Lanny Poffo recently detailed why ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage was reluctant to step between the ropes with fellow Hall of Famer, George ‘The Animal’ Steele.
Inside The Ropes’ own Keith Elliot Greenberg caught up with Lanny Poffo for an exclusive interview available in issue 8 of Inside The Ropes Magazine. During the course of the interview, the conversation made its way to Poffo’s legendary late brother, Randy Savage.
Lanny detailed Savage’s feud with George Steele that culminated at WrestleMania 2, all the way back in 1986. Putting his Intercontinental Championship on the line, Savage defeated Steele on the grandest stage of them all. However, Poffo recalls Savage’s reservations heading into the bout, noting a styles clash between the two legendary performers:
“I remember he told me, ‘I wasted all my time learning how to wrestle, so I could wrestle George Steele and not be able to. George wanted to have a good match, and Randy wanted to have a great match. You know, George was great at what he did. The guy had a hell of a gimmick. He was hairy with a green tongue, and it got over. But Randy’s idea of wrestling was to prove athleticism to the fans, not only the entertainment, but the athleticism. George Steele was a great athlete, but he was passed his peak.”
The match was a result of the storyline infatuation George Steele would have with Randy Savage’s manager and real-life wife, Ms Elizabeth. Though Savage became infamous for his protective nature over Ms Elizabeth, Poffo revealed that in this instance so early in his WWF career, Savage allowed the storyline to take place:
“He just put up with it. You know, it certainly wasn’t his idea. But he was going to need to have a little flexibility if he was going to make it in the WWF. George was respectful behind the scenes and in the ring. He was just doing business with Randy and doing his best.”
George Steele retired from in-ring competition in 1988, becoming a WWF Hall of Famer in 1995. Randy Savage became one of the biggest Superstars in WWE history, participating in what many consider the greatest WrestleMania match of all time against Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat at WrestleMania 3. Savage tragically passed away in 2011 and was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.