Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lanny Poffo

Height: 6 ft 0 in
Weight: 228 lb.
Birthday: December 28, 1954
Hometown: Downers Grove, Illinois
Other Gimmicks: The Genius
Debut: 1973
Managers: Jimmy Hart
Finishing and Signature moves: Honor Roll, Moonsault

Lanny Poffo is an American professional wrestler. He is the son of Angelo Poffo and the brother of wrestling superstar "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

Lanny was not as popular as his brother, but he had a decent wrestling career in the WWF in the 1980s. In the ring, he would often read poems that he himself penned, wrestle in an effeminate manner, and would also throw out frisbees to the fans. Early in his career, he was known as Leaping Lanny Poffo, the Wrestling Poet. He made some publicity by competing in a Bunkhouse Battle Royal in full knight's armor, but he was eliminated quickly. Prior to being repackaged as the Genius, Poffo was what smart fans refer to as a "JTTS" or "Jobber To The Stars" which means that while he was almost exclusively "enhancement talent" who was not usually booked in any serious way to win, he was allowed to get in a fair amount of offense in his matches, and won some on occasion. Poffo was also one of the first, if not the very first, wrestlers to use the moonsault in the WWF.

In 1989, he turned into a heel wrestler and became The Genius, adopting a highly intelligent, "better than you" persona and wearing a cap and gown to the ring. His poems (which had previously ribbed the heel wrestlers) now ridiculed the face wrestlers, and he now behaved in an even more effeminate manner to infurate the crowd. In addition, the Genius also served as a manager (and occasional tag team partner) for Mr. Perfect. Later, he was the manager of the Beverly Brothers (Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom).

In an early 1990 edition of WWF Saturday Night's Main Event, The Genius beat WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan by countout due to Mr. Perfect hitting Hogan with the championship belt. Later in the show, Mr. Perfect and Lanny took a hammer to the belt, shattering it to pieces. It is said that this destroyed belt became the first WWF Hardcore Championship belt.

He signed a WCW contract in the 1990s, but they never used him, and he sat at home and collected a paycheck. However, it is rumored that Poffo did in fact work WCW events as WCW's mascot, Wild Cat Willie.

Outside of wrestling, Poffo has released a collection of poems and limericks, most of which were related to drug and alcohol awareness, directed toward young children. He was last seen on television in infomercials as an endorser of Tony Little's Gazelle Freestyle exercise machine. Fans have noted that Poffo is barely recognizable from his WWF heyday (apart from shaving his famous Genius beard, he now has a more muscular physique).

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