Lanny Poffo responds to the Randy Savage documentary from WWE and A&E
The legendary Lanny Poffo has shared his thoughts on the recent A&E Biography documentary on his brother, WWE Hall of Famer Randy Savage.
Backed by WWE and A&E, the Savage doc was produced by Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman (“Cocaine Cowboys,” “Screwball,” ESPN 30 for 30 “The U”). However, there have been controversial reactions to the documentary with many claiming Savage’s story was told in a negative way compared to the other Biography specials on WWE Hall of Famers Steve Austin and Roddy Piper.
WWE Hall of Famers Eric Bischoff and Sean Waltman both spoke out against the Savage doc, with Bischoff saying he was embarrassed to be a part of the production, and Waltman saying he was highly disappointed with the doc.
Poffo, who has been living in Ecuador since 2020, said he was finally able to download the episode on iTunes after being hesitant to watch following reviews and criticism from people like Bischoff. Poffo noted that 75% of the A&E Biography on his brother was great, 20% was lousy, and 5% was horrible.
Poffo blamed the horrible 5% on Gorgeous George (Stephanie Bellars) and Bubba the Love Sponge. He dismissed George’s comments and her attitude, saying she’s still trying to squeeze the last penny out of the relationship. Poffo also wrote that his brother was made to look as bad as Chris Benoit, adding that Piper and Austin were glorified in their A&E episodes, while Randy was vilified.
Poffo also corrected several stories from the documentary, including Bruce Prichard’s comments on how his mother was from Germany during the rise of Hitler, and the story about how Randy met his wife Lynn in high school.
You can read Poffo’s full article at this link. Below are highlights:
Did Randy Savage Really Lock Miss Elizabeth in the Closet?
Here’s the thing: The secret to a happy marriage is still a secret to me. I am a one-time loser. I was once married, now divorced.
The secret to a happy marriage is also a secret to someone like Jerry Lawler, who has been divorced three times. So I don’t know why he feels the authority to give marital advice.
Wrestlers love to make profound observations that they have overheard. Contrary to popular belief, my brother Randy Savage never locked Elizabeth in any closet in the dressing room.
What was Randy supposed to do? Let Elizabeth take a shower with Brian Knobbs?
It’s much easier to speak about it now that Randy’s gone.
Nobody would know if the door was locked or unlocked because nobody had the guts to open or try to close the door. And now that Randy has been gone over ten years, everybody seems to have the balls now, but they didn’t then.
Jerry Lawler, who spoke of my brother Randy’s marriage to Liz in the A&E Biography episode, wasn’t even in the WWE when Elizabeth was there.
Randy came to the WWF with Elizabeth in ’85, and Elizabeth was gone a few months before Lawler joined the company.
You can almost forgive Lawler, though. If it weren’t for Jimmy Hart, Jerry Lawler, and Hulk Hogan, Randy wouldn’t have got to where he did because this business is not about merit. It’s about favor.
Jerry Lawler, influenced by Jimmy Hart, gave Randy an opportunity in Memphis, and they broke box office records together.
Randy told me that Jerry Lawler was not only a great worker but probably one of the most intelligent people he’s ever met in the business as far as how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, which he had to do 52 times a year in these weekly towns.
What I’m attempting to do here is put people over while also giving my thoughts.
I want to say that 75% of the A&E Biography episode on Randy was great, 20% of it was lousy, and 5% was just horrible. The people responsible for the 5% are Stephanie Bellars (Gorgeous George, Frankenstein, whatever) and Bubba the Love Sponge.
These are two people that speak with authority with absolutely no validity. Bubba, for instance, speculated on who Randy loved all his life, yet he wasn’t even on Randy’s Christmas list, so how was he going to know that?
“Be A Man, Hulk”
I told the truth every time during filming, but most of my truth got sent to the editing room floor.
One of the things mentioned was Randy asking me to write the song “Be A Man” about Hulk Hogan on his rap album. It was the only time I’ve refused Randy anything.
I told him, “I can’t do that.”
He replied, “Can’t, or won’t?”
I said, “Both!”
And he said, “Why not?”
I explained to my brother that I was like someone who finally got a date to the dance.
Hulk Hogan took me off the scrap heap and wrestled me on Saturday Night’s Main Event. I had four months of main events, all because of Hulk Hogan.
“I’m not going to turn around and use my talent to write a negative song about a very positive man in my life,” is what I said to him.
We both loved Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig. That was something Randy and I agreed on.
I told my brother, “I’ll write a song, ‘The Perfect Friend,’ and you can sing it and that’ll be my contribution to your CD, but I’m not going to make any negative songs about Hulk Hogan.”
I wrestled for 21 years, but nothing was better than those four months I spent with Hogan. I refuse not to be appreciative of that.
“You can run any song you want,” I said to Randy, “but I can’t do that.”
So I wrote “Perfect Friend,” but by the time I heard it on CD, the song was tweaked beyond recognition. Randy liked what I wrote, and then he tweaked it. I didn’t recognize it as my own anymore, but I came up with the title and the words, and I was very proud of that.
Correcting Bruce Prichard
Speaking of writers, the former “Brother Love” Bruce Prichard said in the A&E Biography of Randy Savage that my mother was from Germany during the rise of Hitler. Basically, he was saying that my mother was in the Holocaust.
