The Legacy of "Macho Man" Randy Savage

Joe KleiberCorrespondent IMay 24, 2011

Randall Mario Poffo, aka "Macho Man" Randy Savage, was one of the greatest wrestlers and entertainers of all-time. He had the famous catch phrase "OHHHHHHH YEA!" and his famous finishing move, the Flying Elbow Drop, has been intimidated by numerous wrestlers over the years. Guys like Jay Lethal even tried imitating him for his own character when he was in TNA. Will anybody forget Savage's hilarious Slim Jim commercials back in the '90's?

When Savage left us on Friday May 20th, he left one of the greatest legacies of any wrestler who ever lived. He broke into the WWE in 1985 and he immediately commanded our attention. He had a larger than life and colorful personality that caught on with fans and his fellow wrestlers. He started wearing bandannas and his Macho Man sunglasses that nobody will ever forget.

His promos were incredible and really started the trend to really get into your character for promos. He started to rant about his opponent that evening and always ended his promo with an "OHHHHHH YEA!!" Other wrestlers started to do more promos, but his charisma was only matched by Hulk Hogan at that time.

People like Savage and Hogan helped innovate the new era in wrestling, the Rock 'n' Wrestling era, which combined Rock 'n' Roll and wrestling with cartoons and a new branch of exciting and powerful characters. Savage had some epic feuds when he first arrived with people such as George "the Animal" Steele, Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat and the Dynamite Kid. His character was a heel based on a crazy, egomaniac who would boss around his valet, Miss Elizabeth, and threaten whoever tried to talk to her. Savage became the Intercontinental Champion when he beat Tito Santana at the Boston Garden in 1986.

Nobody will ever forget his feuds with Steele, who was also one of the craziest characters in wrestling. He had a classic feud with Steamboat. His match with Steamboat at WrestleMania III is considered the greatest match ever. Steamboat would be victorious and end Savage's near 14-month reign as champion.

Savage had a lot of great feuds in his career, but the one that really stands out is his feud with Hulk Hogan. Hogan helped Savage win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania IV when he hit Ted Dibiase with a chair in the finals of a WWE Title tournament. They combined to create the Mega Powers. Savage and Hogan would team up against the likes of the Mega Bucks (Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant) and the Twin Towers (Big Bossman and Akeem). Their feud began when Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage at the Royal Rumble in 1989. Savage started to fight with Hogan after this and turned heel.

This built up their epic match at WrestleMania V, where Hogan ended Savage's 371 day reign as the WWE Champion. This was one of the best matches and feuds in wrestling history. Savage's character grew frustrated and dropped Elizabeth as his manager and replaced her with "Sensational" Queen Sherrie. He became the "Macho King" after he beat "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan at King of the Ring in 1989 and started wearing a crown and carrying a scepter to the ring. Savage had feuds with the likes of Dusty Rhodes, Jim Duggan and the Ultimate Warrior. His feud with the Warrior let to a retirement match at WrestleMania VII.

His feud with the Warrior was the clash of crazy and unpredictable personalities. Both these men could explode at any moment. Their match at WrestleMania VII is one of the most talked about matches ever. Savage delivered five consecutive elbow drops on Warrior, but still couldn't put him away. Warrior would win the match, which led to Sherrie turning on Savage at the end and Elizabeth jumping in for the save. Elizabeth was watching at ringside and couldn't take it anymore. Savage and Elizabeth would reunite.

Savage became a commentator after WrestleMania, but married Elizabeth at SummerSlam 1991. He started to feud with Jake "the Snake" Roberts after Jake interrupted Savage's wedding reception with a snake. One of the biggest moments in Randy's career was when Jake's snake bit him on the arm after Jake provoked him to get into the ring. Randy feuded with Jake until February 1992, when he started a feud with the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. This built up to their match at WrestleMania VIII when Savage won his second WWE Championship.

Savage would continue to feud with Flair and Mr. Perfect over the next year, even teaming with his old rival, the Ultimate Warrior. He dropped the title back to Flair in September 1992. Savage started to become a full-time commentator after that and only occasionally wrestled. His last big feud in WWE was with Crush and they had a falls count anywhere match at WrestleMania X, which Savage won. The WWE started to fade away from the older stars such as Hogan and Savage and started to feature the younger stars, such as Bret Hart and Yokozuna. Hogan had left for WCW in 1993 and Savage would soon follow in 1994.

Savage had some great feuds in WCW, but they were old feuds with the likes of Flair and Hogan. He won his first WCW Championship in a 60-man battle royal at the World War Three in 1995. He and Flair would trade back the title for months after that. Savage and Hogan helped put WCW back on the map and in competition with WWE in the "Monday Night Wars." It pitted WCW Monday Night Nitro against WWE Monday Night Raw. This really started to happen when Hulk Hogan turned on Savage, Sting, Lex Luger and WCW and formed the NWO with the "Outsiders" Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in 1996. After months of feuding with them, Savage would join them in 1997. He also brought back his old valet Elizabeth.

After his heel turn, Savage would feud with Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger. He would then turn face and join the NWO WolfPac, and feuded with Hogan's NWO. After these feuds, he would take a break from WCW to get knee surgery and returned in late 1998, with his then girlfriend "Gorgeous" George as his valet.

Savage would compete until his final WCW match on May 3, 2000. Savage wouldn't appear again in wrestling until he joined the TNA wrestling company in 2004, where he teamed up with Jeff Hardy and A.J. Styles to defeat Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Savage left TNA in December 2004 after he disagreed with the finish of scheduled match with Jeff Jarrett.

Randy also appeared in the movie Spider-Man as the wrestling character "Bonesaw" in 2002 where he wrestled Peter Parker in a cage match.

Randy will always be remembered as one the greatest superstars in wrestling history. Even if you weren't a huge wrestling fan, you knew who the "Macho Man' was, because he was an icon in entertainment. Every time you see a Slim Jim, you think of the Macho Man's commercials. Every time you hear somebody say "OHHHHHH YEA!" you think of him. Every time you see somebody perform the flying elbow drop, you think of him. Randy has a place in all of our hearts and will be greatly missed. As Randy would say "OHHHHHHHHH YEA! DIG IT!"