30° Good Evening
30° Good Evening
SportsPro Wrestling

Lanny Poffo on ‘350 Days’ documentary and the ‘80s wrestling era

A vintage photo of Lanny Poffo.

A vintage photo of Lanny Poffo. Credit: Brian Bukantis

He had a 20-year wrestling career that included an eight-year run in WWE, a nationally televised win over Hulk Hogan and two Madison Square Garden main events.

But to many fans, Lanny Poffo always will be, first and foremost, the brother of Randy “Macho Man” Savage. And Poffo is OK with that.

“I have absolutely no problem talking about my brother,” Poffo, 64, said. “He was one of the greatest workers ever.”

With his storied career and famous family, which included father Angelo Poffo, the man once known as “The Genius” was a natural fit to be included in the new wrestling documentary, “350 Days,” which plays at select theaters across the U.S. on Thursday through Fathom Events.

The movie’s title is a reference to the brutal work schedule some of the wrestlers interviewed for the piece endured during a typical year in their careers. But, unlike some other veterans, Poffo said he looks back on his heavy workload during the 1980s as a blessing.

“It’s supply and demand. There’s a lot of wrestlers who were waiting by the phone to get a break. They didn’t work 350 days. They worked 10 or 15 days out of the year. So I was very, very happy to be on the road making money,” Poffo said. “When the phone rings, even now, if the price is right I’ll be there tonight, because I respect a dollar. And I’m retired, but I’m not dead yet.”

The film features interviews with dozens of legendary names from wrestling’s past, including Bret “Hitman” Hart, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase and the late Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Many of them shared candid, behind-the-scene stories about the wrestling business, including stories of womanizing and rampant drug use. But Poffo said blaming wrestling for poor decision-making was “a big cop out.”

“People would get divorced 20 times and blame the wrestling business. Go in the mirror and look and yourself. That’s who’s to blame,” Poffo said. “Many times, there was everybody doing cocaine together except me . . . Since a lot of those people who were doing cocaine together are either dead or broke, I’d say I made the right decision.”

At 64, Poffo said he still looks “reasonably good” and is “very, very healthy.” That’s despite pioneering a high-risk, high-flying style that was rarely seen in the WWE of the 1980s. Poffo said he was often criticized for his acrobatic offense but took solace in the advice of the “Macho Man.”

“My brother’s opinion was . . . wrestling is always searching for authenticity, because we are not real. So anything that you can do to prove that you’re an athlete is good,” Poffo said. “My idea was ‘Screw the norm. I’m going to be different.’ . . . It’s better to be peculiar than good. You’ll make more money with peculiar.”

Along with “350 Days” co-star Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Poffo will be signing autographs on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Royal Sports & Entertainment at 96-11 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills.

New York Sports