance from Hollywood for many years, but by the mid- to late 2000s moved into acting roles. These included a performance as Bone Saw McGraw in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (2002), guest participation in the series Mad About You and Family Guy, and participation in season seven of VH1's reality series The Surreal Life, opposite Dabney Coleman, Carrot Top, and others. In 2008, Savage provided a voice for the family-friendly animated feature Bolt, alongside John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, and others. Savage died in a car accident in 2011.

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Factsheet

  • Father Angelo Poffo was a professional wrestler in the 1950s and '60s.
  • Had a brief career as an outfielder in minor-league baseball until an injury to his throwing arm forced him to give up the sport.
  • Began wrestling under the name Randy Savage at the urging of wrestling promoter Ole Anderson, who indicated that his last name was not a good fit for a man who wrestled like a savage.
  • Signed with Vince McMahon's WWF in 1985.
  • Added the nickname "Macho Man" in 1989 after a match with Jim Duggan.
  • Former wife Elizabeth served as his in-ring manager; their volatile relationship was portrayed as part of the act at his matches.
  • Frequently entered the ring to a rendition of "Pomp and Circumstance."
  • Released a rap album in 2003 called Be a Man. The title song was a jab at frequent opponent Hulk Hogan.
  • Was a spokesman for Slim Jim snacks.
  • Inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009.