The Untold Truth Of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage

Even in the over-the-top world of pro wrestling,
the Macho Man Randy Savage was significantly larger than life, and larger than many of
his opponents. The Macho Man took his role to an extreme
and even tried to stay in character outside the ring. Here’s the truth about Macho Man Randy Savage. Like father, like son Born Randy Poffo in 1952, Randy Savage was
the son of Angelo and Judy Poffo and the older brother of Lanny Poffo, known to WWE fans
as The Genius. As Sports Illustrated detailed, Angelo, an
academic by day, was a detested wrestler at night known as “the Masked Miser” or “the
Carpet Bagger.” Before wrestling, Angelo played college baseball
and dreamed of going pro. Savage followed closely in his father’s footsteps,
first pursuing baseball and then becoming a pro wrestler. Angelo also set a world record for sit-ups,
doing 6,033 in four hours and 10 minutes while in the Navy. A teammate of Savage’s, who played with him
for the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league affiliate, also claimed in an interview with
Sports Illustrated that Savage had a habit of doing 1,500 sit-ups every morning. Angelo never came close to achieving the level
of success in wrestling that Savage did, but they aided each other’s legacies. Angelo founded his own wrestling promotion
and helped launch his sons’ careers. According to Bleacher Report, WCW supposedly
inducted Angelo into its wrestling Hall of Fame “as a favor to Savage.” He pistol whipped another wrestler Randy Savage rose to stardom in the heyday
of kayfabe, when wrestling was meant to seem unscripted. For Savage, that meant staying in character
outside the ring. Before joining the WWE, he worked for his
father’s promotion ICW. As wrestler Dutch Mantell recalled, whenever
you saw Savage, “He was always in full-blown, wide-open Macho
Man mode.” Savage’s unhinged Macho Man persona was so
convincing that even other wrestlers thought he was crazy. CBS Sports reported that in 1978 he brawled
with a newlywed at a Waffle House. When police intervened, he was reportedly
uncooperative enough to be pepper sprayed, beaten, and bitten by a police dog. He also supposedly pistol-whipped Australian
wrestler Bill Dundee. Dundee worked for a rival wrestling promotion,
and in 1982, he and Savage got into it outside a restaurant. After Dundee reportedly pulled a gun, Savage
disarmed him and fractured his jaw with it. Dundee was on the shelf for several weeks
and Macho Man bragged about it frequently. Dundee denied that Savage pistol-whipped him,
alleging that Macho Man sucker-punched him. He said Savage had help from three other guys
and ran away when he saw the gun. “Randy and I’s had our ups and downs. We weren’t the greatest of friends.” He body slammed a fan In March 1988, Randy Savage won the WWE world
title at WrestleMania. By that time, he was widely a beloved hero. But just weeks before his crowning achievement,
the Morning Call reported that the soon-to-be-champ was being sued for attacking a fan on the
street. In May 1986, David Peschel drove home after
a wrestling show and saw Savage driving a Mercedes. He stopped Savage at a red light and asked
for an autograph. According to Peschel and eyewitnesses who
were in his car, Savage hoisted him into the air and slammed him on the ground, fracturing
Peschel’s back and bruising his ribs. Then he stood over the injured fan, flexed,
and said, “How’s that for an autograph, boy?” A policeman noted that the fan was “hurt and
dazed.” Savage denied the accusations, claiming he
at most pushed Peschel. They settled out of court. At the time of the incident, Macho Man was
arguably the most savage villain in the WWE. Per CBS Sports, his character was a heel who
infamously crushed Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat’s throat. As wrestling great Kurt Angle noted, Savage
“never broke character.” He was so consistent that Angle believed the
man born Randy Poffo started thinking he was the Macho Man in real life. No wedding invitations The often volatile onscreen relationship between
Macho Man and his valet Miss Elizabeth, played by real-life wife Elizabeth Hulette, created
