Thursday, July 25, 2013

Interview with Lanny Poffo from 2006



Quick Highlights

---Debut:  1973

---World Wrestling Federation (WWF) 1985 -1993

---Manager of Mr. Perfect & the Beverley Brothers

---Author: Limericks from the Heart and Lungs

---- infomercials as an endorser of Tony Little's Gazelle Freestyle exercise machine

---Son of Angelo Poffo and brother of Macho Man randy Savage

DP: When exactly did you make your debut as a wrestler?

LP: Aurora Illinois on June 8th, 1973.

DP: You were trained by your father, correct?

LP: Yes, that was a lucky break. He didn't even charge me.

DP:  In the start, weren't you heel and Randy as baby, then reversed later on?

LP: We've both switched many times in our lives. Being able to do both doubles your chances of finding work.

DP:  Didn't you wrestle as an amateur, while Randy played baseball instead in high school?

LP: Wrestling is a winter sport. Baseball is Spring and Summer. A person can do both.

DP: Everyone knows about you and your career so we won't rehash things. Instead, let's go to your view point directly. What bouts do YOU consider your best, ever?

LP: My match against Hulk Hogan on NBC was my best and most important match. It’s featured on my web-site. I've had great matches with Terry Funk, Harley Race and Lou Thesz.

DP: No one likes to talk about these, but on the other hand, some of the worst?

LP: I've had so many lousy matches; I don't know where to start.

DP: You retired from wrestling and placed a focus on writing, correct? There is a new book out on the dangers of smoking that you have done?

LP: I retired because I was no longer needed by the WWF (WWE) It was a fantastic run from 1985 through 1993. I am now a Certified Credit Councilor. I make many speeches to schools to advance my cause to keep children from tobacco.

DP: This brings us to an interesting point. Many fans thought that your Genius role was a fabrication, with your poems being the work of some scriptwriter, but you wrote your own stuff, correct?

LP: I wrote my own poems, good or bad.

DP: I seem to think way back in ICW days you put out a record with your poems put to music? Gusto Girl or something like that?

LP: Yes, it wasn't very good but it sold well at the matches.

DP: Even earlier, didn't you do some kind of gag book on How to defend yourself in a Cowardly manner?

LP: Yes, the title was better than the book. Sorry!

DP: You are also in the book, Theatre In A Squared Circle, alongside, well, me and some others.

LP: Yes, and Jeff Archer and I have become very good friends.

DP:  You retired more or less from wrestling, though you have been seen doing the commercials for that exercise machine on TV?

LP: That is also on my web-site. I still wrestle once in a while. It gives me a chance to promote my cause.

DP:  You made a brief comeback in California a while ago and got over big time. Is the comeback permanent or do you plan to stick to book signings and lectures instead?

LP: Nothing in life is permanent. I saw a lot of great young talent that day. Candice LaRae was totally amazing.

DP: You became very high profile for a while, with Jarrett and then the WWF. While these bookings put you on the map, did you ever find yourself longing for the older days of traveling the Midwest or working for your father in ICW instead?

LP: I was working for myself. I owned 33% of the ICW. They were the Charles Dickens times. “The best of times, the worst of times” from Tale of two Cities.

DP:  You and Randy had some real bloodbaths back then. Do any of these bouts survive on tape anyplace?

LP: The only one that survived is when Randy used the pile driver on Ricky Morton. Hardcore was born that night! I held the rope and watched!

DP:  Did it seem odd that you and Randy would go to Jarrett and work, as there was bad blood between your group and them when they ran Kentucky and you did too, back in the early 1980's?

LP: Politics makes strange bedfellows.

DP: Of all the people you worked for, do you have a preference for any single office or promoter?

LP: Vince McMahon, Bill Watts, Jerry Jarrett and Emile DuPree were my favorites. (In that order) Nick Gulas was the worst. Nobody else compares!

DP:  Do you even follow the wrestling today and these new guys coming on to the scene?

LP: I just don't watch much TV anymore unless there’s a good baseball game on.             

DP:  What are your other interests besides writing and wrestling?

LP: I am a health nut. I read many articles and books. Unfortunately there is a lot of sharks in the water with some snake oil to sell.

DP:  Don't you have a web page now also?


DP: Anything else you would like to touch on that we may have missed?

LP: Everybody always asks me if I'm shocked by the number of young wrestlers who have died early. No, I'm amazed that more haven't died young. Nobody’s responding to the wake-up call.

DP:  Closing comments?

LP: I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to step in the Wrestling ring. I'm also glad to have survived it with no serious injuries or additions. When I was 12 years old I asked Art Link letter for his autograph. He told me to F--- off! I was so devastated that I NEVER refused an autograph from anybody ever in my life. I was always nice to the fans weather I was a heel or baby face. Without the fans, the sport does not exist! God bless us everyone!


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