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Angelo Poffo (1925-2010)


Real NameAngelo Poffo

Lifespan - 4/10/1925 - 3/4/2010

6’ 200 lbs. - Downer’s Grove, IL

Athletic BackgroundBaseball (DePaul University)

Teacher(s)Ruffy Silverstein

Professional BackgroundMidwest(`49-`51), Columbus(`51), Amarillo(`51-`52), Houston(`53), Portland(`53-`54), Vancouver(`53-`54), Minneapolis(`54), Stampede(`54-`55), Minneapolis(`56-`57), Georgia(`57-`59), Ohio(`59-`62), San Francisco(`61-`62), St. Louis(`62-`74), AWA(`64-`73), Indianapolis(`64), Hawaii(`67-`68), Detroit(`70-`71), Georgia(`71), Florida(`71), Indianapolis(`72), All-South(`74), Florida(`76-`77), Georgia(`76-`77), ICW(`78-`83), Nashville(`77-`79), WWC(`79), UCW[Gulas](83), Memphis(`83-`85)

AliasesAndy Poffo, Tony Angelo, The Original Grappler, The Miser, The Carpetbagger

Peak Years - `56-`66

Place in HistoryAngelo Poffo is probably best remembered as the father of the legendary “Macho Man” Randy Savage, but he has his own legacy and contributions worth noting.  Poffo honed his body in the US Navy during World War II, famously doing 6,033 sit-ups and setting a world record and getting some press in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.  After the war, Angelo Poffo eventually found pro-wrestling at Karl Pojello’s gym and learned the craft under Ruffy Silverstein.  After a few years in, Poffo was in the right place at the right time.  Chicago, his home base, featured pro-wrestling on the Dumont Network and created a generation of stars.  Although he was only a midcard heel, Poffo’s exposure helped him over the coming years.  The United States championship had a been a major belt in the Dumont Network days when Verne Gagne had it and this was the title that Poffo and Wilbur Snyder feuded over.  Poffo would help transition the title from the Fred Kohler’s Chicago office to Jim Barnett’s Detroit office and it became the title made famous again by the Sheik.  Angelo Poffo had a few successful runs working with Bronko Lubich (who served as his interfering manager and later his tag partner) in the 1950s and his Devil’s Duo team with Chris Markoff and a young Bobby Heenan managing them in the 1960s.  It was not long after that run that Poffo began focusing more on his sons and less on pro-wrestling.  He saved his money, invested it carefully and became notoriously thrifty.  In the early 1970s, his younger son Lanny was taking an interest in the sport, so Angelo took him on the road as his tag partner.  His other son Randy followed suit when his baseball career was over.  Angelo had two sons that were capable wrestlers, but they had their limitations, so he created opportunities for them.  First, he bought into Emile Dupree’s Maritime promotion and the two brothers spent a summer feuding.  Next, he opened an office, ICW, based in Lexington, Kentucky and brought in some legit tough guys like Bob Roop and Ronnie Garvin.  The group began making grandstand challenges to established promotions, Ron Fuller’s and Jerry Jarrett’s, to drum up interest.  They even filled a monopoly lawsuit against numerous NWA promotions, but it was thrown out of court.  In the ICW, Poffo went under a mask as the Miser.  He worked as a midcard heel who delivered great promos, but the group focused on their top heel Randy Savage.  The in-ring product was innovative, but they lacked depth and seemed destined to fail.  After the ICW closed, the Poffos invaded the Memphis promotion and worked a hot angle before Savage headed to the WWF.  Angelo Poffo, who had saved his money, lived out the rest of his life comfortably in Florida.  Curiously, he is well-remembered, largely based on the success of his son Randy.  Angelo Poffo was a good hand, a solid heel and curious link between the national product of the Golden Age and the national product of the Rock-N-Wrestling era.