some of the most emotional moments in WWE history. When they reunited at WrestleMania VII, fans
wept. At the following SummerSlam, Macho Man and
Miss Elizabeth tied the knot in front of 20,000 fans during a fictional wedding billed as
a “Match Made in Heaven.” But by then the couple’s real-life union was
on its last legs. When the pair married in earnest seven years
earlier in 1984, Savage didn’t even want his own family to be there. According to Sports Illustrated, Savage planned
on eloping with Elizabeth. But his future mother-in-law refused, so they
wed at her house. Savage only invited his parents. Even his brother, Lanny, wasn’t there because
he had a wrestling match, and Savage “would have been furious” if Lanny attended the wedding
instead. As Savage’s mother Judy explained, “He didn’t want anybody to know that it was
so special to him, so he was quiet about the whole thing.” The madness Between matches, Savage was deeply paranoid
about people stealing his wife. That made life complicated for George “The
Animal” Steele, who literally tried to steal Elizabeth as part of a storyline feud. Steele told ThePostGame, “Honestly, Randy was the most jealous man
I ever met.” Steele wasn’t the only wrestler who grappled
with Macho Man’s insane jealousy. Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Hulk Hogan
said Savage would freak out if someone else even looked at Elizabeth. “Mean” Gene Okerlund called Savage a “loose
cannon” who made a lot of wrestlers uneasy. The person who suffered most was Elizabeth,
whom Savage locked in dressing rooms to keep her away from other guys. In 1991, just months after their onscreen
characters married, Elizabeth and Savage divorced. Heat with Andre the Giant Savage dripped with charisma, intensity, and
baby oil. The baby oil part didn’t sit well with Andre
the Giant, who dwarfed Savage and wasn’t afraid to throw his weight around in the ring. Savage’s brother Lanny said, “Andre hated baby oil, but Randy wouldn’t
stop wearing it. He stubbornly said Andre’s gimmick is being
a giant and mine is baby oil.” In HBO’s documentary Andre the Giant, Hulk
Hogan recounts how Andre “just beat Randy to death.” He pulled Savage’s hair and slapped him hard. According to Andre’s daughter Robin Christensen-Roussimoff,
the giant didn’t ravage Savage over baby oil. The real issue, she said, was Savage’s use
of steroids, which Andre detested. Witnessing the effects of steroids must have
been especially frustrating for Andre, whose body grew uncontrollably on its own, causing
debilitating health problems. A macho rap album According to his brother Lanny, the Macho
Man was a real big fan of hip-hop. Savage kept current with slang from the genre
and frequently used phrases like “true dat.” He tried to flex on the mic himself with a
2003 rap album, Be a Man, which is easily the greatest hip-hop composition ever created
by a 50-year-old wrestler. Savage didn’t reach Eminem levels of creativity,
but he still showed his appreciation for the genre with references to acts like Ice Cube,
Biz Markie, and A Tribe Called Quest. The biggest highlight of the album is the
title track, “Be a Man,” which disses Hulk Hogan with pointed lyrics such as, “like Rodney
Dangerfield you gets no respect.” “Be a Man” might sound like one wrestling
great poking fun at another in a musical promo, but the animosity was sincere. In addition to being Hogan’s onscreen nemesis,
offscreen, Savage had more beef than a Slim Jim. Radio host Bubba the Love Sponge loved disparaging
Savage’s family, and Hogan regularly appeared on his show. A life-altering stunt Whenever Savage was on camera, it was almost
impossible not to focus on him. Not only did he usually wear hyper-colorful
clothes, but also his unique speaking style and animated mannerisms were naturally entertaining. Even now, if you need a little excitement,
you can watch him snap into a Slim Jim in an old commercial or snap opponents in half
in a classic match. It’s unsurprising that Macho Man was cast
as fictional wrestler Bonesaw McGraw in 2002’s Spider-Man. Though it wasn’t a huge role, seeing him compete
against Peter Parker was pure magic. Behind the scenes, he apparently also made
a memorable impression. Castmate Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead fame
