By David Bitonti
Macho Man is dead.
Who’s next? Hulk Hogan? The Ultimate Warrior? Jake The Snake Roberts? In fact, how the hell did Jake with all his drugging and boozing outlive Randy Savage anyway?
As more of these forgotten heroes enter their 50s and even 60s (yikes!), I guess they’re going to start dropping like flies. All the ‘roids and pills and liquor and drugs. Hard to believe some more of them haven’t met the same fate as good ol’ Randy.
I have to admit I felt a bit empty when I read about Savage’s death in a car crash, after a suspected heart attack. But why the melancholy? It’s been almost 20 years since I watched or even cared about wrestling. I can’t remember the last time my brother pile-drived me into the cement in our semi-finished basement. No idea where my old hard-as-nails plastic action figures are. My ancient Wrestlemania VHS tapes were sold long ago in a garage sale.
That being said, I got a boyish thrill when Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler did so well a few years ago. And I was bummed when Mickey Rourke lost out to his buddy Sean Penn at the Oscars. I even found myself defending the realness of wrestling to my wife the other day. “Yeah, it’s fake, but you have to invent your character and hone your skills. You can’t just be some muscle-bound monkey off the street and be champ the next week.”
What was I saying? Who cares! It’s bloody wrestling. My wife is right. It is fake. Wrestlers are actors. Their antics rival those on the daytime soaps for absurdity. They’re just a bunch of goons in banana-hammocks, pounding each other into oblivion.
But Macho Man was always my favourite. I can still hear my dad mimicking his trademark “oooh yeah!” and “Dig it!” and me and my brother crying for more. Those were great times. Some of the best times we had.
Oh. So I guess that’s why his death hit me so hard.
Sorry for calling you a goon, Randy. Rest in peace.