Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the professional wrestler known for his raspy voice, the sunglasses and bandanas he wore in the ring and the young woman named Miss Elizabeth who often accompanied him, died in a car crash Friday in Florida. He was 58.
A Florida Highway Patrol crash report said the former wrestler — whose legal name was Randy Mario Poffo — was driving a Jeep Wrangler when he lost control in Pinellas County around 9:25 a.m. The Jeep veered over the raised concrete median divider, crossed over the eastbound lanes and crashed head-on into a tree.
Police said he may have suffered a “medical event” before the accident, but the report did not elaborate, and it said officials would need to perform an autopsy to know for sure.
Savage was a charismatic wrestler made famous for his “Macho Man” nickname and his “Oooh Yeah!” catchphrase. He was a champion in Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation, and later Ted Turner’s now-defunct World Championship Wrestling.
Savage defined the larger-than-life personalities of the 1980s World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). He wore sequined robes bejeweled with “Macho Man” on the back, rainbow-colored cowboy hats and oversized sunglasses, part of a unique look that helped build the WWF into a mainstream phenomenon.
For most of his career, his valet, Miss Elizabeth, was by his side. The woman, Elizabeth Hulette, was his real-life wife at the time. They later divorced, and Hulette died in 2003 at 42 in what was later ruled a prescription drug overdose. She was among many performers in the sport to die young. LINK
Those of us who grew up on wrestling know what an enormous loss this is. “The Macho Man” as he was known to millions of fans was one of the very best. In the soap opera that is television wrestling, his story was always the main event. Together with Miss Elizabeth the Macho Man battled his way through controversy and adversity week in and week out. I am lucky enough to have grown up during the golden era of pro wrestling and I wouldn’t trade a second of those saturday mornings cheering on the Macho Man for anything.
Even as we got older we always walked around imitating his outrageous voices and mannerisms. The Macho Man brought happiness to millions of people. The world of professional wrestling like rock and roll is a uniquely American creation and Randy Savage was a major part of it. As when Miss Elizabeth died, today the world is a little bit sadder.
RIP Macho Man. Ooooohh Yeaaaaaah!