Cover Image: Macho Man

Macho Man

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Member Reviews

What a great book! Ohhhhhh yeah, freak out , freak out! Dig it!

Deeply researched and expertly written. No constructive criticism from me.

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One of the trickiest aspects of a wrestling biography is peeling away the layers of the wrestler and exposing the human being behind the character and giving us a glimpse behind the curtain, all while keeping the book interesting and enlightening. This book does a fantastic job balancing this fine line.
I have been a lifelong wrestling fan and I list Randy Savage on my Mount Rushmore of wrestlers. I expected this book to be an entertaining trip down memory lane, but I was pleasantly surprised to read stories and facts I was not aware of. This was a well researched and well written account of Randy Savage the wrestler and Randy Poffo the man, all the while adhering to the legend of Macho man the icon.
This book will appeal to older fans who remember Randy Savage as the cream of the crop, as well as newer fans who know Randy Savage as a Hall of Famer and a lengend. This book hits the sweet spot in many ways and Lanny Poffo would have been happy he contributed to the research done for this book.

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There was no one better than the Macho Man in the ring . He was colorful,athletic and charismatic. I remember watching Macho in some of the best matches on WWE and WCW pay per views . The novels delves into the life and career of Randy Poffo ., the man who created the Macho Man .

I think the author did a good job highlighting Poffo’s life , However, with all the wrestling documentaries out now I really don’t know think I learned anything new .

I would recommend it through to any wrestling fan .

I just reviewed Macho Man by Jon Finkel. #MachoMan #NetGalley

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At last a definitive biography on a well-deserving athlete and entertainer, Macho Man Randy Savage. The beginning chapters on Randy Poffo, his devotion to baseball and his metamorphosis into the Macho Man were the most interesting.

Lots of insights from Randy’s brother Lanny. There is much we may never know now with Lanny, Elizabeth and Randy all deceased but this is as close as we will come!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I'm a huge fan of pro wrestling biographies and this one was fabulous. I highly recommend

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In the opening pages of MACHO MAN: THE UNTAMED, UNBELIEVABLE LIFE OF RANDY SAVAGE, author Jon Finkel makes his case as to why he is the only man who should write the story of Randy Savage. Already holding an encyclopedic knowledge of Savage's career, when Finkel was finally able to connect with Savage's brother Lanny, Finkel was given the family's blessing thanks to acing a test from The Genius himself.

Like many wrestling biographies focused on a second generation performer, much time is spent on the early days of that first generation wrestler. In this case, it's Angelo Poffo, the father of Randy Savage. Opening with Poffo's attempt to break the world sit-up record, I was hooked right away. Finkel's description of the dogged determination on the part of Angelo, something he would pass down to his son Randy, and the adverse effects on his physical state sent me reeling. Poffo's success in the ring led to the creation of his own promotion, International Championship Wrestling (ICW), the very organization that would give his sons Randy and Lanny their starts between the ropes.

I think the true drawing power of this book is the amount of time and focus that is put on Savage's life and career before his arrival in Vince McMahon's WWF. Finkel went to great lengths to uncover as much as possible with respect to Savage's first passion, baseball, and the lengths Savage went to pursue his dream. To those who are fans of Savage's in-ring work, they undoubtedly are aware of his relentless quest to be perfect between the ropes. What many are not aware of is that Savage approached a career in baseball with the same single-minded obsession to be the best. The sad fact is that while no one would question his drive, he just didn't have the talent to earn a roster spot in the major leagues. One story in particular details Savage's quest to re-learn how to play ball left-handed after an injury to his right arm left him unable to throw.

Once Savage's baseball dreams came to an end, Finkel dove head-first into Savage's meteoric rise inside the squared circle. While it is often said that those who excel in the business are those who put their whole lives into it, I'm not sure I've ever read about anyone so deeply committed as Randy Savage. Could this be attributed to his drive to be the best or a level of insecurity about past failures and a self-imposed need to measure up to the larger-than-life physique and presence each of his peers exhibited? Certainly Finkel's writing about Randy's intense gym schedule and constant jealous tendencies support that.

I will say that I learned a lot about ICW, which has been sort of a blind-spot in my wrestling knowledge. Finkel breaks down its reputation as an outlaw promotion and Angelo's quest for legitimacy against the Jerry Lawler-led Continental Wrestling Association, which was promoting much more successful shows in the same territory. I enjoyed reading about the beef between the two organizations and Savage's unyielding desire to get a match with Lawler despite being largely ignored and not working in the same company.

I imagine it was difficult for Finkel to boil down such a massive career into a little over three hundred pages, but much of Savage's later days in the industry were not as memorable or as important as his early ones, which are covered in great detail. Not much is relegated to his time in WCW, but that should be expected given that the promotion at the time was so chaotic. In my opinion, the only real bright spot during those days was his work with Dallas Page, which Finkel devotes space to. Time and consideration is also spent on Savage's ill-advised hip hop album as well as his brief but memorable appearance in 2002's Spider-Man.

