June 30, 2011 / 10:27 PM / 9 years ago

Wrestler "Macho Man" Savage died of heart disease, not crash

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) - Professional wrestling great “Macho Man” Randy Savage died of heart disease and not from injuries sustained in a car crash near his Florida home, authorities said on Thursday.

The 58-year-old wrestler, whose legal name was Randy Mario Poffo, became unresponsive on May 20 while driving his Jeep Wrangler, which left the roadway and crashed into a tree in Seminole on Florida’s west coast.

An autopsy by the Medical Examiner’s Office revealed he had an enlarged heart with hardened coronary arteries. He suffered only minor cuts and bruises in the accident, the examiner found.

The manner of death was ruled as natural.

Once a minor league baseball player, the wrestler rose to fame as “Macho Man” in the 1980s. He was known for his husky voice, flashy costumes and “Ooh, yeah!” catch phrase.

Under contract with the WWE from 1985 to 1993, Savage sparred against Hulk Hogan and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. He clinched two WWE Championships, two World Heavyweight Championships, and held a 14-month reign as Intercontinental Champion.

Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Cynthia Johnston

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