While I'm guessing I won't be the only person to blog about it today, Randy Savage's death is a sad one for me, because it hits on a deeper level than the typical celebrity passing due to my childhood.
Much like the passing of Mr. Rogers years ago while I was in college, Macho Man was a central figure in my younger years, because he was my favorite wrestler and wrestling was a big part of my time spent on televised entertainment when I was young.
Much has been written about his flamboyance in the ring and how he attained the ultimate goal in advertising by being infinitely attached to an everyday object until the end of time. But if you'll indulge me, I'm going to ramble on a bit on what I thought my favorite sports entertainer did for me.
While a few on FN may know, I'm a gigantic film buff. So much so, that numerous times on any given week, I find myself in a conversation that is miles deeper than whatever film or thespian it revolves around should probably be.
You also may guess by my constant changes of avatars, that I'm an equally massive comic book geek.
I state both these things, because it's my opinion that while the hero is often the central figure of films or written fiction, it's the villain who almost always will ultimately take the medium to it's level of rememberance.
And nobody in pro wrestling, while I was a child, made this more evident than Savage. While I was too young to realize it at the time, I believe that one's mind records things and holds their lessons in the subconscious until that person is old enough to realize how it molded their opinions.
In this case, Savage was the most gifted villain in the late 80s/early 90s for WWE. Whether it was Steamboat, Hogan, Warrior, etc... Savage not only made up for lack of ring capabilty in his rivals (Hogan/Warrior), but also created a level of villain that would hold up with both those "faces" who, at their peak, were as big as any wrestler before or after in popularity.
He was so awesome at this, that it's almost easy to forget how well he was able to turn it around and become the "face" for WCW against the NWO early on. And than take it to Hollywood Hogan after he joined the black/white gang.
Much has been written about Macho's issues with WWE, which explains why I've watched Duggan and Koko B. Ware go into their HOF, while Savage remains out (of course, I think it's the easiest bet in 2011/12 that he gets in this coming year). Despite the lameness of how that will come about, I'm still happy that it will happen.
I haven't followed pro wrestling in any regularity since about 2000, but I know I saw countless performers and just as many dramatic storylines.
In the end, Savage remained my favorite and it's a sad day for my childhood memories.
RIP Macho Man