Monday, February 06, 2023

Lanny Poffo

Lanny 'The Genius' Poffo

Another name from my early days as a fan of the World Wrestling Federation passed away last week.

Lanny Poffo, who was wrestling under the moniker of 'The Genius' when I first began to follow the WWF/E in the 1980s, died at the age of sixty-eight.

As I stated, I didn't come along until Poffo was using 'The Genius' gimmick. However, I learned - through buying WWF videocassettes back then - that he also wrestled as a babyface 'Leaping' Lanny Poffo.

The Genius eventually went on to become a manager of Mr Perfect and then, a few years after that, the Beverly Brothers. His gimmick - clad in a cap and gown and recital of poetry - blended well with the Beverly Brothers who portrayed scholars.

Poffo left the WWF in the early 1990s. I recall reading he had signed a huge deal with World Championship Wrestling in the midst of the wrestling war between WCW and the WWF. Being real-life brothers with 'Macho Man' Randy Savage played a part in securing such a lucrative deal because Savage had purchased the rights to the 'Gorgeous George' name. I believe the initial idea was to have Lanny wrestle using that name.

I don't believe Lanny made any appearances while being paid that big contract from WCW. The 'Gorgeous George' name would eventually go to Savage's girlfriend at the time - Stephanie Bellars.

Lanny Poffo was quite popular over the Internet in his later years. I would always enjoy hearing him recount his stories to interviewers. There would also be a reciting of his poetry at least once during those interview sessions. 

His quirkiness was his charm.

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