had a trailer adjacent to Savage’s. In a 2015 interview, he claimed that when
Savage wasn’t on set, he could be heard engaging in some vigorous activity with his girlfriend
on the other side of the wall. The film is notable for leaving a lasting
mark on Macho Man, literally, with the wrestler injuring his neck at one point while performing
a stunt. His brother told Bleacher Report that after
landing on his head mid-flip, Macho Man could no longer properly turn his head and had to
turn his body instead. A heartbreaking loss In May 2010, Savage tied the knot with Barbara
Lynn Payne, a woman he first dated in 1972, per Bleacher Report. Two months before marrying, Savage said goodbye
to his father, Angelo. Savage absolutely idolized his dad and was
adamant about sharing his success with the man who raised him. He funded trips to Europe for his parents
and bought Angelo a Cadillac on his 70th birthday. When Savage renovated a weight room at a prep
school, he stipulated that the room had to be named after his dad. As Angelo got older, dementia took hold, so
Savage took it upon himself to have medical equipment installed in his folks’ home. But not even Macho Man’s muscles and limitless
love were strong enough to stop Father Time. His mother, Judy, described how painful it
was for Savage to see his lifelong hero deteriorate: “Randy prayed for [Angelo] to die because
he suffered so much. But when he did die, Randy went home and punched
holes in the walls.” Bad, good, gorgeous In May 2011, Randy Savage was driving with
his wife, Lynn, when his heart suddenly stopped beating. The car crashed, and Savage passed away from
heart disease. Macho Man didn’t like funerals, but he had
a special request for his own: He didn’t want his wrestling entrance music, “Pomp and Circumstance,”
to be played. It was his way of honoring Gorgeous George,
a wrestler who mentored Savage’s father and used “Pomp and Circumstance” as his own theme
music. Savage felt guilty for attaining greater fame
than George and perhaps for another ugly chapter. Savage and his brother bought the rights to
the name “Gorgeous George,” and in the late 1990s, Savage licensed the name to then-girlfriend
Stephanie Bellars, who was his valet in WCW. According to Bellars, Savage was possessive
not just of the name but of her, too. She said he made her hide in broom closets
to prevent other wrestlers from making eye contact with her. She claimed he hid cameras in her home, tapped
her phone, and had her followed. After they broke up, Savage allegedly threatened
to sue Bellars for using the name “Gorgeous George.” The LA Times reported that in 2000, he sued
the producer of the Pamela and Tommy Lee sex tape for using the Gorgeous George moniker
for an adult video that Bellars appeared in. Snubbing the Hall of Fame Wrestling fans may debate about who belongs
on the shortlist of all-time great performers, but Randy Savage indisputably earned a spot. Wrestling legend Jesse “The Body” Ventura
called Savage’s WrestleMania III showdown with Ricky Steamboat the greatest match he
ever saw. That contest alone made Savage a legend. So when the WWE went well over a decade without
inducting him into the Hall of Fame, fans were baffled. Per the Washington Post, it was long rumored
that Savage and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon had a falling out. Before leaving the WWE in 1994, Savage supposedly
promised to re-sign with the company, but changed his mind. Relegated to doing color commentary, he apparently
wanted a match with Shawn Michaels, but was told he was too old. He jumped ship to WCW, at which point WWE
callously mocked his age and made light of his real-life divorce from Miss Elizabeth. Savage publicly said he wasn’t offended, though
his brother, Lanny, suggested otherwise. Rumors also circulated that Macho Man slept
with Vince’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon. According to Lanny, the reason for Savage’s
delayed Hall of Fame induction was much less salacious, Savage didn’t want to be inducted
alone, but as a trio with his brother and father. Lanny eventually agreed to let Macho Man be
inducted in 2015 after WWE “made amends.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about pro wrestling
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