This week The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomed former WWE Superstar and wrestling’s smartest man, “The Genius” Lanny Poffo. Poffo joins the show to discuss the Kickstarter campaign that will bring his autobiography to life: “The Genius Lanny Poffo – Wrestling’s Smartest Man”by Inverse Press. We also explore some of Leaping Lanny’s greatest moments in his career, his family’s renegade promotion ICW and his legendary run with Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig to include his upset victory over Hulk Hogan during the height of Hulkamania. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
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Who inspired him to begin to write poetry:
When I started out as a boy and I don’t know if you believe in God or coincidences but you’ll never guess who he threw into my life, Shell Silverstein. “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, “The Light In The Attic”, “Falling Up” and also he wrote some songs for Johnny Cash including “A Boy Named Sue” and he wrote “The Unicorns Song”.
“I met him twice in my life and he inspired me to write poetry myself. Unfortunately he died in 1999 so I was unable to say to him and to thank him for inspiring and say here was a book that was just published “Limericks From The Heart and Lungs” and it would have made him very happy but unfortunately he passed away before the book became published but what a fantastic man and how lucky I am to have been influenced by him.”
What he did to standout to Vince McMahon:
“I was a guest on TNT and I knew that if I was boring that they would never invite me back. I wore a suit of armor and I did a poem about Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon that it was great and why don’t I do a poem before each match. I was so excited because I finally had a gimmick and not only a gimmick it was legit that I actually write poetry and I love to do it.”
Throwing out frisbees to the crowd prior to his matches:
“With the frisbees I copied that from Al Costello. He was a tag team champion with Roy Hefferrnan in the Fabulous Kangaroos and they used to throw cardboard boomerangs out to the audience. They used to come to the ring with the carved boomerang from an aborigine but of course you can’t throw those out to the audience so they threw the cardboard ones out and two of the fans that used to go for those boomerangs were the Macho Man and I when we were just children. I thought what could I throw? I am not Australian and what can I throw that would get some traction. I rolled up some scrolls and threw those out but they didn’t make it into the first row. I put a poem on the frisbee and we typed the poem and put it on the frisbee and that is what caused all of the hullabaloo. They started selling them at the arena and after I’d win, lose or draw I’d sign them for the audience and we would sell out every night of frisbees. We sold hundreds of them and every once in a while I run into a fan that has an original signed autographed frisbee.”
Being teamed with Mr. Perfect as The Genius:
I’ll tell you what. I loved Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig and I am very sorry that he passed away and in a twenty-one year career. I’ll say that the four months that I spent with Curt Hennig and got to be a nemesis of or whatever I was (a piece of gum on the boot) of Hulk Hogan, those for four months were the greatest four months of my career. I got three main events in Madison Square Garden, we broke box office records in places like the Las Angeles Sports Arena and in the Myriad in Oklahoma City (I don’t think they call it that anymore). Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig was the consummate professional and I am very sorry he passed away too soon.
“It all ended at WrestleMania 6 and I got faded out. That is what happens and it is like one is in jail and the other is just visiting and I was just visiting. But it was fantastic and I drank from the silver challis of success for one shining moment and it was all worth it.”
Is wrestling missing the larger than life characters of his era:
“I don’t want to be one of those old timers that knocks the stars today. They are trying to make a living too and hopefully a fortune and they risk their lives every night. The only advantage that we had over them is we didn’t have writers and they do. Once you have writers than how are you going to have a personality like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Macho Man Randy Savage, Jake The Snake Roberts, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig? We didn’t use writers we did it all ourselves and until they start firing the writers they are never going to have the personalities because it is going to sound like people reading. That is what they are doing, they are reading. They are memorizing lines and are reading and it is just cookie-cutter. They are great athletes and they deserve to make a living and a fortune it is just that they are handcuffed and are cookie-cutter.”
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