News outlets are reporting that the former WWE and Intercontinental champion reportedly suffered a heart attack while driving his Jeep Wrangler in Florida, then crossed lanes of oncoming traffic and hit a tree. The 58-year-old Savage, real name Randy Poffo, died a short time late at a hospital.
He wife, Lynn, was also with him, but survived the crash with minor injuries. Police say both had their seatbelts on and alcohol wasn’t a factor.
Savage was one of the legends I grew up watching. I remember Savage and Ricky Steamboat tearing the roof off of the Pontiac Silverdome at Wrestlemania III in arguably the greatest Intercontinental title match of all time. I remember Wrestlemania IV when he beat Ted Dibiase in the championship tournament to capture his first WWE title. And, I remember the Mega Powers running wild, then exploding, culminating in Hulk Hogan beating him at Wrestlemania V.
And, yes, I’ll never forget the catchphrases. I still can’t think of Slim Jims without saying ‘ooh, yeah’ to myself.
Randy Savage was easily one of the most charismatic individuals to lace up those boots and walk that aisle. I always questioned Vince’s thinking, putting Savage in the broadcast booth instead of in the ring toward the end of his WWE run. I was hardly surprised when he did leave the WWE for WCW where they actually let him wrestle instead of just sitting at ringside.
Feuds with Hogan, Ric Flair, and Steamboat will go down as all-time classics, and the Macho Man will be missed by wrestling fans all over the world.