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"The Genius" Lanny Poffo

Submitted By James Walsh on 12/03/05
Fresh off of our live show last night, we bring you the INTERNET version of TII! This week, we bring you 2 interviews that probably should tease your brain as they may be the two most intellectual wrestlers I can think of off the top of my head.

To properly introduce this first guest, I feel I should do so in a small limerick or poem.

He's a name not heard in some time.
He made his name using his gift of rhyme.
He accompanied Curt Hennig, a man of perfection.
And relied on his steel scroll for his protection.
He wrestled the Hulks, Warriors, and managed the Brothers Beverly.
And when he spoke of the above, he does so eloquently.
You know his father Angelo and brother Macho,
As he is a proud member of the proud family Poffo.
His name is Lanny but in the eyes of all of us,
He will always be remembered best as "The Genius."

Also joining us for an abbreviated interview is Raven who boasts an IQ only matched by your humble host, James Walsh. (This is actually a fact, not boasting.)

Both interviews are complete so if you heard the Raven interview on the radio, it was cut for radio play. And Lanny, which will air live on March 22, will be clipped for air as well. But, listen now as it is an absolute 5 star interview!

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-- The show opens with Mr. Perfect's theme song as it somehow feels appropriate when welcoming The Genius.

-- "I wouldn't know it any other way," says Lanny when asked what it was like growing up in a wrestling family. "I thought it would be odd to have a father that wasn't a wrestler and a brother that wasn't a type-A personality like the "Macho Man" Randy Savage," says Lanny as he throws in his impression of Randy at the end there.

-- Lanny mentions his parents will be celebrating their 56th anniversary this year and asks if he may perform a poem. James says fire away.

Today in 1949, my parents made a vow.

And I think it's amazing they're still together now.

Mixed marriages, by nature, never seem to get on track.

You know my mother's Jewish, you know my dad is black.

But he passes for Italian and we keep his secret well.

So Angelo and Judy can spend 50 years in Hell.

But I for one am grateful and my brother feels the same.

We're glad from which we've come from, we're glad from which we came.

We love our parents very much. We're proud that we were born.

Though others wish, in retrospect, two condoms had been worn.

But I insist we've had the best so pour a glass of wine.

And lets get drunk to June the Fifth, 1949.

-- "On April 10, my father turns 80."

-- "The fans always liked it, it was the wrestlers and the promoters that didn't like it" said Lanny when asked about his early character based off of legendary performer Ricky Starr's homosexual persona. "It's cheap heat. It's called, "How to get over without actually doing anything." For walking and talking without any actual physical contact. I just listen to the people and they were laughing so hard and enjoying it so much... And, of course, even the children... They pointed and laughed... What they really were doing was pointing at themselves and saying, "Hey, I'm normal!" That's ridicule. They justified their own existence by ridiculing someone else's."

-- Lanny loved working with Terry Funk. He mentions that if Lanny was a 5 in terms of work rate and Terry was a 10, Terry brought him to a 10 that night. Lanny feels his problem was if he worked with a 1, he would be brought down to a 1 work rate. Lanny does not consider himself a great worker. But, back to Terry, Lanny says Terry loved his "Ricky Starr" style gimmick. And, he went so far as to gimmick Lanny's outfit one night and stripped him naked in the ring in Amarillo, Texas. "Instantly, I was 19 or 20, I became the laughing stock of wrestling. That was all I ever wanted to be!"

-- "Those photographs were all posed," says Lanny about his "Empty Arena" match with his brother Randy and special referee Jerry Lawler. Lanny says it would've been absolutely stupid to wrestle a full match in front of no people. James says he agrees, especially if it wasn't being taped. Lanny agrees. But, as for working with Randy the times they actually did wrestle. "If I could've wrestled Randy Savage, Terry Funk, and Harley Race every night, nobody ever would have known I wasn't a great worker." James seems surprised by this but Lanny says it quite clearly. "It's no disgrace, I'm 50 years old. Some of the guys who were better workers than I was are no longer alive."

-- "I've never actually had an accident - I've caused a few. I'm the guy they invented the finger for," says Lanny jokingly. "Very annoying driver," he adds.

-- "In the game of life, you can take the Happy Bus or the Jealous Bus. If you take the Jealous Bus, you can never be happy. So, let's all take the Happy Bus!" Lanny is not jealous of his brother and is proud of his own individuality. He is proud to have been the worker he was when, in his opinion, better workers were out there, yet still have made it to the World Wrestling Federation.

-- Lanny encourages James to ask how he made it to the WWF/E in the first place. ""Dr. D." David Schultz had made some derogatory remarks about Hulk Hogan while he was in Memphis. He was teaming with my brother at the time. He (Vince McMahon) got a hold of the tape to see what "Dr D." David Schultz had said against Hulk Hogan and in the meantime he sees the "Macho Man" jumping in and out of the ring and says, "Wow, this guy's fantastic!" So, when they were signing him up, he (Randy Savage) says, "Is there any room for my brother?" George Scott says, "Well, there isn't any room on top." Randy replies, "How about in the middle?" In the middle, they had nothing but room there. Then he (George Scott) asks, "Are you a heel or baby-face." I said, "I'm a baby-face." I would've gone in there just to bring the jackets back!"

