WWE superstar Lanny Poffo: The 68-year-death old’s was announced on Facebook by “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan on Thursday. No cause of death has been indicated.
In 2010, Poffo’s father, wrestler/promoter Angelo Poffo, died at the age of 84. Randy “Macho Man” Savage, his brother, passed away in 2011 at the age of 58.
With a very, very heavy heart, I've been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius.
RIP Lanny pic.twitter.com/4ve4J2HSHT
— Hacksaw Jim Duggan (@RealHacksawJim) February 2, 2023
Poffo made his professional debut in 1974 for the short-lived All-South Wrestling Alliance before moving with his father to the NWA’s Big Time Wrestling territory. Before joining WWE in 1985, he spent the next decade working for promotions such as Portland Championship Wrestling, The Continental Wrestling Association, International Championship Wrestling, and Mid-South.
In his early WWE career as “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, he was known for reciting poetry and throwing frisbees into the crowd. In 1989, he adopted the gimmick “The Genius” and defeated WWF Champion Hulk Hogan via countout on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event. In September 1989, he also presided over his brother’s coronation as “Macho King.”
There were plans for Poffo to adopt the “Gorgeous George” persona that his brother had purchased the rights to in 1995, when he signed with WCW. After Gorgeous George persuaded Angelo not to quit the business in 1952, he would tell Slam Sports that Gorgeous George was instrumental in the Poffo family’s involvement in wrestling. Angelo would pay for George’s funeral in 1964, when he died penniless at the age of 48.
WCW never cast Poffo, despite his preparation, but continued to pay him for the next five years. Stephanie Bellars, Savage’s girlfriend at the time, was eventually given the moniker Gorgeous George.
In 2015, Poffo inducted his deceased brother into the WWE Hall of Fame.
He has held the NWA Detroit World Tag Team titles twice, first with his father and then with Chris Colt. He and his brother once held the NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team Championships. In addition, he is a former NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Champion and he and Bobby Eaton once held the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championships.
Poffo spent his final years in Ecuador in retirement. In 2018, his authorised biography was published.