Saturday, July 2, 2011

Autopsy Results are in for Randy Poffo (Macho Man Savage), Former Baseball Player and WWE Wrestler

Saturday July 2, 2011

MLB reports:  Last month we profiled former WWE superstar Randy Macho Man Savage, who passed away May 20, 2011.  At the time of the article, the cause of his death was unknown.  We took the time in the interim to look at the man behind the “Macho Madness”, a wrestling champion and icon in the industry.  A little known fact was that Randy Savage, born Randy Poffo, actually came up originally as a baseball player.  To learn more about Randy Poffo the baseball player, click here to view our past feature.   Today we learn about the cause of death behind the passing of Randy “Macho Man” Savage.

 What we knew until recently was that Randy Savage crashed his Jeep Wrangler into a tree near Tampa, Florida.  Unfortunately, the first reaction for many was to suspect drugs and/or alcohol as the cause for the accident.  A natural reaction, given that our society today that tends to be very jaded and suspect the worst of many of its heroes.  While reports indicate that Randy Savage had prescription medications in his system, it does not appear that they were the cause for his accident.  Both him and his wife were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash and Randy’s wife  Barbara Lynn only suffered minor injuries.  The autopsy has revealed that Randy Savage suffered from an enlarged heart and artery blockage, which likely caused him to crash the vehicle.  The medical condition likely caused Macho Man to lose consciousness right before the accident and drive the vehicle into a tree.  That was the indication previously in a statement at the time of the incident from brother Lanny Poffo, also a former wrestler.  The family did not necessarily know about his condition but suspected that Macho Man had a heart attack right before the accident.  In this case, the family’s instincts were correct.

While it is very sad that Randy (Savage) Poffo was taken from this earth much to early, it is somewhat of a relief to at least learn the cause behind his unfortunate passing.  With rumors always circulating in this age of the internet, the Poffo family can be relieved that Randy’s good name can be left intact.  It is likely that Randy did not even know about his medical condition, as the prescription pills he was taking were apparently unrelated to the heart condition.  Had he been diagnosed early, perhaps this misfortune could have been averted.  In the meantime, I will continue to remember both Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the wrestler, as well as Randy Poffo, the baseball player.  As discussed in his earlier feature, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Poffo had stayed with baseball instead of wrestling.  Even had he not injured his shoulder, Poffo statistically likely would not have remained in the sport.  His bat did not seem to be there and while there was always the chance he could have come around, Randy Poffo, the MLB player, was likely never going to materialize.  Yet I will always think of what could have been if the Macho Man had never come to be, if baseball had worked out for him.  But given the impact that Randy had on the wrestling industry and society as a whole by adopting the “Macho Man” persona, he definitely made the right choice.  Rest in peace Randy Poffo Savage.  You will be missed and remembered as a two-sport athlete/entertainer.  Thank you for all the good times and MACHOOOOO MADNESS! 

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Remembering The Madness!

Best Intercontinental Champion Ever

It was hard enough to learn about the news let alone have to write about it. This is the reason it has taken me so long to write this most current entry. Randy Savage was more than a entertainer to me, he was childhood icon. He always gave 100% of his body in every match. He never took a minute off during his bouts. With this the day and age of more TV drama than actual performance, Savage revolutionized what the wrestling business has become. He was a performer with the microphone, he was a performer and warrior in the ring, and he was a class act away from it all. Yes he had his demons, who doesn't? He had insane jealously issues regarding his then wife Elizabeth Hullet-Poffo. He had jealously issues when it came to not being the one in the spotlight (Hogan, Flair, Hitman Heart, & Warrior). The baseball player turned wrestler felt as we all did that he paid his dues to McMahon and the fans to be able to get some of that spotlight. The bottom line was that Savage did not put the asses in the seats like the above mentioned. This by no means takes away from his ability or legacy, but the bottom is making money. From the day he entered the WWF/E he was a mystery. Was he a fan favorite? Was he gonna be a heal? Who was his manager going to be? We all remember Miss Elizabeth being announced as his manager and the ripple it sent through the arena. The 1st lady of wrestling Miss Elizabeth. The woman who also changed the way woman were marketed in wrestling. She was the original Diva. 
I will not get into all of Savage's career events, because this blog would be 2 days worth of reading. He will always be remembered for his catch phrases like "Ohh Yeahh", "Digit", and how he is Funky Like A Monkey.
1st reign as WWF/E Champion
The man who went on to make a rap CD (we'll not comment on it lol), do voice over on Family Guy, and other cartoons, and star as Bonesaw McGraw in the comic book smash hit Spiderman.

No matter what anyone says like the WWE or Chris Jericho, the Macho Man was the 1st ever undisputed world heavyweight champion. Savage defeated Ted DiBiase in the final match of the Wrestle Mania IV tournament and was announced by the great Howard Finkle as just that: Undisputed World Champion. This is another way for Vince McMahon to stick it to Savage because of his on going grudge for Savage leaving the WWE for the WcW following Hogan, Nash, Hall, and others. Now how can you dispute that?

Below I will list my favorite all time matches with the Macho Man.

