|Ring name(s)||The Genius
Leaping Lanny Poffo
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||240 lb (110 kg)|
December 28, 1954 |
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Billed from||Downers Grove, Illinois|
|Trained by||Angelo Poffo|
Lanny Mark Poffo (born December 28, 1954), better known by his ring names "Leaping" Lanny and The Genius is an American professional wrestler. Poffo was born in Calgary, Canada, to Angelo Poffo, an Italian American Catholic, and Judy, a Jewish American. He is also the younger brother of the late wrestling legend, "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Poffo grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois and currently makes his residence in Largo, Florida, a suburb of Tampa.
He began wrestling in the NWA territories in the 1970s before becoming a star in his father's promotion, International Championship Wrestling, where he held the promotion's title. Over the course of his regional career, Poffo both tag teamed and feuded with older brother Randy. Both brothers, along with their father, Angelo, were extremely popular in the Maritime provinces of Canada in Emile Dupre's "Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling" which had a weekly television spot on ATV and toured the Maritimes doing shows seven days per week with some days hosting two shows in two different towns. Upon the ICW's folding in 1984, he joined Randy in the CWA before traveling with him again to the World Wrestling Federation in June 1985. The brother angle was never worked in the WWF and the relationship was never mentioned on-air.
World Wrestling Federation (1985-1992)
While Lanny never attained the popularity of his brother in the WWF, he still managed to find a niche for himself as a minor fan favorite. As Leaping Lanny Poffo he would bring frisbees to the ring, read a short ode written on one of them that he himself had penned, and throw the frisbees into the crowd. Each poem typically ridiculed the heel that he was about to wrestle against, or angered the heel by building heat for the face that the heel was feuding with at the time. While not typically a main eventer on television during his early career in the WWF, he was usually allowed to get in a fair amount of offense in his matches, and won some matches on occasion. He found greater success on house shows, where he attained a good number of victories over other undercard wrestlers. Poffo wrestled a high-flyer style at a time when big, heavy wrestlers still dominated the promotion. He was one of the first wrestlers in North America to utilize such moves as the Senton Bomb and the moonsault in their arsenal, though the announcers referred to it at the time as a "leaping backflip". He made some publicity in late 1986 and early 1987 by competing in a series of Bunkhouse Battle Royals in full knight's armor. He also is noted for competing in a Battle Royal on Saturday Night's Main Event at the Joe Lewis Arena in Detroit in 1987, where he was headbutted and eliminated by André the Giant, causing him to bleed immensely all over the floor and have to be carried out on a stretcher. André, in his first televised match as a heel, had accidentally caught Poffo on the bridge of the nose with his headbutt and he required stitches to close the wound.
In April 1989, Poffo was re-introduced as The Genius, adopting a highly intelligent, arrogant persona, wearing an academic cap and gown to the ring. He officially turned heel at the Boston Garden on March 18, 1989. Still known as Leaping Lanny, he berated the local Boston sports teams and instantly gained the ire of the rowdy Boston crowd. This was a mere two weeks before WrestleMania V. His poems now ridiculed the face wrestlers, and he now behaved in an even more effeminate manner to infuriate the crowd. During the match, the Genius would construct a mathematical equation that would tilt the balance of the match in his favor. In addition, the Genius also served as "executive consultant" (and occasional tag team partner) for Mr. Perfect.
On the November 25, 1989 edition of WWF Saturday Night's Main Event, The Genius beat WWF Champion Hulk Hogan by countout due to Mr. Perfect hitting Hogan with the championship belt. Later in the show, Mr. Perfect and Poffo took a hammer to the belt, shattering it to pieces. Shortly after WrestleMania VI, Bobby Heenan became Mr. Perfect's manager. Poffo then wrestled in the undercard until the fall of 1991 when he became the manager of the Beverly Brothers (Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom). He would leave the WWF shortly after Survivor Series 1992.
World Championship Wrestling (1995–1999)
Poffo signed a WCW contract in 1995, but he was rarely used.
In a later shoot interview, Poffo clarified the details of his WCW tenure. He explained that he was contacted by his brother (Randy Savage) with the guarantee of a WCW contract. Savage, who had recently purchased the Gorgeous George gimmick, offered the character to Poffo, feeling that his brother would generate some great heat with the character. Poffo signed the contract and then began a strict training regimen (as well as bleaching his hair blonde) in preparation for his return to the ring.
However, as Poffo recalls, the phone simply never rang. Despite being under contract, he was never contacted with any bookings. Poffo's own calls to the office went unreturned, and he was simply never used by WCW. Ultimately Savage gave the Gorgeous George moniker to his then-girlfriend and valet Stephanie Bellars.
Life after wrestling
Outside of wrestling, Poffo has released two books. One is a collection of poems and limericks, most of which were related to drug and alcohol awareness, directed toward young children. Poffo is a staunch anti-smoker and has released a book of limericks entitled Limericks from the Heart and Lungs!. He is also a certified credit counselor. He was last seen on television in infomercials as an endorser of Tony Little's Gazelle Freestyle exercise machine. Lanny Poffo was a part of Wrestle Reunion in Tampa, Florida on January 28–30, 2005. Poffo defeated "The Royal Stud" Adam Windsor at that event. He also wrestled in Canada as part of the Supershow in Pembroke and Hawkesbury Ontario.
Poffo recently completed a tour of the East Coast of Canada with UCW. He wrestled in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
Since the Atlantic Canadian tour, Poffo has wrestled in Poland and Orlando, Florida as well as a show in England.
He now tours the world as an independent wrestler and motivational speaker and has written two books.
In March 2013, Poffo played a K9 police officer in the Discovery Investigation network's "I (Almost) Got Away With It". The episode is set to air later in 2013.
Lanny the youngest son of former professional wrestler Angelo Poffo (1925–2010) and Judy Poffo. He is the younger brother of professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage (1952–2011), and the former brother-in-law of Miss Elizabeth (Elizabeth Ann Hulette: 1960–2003).
Championships and accomplishments
- AGPW International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Great North Wrestling
- GNW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- PWI ranked him # 350 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 1993.
1The ICW United States Tag Team Championship is referred to as the ICW World Tag Team Championship in some publications.
- "Leaping Lanny Poffo profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- Floridian: A wrestling dynasty
- Remembering...Lanny Poffo/The Genius
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Lanny Poffo Interview Recap from WrestlingEpicenter.com
- http://www.blankmaninc.com/the-genius-leaping-lanny-poffo-interview Lanny writes a poem for an interview with Blankman Inc
- Amazon.com: Limericks from the Heart (and Lungs!)
- Lanny "The Genius" Poffo
- "Finishing Moves List". OtherArena. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "Big Business Brown's website". Big Biz. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- AGPW International Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- ICW Southeastern Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- ICW World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- ICW World Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA World Tag Team Title (Detroit) history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lanny Poffo.|
- Official website
- Newspaper article on the wrestling league that Lanny Owns http://netnewsledger.com/2012/03/07/all-star-promoter-tag-team-of-lanny-the-genuis-poffo-devon-hannibal-nicholson-ready-to-bodyslam-easter-ontario/
- Lanny Poffo Interview