Death by a Jeep Wrangler
Death by a Jeep Wrangler
When I read the report about Randy Savage dying from an auto accident in a Jeep Wrangler it made me wince. I hate that car. I had one and the center of gravity was too high and it was hard to keep on the road. If Randy was wearing his famous glasses while driving, he may have had extra trouble.
“SULLIVAN: Macho Man brought his madness to Fall River
Tito Santana helped teach Randy Savage the ropes in the WWF
Is this article accurate?
By Greg Sullivan
Posted May 21, 2011 @ 11:03 AM
Last update May 21, 2011 @ 11:06 AM
The precise date (heck, even the precise year) escapes me, but one night back in the early 1990s, Macho Madness infected the Spindle City. And it wasn’t a case of a former pro wrestling star in his 50s or 60s coming to Fall River for a independent league show.
This was Randy Savage in his prime, pretty much at the end of the days when the WWE’s biggest stars would still appear at a local show in front of a thousand or so fans.
Randy "Macho Man" Savage performed that night at the Bank Street Armory/Municipal Veterans Memorial as part of a then WWF card that also included superstars Mr. Perfect and Diesel (Kevin Nash). That night Savage, I believe, defeated Nash.
Savage died on Friday in Florida, an event that is invoking memories of one of wrestling’s all-time colorful characters, a man described by fellow star Jim "Hacksaw" Duggan as "crazy as a hoot owl."
A big wrestling fan in the 1970s and 80s and then into the 90s, I can say Savage was part of the best wrestling match these eyes have ever seen. It was his famous Intercontinental Title bout against Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III in 1987. Savage and Steamboat knocked themselves out in staging a brilliant, energetic show, a match featuring rapid-fire succession of near pins before Steamboat (with an assist from George "The Animal" Steele) prevailed.
Tito Santana, a WWE Hall of Famer who has wrestled in Fall River in recent years, was a contemporary of the Macho Man and one of the stars who helped teach Savage the ropes (a convenient tool for choking one's foe) in the then World Wrestling Federation when Macho came to New York to work for Vince McMahon in the mid-1980s.
"I kind of taught him the New York style," Santana said.
In Providence this weekend for induction into the New England Wrestling Hall of Fame, Santana recalled one of his first WWF matches with newcomer Savage.
"He threw like 10 dropkicks," Santana said. "After that I talked with him. I told him New York fans want a little bit of wrestling and a lot of (butt)-kicking. He made the adjustment."
Santana played a significant role in Savage’s jump to stardom. It was Santana whom Savage dethroned for the Intercontinental Championship at Boston Garden, a feat made possible, of course, by a pair of brass knuckles and very partial refereeing by the infamous Danny Davis.
Santana said Savage was excellent to work with and the pair learned from each other in staging terrific, money-making matches.
Outside the ring, Santana said, Savage didn’t hang out with the boys, at least in the WWF days. And for good reason. His wrestling manager and real-life wife r Miss Elizabeth (the late Elizabeth Hulette) was his company. The two divorced in the early 1990s.
"Miss Elizabeth travelled with him all the time," Santana said. "We gave them professional respect. He and Miss Elizabeth were together all the time."
Email Greg Sullivan at email@example.com.