My List:
5.  Shawn Michaels - WWE Championship Match at Rampage Tour ‘92 Sheffield,England
This match saw Macho Man on his post-Wrestlemania VIII victory lap with the WWE Championship and the beautiful Elizabeth by his side. Yet the young “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Micahels stepped up with Macho’s former queen, Sensational Sherri. The match elevated Michaels as someone who could roll with the big dogs, and sustained the good vibes of Macho Madness.

4.  Tito Santana - WWE Intercontinental Championship Match - Prime Time Wrestling 1986
Savage who was not a fan favorite at time, used a hidden object in his tights to clock Santana and steal the IC title. The match saw “Ariba” and “Ohhh Yeah” collide with the fans solidly behind Santna, yet it was rule-breaking that broke Savage into his first Intercontinental Championship in WWE

3. Ric Flair - WCW Championship Match - Nitro January 22, 1996
In mid-90’s, Savage and Flair played hop potato with the WCW World title but this match was the best of the series. Once  again outside interference (Flair’s right hand man, Arn Anderson) would not stop Savage’s quest for greatness, Macho Man overcame the odds to win his second of four WCW World titles. The timeing of the match is notable as WCW would soon overtake WWE in the ratings war, and usher in the entrance of game-changing faction, N.W.O.

"Macho King" Randy Savage
2. The Ultimate Warrior - Retirement Match at Wrestlemania VII
Time has not treated the Ultimate Warrior’s legacy well in WWE, as many fans and critics question his in-ring work during his big run in late 80’s/early 90’s. Yet in this match which saw both stars put their careers on the line, Savage perfectly lead the dance with the Warrior for a classic contest. The post-match scene with Sherri turning on Savage after his loss, only to have the beloved Elizabeth come to rescue and reunite with her Macho Man elicited tears of joy from fans in attendance. 

T1. Ted Dibase - WWE Championship Tournament Final at Wrestlemania IV
With the steel chair help of Hulk Hogan, Savage won his third match of the night to win his first WWE Championship. Dibase may have the paid services of Andre the Giant at ringside, but Macho Madness reached new heights and set the stage for the Mega Powers.

T1.  Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat - Intercontinental Championship Match at Wrestlemania III
This phenomenal match is widely considered one of the greatest matches in all of pro wrestling history. In front of 90,000 plus at the Pontiac Silverdome, Dragon and Savage put on a clinic of intense action and wild athleticism. When Savage the reigning champion, tried use the ring bell to once again smash in Steamboat’s throat, it backfired on him and cost him the Intercontinental Championship.
We will miss you "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Rest In Peace!
2010 Figurine Promo Ad
Randy Mario Poffo (November 15, 1952 – May 20, 2011)

His Wikipedia Page : Randy Savage
Couple of side notes: Randy's latest figure was released in late 2010. It marked 12 years in between releases. 
Randy Poffo was indeed married to Elizabeth, but they were divorced at the point the WWE worked in their wedding storyline in 1991.
Randy Poffo is the older brother of "Leaping" Lanny Poffo (The Genius).
Randy wrestled under a mask as many ring names such as "The Spider" during his minor league baseball career.
Savage was the winner of the 1st ever King of the Ring tournament in 1987.
Voted by as the greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time!
Savage held twenty championships during his professional wrestling career and is a seven-time world champion: a three-time WWF Champion, four-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion,  and also a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion.

AWA Champion

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On This The Day of National Sportsmanship Day

Every athlete strives to not only do their best on and off the field, but they strive to be a good sport. Being competitive is one thing but being a sport and composing yourself in a respectful matter is another. I listed my 3 heart warming moments of an example of "Sportsmanship".

Touching Them All
Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky hit her first career home run in one of the last games of the softball season, something odd happened. She missed the bag at first and when she doubled back to touch it, her knee gave out. Her teammates were unable to help her around the bases so it looked like her only career home run would turn into a single. Then a member of the other team, a senior with knee problems of her own, said: "Excuse me, would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?" After watching this video I couldn't hold myself back from tearing up.

Even days where history is made, and even days when that history is made against you, sportsmanship reigns supreme.
Click to View Video
In 1998, Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hit home run number 62 for the season, breaking the long standing record of 61 by Roger Maris. In the video you will see opposing players extend their hands to shake the hand of McGwire. First baseman Mark Grace starts it and all the way around the diamond ending  with catcher Scott Servais, McGwire gets congratulated by the opposing Chicago Cubs. Of course everyone remembers the embracing of McGwire & Sammy Sosa, but it was the rest of the Cubs that earned their spot on my list of "Sportsmanship". Kudos to David Levine on the great job on the video reenactment. 

Click to see 9/21/01 Mets/Braves Ceremonies
The number 1 tear jerkin moment in my lifetime was when baseball returned to New York on 9/21/2001. Old time rivals came together in a moment that was beyond baseball. A moment where life and appreciation of living the free life in America was m ore important then baseball. In this video (courtesy of Marc Anthony sings his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. After, the Mets & Braves came together in a line of hugs & handshakes. Putting aside their personal feelings for each other as competitors, they were able to show the world why the return of baseball was so important to New York & to the entire United States.