Wrestling Legend Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage Dies
First Published: May 20, 2011 2:03 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
TAMPA, Fla. -- Pro wrestling legend Randy “Macho Man” Savage was killed in a car accident in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, according to TMZ.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, Savage was driving his 2009 Jeep Wrangler when he lost control of his vehicle, veered across a concrete median into oncoming traffic and “collided head-on with a tree.”
He was transported to a local medical center where he was pronounced dead.
He was 58.
The wrestler’s wife, Lynn, was also in the vehicle, but reportedly suffered only “minor injuries.” The couple wed in May 2010.
Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, spoke with TMZ on Friday morning after the accident and claimed his brother had suffered a heart attack while he was driving before losing control of the vehicle.
Savage became a pop culture phenomenon during the heyday of the World Wrestling Federation (the WWF and later renamed the WWE) in the 1980s, using his outlandish character’s catch phrase “Oooh Yeah!” to rile up the crowd and his opponents.
He also became a popular pitchman for Slim Jim beef jerky.
In the wake of Friday’s accident, some of Savage’s wrestling counterparts spoke out about the loss of their former colleague.
“I’m completely devastated, after over 10 years of not talking with Randy, we’ve finally started to talk and communicate,” Hulk Hogan – one of Savage’s biggest WWF rivals – Tweeted on Friday.
“He had so much life in his eyes & in his spirit, I just pray that he’s happy and in a better place and we miss him,” Hogan continued. “We miss him a lot. I feel horrible about the ten years of having no communication. This was a tough one.”
Dwayne Johnson, who made his mark as a wrestler for WWE as The Rock before becoming a big screen action star, also expressed his sorrow for the man he called one his “childhood inspirations.”
“RIP Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage - you were one of my childhood inspirations and heros. Strength, love and prayers to the Savage/Poffo family,” Johnson posted on his Twitter page.
A spokesperson for the WWE released the following statement to Access Hollywood following the news of Savage’s death:
“WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Superstars of his time, Randy Poffo, a.k.a. Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Poffo was under contract with WWE from 1985 to 1993 and held both the WWE and Intercontinental Championships. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. We wish a speedy recovery to his wife Lynn. Poffo will be greatly missed by WWE and his fans.”
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