Former WCW President Eric Bischoff has revealed the circumstances that caused Macho Man Randy Savage to take less money after Savage had a genius idea to bring his brother into the company.
Randy Savage and Lanny Poffo are brothers from a renowned wrestling family. Their father Angelo Poffo began wrestling in the forties and was successful particularly in NWA Chicago where he held the US Heavyweight Title and Tag Team Title once as well as the NWA Midwest Heavyweight Championship seven times. Later in his career, the senior Poffo began running what was then known as an ‘outlaw’ organisation, International Championship Wrestling in Kentucky.
Randy Savage was a multiple-time WWF Champion when he made the jump to World Championship Wrestling in late 1994. The man who took him to WCW, Eric Bischoff discussed Savage on his 83 Weeks podcast [available early and ad-free at AdFreeShows.com] and how he managed to strike a deal to bring Savage to his company and not spend a single cent, thanks to long-standing sponsorship deal Macho Man already had in place.
“Here you had a situation where Randy loved his brother dearly, and the same was true for Lanny (Poffo) with respect to Randy. Randy was in a great position, here’s a guy that brought in a sponsor that covered his entire salary. It didn’t cost me a nickel to bring Randy Savage in. I was able to negotiate and make that happen in a way that everybody won. Randy won, Slim Jim won, WCW won. We got a major talent for zero net dollars out of pocket.”
Bischoff then went onto detail how Savage tried to strike a deal to bring his brother Lanny into the company as well. Lanny Poffo had worked in the WWF as The Genius but had left the company in a full-time role in 1992. According to Bischoff Randy Savage was happy to give up a piece of his pie if his brother could have some instead.
Eric Bischoff continued:
“Randy because he loved his brother as much as he did, until the day he died, wanted Lanny to have an opportunity. Financially and hopefully an opportunity at some point to perform in the ring. Randy came to me on the behalf of Lanny, I’m not sure if Lanny even knew about it, I don’t know I’ve never talked to Lanny about this. Randy came to me and said ‘I want you to hire my brother.’ My response was ‘Randy, I can’t. I can’t justify it.’ We were in the process of negotiating his [Randy’s] next deal. And Randy made it clear that he would take less money, because we had talked about that number and we were pretty comfortable with it early on, it wasn’t a big deal.”
“But Randy said I’ll take less, just bring Lanny in. So of course, I did it. In the hopes that there was a story there, for Lanny, I didn’t know what it was, but if he’s under contract and we can start thinking about it, depending on what it evolves during the course of a month, or three months or six months, there may have been a role that may have made sense for Lanny. But at the end of it all, it didn’t matter to me because just like bringing in Randy, because of the Slim Jim deal, bringing in Lanny had zero effect on my budget. Zero.”
Although Lanny Poffo signed a multi-year deal with WCW, he wrestled once for the company at a WCW Saturday Night taping in 1997.