While that’s a good soundbite for a creative writer in wrestling, it is simply not true.
Yes. My mother was Jewish. They got that part right. She was born in Naperville, Illinois, and met my father, Angelo, at DePaul University. She earned her “MRS” degree there.
They got married, and they had two babies: Macho Man and me.
She is Jewish, but her mother was from Belarus, and her father was from Lithuania. On my father’s side, both of my grandparents were from Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.
So there you are with some actual facts. It’s probably not as interesting as what Bruce Prichard said, but embellishment is usually more fun than the truth.
Randy Savage – Finding Facts Amongst the Fiction
I don’t give marital advice because I am already divorced. Evidently, that didn’t bother multiple divorced men from going on television to criticize Randy’s divorce and rant about things they know nothing about.
For example, Bubba the Love Sponge — when was the last time a woman ever made love to him and meant it? It was in poor taste to even put him out there.
Roddy Piper and Stone Cold Steve Austin were glorified in these A&E episodes while Randy got vilified.
Randy was made to look as bad as Chris Benoit, but I don’t remember my brother murdering anybody.
Stephanie (Gorgeous George) said, “I really don’t want to be negative.”
Oh, please. It’s too late for that. That’s all she has been.
There’s an old saying: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
She seems to be very ungrateful for the opportunities that she had, and it sounds like she hasn’t really healed from it.
In the episode, Stephanie said that she and Randy took ecstasy. I don’t believe my brother ever did any of the stuff she mentioned. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but it was totally inappropriate for her to say those things.
She also mentioned that my brother took steroids. No, it wasn’t steroids because that was illegal at the time. It was human growth hormones. That’s how Randy got massively large for the movie Spider-Man.
I notice she keeps going to wrestling reunions and tries to sell merchandise of her and the Macho Man in photographs together. The people that buy them, I don’t think they’re buying them to see her.
She’s still trying to squeeze the last penny out of that relationship.
“I gave you my answer.” What Randy Savage Truly Thought of Lex Luger After the Death of Miss Elizabeth
Many people can’t fathom the fact that my brother Randy Savage liked Lex Luger a lot and did not blame him for the death of Elizabeth.
Randy’s feelings were that you are responsible for your own overdose once you reach the age of consent. If I went to your house and overdosed, would you be to blame? Elizabeth was in her 40s when she died, and my brother never blamed Lex for what happened.
In the A&E episode, the producers questioned me on it, and I said, “You have my answer. I gave you my answer.”
And then they said, “Ever?”
I then repeated, “I gave you my answer.”
In other words, Randy had no animosity towards Lex Luger. I wanted that clearly understood in the documentary.
Randy and Lex were friends. They were workout buddies and training partners, and Randy was trying to get a body like his. He had nothing but respect for Lex.
By the time Lex Luger and Liz were an item, Randy was no longer in the picture. He had moved on.
It was great of Randy to suggest that Elizabeth come into the WCW because he knew there was gold to be mined. He did not let his personal feelings affect the fact that the primary purpose of professional wrestling is to fill the seats with butts and for Nielsen ratings.
Also, when Randy left Vince McMahon and the WWE, he took Slim Jim with him to the tune of $750,000 per year. Verifying that was Eric Bischoff on the show.
I’ve read that Eric Bischoff wishes that he was not a part of the documentary because he was disgusted by how things were portrayed.
Randy liked Eric Bischoff and his family. I never heard anything bad about Eric from Randy, although I’ve heard a lot of bad from other wrestlers about Eric.
When you’re in a position like Eric was in, you can’t please everybody when everyone feels they’re number one. Only one person can be number one.
The Truth Behind How Randy Savage Met His Wife Lynn
In the A&E episode, everybody said Randy married his high school sweetheart, Lynn. This was false. Randy couldn’t have graduated high school in Downers Grove, Illinois, and have a sweetheart from a suburb of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Even the Macho Man can’t pull that off!
The truth is after Lynn graduated from her high school in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, she went to Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.
At the time, Randy was in Sarasota playing baseball in the rookie league of the St. Louis Cardinals organization while Lynn was out there studying to become an artist. This was when the two of them met.
My Final Thoughts on the A&E Biography of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Before I finish, I would like to clear up a few more misconceptions.
Contrary to what was mentioned in the A&E episode, nobody in the Poffo family ever slept in a car. We always slept in hotels.
Regarding the statements made about Randy’s costumes, he spent a fortune on these, but it was always under the advice of his CPA. He knew what percentage of his income was tax-deductible.
As mentioned before, I feel 75% of the A&E Biography episode on my brother Randy Savage was portrayed fairly, 20% unfairly, and 5% horribly. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. 75% percent of the episode was great.
But A&E certainly sensationalized.
How come they didn’t mention one thing about Randy’s activity with the Special Olympics, Make-a-Wish, Children’s Cancer, Jerry Lewis’s Telethon, March of Dimes, underprivileged children, and everything else he did? That’s not newsworthy? None of that matters? Do you want to just dig for the dirt?
Poffo ended his column with recommending “The Autopsy of Randy Savage” as a documentary worth watching as it stuck with the truth and not sensationalism. The special was released by ITV and Reelz on April 21 of this year. Poffo was also interviewed for that doc, and noted that there was no spin on the facts, and his brother’s legacy was respected.