I am NOT a doctor…but I know a ton about professional wrestling!
I developed a borderline obsession with the sport(s entertainment) since I was a wee lad that still remains to this day (I turn 27 today!) and one superstar that always remained a constant was the late, great ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage.
Savage (aka Bone-Saw McGraw from Spider-Man) was a pioneer when it came to the WWF in the 80’s – he had a style all his own and could conduct a chorus of boos with a mere twirl and twist of his finger. He wasn’t just sizzle though; when Randy stepped inside of the squared circle, he brought with him a work-rate that was second to none.
Savage versus Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat for the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle-Mania 3 in 1987 holds the distinction of being my favorite match of all time. They easily stole the show and I believe this match truly was “ahead of its time” – a phrase often disputed by my buddy Neil (from the first Check Up…continuity!)
Regardless, that match set an almost untouchable standard to measure up to as those fans in attendance in the Pontiac Silverdome watched history unfold. It was surreal when my buddies and I got to take a tour of the Silverdome in 2008, where my pal Justin and I re-created the finish of the match on the field. We also got to flip on the inflatable roof! (if you ever meet me, ask me about it. Sounds nuts, I know, but it happened!)
Randy had some more classics in WWF before becoming a commentator. Believing his time in the ring hadn’t expired yet (it hadn’t) he headed over to WCW and was one the most reliable guys on the roster, even into his 40’s.
Except for a few brief appearances in the early 2000’s, Randy stepped out of the public eye. Rumors swelled about why he had yet to return to the WWF (now WWE) in any capacity, especially since he deserved a Hall Of Fame induction. Fans rejoiced (myself included) when Randy cut a promo about the new WWE All-Stars video game earlier this year, feeling that the HOF was waiting just around the corner.
Sadly for us fans, and even more sad for Randy, he never got the chance to soak in the adulation that he no doubt would have received upon the induction. His life was cut short this past May, when he suffered a heart attack while driving and crashed the car and died.
Savage (real last name Poffo) was only 58 years young. Wrestling has been plagued with many deaths over the years, mostly caused by drugs and steroids. Savage’s death was a giant wake-up call to most people, showing that no one is safe from a heart attack, not even the Macho King.
I know this article didn’t really instill any ways to successfully reduce your risk from heart disease, but instead I wanted to reflect on a great dude. Did I know him? I wish – but a gentleman I spoke with once told me a story in which he and his kids were eating at a diner in Florida that Savage frequented. When Randy heard from the owner that they were big fans, he made a special trip over to the diner just to meet them! Its stories like these (I’ve heard many more) that help give us an idea about the (Macho) man he was outside of the ring.
In honour of Macho Man, A-1 Wrestling in Hamilton is holding the first ever ‘Randy Poffo Invitational’ Tournament in conjunction with the Heart & Stroke Foundation on Sunday, July 31st.
Please check out this great event supporting heart disease research and pay tribute to one of the greatest wrestlers ever!
Check out http://www.alpha-1wrestling.com
[OHHHH YEAAAAAAHHHHH…DIG ITTT!]
Dr. Steve, Ph.D. (Pretty Helpful Dude)