MACHO MAN: THE UNTAMED, UNBELIEVABLE LIFE OF RANDY SAVAGE is a compelling look at one of the industry's most indelible performers. While there is a wealth of information to be mined from Savage's peers, It is certainly a blessing that Finkel was able to connect with Lanny Poffo before his untimely passing in 2023 as I imagine the book would not feel as rich without Lanny's invaluable input.

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I wasn’t as into this as I wanted to be but my husband is a huge fan. I’ll probably get it for him for a gift.

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Brings back memories. Loved it.
Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

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The story of probably one of the most name-checked and legendary wrestlers of that age, Macho Man here delivers an incredibly well-researched and well written biography of someone who always seemed so much larger than life, it's amazing you can fit him in these pages.

Starting with a fantastic grounding on how he became the man he is and then working through his career, Macho Man delivers a fantastic history of a man who really is such a large part of the era. I was too young to be able to enjoy this man's heyday when he was at his peak but this book made me wish I did and look up so many clips see if I could find any of these legendary moments as it takes you to the heart of the highlights of this man's career.

The interview near the beginning of the book with Lanny, his brother discussing how it feels to hear a whole arena boo your dad was such an interesting perspective too and added another dimension to the life of this man and the man's work - I think it's fascinating to have that insight of how it feels to be related to someone who at that point it must feel for a kid the whole world hates.

An in depth look into a great man's life, Macho Man is iconic and this book certainly highlights the work and the time he put in to make it happen with real research and sincerity that highlights just how much this author delves into the subject matter. I'd recommend this to anyone who has a passion wrestling for sure and the passion for wrestling is highlighted on every page.

(Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC for honest review).

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I'm a huge professional wrestling fan so was excited to read this. Randy was one of my favourite wrestlers growing up so I was eager to find out more about the man behind the wrestling persona.

I knew he had been a professional baseball player but knew very little of his time doing that so that was good to find out about.

The way he approached his professional wrestling career was fascinating and explains why he was one of the all time greatest professional wrestlers.

Highly recommended.

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Snap into a Slim Jim....OOOOHHHHHHH YEAHHHHHH.

Who didn't love Macho Man? As a wrestler, sure...he was both loved and hated equally. In pop culture, he was an easily recognizable figure.

Jon Finkel has taken the story of Randy Savage and his beginnings, his success and ultimately, his end. This is well-written and insightful. It's actually much deeper than most wrestling books and stories. Finkel covers all the charity work, his minor league baseball career, and his love with Miss Elizabeth.

This is a book for everyone, not just wrestling fans. It's exciting and a true portrait of a passionate man.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book.

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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher ECW Press for an advance copy of this new biography on one of the most macho of macho men, his rise to fame in wrestling, and how much he had to give up of himself along the way.

I loved professional wrestling as a kid. The behemoths battling in the squared circle, the stories, the promos, the female managers. It was real to me. One of the guys wasn't the biggest, but for some reason he was captivating, and not in a good way. When he hit the ring, one was never sure who he was going to hit next; his opponent, his partner, the referee, someone in the crowd. When he spoke it was a growl mixed with a coyotes whine, words strung together that at time kept one locked in place, full believeing in the moment, but later if read back would make one go, what was that about. The clothing, the elbow drop, the lovely Miss Elizabeth, and above it all the charisma, Randy Macho Man Savage had it all. However to be the Macho Man, he had to give up a lot of Randy, and no matter how far Savage climbed, he never seemed to reconcile the macho and the man. Jon Finkel in Macho Man:The Untamed, Unbelievable Life of Randy Savage has written the first real biography about this hero of the ring, his life, his love, and finding himself outside the lights of fame.

Randy Poffo was the eldest son of Angelo Poffo, a man who crafted and honed his body to be the best, and look even better. Angelo was a heel wrestler, a man people paid to boo, or even to attack when his antics made the good guy wrestler look bad. Randy Poffo had a dream, to be a professional baseball player, and his whole life was aimed at this goal. When injury and skill made this an impossible dream, wrestling and weight training became his goal. Randy never did anything in half measures, taking his body which was sleek and lean for baseball to the bodybuilding physique needed for wrestling. Lacking the size, to stand out in a group of giants, Randy began to look at what years of watching his father had shown him. Attitude can make a man seem bigger. So Randy Poffo became Randy Savage, the Macho Man. His outfits got brighter, his leaps bigger, his attitude broader. With his wife Elizabeth at his side, the bigger stage of wrestling for the World Wrestling Federation came calling. World championships, Wrestlemania matches and more awaited. But Randy Savage was tiring to be, and Randy Poffo was something left behind, leaving more a man at sea than a savage.

Savage to me always stood out, even though by size he shouldn't have. Savage had the charisma, and more importantly he had the drive, the belief that everything mattered, and he made his fans believe that too. Jon Finkel does a great job of showing the pressure, the exhaustion of what being Randy Savage must have been like. The interviews especially with his brother Lanny reveal quite a lot about Randy, the push for excellence, the constant gym time. And it is the quieter moments, the fact that Randy was a boring guy, spending time in his hotel room watching tv, reading books or being nice to kids. The book is quite good at describing life on the road and in the ring, but the quiet moments, reading to children at Christmas, playing games with wrestlers sons, are what I really enjoyed. And the love he had for his family.

