Freak Out Freak Out, YEAH!

May 21st, 2011 by | Tags:

I remember when I first saw a link to this video years back, someone remarked that he had never felt like a wrestler believed in his own storyline as being real as Savage right here. I have to agree. The guy is just SO INTO what he’s saying that it’s nothing less than phenomenal.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) is one of those guys who defined my childhood. When I first started watching wrestling, he was in his Macho King phase, accompanied by Queen Sherri. The story going on was that the champion, the Ultimate Warrior, didn’t consider him worthy of a title shot. Savage got his revenge by interfering in the Ultimate Warrior’s title defense against Sergeant Slaughter at the 1991 Royal Rumble (my first PPV) and costing Warrior the belt. This led to a feud that hit its end point at Wrestlemania 7 where the loser had to quit wrestling.

Savage lost but still found his way back via a fantastic feud with Jake “The Snake” Roberts months down the line. While his match with Warrior was the beginning of him stepping down from his prime, he remained entertaining for his remaining years in the company. He mostly did commentary, but had a unique spot as the top tier legend who hung back and allowed the others to do their thing, stepping back into the ring every once and a while, usually because he felt he had no choice. His feud with Crush was the story that had me the most enthralled during the lead-up to Wrestlemania X. Shortly after, he went to WCW and I saw very little of him for the rest of his in-ring career.

I did end up watching his work from before I started following wrestling and appreciated his MADNESS even more. The guy was one of the most unique and colorful among a pantheon of unique and colorful individuals. Despite being overshadowed by Hogan and Warrior, Savage was easily my favorite of the three. He felt like he was in their league, but didn’t rely on their “win button” gimmicks. He was a better worker and came off as an actual competitor rather than an invincible superhero.

What the three had in common was their penchant for insane ramblings. It’s something that’s sadly missing from the business these days, outside of R-Truth’s recent heel turn. Savage, though, was the tops. The guy had this deranged intensity that had you hanging on every word. The man had ten million ways of telling you that he was going to beat you in a wrestling match and they were all amazing.

He had his own identity that’s so distinctive that he doesn’t fit into its own archetype. Hogan tends to be synonymous with wrestling, but Randy Savage is only synonymous with Randy Savage. He’s so specific that to ape his style in any way sticks out like a sore thumb.

I could go on, but it’s late and I’m beginning to ramble. The psychedelic, beef jerky-peddling cowboy was entertaining as hell and I’ve always respected how he was one of the few 80’s wrestlers to hold onto his money responsibly and give himself the ability to earn a wonderful life in retirement, as long as it lasted. It’s a punch to the gut that he intended to make some kind of media comeback, having recently resurfaced in a video announcement of his new Mattel action figures and again for the recent WWE All-Stars video game. According to him, 2011 would be the year of the Macho Man.

Whether he was a face, a heel, a king, a groom, a champion, a spokesman, a commentator, an ill-fated rapper, a superhero talkshow host’s grandfather or a cartoon parody of the Champion of the Universe, Savage never failed to make me smile. He was larger than life and there will never, ever be another man like him. R.I.P.

(coincidentally, this is what the inside of my brain looks like)

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6 comments to “Freak Out Freak Out, YEAH!”

  1. I just found out. Damn.

    I’m not wrestling fan, but I had my moments (years) and remained mildly familiar with things due to friends and associates. From then until now, it’s fair to say that Macho Man (I never called him anything else) was one of my faces, if not my absolute favorite.

    That voice made anything sound awesome. R.I.P., indeed.

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYVYk-qfwxA#t=6m10s

    Macho Man vs. Warrior for the WWF Title very first feud I remember watching, and the line: “Maybe I am, and maybe I’m not,” has always stuck with me. I started watching wrestling because I was lured in by Hulk Hogan’s pop culture presence, but when I started watching he wasn’t wrestling, so it was up to guys like Randy Savage to keep me watching. Long story short, I’m still watching. You’re absolutely right that the Macho Man was one of the most distinctive personalities of all time; when you hear that voice, there’s no mistaking who you’re listening to. He’ll definitely be missed.

    Also, I dressed up as him for Halloween on year. Don’t think I have any pictures, though. I used to do Macho Man impressions, but I had to stop because it made my throat hurt.

  3. I really need to learn more about what the differences between Hogan and Savage are.

    Every time I think of Randy Savage, that usually leads me to remember him on Space Ghost where he was Space Ghost’s mostly identical grandfather.

    This leads me to remember when the idea of a mostly identical grandfather was than stolen and applied to Kim Kaphwan.

    That was one of your chapters, wasn’t it?

  4. Also, Holyshit Gaijin D still exists!

  5. Never saw much wrestling as a kid, parents and whatnot, but Randy Savage did take part in one of the best cartoons of my entire childhood.


  6. @Zodberg: Er, yes? I did not expect this to be shocking.