macho & bawdy innocence

Jesse Marinoff Reyes (Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design, Maplewood, N.J.)

Randy Mario Poffo, aka Randy “The Macho Man” Savage (1952-2011).

“Ooooooh Yeah! What’re ya gonna do when the big elbow comes down offa the top rope?” When old-time wrasslin’ became big business—as the World Wrestling Federation—in the Big 1980s, Savage, second generation pro-wrestling son of old time wrassler Angelo Poffo, and brother of Leapin’ Lanny Poffo, was as big as any of it. Outsized in seemingly every way, Savage was as successful as a “hero” as he was as a “heel.” Insofar as the WWF made the bawdy innocence of old-time wrasslin’ obsolete, it was the stars of that era who had brought with them the old-time ballyhoo from the 1960s and 1970s that made it all work in the MTV era and beyond.

Randy Savage.

Little known was Poffo’s athletic career began in Baseball’s Minor Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox farm systems as an outfielder. When he joined the family business in the early-1970s, his first wrestling persona was as “The Spider Friend” (loosely based on The Amazing Spider-Man of Marvel Comics). Anyone who knew that bit of arcane trivia must have chuckled in amusement and recognition when it was Savage who played the wrestler who is challenged in a contest for prize money by the teenaged Peter Parker, newly graced with spider-powers, in the Sam Raimi 2002 motion picture, Spider-Man.

Savage died in an auto accident Friday evening, May 20, in Pinellas County, Florida.

Sports Review Wrestling magazine, July, 1988 issue

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