Frankie Kazarian Leaves Lanny Poffo in Tears at ALL IN

This beautiful moment between Frankie Kazarian and Lanny Poffo occurred backstage at the first ALL IN show on September 1st, 2018.

Frankie Kazarian and Lanny Poffo backstage at ALL IN on September 1st, 2018.
Frankie Kazarian and Lanny Poffo backstage at ALL IN on September 1st, 2018.

Lanny Poffo: “I try to be nice to everybody, but not everybody becomes Frankie Kazarian.”

On a 2019 episode of The Genius Cast podcast, Lanny Poffo, who sadly passed away on February 2nd, 2023, at 68, had wrestling host and interviewer Alicia Atout on as a guest.

In this fun interview, Poffo and Atout were reminiscing about what a wonderful experience ALL IN was for everyone involved when Lanny got emotional, reminiscing about a special moment that took place backstage.

“You know what really touched me?” Poffo began. “Frankie Kazarian.”

“He came up to me and he says, ‘I met you in Los Angeles when I was about eight-years-old.”

Lanny paused for a moment as he began to choke up.

“And [Frankie says], ‘You were nice to me.'”

Lanny stopped again to gain composure. “I’m sorry, I’m getting emotional about it.”

“I said [to Frankie], ‘Well, I’ve followed your career, and I am very proud of you.'”

Frankie backed up the sentiments shared by Lanny.

“Lanny Poffo was the first wrestler I ever met. It was at the LA Sports Arena in 1987.

“I was a very young, excited fan. I never forgot how kind he was.

“He couldn’t have been more of a gentleman then, and still is to this day.”

After reading our article, Frankie Kazarian took to Twitter to add:

“I met Lanny long before meet n’ greets were a thing. He was larger than life. He was a superstar. Still is.

“Could not have been more kind to this very young kid. Happy to call him my friend."

Kazarian continued, “For us, meeting a fan last a moment. For them, it could last a lifetime."

Frankie Kazazian Pays Tribute to Lanny Poffo After His Death

After the news broke of the passing of Lanny Poffo on February 2nd, 2023, Frankie Kazarian recorded a moving tribute for his friend on Twitter, where he remembered this moment.

“I just got the very, very unfortunate news that Lanny Poffo had passed away,” Kazarian began.

“This one hits me a little different because Lanny Poffo was the first wrestler I ever met. I was a young boy, probably nine or ten.

“I’ve told this story to him, and we shared a laugh and a little bit of tears over it because he was really moved that I remembered it.

“I got to the LA Sports Arena late, and he was there.

“Me and my buddy ran up to him, and we were just tugging on his jacket.

“It was like, ’Wow! This is a wrestler!’ I had only seen wrestlers on TV. They were real people, and he couldn’t have been kinder.

“As I got to know him and became pals with him, later in my career, he remained that same gentleman.

“I always looked forward to seeing Lanny; just a wonderful, wonderful man. I’m very, very upset that he passed away.

“To his family and his friends, my condolences.”

“We’re all this big wrestling fraternity brotherhood,” Kazarian poignantly concluded. “We just lost Lanny, so I wanted to share that with you guys. Another tough one.”

You can listen to The Genius Cast episode where Lanny Poffo shares this beautiful moment below:

YouTube video

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JP Zarka created Pro Wrestling Stories in May 2015. He is a writer and editor-in-chief here on the site, a podcast producer, the chief graphic designer of the cover art for the site’s articles, the former host of The Genius Cast with Lanny Poffo, and an elementary school teacher and assistant principal who enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his lively daughters! You can watch him on “Autopsy: The Last Hours of ” on Reelz in the United States and Channel 5 in Great Britain. Originally from Chicago, he has called London home since 2008.