Macho Man Randy Savage: Remembering the Greatest WWE Intercontinental Champion

John Nizinski@@jniz73Analyst IIIMay 18, 2012

What makes a perfect professional wrestler?

To me, the perfect wrestler is athletic, charismatic, has a strong gimmick and both mic and in-ring skills. Macho Man Randy Savage fit that description like a glove.

It feels like yesterday that I got texts from my father and uncle saying "Macho Man passed away." Amazingly enough, that was one year ago.

Savage has always been one of my favorite professional wrestlers simply because he was the complete package. He was a man that could entertain in the wrestling ring, but also outside of it.

Here we will look at the life of Macho Man Randy Savage and reminisce a year after his passing.

Randall Mario Poffo was born in Columbus, Ohio on Nov. 15, 1952. He was born with wrestling in his blood and veins.

Savage's father, Angelo Poffo, was a WCW Hall of Fame wrestler in the 1950s and '60s. He appeared on Ripley's Believe it or Not for his ability to do an endless amount of sit-ups. Savage's younger brother, Lanny Poffo, was also a professional wrestler.

Before getting into the professional wrestling industry, Savage pursued a career in baseball. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals straight out of high school. He spent four seasons in the minor leagues, hitting .254, with 16 home runs and 66 RBI.

In the offseason of the 1973 baseball year, Savage entered into the professional wrestling scene. He debuted as The Spider, which was a character that was based on Spider-Man.

From the advice of Ole Anderson, he changed his wrestling name to "Randy Savage." Savage ultimately decided to end his baseball career and become a full-time professional wrestler.

He began wrestling with his father and brother. They were unable to get a serious push, so their father created the International Championship Wrestling promotion in 1978. Savage remained wrestling in the ICW until it disbanded and he joined Jerry Lawler in the Continental Wrestling Association.

In 1985, Savage signed with Vince McMahon and the WWE, which was then known as the WWF. He was being billed as the top free agent in professional wrestling.

Savage chose Miss Elizabeth as his manager and his gimmick involved him being an egotistic person who would verbally abuse Elizabeth and attack anyone that even looked at her.

Later that year, Savage would start a feud with Intercontinental Champion, Tito Santana. He would win the title in early 1986, by using an illegal steel object that was hidden in his tights.

As Intercontinental Champion, Savage feuded with superstars like Bruno Sammartino and George "The Animal" Steele. Steele developed a crush on Elizabeth, which led to the feud and a match at WrestleMania 2. Savage would win all title matches against Steele and held the belt for over a year.

Savage then crossed paths with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. The two met at WrestleMania III, in what is considered by many as the greatest match in professional wrestling history. Unlike most matches at the time, Savage and Steamboat planned and practice every detail of the match. The match included 19 two-counts and the extremely high pace never dropped. It would end with Steamboat ending Savage's near 14-month reign as Intercontinental Champion.

After losing the title, Savage went on to win the King of the Ring tournament. He also started acting less hostile towards Elizabeth, which helped him become a fan favorite.

Eventually Savage would get back in the Intercontinental Championship picture. After Honky Tonk Man claimed to be the greatest IC champion, Savage attempted to prove him wrong and win back the title. He was unable to because the Hart Foundation interfered in the match and began attacking Savage. In response, Elizabeth got Hulk Hogan to help him.

This was the start of " The Mega Powers" which was a stable with Hogan and Savage. At WrestleMania IV, Savage won a 14-man tournament and the vacant WWF Championship. Savage would hold the title for over a year and continued to work with Hogan.

He successfully defended his title against superstars like Andre the Giant and One Man Gang. Hogan started having Elizabeth as his manager, which caused problems with him and Savage.

These problems continued as Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage from the Royal Rumble. Their feud led to a WWF Championship match at WrestleMania V. Hogan would defeat Savage and become WWF Champion once again.

Savage would go on to have many feuds with guys like Dusty Rhodes, The Ultimate Warrior and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

He would switch over to WCW in 1994 and remained there until 2000. He made his final WCW appearance and stayed away from professional wrestling until he made a brief return to TNA in 2004.

On the morning of May 20, 2011, Savage died after suffering a heart attack while driving with his wife. He was 58 years old. 

In all, Savage was a two-time WWF Champion and an Intercontinental Champion. He was also a four-time WCW Heavyweight Champion.

Savage helped make the Intercontinental Championship a legitimate title in the WWE. Although it has lost some of its credibility in recent years, Cody Rhodes is in the process of bringing it back to the level of when Savage held it.

He will forever be remembered for his unique personality, unforgettable promos and incredible in-ring ability. Savage was and always will be one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time. "Ooooooh yeah!"

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