GUY RAZ, Host:

And now, a moment to remember a superstar, pro wrestler 'Macho Man' Randy Savage. He died yesterday, in a car accident in Florida. Savage was legendary for his crazy costumes and his even crazier voice.

M: I'm a tower of power, too sweet to be sour. I'm funky like a monkey. Sky's the limit, and space is the...

RAZ: His personality was big; his battles with guys like Hulk Hogan and Rick Flair, even bigger. WEEKEND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED producer and semiofficial pro-wrestling correspondent Petra Mayer has this appreciation of the man and his myth.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

RAZ: Everyone is standing.

PETRA MAYER: March 24th, 1991. There wasn't a dry eye in the house at Wrestlemania 7 as "Macho Man" Randy Savage was reunited with his former manager and one true love, Miss Elizabeth.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

RAZ: Elizabeth with her arms outstretched, tears flowing down again.

MAYER: Macho Man had just lost to the Ultimate Warrior. His current manager, the evil Sensational Sherri, was beating and kicking him as he lay broken in the ring. And then Miss Elizabeth came charging out of the stands, fought off Sensational Sherri, and reclaimed her Macho Man as his theme music swelled on the P.A. system.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING, MUSIC)

RAZ: Listen to the ovation for Randy Savage and Elizabeth.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING, MUSIC)

MAYER: I remember being a little kid, watching wrestling late at night with my dad. I think he didn't want to admit that he just liked the violence, so he'd say things like, well, they're great clowns and great athletes. But the thing is, that was true about Randy Savage. He had the outsized personality to wear mile-long, neon-orange fringe in a Slim Jim commercial.

(SOUNDBITE OF SLIM JIM TV COMMERCIAL)

M: You want excitement? Snap into a Slim Jim. Oh, yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF SNAPPING SOUND)

MAYER: And he had the grace and power to bring the pain in the ring. Wrestlers call it looking stiff. When Macho Man dropped his signature flying elbow on an opponent, it looked like the wrath of God.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

RAZ: The flying elbow hooks the leg. It's over.

MAYER: "Macho Man" Randy Savage died yesterday. He was 58.

Petra Mayer, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE")

RAZ: The new champion of the World Wrestling Federation.

RAZ: You know, Ted Dibiase, I've got to say, was robbed, because he had that sleeper hold on the Macho Man. He had him (unintelligible), Hogan coming into the ring and hitting him with a chair. I can't believe Hogan would do that in front of all the Hulkamaniacs, worldwide.

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