The Poffos Remembered

By Paul Stratoti, Contributing Writer

Angelo Poffo was born on April 10, 1925. Bronco Lubich and Bobby Heenan were his early managers after which he then wrestled as the Carpetbagger for a while before buying into Emile Dupree’s Atlantic Grand Prix wrestling when Lanny and Randy were old enough to join.

Angelo was also featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not for his unbeaten record of doing sit-ups for hours.
While this reporter isn’t quite sure which brother debuted in wrestling first my gut feeling is that is was Lanny as the team of the Poffos were generally recognized as Lanny and Angelo while Randall Mario Poffo, as Randy Poffo was doing the singles matches. Randy first broke into the wrestling business in 1973 during the fall and winter of the baseball off season.
On January 12, 1975 at the Akron Ohio National Guard Armory Bobo Brazil & “Iron Mike” (aka Porky Pig) Loren def 49 year old Angelo and Lanny Poffo by disqualification
On February 27, 1975 at St. Joseph High School for Tony Vicaro Promotions Angelo Poffo defeated Guy Flowers. Later, Abdullah the Butcher defeated Johnny Powers when Angelo Poffo interfered! In the final match of the night Hank James def Lanny Poffo by count out.
On March 29, 1975 at the Akron Armory Terrible Ted the bear def Lanny Poffo who was counted out. Afterwards Bolo and Ghito the Mongols vs the Poffos went to a double disqualification. By this time the Mongols were working for IWA.
On April 5, 1975 at the Akron Armory the Poffos defeated Tex McKenzie & Pez Whatley
May 24, 1975 at Akron Armory saw Cowboy Allen def Sika the Islander. Later the Poffos defeated the McGuire Twins (Billy & Benny)* * The McGuire Bros. who had a fan club in Avon Ohio at the time, weighed in at 660 lbs., and 640 lbs. They can be seen in the Guinness Book of World Records as the motorbike riding McCreary Twins – heaviest twins alive at the time.
On June 29, 1975 at Akron Armory Yukon John vs Randy Poffo went to a DRAW. Next, Lanny Poffo defeated Ron Martinelli Still later, Kurt von Brauner, Saul Weingeroff, & Yukon John defeated Angelo, Lanny and Randy Poffo* * – FILM CONFISCATED and destroyed by Fred Curry!
July 25, 1975 at Canton, Ohio’s Stark County Fairgrounds Kurt Von Brauner vs Randy Poffo* went to a DRAW The Islanders defeated the Poffos* * – Randy Poffo declares, “ I wont go for the World Championship until I defeat Kurt von Braunner! “ – April 77 – Wrestling Training Illustrated by Strat
August 15, 1975 Canton Ohio Stark County Fairgrounds
Randy Poffo vs Mike Thomas – DRAW Kurt von Brauner & Mitsu Arakawa def Angelo Poffo & Jim Banks Bobo Brazil defeated the Sheik by Cout Out – Pampero special referee!* Later, Afa & Sika the Islanders defeated Pampero & El Bracero Still later, El Bracero wins 10 man Battle Royal!
He also ran International Championship Wrestling in Kentucky from 1979 to 1983.
Recently I uploaded the above photo to which I originally gave Scott Epstein of Wrestling Training Illustrated to Gentleman Saul’s son Herbert Weingeroff and asked him to “Caption This” … I did that also on my personal Facebok page. The following were the responses that I received:
Former US Air Force RAFB buddy John Watroba Jr. “Strat trying to get extra food in the Chowhall!”
Strat: If you were referring to my escapades at Rickenbacker when we had the midnight chow munchies in 1977 and 1978, those were the good ol’ days, weren’t they? …but if you were talking about me trying to get some free food from Angelo or Geltleman Saul (not very gentlemanly here in this pick, eh!?!) for taking a pic of fan favorite Fred Curry getting illegally double-teamed, well, let’s just say that was payback for our previous meeting…. and no, you failed to answer the caption correctly.
Tony Valotta (Lifetime friend and brother-in-law of Lord Zoltan): “Don’t take no pictures!”
Strat: WOW! Just the opposite!
Hank Hudson “So it’s you who’s been stoogin’ to the ref on us!!!”
GOUGE Wrestling Promoter and CAC Training Seminar Host Greg Mosorjak “Smell my finger while Gentleman Saul is massaging Fred Curry!”
… and the correct answer would have been: “Hurry, take this shot!!!”
Angelo had previously asked me to take a series of photos of his matches during this time for him for his personal album as I attempted to get these and other black and white shots into printed publication. I attended at least three events for him, possibly more.
On August 28, 1975 at Cleveland, Ohio’s Pope John Hall Lanny Poffo, Lou Klein and Denny Alberts faced Kurt von Braunner, Saul Weingeroff and John Davis
September 26, 1975 Canton Ohio Civic Center saw Afa & Sika the Islanders defeat Chief Red Cloud & El Bracero
On October 11, 1975 at Detroit’s Cobo Arena Farkas the Wolfman & the Wildman defeated Randy Poffo & John Ruffin… Also during this time ring announcer Mike Thomas began putting on the boots and defeated Lou Klein by ref’s decision. Still later in the Main Event “Flying” Fred Curry & Hank James defeated the Islanders for the NWA World Tag Team Championship!
On October 17, 1975 at Canton Cultural Center the Wolfman & Wildman defeated El Bracero & Randy Poffo!
October 18, 1975 Akron, Ohio Armory the Wildman defeated Randy Poffo!
Angelo was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame’s Class of 1995.
In 1996 Angelo received the Cauliflower Alley Club “Other” Award.
Leapin Lanny Poffo performed with a high level of acrobatics during his formative wrestling years as shown here in this Canton Civic Center photo. He was about to do a flip in mid-air and land back on his feet.
Lanny Poffo began wrestling in the NWA territories in the 1970s as shown in these shots and didn’t begin his WWE career until June of 1985 but the brother angle that worked elsewhere was never worked in the WWF and their true relationship was never mentioned during the TV tapings.
I could still see the tear in his eye nearly 10 years ago as ring announcer/Promoter Chuck Roberts thanked him for his participation during one of the International Wrestling Cartel’s Night of Legends events. Lanny’s father Angelo had recently passed away on March 4, 2010
On March 28, 2015, Lanny returned to WWE at the 2015 Hall of Fame induction ceremony to posthumously induct Randy!
In 2018, Lanny released The Genius Lanny Poffo”, a biographical comic through Squared Circle Comics.
… and from the looks of things Lanny is still a GENIUS as fresh off of his appearance at All Elite Wrestling Lanny will be in action at Survival Championship Wrestling presents “Up In Your Face” on Sunday January 19th at the American Legion post 1231 at 200 Columbia Turnpike in Rensselaer, NY! Get your tickets and meet the legend in person!


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