One of my earliest memories is of my father, my older brother and I sitting in the living room of my Philadelphia home watching wrestling. My father is from a third world country and my brother is eight-and-a-half years older than me, so needless to say, there wasn't much that we agreed upon.
My brother liked football while my dad liked REAL football (soccer), and I was a baseball fan. I liked Michael Jackson, my brother liked N.W.A and my father liked music videos from Bollywood.
But one thing unified us all in front of the TV and that was the WWF. So it was extremely sad news for all the males in my family to hear about the death of "Macho Man" Randy Savage. So much so that it has taken me a week just to be able to write about it. Death causes us to think about what that person meant to us, and Randy Savage had more influence in my life than most people I have met.
I remember watching several matches when the Macho Man would jump off the top rope with his flying elbow and the next day at school we all tried to imitate it (Granted, we were between the ages of six and 10 so that MIGHT not have been the most positive thing.)
Every Saturday while my parents were at work we would watch "WWF Superstars" and then set up the little alphabet magnets we had on our metal front door to make a marquee of the "main event" between my brother and me in the living room. I even cut up a shirt of mine so it had that streaming effect that Randy Savage's outfits had. And when he hit the scene with the Slim Jim commercials...all of the neighborhood boys went out to buy one for 25 cents, not having a clue what we were eating.
I loved the way he did interviews and always wanted to be behind the microphone and captivate an audience like he did by playing the part of a made-up character. As I am writing this I am in a radio station where I work my other job as a producer and on-air talent. Needless to say, Randy Savage had a bigger influence on my life that I would have ever expected.
But the biggest thing was the power that people like Hulk Hogan, Ravishing Rick Rude, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase and "Macho Man" Randy Savage had to allow boys and men, fathers and sons, and brothers, to bond.
When the news broke of his death, the first person I contacted was my brother. What was crazier was the amount of messages I received from childhood friends on Facebook, reminding me of "matches" we had when we were kids, imitating wrestlers like Savage, and how sad we all were to hear the news.
Randy Savage was part of a magical time in wrestling, when we knew it was fake, but had the imagination to believe that it was real. And, when Randy Savage died, a piece of my childhood, and many others like me who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, did as well.
R.I.P Randall Mario Poffo