Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Miss Elizabeth pose with a young fan. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Rob DiCaterino/Flickr)

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that former WWF wrestling star Randy “Macho Man” Savage, 58, died following an automobile accident Friday in Seminole, says TMZ. One of wrestling’s most visible performers during the 1980s and ’90s, Savage (born Randall Mario Poffo) reportedly suffered a heart attack and lost control of his Jeep Wrangler, which struck a tree between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Friday morning. Savage’s 56-year-old wife Lynn was also in the vehicle, but she sustained only minor injuries.

Randy Savage’s Jeep jumped concrete median

According to authorities, Randy Savage suffered a “medical event” that sources,including TMZ, have reported was a heart attack. While traveling west on State Road 694 in Seminole, Fla., the event occurred, causing Savage to lose control of the vehicle, jump a concrete media and cross into eastbound traffic. His Jeep Wrangler collided with a tree near the intersection of SR 694 and 113th St. N.

Savage was ultimately pronounced dead at Largo Medical Center, where his wife received treatment for her injuries.

The ‘Macho Man’ a consummate showman

“Macho Man” Randy Savage began his professional wrestling career with the WWF in 1985 and quickly became one o wrestling’s most noteworthy performers alongside Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and others. Savage’s popularity was in no small part aided by the ringside appearances of his “manager,” Elizabeth Hulette (aka “Miss Elizabeth”), yet his style was entirely his own. Outlandish costumes, dark glasses and a raspy call of “Ohhh yeah!” helped cement Randy Savage’s public image, and ventures such as Slim Jim beef jerky TV spots kept him commercially relevant for years after his wrestling retirement.

In addition to wrestling, Savage’s past athletic exploits included an early-1970s stint as a Minor League Baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds.

Savage earned the respect of his peers

Fellow wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, lamented the loss of Randy Savage. Hogan shared his feelings on Twitter:

“He had so much life in his eyes & in his spirit,” tweeted Hogan. “I just pray that he’s happy and in a better place and we miss him.”

“The Rock,” aka Dwayne Johnson, admitted that Randy Savage inspired him to become a professional wrestler:

“You were one of my childhood inspirations and heroes. Strength, love and prayers to the Savage/Poffo family,” tweeted Johnson.

In addition, Savage’s brother Lanny Poffo – himself a former professional wrestler – paid tribute via his website, writes Tampa Bay Online:

“In Loving Memory, Randy Mario Poffo, Nov. 15, 1952 – May 20, 2011.”

Sources

My Fox Tampa: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/local/pinellas/randy-savage-killed-in-crash-052011

NBC Sports: http://bit.ly/mPW5Bc

Palm Beach Post: http://bit.ly/mvscxb

Tampa Bay Online: http://bit.ly/kNVYqi

TMZ: http://bit.ly/j3WwPF

Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage on Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts

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