There are a lot of wild moments, Waffle House riots, destroying lockers, but Randy comes across as a guy who was lost for a long time as the Macho Man. When his brother Lanny talks about how that anger that seemed such a part of Randy was gone, one feels awful for what this man went through to entertain us. Some would say oh he got Slim Jim money, well money isn't everything. These kind of books never end happy, but at least Randy seemed happy. One of the better books on wrestlers I have read, and a book I really enjoyed.

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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 those outside North America may the cited baseball statistics could have used more explanation and concept, 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.

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Macho Man by Jon Finke was received directly from the publisher and I chose to review it. Anyone who grew up watching WWF wrestling knew who the Macho Man Randy Savage was and some knew "The Genius" Lanny Poffo was his brother. If you need a little excitement, this book runs down the life of, trials and tribulations of the Macho Man, Lanny, Angelo his father, Ms Elizabeth and all of the feuds he had during his wrestling career. If you, or someone you buy gifts for was a fan of the Macho Man, give this book a read, you will learn things you did not know about this man and his family.

4 Stars

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Outstanding book on the Macho Man. Chock full of information about him, his family, and his give all attitude. Reading this book brought back many memories of watching this man wrestle. The best comment I can give this book is “OHHHHH YEAHHHH”. LOL. Thank you Macho Man for the memories, and thank you to the author for writing such an awesome read. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving the book in this manner had no bearing on my review.

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This is a brilliant, well-written book that will be enjoyed by not just fans of the Macho Man, but anyone with an interest in wrestling history.

The book starts with how the great Angelo Poffo got into wrestling and moves all the way through to Randy’s & Lanny’s death. In between you learn not just about Randy’s time in the WWF (now WWE) and WCW, but about his time in ICW and his great rivalries with people like Jerry Lawler. We learn a lot too about other great wrestlers of the time (like George ‘the Animal’ Steele, Jay Youngblood, etc) which is why I think this is a great book for the wrestling historian.

The prose is engaging, the chapters the right length and the stories pitched just right. You read some of the stories & you can hear Macho Man in your head. This is honestly a great book and I can see it being praised by people like Jim Cornette and other people in the wrestling business.

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Big thumbs up from me. As a big fan of the exuberance of Macho Man, I knew this was going to be good! I might’ve been watching wrestling since I was small, but this still taught me loads. This made me laugh, made me cry a little and just was the perfect end to my 2023 reading. More wrestling biographies please!

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This book was sooooo good, until the minute Randy started wrestling professionally. When he started wrestling, it became the usual play by play of matches and storylines, with zero insight into the person. I had so many questions about Randy’s life that didn’t get answered. Where was Angelo during the WWF era? He shows up for a minute in the WCW time, but all the years before that, invisible. What was his life with Elizabeth like offstage? When did he find time to read? Anything besides wrestling.

I love Randy and Lanny and it bothers me that Randy got a bio that was filled with stuff I can see on YouTube and get more details on “Dark Side Of The Ring”.

This had great potential, but there was no depth at all. If you like this kind of book, you’ll like it, but it wasn’t enough for me.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

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🟡Macho Man: The Life of Randy Savage🟣
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
This book was absolutely amazing and had me hooked for the introduction. Jon Finkel did an extraordinary job traversing Randy Savage’s life starting as young boy traveling with his family during his father’s pro wrestling days, to the events leading up to his attempts at reaching his dream of becoming and nearly succeeding in becoming a major league ball player.

Next up were his wrestling days, from the ICW, to the WWF, into the WCW, Jon does a fantastic job of touching on major moments in Randy’s wrestling career, while still adding some really intricate and interesting details. He did a great job of touching on the highest of highs, along with some of the darker moments of his career. As a wrestling fan in the 1990’s, this book brought back a wave of memories in the best way possible, that had me reminiscing about some of the names that popped up as I was reading.

I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review, but I can say with 100% honesty that I will be picking up a physical copy when it hits shelves in early April of 2024.

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Growing up in the 1980's I watched professional wrestling on the WWF. I loved it all. The pageantry, the rivalries, the characters.

When I saw someone write a book about Macho Man Randy Savage, I was hopeful. I wanted to know so much about Randy. His life, his loves, his career, his thoughts.

This book tackles a few of my wants. It talked about his early life. It talked about baseball, his family, and some of his career.

HOWEVER, as I was reading this book, I watched Vice's The Dark Side of the Ring about Randy and Elizabeth. This book began to quote that TV show VERBATIM!

I learned only a few new things from the book, that I didn't get from the Vice show. 1. Macho Man was in SpiderMan and 2. How he met his second wife.

I thought that Vice did a better job at portraying Randy's career then this book.
This book did a better job of documenting Randy's early life and baseball career.

Overall I was left disappointed with this book, it was a rehashing of what VICE covered and lots of novelization of matches that I had watched 40 years ago.

I didn't learn about the charities that Randy supported, I didn't learn about second wife, I didn't learn about Randy's thoughts on the business and how it changed over the years....it was just blah.

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