Lanny Poffo : biography
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.
- Finishing moves
- Honor Roll (Senton bomb)
- Jimmy Hart
- Big Business Brown
- Wrestlers managed
- Mr. Perfect
- Beverly Brothers (Beau and Blake Beverly)
- "The Genius" Lanny Poffo
- "Leaping" Lanny Poffo
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 in 1987, where he was headbutted and eliminated by André the Giant, causing him to bleed immensely all over the floor. He was carried out by a stretcher.
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.