I was born into a family of wrestling fanatics, at least on my Dad’s side. Surprisingly Dad didn’t get the bug from his Dad, he got it from his Mother. That sort of makes sense to me in a way, Grandma’s Mom was a bouncer. Well, actually she was a cook for a lumberjack camp. Which, since these were guys out in the woods away from home meant she had to develop a skill set that most women didn’t need. Those skills kept her safe until Great Grandad came along and took over the protection. When they moved into the city, he became sick and she needed to find work. That skill set, developed over time by protecting herself from the unwanted advances of all those lumberjacks stood her in good stead. She got a job as a bouncer at a neighborhood bar. She loved a good fight.
She, in turn, passed down to her daughter the same love of a good fight, only her daughter felt that actually fighting was an unladylike pastime. The only avenue open to her, at the time, was televised wrestling matches. Those matches satisfied in her a desire to be involved in a good fight without the risk of appearing unladylike in public. Grandpa swore, til the day he died that it was all those half naked men she was interested in. Given that wrestlers, at least back then, were…rather…fluffy, I don’t believe it. The wrestlers of the 50’s weren’t the well built, well oiled hunks of today.
It wasn’t until the 1980’s that wrestling became anything more to me than something Dad and Grandma watched on TV. That was the decade that introduced Hulk Hogan, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Brett Hart, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Mr. Perfect, The Genius, Ted DiBiase, Jimmy “Superfly” Snukka, The Ultimate Warrior and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. They had skills. Very nice skills, and I too, like Grandma and Dad before me, became hooked on televised wrestling. “Oooh Yeah!
The Macho Man was born into a wrestling family. His Dad, Angelo Poffo was among the best known wrestlers of the 50’s and 60’s. Not the usual fluffy type since he was featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” for the number of sit ups he could do. With that kind of 6 pack abs in the family, is it any wonder that Randy Savage kept himself in shape?
WWE named Savage the greatest champion of all time since he held 20 titles during his run and brought a higher level of credibility to those championships due to his amazing in-ring performances. Whether as a babyface or a heel, Savage brought his game to all matches. He was big, he was brash and he lit a fire in the hearts of his fans that I don’t think ever went out until yesterday. Maybe not even then. At least not for me.
Whether you called him “Macho Man” or maybe “Macho King” you have to admit that Ralph (Randy) Mario Poffo was the best of the best, with an in-ring and out-of-ring personna that is unforgettable. With his far out ring attire, his multicolored cowboy hats and oversized sunglasses, he made even those who hated him stand up and take notice.
He hasn’t wrestled in years and we’ve filled the void with other wrestlers who’ve caught our eyes and maybe our hearts. None will ever equal the talent of the man who was over the top in almost all aspects of his wrestling career and yet, he made believers out of us. Rest in peace, man, you will be missed.