Name: Randy Savage
Year Inducted: 2009
Induction Category: Modern Era
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
Born Randall Mario Poffo on November 15, 1953, the future "Macho Man" grew up amongst a family of athletes. Both his father, Angelo Poffo, and his brother "Leaping" Lanny Poffo, had significant success in the mat sport. After graduation from Downers Grove North High School and a stint at Southern Illinois University, Randy churned around the minor league baseball circuit as a catcher for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and St. Louis Cardinals organizations.
After abandoning his dreams of becoming a big league ball player, Randy embarked on a path that saw him rise in each phase of his career to become one of the most talented, colorful, and influential forces the world of professional wrestling has ever witnessed. From his first match in November of 1973 against Paul Christy, to his multiple championship runs in the ICW, AWA, WWF, and WCW, he invented, reinvented, and revolutionized a style of wrestling never before seen by the wrestling public nor his peers in the profession.
When you are able to peel the layers off the career or Randy Savage, you are able to witness his transformation from star athlete to pop culture icon. Learning his chops in wrestling rings across the Midwest, he would eventually move South, sometimes working under a mask as "The Spider". At the influence of Ole Anderson, he took the moniker of Randy Savage. After working for his father's promotion, International Championship Wrestling, he moved on to work for Jerry Lawler's AWA Memphis promotion. Randy saw success working tag team matches with Lanny against the Rock & Roll Express but gained greater fame in his bloody battles with Jerry Lawler and Austin Idol.
In June of 1985, the stepping stone to his ultimate fame came calling in the form of the World Wrestling Federation. His immediate impact from national television exposure power-slammed the wrestling public as few had previously. Along with his wife and manager, "Miss Elizabeth", Randy started a nine-year run that would solidify his superstar status. From his initial Intercontinental Title win to his double stint as World Heavyweight Champion, Randy was at the top of his game.
In appearance, he lassoed a rainbow and wore it for all to see. His colorful outfits, one-of-a-kind robes, sometimes a bandana, often a cowboy hat, unique shades, combined with his raspy voice and trademark catch phrase "Ooohhh, yeah", which mimicked one of his idols, Pampero Firpo. When Randy spoke, people listened. Not only did his brilliant style with the microphone entertain, it commanded attention, and did so with power.
In the WWF, his signature moves were innovative, daring, exciting, and career-threatening. Leaping over the top rope with his opponents head in hand, snapping it like a cracked whip or climbing to the top turnbuckle, flying to the arena floor and delivering a double axe handle to a waiting opponent or launching himself twenty feet through the air and landing his patented Flying Elbow Drop on his foe for another victory were the reasons that he could bring the crowd to their feet at a moments notice. His epic battle against Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III in 1987 is often referred to in wrestling circles as the single greatest wrestling match of all-time.
In 1994, after his successful run in the WWF, Randy then signed on with World Championship Wrestling, where he would again reinvent himself with a new look, new attitude, yet maintaining his status as one of the greatest showmen and competitors in his sport. For the following five years, he would continue old feuds and start new ones. Randy would eventually hold the WCW World Heavyweight Title four times, battling the champions such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Sting.
After twenty-six years of ring punishment, Randy directed his talents into various media outlets. He accepted numerous movie roles, most notably starring in Spiderman as wrestler Bonesaw McGraw. He has played himself in cameo roles and other characters in many television shows. His raspy lines could also be heard in many animated shows and movies. A hip hop album was released by Randy in 2003, yet he is best noted for his role as spokesperson for Slim Jim snack sticks where his signature phrase "Snap into a Slim Jim" is still heard around the world as of today.
For certain, he has managed to create a perfect storm by triggering a phenomenal combination of an exceptional athlete with the speed of lighting, the power of thunder, the destructive results of a hurricane, and the beauty and grace of a rainbow. This perfect storm best describes the newest PWHF inductee Randy Savage. Ooooooohhhhh, yeah!
- John Pantozzi