When "Macho Man" Randy Savage died on May 20, 2011, a piece of the wrestling world died along with him.
Savage was a master of everything he did in the business. From in-ring work to his over-the-top intense interview style, few could match his exceptional talents witnessed by millions of enthralled fans worldwide.
You might not know the name, Stu Palmer. Stu is the host of a highly entertaining and informative podcast aptly called "Stu's Wrestling Podcast."
He had on a Randy Savage impersonator in a recent episode who calls himself "Motch 'O Mann."
He was so good at times I thought a reincarnation had taken place! It so made me miss Randy Savage's very unique essence. I wondered what would have happened if The Macho Man was alive right now. What would he have been involved with today?
I decided to take that question and ask a cross-section of people in the wrestling fraternity their thoughts on this interesting topic. Some gave answers as if he would still be competing, and others talked about the days moving onward after his very untimely death.
Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo had an incredible bond. They were so very close and kept in touch regularly no matter where either one of them was in the world. Lanny thinks about Randy all the time. He maintains a close spiritual relationship with him.
"If my brother were alive today, he’d want to wrestle against Jay Lethal for the sheer entertainment value, combined with the athleticism of both men," Lanny said. "He always wanted to create a spectacle, not just “have a match. He’d love to wrestle Triple H, building on the “Dinosaur” remark.** If Randy were still alive, he’d just want to be a part of the action that he enjoyed so much!"
**Editor's note: In 2004, Triple H. referred to Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage as "Dinosaurs" during an interview. This greatly upset Randy, and he never really got over it.
Jerry "The King" Lawler and "Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart has known Randy Savage since the early 1970's when Randy Savage competed in the Mid-Southern territory.
"Dirty" Dutch Mantell has known The Macho Man since 1974. They all worked with him and helped move his career along. Here are their highly interesting thoughts, with Mantell's being the most thought-provoking, in my opinion.
Jerry Lawler: "There is no doubt in my mind that Randy Savage would have pursued a movie career. He was terrific in the 2002 Spiderman movie when he played the part of a guy named Bone Saw who was a wrestler in a cage match against Spiderman. I know he got the taste of that life in the movies and he would have gone on in my opinion to make a really successful career in that field. He's a natural performing in front of a camera. He wouldn't have stayed in the wrestling business. That ran its course for him. The only other thing I could think of he might have found something to do in baseball. That was his first real passion. He was a baseball player before he got into wrestling and never lost his love of that game."
Dutch Mantell: "If you are asking what I think his life would have been going forward here's what I think. Because knowing Randy since 1974, he loved wrestling but it drove him crazy at the same time. I personally think that he would be completely out of the business except for the occasional meet and greet/signing convention opportunities that have sprung up over the last 5 years or so. I think Randy loved gyms and loved being around gym culture so I could see him owning a chain of workout gyms or at least licensing his name to a chain. I know you asked about if he were still in the biz but this business drove him, knowingly or not, into bouts of hyperactivity and depressive moods. Randy can’t be pigeonholed into a single classification. Sometimes I wonder if Sigmund Freud had Randy as a study, how that might have changed the early outlook on mental health."
Jimmy Hart: "Randy would be sitting on the beach getting himself a tan. He'd leave every once in awhile to get up to go to the mailbox and get his residual check from all the nostalgic memorabilia you can find on him now. There are socks, action figures, t-shirts, and much more. He'd be really happy!"
As an analyst and a wrestling fan throughout his life, All Elite Wrestling's Taz had his version of what Savage might have been up to in 2022. He pointed out that Randy showed that you did not have to be a super heavyweight to become a major star.
TAZ: "Randy Savage would fit in today's world of pro wrestling in ring competition. He was one of the pioneers of breaking the mold that you had to be 280 or 300 pounds to be a top guy. He also had amazing athleticism and speed."
Randy Savage also spent many years behind the microphone doing color commentary. Here is someone who recalls that part of Savage's career as a major highlight and feels that he could have still been doing commentary these days.
Vince Russo: "When Randy was put on commentary for the WWE back in the mid 90's, he wasn't ready to hang up the boots yet. Today --- I think he might have embraced that position and been the best Color commentator in the history of the business. But, the truth is---Randy would have done exactly what Randy wanted to do!!!"
Feel free to leave your comments here, and I would love to read your feedback. Please follow me @apter1wrestling.
Thanks to Stu Palmer for inspiring this column. You can find him @StuieP1 to keep up with what's happening on his podcast!
That's all for now. I'll see YOU at the matches!