Macho Man: The Untamed, Unbelievable Life of Randy Savage by John Finkel

February 1, 2024

This is a well-researched and often illuminating biography, but for a WWF superstar subject, his time in the promotion is the weakest aspect of the book.

This is the closest thing to an authoritative biography of Savage thanks to brother Lanny Poffo being a key source before his own passing. It also brings together quotes from a wide variety of figures both inside and outside the business, usually – though not always – commenting on topics where they have particular knowledge or insight.

This research pays off most in the accounts of Savage’s childhood, baseball career and pre-WWF wrestling days. While for those outside North America the cited baseball statistics could have used more explanation and context, there’s plenty on Savage’s motivations and even a rounded account of father Angelo Poffo’s time in the business.

The book also has some fresh and intriguing accounts of Savage’s out-of-the-ring activities from the production of his signature ring gear to his time working with Slim Jim, his baseball announcing and his talk show appearances.

Unfortunately, the coverage of his in-ring career after joining the WWF brings less insight. That’s partly because there’s little new to tell here and partly because of some inaccuracies. Most notably the book fails to challenge Ricky Steamboat’s recollection that he and Savage intentionally did not wrestle between the Superstars of Wrestling ring bell angle and the grudge match at WrestleMania III. In reality the pair worked more than 30 matches during this period.

Other errors including confused timelines which, while not showstopping inaccuracies, while certainly be off-putting to those familiar with the relevant eras both in the ring and behind the scenes.
Meanwhile those hoping for an explanation of why Savage was persona non grata for much of the 17 years after leaving the WWF will be disappointed. The book spends barely a paragraph even acknowledging the mystery’s existence, let alone exploring any of the rumours.

That said, there are some moments of insight including little-known elements of angles involving the likes of Jake Roberts and Sgt Slaughter.

If you know what you are getting – an intriguing account of Randy Poffo’s life rather than a complete record of his in-ring career – this is worth a look for any Macho Man fans.

Read on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

Disclaimer: The publisher provided a review copy.

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