A Macho Man Memory

Friday May 20th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

I heard the news of Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage’s fatal car accident all day today, and it made me sad. Unfortunately, how one dies is often a large part of how one is remembered as a whole. Princess Di also went in a car wreck, and there are still jokes about her today.

I haven’t heard any Macho Man jokes yet, and I don’t plan on writing any. I did have an opportunity to meet him years ago though, and in the most unusual way. I hadn’t thought about it in years, but hearing of his death reminded me of it immediately. It’s strange how that works. I’m sure when I die, certain people will have isolated memories of my life.

Some will be good, others will be not so good. That’s how it goes. I really do try to be a good person and treat others well, but sometimes people just clash. All I can do is hope to make more positive impressions than negative. Whatever I do, it’ll be over soon enough.

My brief encounter with Randy Savage came when I worked at WMMQ in Lansing, MI in 1990. It was my first radio job, and there was a promotion on the station to win tickets in the front row with a limo ride there and back to what was then called WWF wrestling.

Lansing is a blue collar working class town, and that was a perfect prize for listeners to a classic rock station. I knew wrestling from my days as a ring announcer, and the WWF was trying to push the matches so they set me up with an interview with Freddie Blassie.

I knew who Freddie Blassie was, so I set him up with one loaded question after another so he could slam the hell out of me on the air and put himself and the WWF over, but also promote the upcoming show. After we were done, he called back and said he appreciated the job I did and wanted to meet me in person at the matches. I was thrilled he liked it.

The guy who ended up winning the grand prize was the ideal choice. He worked at GM, and took his 11 year old son. Perfect. I rode in the limo with them, and we had a fantastic time. The kid was very nice, and I told the father I’d gladly take him back stage to get an autograph or two, hopefully with the help of Freddie Blassie. We were all very excited.

As the father stayed in his seat, I took the kid backstage and began opening doors trying to find anyone who could help me find Freddie Blassie. I opened one door to reveal Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat and one Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage relaxing with a card game.

Unfortunately, those were the two guys in the main event that evening, and they weren’t supposed to be on friendly terms – especially to play cards together. The kid looked at that scene like he just saw Santa Claus raping his mother, and Macho Man himself glanced up at the kid’s horrified look and said “Welcome to the wonderful world of wrestling, kid.”

I apologized for interrupting them and closed the door, and we never were able to locate Freddie Blassie so we went back to our seats without exchanging a word. We watched the matches and the limo took us home, but that kid was never the same. RIP Randy Savage.


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