Savage Truth: Resurrecting the Macho Man

It's been a while since anyone approached me about professional wrestler, Macho Man Randy Savage.

But Jonathan Nunnally, a member of WMAZ's production crew, did this morning during a visit to the newsroom.

"Can I ask you a question?' he said, seemingly both anxious and reluctant to toss a question my way.

I gave him an affirmative nod and that's when he resurrected an old thorn that pierced my side for several years.

"Are you kin to Macho Man Randy Savage?"

I can't recall the number of times I was asked that question when the Macho Man strutted his stuff in wrestling arenas around the nation. Inquisitive people popped the question everywhere from malls and sidewalks to grocery stores and church.

Sometimes, after being awakened by a 2 a.m. telephone call, there'd be a slurry voice on the line wanting to know my kinship with the Hall of Fame wrestler. Depending on how slurred the voice was, the caller would accept my "no" response or accuse me of lying to get him/her off the line.

A couple of the late-night callers threatened to whip my lower backside if I didn't acknowledge that I was indeed the wrestler.

Jonathan wasn't threatening and gracefully accepted my "no" answer.

But his question reminded me of the time I approached the Macho Man and gave him 24 hours to get out of town.

One of those all-pro wrestling events was scheduled that night at the Macon Coliseum. The Macho Man was on the card. It was time to let him know his use of my name was causing problems.

Unknown to many, his real name wasn't Randall or Randy Savage. It was Randall Mario Poffo. With a name like Poffo, I could see why a chest-pounding, heavyweight wrestler would want to replace it with something a little more macho.


Savage fit the bill. But he didn't come up with it. Other wrestlers gave him the moniker. His mother hung the Macho Man on him. She did it after reading a "Reader's Digest" article that claimed the phrase "macho man" would be the next hot term.

In Macon, I knew his presence would generate more late night calls and questions about possible kinship. So on the afternoon of the big event, I went to the Coliseum looking for the Macho Man. He was a big fellow, 6-foot 2 and about 240 pounds. Huge muscles.

He knew I was a reporter, so I approached him with a belly full of confidence.

"You the Macho Man?" I asked. He made some groaning/grumbling sounds and acknowledged he was indeed Macho Man Randy Savage. I looked him square in the eye and reminded him that wasn't his name. I told him that I was the real Randall Savage and that there wasn't room in Macon for the two of us.

I informed him that I I lived in Macon and didn't have any intentions of moving.

I gave him, the hulk, twenty-four hours to get out of town. He didn't appear intimidated or frightened as he walked away flexing his muscles.

My son, Brock, and I attended the wrestling event that night. The Macho Man, complete with his fake name, gave a good performance. So good, in fact, that I bought Brock one of those Macho Man dolls that they peddled at the events.

But Poffo's clock was ticking. By 11:15 that night, he had seventeen hours to get out of town of  face the wrath of Randall.

He beat the deadline by 12 hours.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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