Wrestling Icon 'Macho Man' Randy Savage Dies in Florida Car Accident
Wrestling legend, snack pitchman and actor "Macho Man" Randy Savage died Friday in Seminole, Florida after losing control of his car while suffering a heart attack, his brother tells TMZ. Lanny Poffo says his brother was behind the wheel around 10 AM when the accident occurred. He was 58.
The Florida Highway Patrol later told the website that Savage and his wife, Lynn, were driving their Jeep Wrangler when the car veered across a concrete median, rushed through oncoming traffic and "collided head-on with a tree."
Savage was taken to Largo Medical Center where he died, and Lynn was rushed to a different hospital, but survived with minor injuries. According to officials, both were wearing their seat belts and alcohol is not suspected. An investigation is underway.
The couple had just celebrated their 1-year anniversary on May 10.
His former colleagues and admirers in the wrestling business have already begun pouring out their grief, including tag team partner Hulk Hogan who took to Twitter to reveal he had just reconnected with his old friend.
TRIPLE THREAT: Wrestler, Actor, Pitchman
Savage and Steamboat, 1987
As Bonesaw in 'Spider-Man'
Snap Into a Slim Jim, Ooooh Yeeeeeah
"I'm completely devastated, after over 10 years of not talking with Randy, we've finally started to talk and communicate," Hogan said. "I just pray that Randy's happy and in a better place and we miss him."
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson posted on Twitter: "You were one of my childhood inspirations and heros. Strength, love and prayers to the Savage/Poffo family."
Shaun Michaels chimed in, saying "We've lost one of the greats!"
The man known to millions of fans for his flashy outfits, his "Oooooo Yeaahhhh" catchphrase and his feuds with countless rivals, Savage broke into wrestling in the early 1970s while at the same time playing minor league baseball under his born name Randall Poffo. After injuring his throwing arm he put the focus on pro wrestling.
He picked the name 'Randy Savage' because a booker said his nickname at the time -- 'The Spider Friend' -- didn't him suit since he "wrestled like a savage." In 1985 he signed up with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation and quickly became one of the league's more popular figures. His match with Ricky Steamboat in 1987's WrestleMania III is still considered one of the greatest ever.
Some of Savage's signature moves over the years included the Atomic drop, the hair-pull hangman, jumping knee drop, piledriver and the vertical suplex.
Some of Savage's most memorable moments involved his manager and real-life wife, "Miss Elizabeth" Ann Hulette. Though they were officially married in 1984, the WWF staged an elaborate "wedding" for the pair at Madison Square Garden in 1991. A year later they divorced and she died of a drug overdose in 2003 at the home of her boyfriend, Lex Luger.
Savage left the WWF for the World Championship Wrestling in 1994.
Savage also tried his hand in other forms of entertainment throughout the years, most notably as the celebrity spokesman for Slim Jim beef snacks dating back to the mid-1990s. "Snap into a Slim Jim, oooooh yeah!"
His acting career included the role of wrestler Bonesaw McGraw in the 2002's 'Spider-Man' and most recently he was the voices of "the thug" in Disney's 2008 animated film, 'Bolt.' Savage also showed up in several TV shows as himself, in 'Mad About You,' 'Baywatch' and 'The Jeff Foxworthy Show.'