It is with great sadness that I inform you that Randy Savage passed away today in a car accident. Savage gave the wrestling industry over twenty years of service, where he reinvented the business with his colorful personality and in-ring abilities that raised the bar for excellence in the business of professional wrestling.
It is hard to really measure what Savage’s greatest contribution to the wrestling industry truly was. As a midcard talent he brought credibility to the Intercontinental Championship. As a World Champion he held the WWF Championship for over a year. Savage put up the kind of fight against Hulk Hogan that was rivaled by only Andre the Giant, which given the size difference between the two is nothing to scoff at.
Randy Savage was no doubt one of the best in-ring performers of his generation. His defeat to Hulk at Wrestlemania V was a tragedy since there was little question that Savage was the better in-ring performer. Whether it was Hogan, Ric Flair, Diamond Dallas Page, Ted DiBiase Sr., Dusty Rhodes, Jake Roberts, The Ultimate Warrior, or so many more, when it came to the ring, Savage brought out the best in whoever he had to face.
There was a big name missing from the list above. That’s because Randy Savage’s match with Ricky Steamboat is in a league of its own. Over twenty years have passed and that match still stands against the test of time as one of the all-time greats. Without that match, Wrestlemania III would never be considered one of the best. Without that match, the Intercontinental Championship would never have had the prestige that it has had over the past few decades. Few wrestlers have looked so good in defeat as Savage did on that day.
Savage made his mark not one but two companies. After a fallout with Vince McMahon, Savage joined WCW where he won the top belt four times. His second world titles from both WWF and WCW came by defeating Ric Flair who Savage had a long and storied feud with. These were the days when wrestling feuds were so long and so brutal that at times they felt quite real.
While Savage had a phenomenal in-ring career, his lasting legacy comes from his image. From the sunglasses, the bandanas, the absurd color choices, Randy Savage brought the thing that wrestling thrives on the most. Energy. I cannot think of one wrestler who came after him that did not at least draw inspiration from the way Savage carried himself both in image and in-ring skills.
The fact that Randy Savage is not in the WWE Hall of Fame practically destroys the Hall’s credibility all on its own. Without Randy Savage it is hard to tell what the WWF would have become. There would be a lot less color and a lot less charisma.
Macho Man, you will be missed. Ooh yeah!