What The Final Days Of Randy Savage's Life Were Really Like

Back when WWE was still known as the World Wrestling Federation, "Macho Man" Randy Savage was undoubtedly one of the company's biggest stars, a muscle-bound, charismatic individual who was as good with his promos as he was in the ring. With his real-life wife at the time, Miss Elizabeth, accompanying him to the ring, Savage was a must-see attraction regardless whether he was working as a babyface (good guy) or a heel (villain). And anyone who was a fan back in the 1980s has to remember his onscreen alliance with Hulk Hogan, as well as their bitter feud over Elizabeth that apparently echoed Savage's actual jealousy and possessiveness when it came to the woman he loved.

These days, Savage is now enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame — a long-overdue accolade for someone who had such an iconic presence in the company in the 1980s and early 1990s, as well as in rival promotion WCW after his WWE run came to an end. However, it was a posthumous honor for the Macho Man, who died on May 20, 2011, at the age of 58. 

Although he kept a low profile after retiring from wrestling, it has been documented that Savage was trying to tie up the loose ends in his life and was spending quality time with his loved ones shortly before his death. Here's what we know about the final days and weeks of Randy Savage's life.

Randy Savage made peace with Hulk Hogan shortly before his death

The "explosion" of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage's Mega Powers tag team may have all been part of a storyline, but the tension between these two wrestling greats was definitely real. When Savage's marriage to Elizabeth Hulette (aka Miss Elizabeth) ended in 1992, the Macho Man pinned much of the blame on Hogan, and the years that followed saw him repeatedly throw shade at his former WWE tag teammate. Heck, Savage even went as far as to release a hip-hop album in 2003, which included the title track, "Be a Man" — an obvious diss track against the Hulkster.

Writing for Bleacher Report in 2013, Keith Elliot Greenberg noted that shortly before his death, Savage hadn't spoken to Hogan for quite some time. This was apparently due to several misunderstandings between both men that were blown way out of proportion. But a chance meeting at a medical facility instantly thawed the ice between Savage and Hogan. At that time, Savage was accompanying his mother for an electrocardiogram when he was told by a nurse that Hogan was also there. "He came up and grabbed Hulk from behind," Savage's mother, Judy Poffo, told Greenberg. "Hulk turned around and he was so happy. Randy wasn't angry anymore."

The Macho Man's younger brother, former WWE Superstar Lanny Poffo, likewise noted that Randy was "tired of being mad all the time" when he buried the hatchet with Hogan.

He agreed to attend a Cincinnati Reds game with VIP privileges

Well before he became known the world over as WWE Superstar "Macho Man" Randy Savage, young Randy Poffo, as he was known in real life, was a talented high school baseball player in his hometown of Downers Grove, Illinois. While he went undrafted by the MLB in 1971, he signed a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and also spent time with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox organizations during his four-year career in the minors.

As Greenberg explained in his Bleacher Report piece, Savage continued to support the Reds during his wrestling career and had, in fact, worked as a guest radio announcer for the team in 1989. When his brother brought up that onetime guest spot to longtime Reds mainstay Joey Votto in 2011, that was enough for the star first baseman to invite the Macho Man to a June 2011 game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field — which wasn't far from his Largo, Florida, home. The offer came with some nice VIP perks for the retired wrestler, including batting practice privileges.

Although he was known to be a recluse toward the end of his life, Savage accepted the invitation to the game, but never got to attend as it took place five weeks after his death.

Randy Savage and his brother talked wrestling on the night before his death

Macho Man Randy Savage came from a wrestling family — his brother, Lanny Poffo (pictured above), wrestled in WWE under his real name and as The Genius, and their father, Angelo Poffo, was a veteran wrestler and promoter who worked in the industry for several decades. That family legacy was a key topic of conversation for the two brothers on the night before Savage died.

As quoted by Bleacher Report, the Macho Man invited his brother to his house for a few beers, as they discussed how their father was excluded from a 1987 WWE battle royal featuring several other old-school wrestling legends. This permanently soured Savage's relationship with WWE and its chairman, Vince McMahon, and he supposedly told his brother that he "handled it like Martin Luther King [but] should have handled it like Malcolm X. By any means necessary."

In addition, Savage was supposedly empathic about his stand that he wouldn't want to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame if he was the only one going in — it had to be the entire Poffo family or no one at all. This, along with his brother's expectation that he would die young, led Lanny Poffo to thinking that the onus would be on him to refuse any offer from WWE to honor the Macho Man.

Although Lanny admitted that he felt torn between believing his brother deserved to be in the Hall and wanting to honor his wishes, he ultimately agreed to induct the Macho Man, doing so when he was enshrined as part of the WWE Hall of Fame's class of 2015.

Randy Savage's final hours

On the morning of May 20, 2011, Randy Savage told his wife, Lynn, that he wasn't feeling well. This apparently wasn't unusual for him, as years of taking bumps in the ring had left him in constant physical pain. With that in mind, Lynn suggested that they go out and have something to eat. That didn't help, though, as Randy didn't appear to look any better despite having his usual order.

After leaving the restaurant, Lynn suggested that she drive Randy home, though as Bleacher Report recalled, the Macho Man insisted on taking the wheel of his 2009 Jeep Wrangler. The wrestler then mentioned that he thought he was about to pass out, and he lost consciousness with his foot still on the accelerator. Lynn grabbed the wheel and swerved to avoid a motorcycle and a bus that were moving in their path, crashing the vehicle into a tree and effectively avoiding what might have been a far more serious accident.

While Lynn was able to escape with only minor injuries, Savage was pronounced dead at Largo Medical Center, with his cause of death listed as heart disease — apparently, his heart had stopped beating while he was driving. He was just 58 years old.

Looking back on his brother's funeral, Lanny Poffo noted that Savage, even in death, still had that intimidating appearance that made him such a believable performer during his WWE and WCW heyday. "Even in the casket, he had that look," he said. "He looked like he was just resting until he could get up and kick your a**."