I never hated Randy Savage, but I didn’t like his character. One of my favourite wrestlers was Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, so when he injured Ricky that one Saturday Night Main Event, I was pissed. It did however start quite a large feud between the two of them and I loved that. That’s what truly made Wrestling fun.
Back when the WWE was still the WWF, wrestling was everything and I was hooked. The feuding was a large part of why I watched wrestling. Being able to pick sides, and acting out our favourite matches in the schoolyard was a great part of childhood. In fact it was because of people like Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Snuka, the Legion of Doom (this list could go on forever), that I was inspired to join my high school wrestling team. It wasn’t quite the same without the feuding though. I now look back on the life and death of Randy Savage and even though I didn’t like his character, he was part of what made wrestling so much fun.
I remember how much my dad enjoyed taking me to see wrestling events. I didn’t find out until I got much older, but he would love seeing all the crazy fans (both adults and kids) going nuts at the sight of their favourite stars. My very first wrestling event was a very vague memory, I think I was about 5 but I KNOW Hulk Hogan was there, as well as Rowdy Roddy Piper. I remember not being able to speak because my throat was so hoarse from screaming.
I also remember being anxious to get home from church on Sunday’s because wrestling would be on TV and I didn’t want to miss what was going to happen next. Who was going to interfere and what epic feud it would start. As I grew, the WWF grew with me, offering me more to love, like the Undertaker and the Hart foundation. I met new friends with the same affinity for the pain and punishment of the squared circle. In high school my friend Rob Pontone and I would talk wrestling to no end. There was even one plot that we hatched that would introduce us into the world of the WWF – we had planned to jump the barricade and enter the ring at a live event, beating whoever was in there and have the WWF instantly draft up contracts to have us join the federation.
I had dreamed of being a pro-wrestler and it was frankly even a part of my religion. While growing up in my church’s youth group we all shared the same passion for wrestling, but took it to the next level when we went on youth retreats. Every season there would be a youth group retreat that would try to bring us closer to God and make us grow spiritually, or something like that.
The spirituality was not the reason we went on these retreat’s though – it was the wrestling. We would put on some of the most epic shows imaginable with each person taking on their own wrestling persona. We had lights, we had the intro music there was even face paint involved (remember that epic fight where I came in as Sting). We would get hurt and we wouldn’t care, we would perform dive’s off the bunk-beds and get hurt and we’d keep going. I’m sure if our parent’s knew that this is what we were doing at church, we would have been punished. But we didn’t care.
Thank you Randy “Macho Man” Savage – thank you for being such a contributing factor in my childhood. I may not have loved your character, but I loved what you represented. Rest in Peace, and I hope you’re doing nothing but throwing elbow drops onto puffy clouds up in heaven!