"Macho Man" Randy Savage, one of professional wrestling's most iconic figures, died early Friday from injuries he suffered during an automobile accident in Seminole, Fla.
The vehicle, driven by Savage, whose real name was Randy Poffo, crashed head-on into a tree when he veered across a concrete median, according to police reports.
His brother, former pro wrestler Lanny Poffo, said that Savage, 58, suffered a heart attack while driving and lost control of his 2009 Jeep Wrangler around 9:25 a.m. Savage was transported to Largo Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
Savage's second wife, Lynn, 56, was a passenger and suffered minor injuries. Both were wearing seat belts.
Reports confirmed that Savage suffered a "medical event." Doctors are scheduled to perform an autopsy today.
Savage, along with Hulk Hogan, was one of the major catalysts in the mainstream popularity of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) during the mid-'80s, transforming the industry into a pop-culture touchstone.
Savage, known for his raspy voice, sunglasses, bandannas and colorful outfits, made the catch phrase "Ooooh yeahhh" part of pro wrestling vernacular, and wrestling fame enabled him to become the national face for Slim Jim. He also appeared in 2002's "Spiderman" and released a rap album in 2003.
His marriage to the late "Miss Elizabeth" (Liz Hulette) was a major part of WWF storylines.
Hulette, a former Miss Kentucky, met Savage during the late '70s while both were working for the Lexington, Ky.-based International Championship Wrestling promotion run by Savage's father, Angelo Poffo. The two joined the WWF in 1985 and became one of the company's most successful acts.
With "Miss Elizabeth" serving as Savage's valet and manager, the couple turned their real-life marriage into an on-air storyline that mesmerized audiences. The two, though, ended their eight-year marriage in 1992.
On May 10, 2010, Savage married longtime girlfriend Lynn Payne. The couple first dated when Savage was playing baseball in Sarasota, Fla., and Lynn was at the Ringling School of Art and Design.
The wrestling community was stunned and saddened by Savage's passing.
"He was one of the biggest talents in the history of our business," said 16-time world champion "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. "It's sad because I haven't talked to Randy since 1999, but from what I had heard, it sounded like he had found happiness again after all these years."
"I have no words to say," said Bret Hart. "This one hits me hard. We lost one of the best."
"I lost a close friend today," said Kevin Nash. "If anybody in heaven is wondering who the cat in the ugly cowboy hat is, it's Randy. Love you Bro. Never another."
"Randy Savage was a true influence and inspiration to me and taught me some very important lessons, in and out of the ring," said Chris Jericho. "Rest in peace Mach ... as classic as Savage-Steamboat WM3 is, I think Warrior at WM7 is the best example of how incredible Randy was. Best Warrior match ever."
WWE issued a separate statement on its website.
"Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. We wish a speedy recovery to his wife Lynn. Poffo will be greatly missed by WWE and his fans."
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