|Sexy Armpit & Miss Sexy Armpit (top) Macho Man (bottom)
I’M IN MACHO MISERY RIGHT NOW. The news of the passing of Macho Man Randy Savage has wrestling fans and the entire world buzzing right now. Savage was not only an icon of sports entertainment but a fixture in popular culture for many years. Describing Savage as a hero of mine is an understatement. I’m sure there will be an outpouring of tweets, blog posts, and YouTube tributes, and rightfully so, but this post will serve as a collection of my own Macho Memories.
Many of my Macho Man memories involve Miss Elizabeth. She was such a huge part of his mystique after he hired her as his manager. It was a controversial move to hire a sexy female valet who many thought had no mastery of the wrestling business. As we all know, they were a match made in heaven and hopefully they’ve met up so Savage could hoist her up on his shoulders once again for old time sake.
I had been into wrestling for about 2 years at that point. During that period in the WWF I remember everyone buzzing about Macho Man and Elizabeth. They were a hot topic and the couple grabbed the attention of everyone, not only wrestling fans. When the Miss Elizabeth LJN action figure first came out I remember wanting it so bad. I waited and waited and finally I got a special opportunity from my parents on Christmas Eve that year. They let my sister and I open each others gifts. After ripping open the paper I was so excited to see that my sister got me the Miss Elizabeth figure! Now Macho Man would walk the aisle with some arm candy.
Some people look back fondly on the greatest moments of their life. Some cite winning a high school football championship, getting married, or winning a huge sum in the lottery as random memorable life moments. Believe it or not, some of the greatest moments of my life involve WWF and Macho Man Randy Savage. His heel win to become I-C Champ, Savages feud with George the Animal Steele who was in love with Elizabeth, Savage vs. Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3, all the events that lead to the formation of The Mega Powers, The Wrestlemania 4 tournament which concluded with Savage winning his first WWF World Championship and sharing the greatest moment of all time in the WWF with Miss Elizabeth and The Hulkster in Atlantic City NJ. Then the Mega Powers exploded in the same venue at the next Wrestlemania. Years later he was in memorable feuds with Jake The Snake and Undertaker, Flair, and Ultimate Warrior.
Life was so simple back then. Who cares if I sound old! On sunny and hot summer days I would walk down the local Rite Aid or ask my Dad to bring me to Quick Check and scan the magazine racks for the official WWF Magazine. A couple in particular made me literally explode with excitement. My sister dropped by while I was at a neighbors house to bring me the July 1988 issue with Savage on the cover. I nearly went into convulsions. I don’t think kids get this excited anymore over a magazine, but it made my month back then. I’d worship the pages and read the same articles over and over. It sounds incredible, but I can remember the exact moment I got most of them. I still have those magazines too.
Growing up, my best friend Frank and I were immensely influenced by Macho Man. It was easy for two best friends to call themselves The Mega Powers, but it was another to start filming themselves wrestle at a time when taping yourself wrestling wasn’t en vogue at all. At least in my neck of New Jersey, taping backyard wrestling matches wasn’t something that people we knew ever did. Leave it to us to spend our Friday and Saturday nights recording promos and matches while our friends went and “socialized” with each other. In our first match ever, we chose to explode the Mega Powers yet again just for the hell of it.
I know a lot of people claim that their parents are the greatest, but My Dad is seriously in the Dad Hall of Fame. He’s always been a fan of WWF right along with me. The fact that he interacted in my little obsession with me meant more than anyone could ever imagine. Through the big wrestling boom in the ’80s and then through the times when WWF fans got made fun of for still liking it well after it’s popularity surge was over – it was so cool to be able to share those moments with him. Of course he used to watch Saturday Night’s Main Event with me and bring me upstairs after I fell asleep on the couch, but there was one time in particular years later that will always stick out in my mind.
After Monday Night Raw premiered in 1993 I made it a big TV event. It was the highlight of my week. I set up my TV chair and grabbed my drink and snacks. Occasionally my Dad would watch with me, but other times if he was busy he would tell me to let him know if something good happens and he’ll come watch. That’s the kind of thing that meant a lot to me. I didn’t toss the baseball around much, I didn’t have much interest in sports or fixing cars, my world was all about WWF. He was a big fan of Macho Man and Razor Ramon at that time.
In 1994, prior to Wrestlemania 10, Randy Savage and Crush began a feud that was pretty hardcore in WWF at that time. My father and I were shocked as we witnessed Crush turn on Savage. Crush pressed Savage up over his head and dropped him onto the steel barricade, lacerating his tongue. We were both in awe of how this played out in a very realistic way. Since that was just before the computer era really took off, there were no spoilers or dirt sheets to ruin the storylines, so it was a vivid and surprising night on Raw. The feud culminated at Wrestlemania 10 in a falls count anywhere match, just over the river at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It was Savage’s last appearance at a Wrestlemania.
In recent times, Savage has kept a low profile but I’ve kept his spirit alive as much as I could. I’ve dressed up as Macho Man twice in the last couple of years. The first time was for a Halloween Costume Party at Asbury Lanes and my girlfriend dressed up as Miss Elizabeth. You can read more about that in this post. The next time I went with the classic lavender Macho Man T-Shirt and matching bandanna for my friend Jane’s surprise ’80s style birthday party. Each time it was a big hit and everyone was complimenting me on how good I pulled off the look. I even won runner up in the costume contest at Asbury Lanes.
I will miss you so much Macho Man, you were larger than life to me and no one will ever come close to having your unique blend of electric charisma and ring skills of a king. I hope the Fink announced you into heaven with Pomp and Circumstance echoing throughout the universe. “We’re gonna climb that mountain together and we are together forever Oooooh Yeah!” Elizabeth…DOWN THAT AISLE!