The Tragic Deaths of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth

“Macho Man” Randy Savage was easily one of the best and most popular wrestlers in WWE history. But it’s impossible to mention Savage without also mentioning his one-time real-life wife and valet, Miss Elizabeth.

Married long before their wedding ceremony on WWE programming in 1991, Randy Savage (real name Randy Poffo) and Miss Elizabeth (born Elizabeth Hulette) couldn’t have been more different. The “Macho Man” was intense as could be, his signature raspy voice screaming “Oooh Yeah!” to the rooftops while Miss Elizabeth was the quiet, graceful type.

But the two worked beautifully together. Liz became the catalyst of many of her husband’s feuds on television, the most famous being the rise and fall of The Mega-Powers involving Hulk Hogan, still arguably the best storyline in WWE history. Even when the two divorced in 1992, they still managed to maintain a professional relationship when both moved to Ted Turner’s now-defunct WCW.

Unfortunately, both were taken too soon, Miss Elizabeth in 2003 and Randy Savage just over eight years later. This is the story of arguably the most popular couple in professional wrestling history.

Randy Savage met Miss Elizabeth in a wrestling promotion run by his father

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Randy Savage’s father, the great Angelo Poffo, started up his own independent wrestling promotion, International Championship Wrestling, in 1978 as a means to get exposure for his two sons, Randy and Lanny, who was known as Leapin’ Lanny Poffo before later becoming “The Genius” in WWE. The promotion was highly criticized by other promoters as Angelo would often invade protected territories, very similar to what Vince McMahon did when he bought WWE from his father.

But what Angelo Poffo did obviously worked as both Randy Savage and Lanny Poffo became big stars in the industry. He hired a young Elizabeth Hulette to be a TV announcer for ICW, which is where she met Randy Savage. The two hit it off instantly and were married in 1984.

Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth had an amazing run in WWE

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When Randy Savage debuted in WWE in 1985, he brought Miss Elizabeth with him, introducing her as his manager on an episode of “Prime Time Wrestling.” Over the next seven years, the duo became two of the biggest attractions in WWE. After Randy Savage won the Intercontinental Championship from Tito Santana in 1986, Miss Elizabeth began to get more involved in the storylines, beginning with Savage’s long feud with George “The Animal” Steele.

When Randy Savage turned babyface in 1987, it was essentially because of Miss Elizabeth. Fans had a hard time booing the “Macho Man” with this beautiful woman beside him and the turn was done perfectly as Liz had jumped in front of her man to save him from a vicious attack from the Honky Tonk Man and the Hart Foundation. It was at this point that Hulk Hogan got involved in the story. He helped rescue Savage, forming the Mega-Powers.

When Savage won the WWE title for the first time at WrestleMania IV with the help of the Hulkster, he lifted Miss Elizabeth onto his shoulder, creating one of the most iconic images in WrestleMania history. Hogan and Savage would team up on numerous occasions over the next year but the “Macho Man” became jealous of Hogan’s relationship with Liz, which led to his amazing heel turn in February 1989, which then led to a match between Savage and Hogan at WrestleMania V with Miss Elizabeth right there at ringside in the middle.

After Hogan beat Savage for the title, the “Macho Man” and Liz parted ways on-screen for the next two years, although she would still get involved in a few storylines involving her real-life husband. The two would have an emotional reconciliation at WrestleMania VII after Randy Savage lost a “retirement” match to the Ultimate Warrior. This led to their wedding at SummerSlam in 1991 and when Randy Savage was “reinstated” to WWE, she was the focal point of the WrestleMania VIII storyline with Ric Flair in the spring of 1992. The general public had no idea at the time that the two were having problems in real life and had separated. Their divorce was finalized later that year. But that wasn’t the end of their working relationship.

The two maintained a working relationship in WCW

Randy Savage Miss Elizabeth
Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth | Getty Images

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Randy Savage, without Miss Elizabeth by his side, remained in WWE until 1994, at which point he joined Hulk Hogan in WCW. Two years later, Miss Elizabeth was brought back into the mix, managing the pair at Clash of Champions before turning on her ex-husband a few weeks later, bringing their real-life divorce into play in another feud involving Ric Flair. Over the next couple of years, the two would often cross paths in storylines. When Savage joined the nWo, she was on his side. But when the faction split, she wasn’t.

When the “Macho Man” got injured in 1998, the pair finally split for good. When Savage returned in 1999, he had a new valet on his arm, his real-life 23-year-old girlfriend Gorgeous George, while Miss Elizabeth had begun her involvement on and off the screen with Lex Luger.

Both died in tragic accidents

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Miss Elizabeth left WCW when her contract expired in 2000 and began working at Lex Luger’s gym in Georgia. In April 2003, the two were involved in a domestic dispute for which Luger was charged with misdemeanor battery after police found Liz with numerous bruises and cuts on her face. Luger was released on bond. Only a few weeks later, on May 1, 2003, Luger called 911 to report that she had stopped breathing. Paramedics arrived at the townhouse and attempted to revive her but she did not respond. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead as a result of acute toxicity brought on by a mix of painkillers and alcohol and was ruled an accident. Miss Elizabeth was just 42.

Randy Savage wrestled his final match in 2004 for TNA. He went on to do voiceover work for a number of animated projects and married Lynn Payne in 2010. WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, whom Savage once battled at WrestleMania, once told ESPN that Savage was content with his career and simply wanted to stay out of the limelight. Tragically, Savage passed away on May 20, 2011, at the age of 58. The two-time WWE champion had a heart attack while driving in Florida with his wife and crashed his vehicle into a tree. An autopsy later revealed that he had an enlarged heart and advanced coronary disease. He also had painkillers and a small amount of alcohol in his system at the time of his death. The car accident itself had nothing to do with it.

Randy Savage was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. For some reason, Miss Elizabeth has yet to receive that honor.