News spread over the internet Friday morning of the passing of World Wrestling Federation superstar and legend “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Known for his distinct “Oh Yeah!” catchphrase, Savage was one of the most storied and glorified icons in the history of professional wrestling. From his historic bouts with Ted Dibiase and Hulk Hogan to his ringside marriage to Miss Elizabeth in the Match Made In Heaven, Savage is well to be considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
Reports indicated that Savage was driving his jeep early Friday morning in Tampa, FL when he apparently suffered a heart attack and veered off the road and directly into a tree. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Largo Medical Center.
While this news is saddening and tragic, the residents of the Raleigh, NC, area will be affected in a peculiar way beyond Savage’s death.
This same Friday also marks the last day ConAgra Foods will be producing their famous Slim Jim products from their plant in Garner, NC. ConAgra Foods will be moving their manufacturing operations from Jones Sausage Rd. to Troy, OH after more than 40 years of residing in Garner. While there is supposedly a line of buyers for the soon-to-be vacant lot, about 200 employees will be temporarily out of a job.
If you don’t remember watching Randy Savage coming in off the top ropes in the ring, then you might recognize him in millions of gas stations around the country, endorsing ConAgra’s Slim Jim.
As Savage’s career ended, his “Oh yeah!” soon turned into “SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!!!”.
In the mid-90s, Savage became the face of Slim Jim products with his wild and boisterous commercials. He promised that your boring and dull life would be instantly brought to life with the big, juicy flavors of a Slim Jim.
No one can explain the occurrence of these two events happening on the same day as nothing more than pure coincidence. The world may have lost a wresting legend, but our neighbors in Garner have also lost a piece of the city. And as wrestlers who lose but live to fight another day, so too will Garner continue to fight the good fight.