-- Lanny says when he first went to the WWF/E, George Scott, who was the booker, was giving him a major push. Then, George Scott relinquished his duties as booker and Pat Patterson took over. Then, Lanny was doing jobs for 4 years until they gave him the Genius character.

-- Lanny mentions he was on the Regis Philbin show. "January 15, 1990. But, I don't remember it," jokes Lanny.

-- "That's why I started throwing out the frisbees," says Lanny when asked if he thought the crowd would turn on him when he started reading poetry on Tuesday Night Titans. James says, "Hey, they're giving me something for nothing." Lanny says, "There you go!"

-- Throwing out the frisbees was something Lanny borrowed from Al Costello who used to throw boomerangs. He says he and his brothers, as kids, used to poke people's eyes out to get those back then.

-- "You don't have to be heel or baby-face, just be unique."

-- The Genius character, which most of our listeners will associate Lanny with, was Vince McMahon's idea. Lanny says Vince said, "I don't know. Just write evil poems and see if you can get heat. Do you think you can?" Lanny says, "What he didn't know was I was about to show him my feminine side!"

-- Lanny puts over cheap heat again by talking about being in Boston and insulting the Red Sox, Celtics, and so forth. "That was enough to get beer thrown on you!"

-- "I have no idea. They just put us together," says Lanny when asked why he was paired with Curt Hennig AKA "Mr. Perfect."

-- James asks Lanny about his match with Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night's Main Event where he won by count-out but before he even gets there, he mentions the wild answer Nikolai Volkoff, who also wrestled Hulk Hogan on NBC's Saturday Night's Main Event, "killed the business." James is a BIG Hogan supporter and asks Lanny what he thought of Hulk.

-- "Nikolai Volkoff said Hulk Hogan killed the business? First of all, the business is not dead. So, right away the first part of his statement is ridiculous. Secondly, since this is all a matter of opinion, I don't like to knock success. I believe that would make me a failure. I believe Hulk Hogan was excellent, fantastic, and great. It never ceases to amaze me that a bunch of old men that should've grown up by now can't think of anything to do but mock greatness. In other words, they're bitter. They're stewing in their own juices... Nikolai Volkoff is very lucky to have had the break that he got. I love Nikolai, he's a nice man. I have nothing against him personally. But, how could he bite the hand that feeds him like that? If it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, none of us would've made the money we made. If there's someone at the top, you can bet there's 20 people around hoping he dies. That's human nature. That's jealousy."

-- "That sounds like something Bruno Sammartino would say,' says Lanny as we continue to discuss the above topic. James says it isn't only what Bruno would say, it's what he did say on the show a few years back. You can still listen to that interview in the archives, by the way. Lanny says anybody that knocks the business today should gather up some money, make a tape, and try to compete and do better. Lanny says, from experience, it's not easy and he appreciates Vince as a promoter because Lanny feels he himself was a mediocre one. "Bruno Sammartino must be the unhappiest millionaire in the world. They want him to go in the Hall of Fame and he refused? Let him stay mad!"

-- James mentions thinking if Hogan got wind of what Nikolai said, he'd kick him in the ass but also feels Hogan's enough of a professional to just let it go. Lanny says, "Hogan knows that Nikolai is inconsequential."

-- "I am the Randy Savage, Terry Funk, Harley Race, Ric Flair of student loans and debt consolidation," says Lanny about what he is up to these days.

-- "The reason why wrestling is the way it is... Blame the fans. They're the ones who send the Nielsen ratings up every time they see a boob. Everybody believes in God and his name is Nielsen."

-- James asks if he has any Curt Hennig rib stories he'd like to share. Lanny tells the one where Hennig was under the ring, I presume with the rest of the NWO, waiting to ambush someone. Well, Curt felt the need to have a bowel evacuation and did so under the ring. Everybody under the ring started complaining about it big time and Curt jumps in and says, "Well, I guess my shit didn't get over."

-- Lanny says there was a common rib when he returned to the WWF/E of someone relieving themselves in suitcases. So, Lanny hid his suitcase so well, he never found it! "I should've known nobody would have had the balls to mess with the brother of the Macho Man!"

-- "I was no longer in their plans and it was time to go," says Lanny when asked why he stopped working with the WWF/E.

-- Lanny just recently worked the Wrestle Reunion show. Lanny says people don't want to see him wrestle, they want to see young people. James mentions that he did wrestle at the Wrestle Reunion event, though. Lanny says they approached him about the match with Adam Windsor and Lanny didn't want to wrestle but they offered him more money and he said, "Okay!"

-- Lanny had to borrow all his ring attire for the above mentioned match because he auctioned everything he had from wrestling off for charity.

-- Lanny was under contract with WCW for 4 years and was never used. He had bleached his hair blond and bought outfits to become "Gorgeous George" but there was a constant change in bookers and he just never got the cal and became a forgotten man. But, every week a check arrived. James jumps in saying this explains why that company is no longer in business.

