I just clicked on my computer to discover sad news: Randy "Mach Man" Savage is dead. He died from a car accident, having had a heart attack then losing control of his car. His wife, Lynn, had minor injuries. From all reports, he was happy, having just celebrated his one year anniversary with his wife.
While Hulk Hogan gave wrestling the cross-over appeal in the 1980s to become a global entertainment form, Savage was one of the few wrestlers who kept fans ringside, whether in their homes or at arenas, glued to the action in the ring. He was the technical half of the Superpowers, the man who stole the show the night Hogan slammed Andre in a beautiful match with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. He was Shawn Michaels before Shawn Michaels. He made us believe that a little man could take on all of Hulkamania and hence the world.
While Savage was stellar in the ring, he was the champion of the mic, delivering insane promos that bordered on the poetic. He was a wordsmith as much as he was a matsmith. He taught me the importance of the "larger than life," the creative break with reality, the ambition to chase the dragon of inspiration, to bow down before the kingdom of madness. To say he will be missed will be to say we will miss a part of ourselves, the generation whose childhood hero wore cowboy hats, sunglasses, and entered the arena to "Pomp and Circumstance." He lives on as the part of us that's willing to go beyond the realms of possibility, in art and in life, the part of us that's cocky but loveable, the part of us that will do anything for his lover.
And as you knock on the gates of the kingdom of madness, know that you've left behind a legacy in and out of the squared circle. I hope they crown you prince, for you've done your service, shown each of us how to be a little more mad too. Oh yeah.