Lanny Poffo was interviewed by Andy Malnoske of WrestlingInc.com at this past Sunday’s Northern Tier Wrestling event in Towanda, Pennsylvania about giving back, how he got started writing poetry and much more.
Poffo, the younger brother of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, discussed the night he inducted his late brother into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2015. He said he received praise for his speech from two wrestling legends, and the entire experience taught him a lesson in not taking life for granted.
“Not only was it a great honor, what really touched me, was right in sequence after the speech, after all the lights had been gone and everybody had left the building, one after the other, Roddy Piper and Dusty Rhodes gave me a hug and said what a great speech it was,” Poffo recalled. “And I said, ‘The two greatest interviews that ever lived have just given me the greatest praise I’ve ever had, thank you.’ It meant a lot coming from those two. And then the very next year, neither one of them was alive. So the lesson is, if you have something nice to say, say it now… Life is fragile, so if you can spread a little joy or a little love, go ahead.”
Savage ended his career as one of the most iconic and popular wrestlers of all-time. His in-ring ability was matched by his ability to deliver incredible promos, but that wasn’t always the case. Poffo said he always had the talent to perform well, but he needed to work on his physique to become a true main-event superstar. Once his physical abilities improved, Savage needed to work on his promos in order to become the complete package.
“The first time that Randy wrestled, you could tell he was gonna be the greatest in-ring performer you ever saw. But he only had one problem, he was too skinny… So he decided to work hard on his physique. Finally he’s got his physique up to par, now he looks like a main-eventer. One trouble, the missing piece in the puzzle: no confidence with his interviews,” Poffo said. “He even had anxiety attacks and panic attacks where your heart races and you can’t catch your breath, so he says, ‘Lanny, can you help me with my interviews?’ He had never asked me for help about anything, he always gave help. So I said, ‘First of all, you’re doing great,’ and he said, ‘No I’m not doing great, I gotta do better.’ I said, ‘Well if your name is Savage and you wrestle like a savage and your hair is like a savage and your beard is like a savage, who’s your favorite savage interview? Let’s copy him.”
Savage had named Curtis Iaukea and Pampero Firpo, so Poffo had him read one of Firpo’s promos. When he read the promo, Savage’s famous “Oh yeah” was born and he spent the next few months practicing in a bathroom mirror to perfect his promo ability.
“I said, ‘He’s got it!’ And then he spent the next three months in the bathroom mirror, and I promise you, when he came out of that bathroom mirror he was the best interview you had ever heard in your life,” Poffo said. “That was his breakthrough, and I feel good about it, but then he took it and ran with it and developed a personality that nobody’s going to ever forget.”
You can watch the full interview in the video above.
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