-- "I don't want to be the guy crying with 2 loafs of bred under each arm," says Lanny when asked about getting the action figure he once wanted very much. Lanny really wanted an action figure once upon a time for his daughter to play with.

-- Lanny is so very proud of his daughter, Megan Poffo, for being a non-smoker at nearly age 21, turning 21 on May 29. "That's one thing my ex-wife and I can agree on and feel proud of as we, at least, have raised a child that is a non-smoker. That puts us one ahead of OJ Simpson, right?" James says, "A couple heads ahead." Lanny laughs.

-- Lanny spoke a lot at his daughter's school and still speaks in the county. He got involved in the "Smoke Free Class of 2000" and got the idea to do a book. "So, I spent the last 4 years in Microsoft Word. Finally, I got a publisher, and gathered 335 limericks together."

-- The book was nominated for a Newberry Award which is an award for excellence in children's literature. So, he is proud to have been nominated.

-- James really twisted Lanny's arm to read a few on the air. Well, not quite twisted. But, here is a great example of this book. If you have children in that all important impressionable age group, I sincerely do ask that you pick this book up for them. I have picked up a copy for my baby nephew as I, James Walsh, too am very anti-smoking and anti-drug. As the baby's godfather, I've made it my goal to ensure he stays alcohol, smoke, and drug free his entire life. This book will be of assistance as it has wonderful limericks for children.

Three smokers with nothing to do.

Decided to go to the zoo.

They lit up to smoke,

I heard one monkey joke.

"Hey look! Human see, human do!"

-- To buy the book titled Limericks From the Heart (And Lungs!) written by Lanny, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=theinteract04-20&path=ASIN/1888580291/qid=1110475215/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/

-- To buy Lanny's original book, Leaping Lanny Poffo Wrestling with Rhyme, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=theinteract04-20&path=tg/detail/-/0961916907/qid=1110475357/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/?v=glance&s=books

-- We then roll into some word associations with Lanny and a few answers truly do knock our socks off. We'll break our usual move and actually give you some examples.

Ole Anderson: "He was just a guy with a big mouth and a small dick."

Miss Elizabeth: "Oh yeah. She broke my heart. I'm for clean living. 3,000 people start smoking every day in North America. I'm trying to make it 2,999." Lanny goes on to say that Randy does not blame Lex Luger for Elizabeth's death and says it is the individual's decisions to take soma and vodka.

-- Plus, Randy Savage, Vince McMahon, & More! You'll just have to listen to hear those!

-- Finally, Lanny Poffo will be hosting the Q&A session at the Valint Brothers Reunion Show. Also appearing will be "The Dream Team" of Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine, Nikolai Volkoff, Captain Lou Albano, as well aso, of course, all 3 Valint brothers together again for the first time in 25 years! Yes, Johnny, Jimmy, & Jerry together again!

The Valiant Brothers Reunion

May 14, 2005 8AM-2PM

Holiday Inn Carteret, NJ

1000 Roosevelt Ave.

For all information concerning this event, check out www.WrestlingThenandNow.com!

-- Raven then joins the show for a brief radio style interview as it was for our live broadcast this past Tuesday, March 8. Lanny will air along with legendary WWE performer Hillbilly Jim.

-- James discusses the GWF with Raven for a few minutes. Raven enjoyed his stay there but it never seemed to take off.

-- Scotty Flamingo was a part of his personality but not quite as big of a part as the Raven character is.

-- The WWF didn't let him wrestle as Johnny Polo because they thought he was too small. Raven was about 220 pounds then and is 255 pounds now. But, back then that was really small for the WWE.

-- Raven enjoyed working with Gorilla Monsoon. He feels they had good chemistry.

-- Announcing after wrestling is something he'd like to do. He did do color on Heat.

-- Raven feels the apology after crucifying the Sandman was the stupidest thing ECW could've done. He feels the fact they were the "rebel" promotion and chose to send him out to apologize didn't make any sense. "They reacted exactly how they should've," said Raven when discussing the audience's reaction. He feels people like Kurt Angle felt their religious beliefs were being mocked by Raven himself and Heyman who are both Jewish.

-- "Absolutely not. It was utter stupidity" when asked if his apology from that night was sincere.

-- Raven absolutely feels The Flock was held down by WCW.

-- Erik mentions that Raven's role seemed to be cut in WCW in 1999 to which Raven jumps in with, "That's why I quit." James also mentions how they would start stuff with him and never follow through like the feud with Roddy Piper. Raven agrees and says, "It just didn't happen."

-- Raven is really enjoying his time in TNA and feels the company is absolutely on the right track at this point.

-- Raven faces Dustin Rhodes in a bull-rope match this Sunday night as TNA presents Destination X. Raven says it will be a great match and looks forward to working with Dustin again. He puts Dustin over as a great worker.

-- We then roll into some word associations including names like TII's good friend Missy Hyatt, WWE writer Brian Gerwitz, Paul Heyman, and Vince McMahon!



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