• KJP

    Wow, that would mean he was nearly 50 during his famous feud with Macho Man. At least he got to a reasonably old age which more than far too many wrestlers can say.

    • Chris Hirsch

      If he had come along in the right era he could have been a WrestleMania main eventer!

    • James M. Fabiano

      Crap, which means another Mania match where all but the ref are gone 🙁

      • Sexy Miz

        I believe it was Dave Hebner.

        • James M. Fabiano

          Well he’s dead to Vince, so….

          • Sexy Miz

            Dave? Why?

          • Charlie Owens

            Selling bootleg WWE merch. Or was that Earl?

    • Nellykins

      Even older when he had a mini comeback around 95/96 in WWF around the same time they brought Volkoff and Bundy back

  • John Sivewright

    I didn’t know he headlined with Bruno back in the day; most people would of course associate him with his comedy run in the 80’s. A larger than life character rarely see in wrestling nowadays. RIP Animal Steele.

  • daveschlet

    Sad. 🙁

  • Wharf Rat Fink

    From all accounts, George was a true gentleman. In his early days before tv he’d wrestle in the summer and was a teacher during the school year who always went out of the way to help the special needs kids as he was dyslexic as a kid and felt for them. A one of a kind character who lived a great life. Rest in peace.

    Wish i had a copy of Ed Wood today.

  • Brian Nielsen

    One of the true good guys in this world. Thank you George for making wrestling so much more fun.

  • Aww man. One of my all-time favorite wrestlers. I met him at the ’96 Hall Of Fame ceremony and out of all the greats, he was the one I was most excited to see in person. He was so friendly and growled back at me when I did my imitation of him.

  • James M. Fabiano

    So 2016 gets to pick on the other celebrities, now it’s back to picking on wrestlers 🙁

    But seriously, RIP George, met him 2-3 times at indy shows, and most notably when he was at Barnes and Noble promoting his book. Here is a video from that day… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5azbsOBgb0

    And he is the undisputed winner of the WrestleMania IV battle royal for 29 years straight. (I did ask him what was up with that, gotta look back at my recounts of the book signing to recall what he said)

    • JJ

      We lost Fuji, Gypsy Joe and Hayabusa in 2016. And Chyna.

      • James M. Fabiano

        Four you can name within a year isn’t bad all things considered. This 1 1/2 months is feeling a bit like the start of 2016 did for celebrities in general.

  • RG-Dallas

    I knew he was on borrowed time when he flatlined twice and they couldn’t do corrective surgery. He knew he was dying too and seemed to have complete peace about it. So when Snuka died, I had a feeling George would probably pass next since we knew. Twitter won’t be the same without him, but you knew Him George and I know we’ll meet someday.

  • HITMAN7204

    MINE!

  • tzunset

    I hope WWE spotlights more than his 1980s run (not that it was bad, for what it was).

  • Big D Wangston

    Wow, he actually looked much younger and healthier in his recent (ish) talking head segments on WWE docs than he did during the 80’s.

  • ONITA100

    Still remember as a little kid talking to him Gorilla position around 94 at a WWF house show in Michigan and him being very engaging and nice to me.

    RIP

  • PATRICKisLEGEND

    Someone on the blog brought up just yesterday how they were amazed that Steele was still alive.

  • wnyxmcneal

    “I feel like I’m dating George ‘The Animal’ Steele”

    • rxchrisg

      That one was just on!

  • Clark O’Brien

    My first favourite wrestler as a very small child.

  • thejob111

    Congrats to him on a great life and for being an outstanding person. So many wrestler deaths have had negative circumstances around them. George should be celebrated for his life. Rest in Peace and best to his family.

    • TheOriginalDonald

      Nice

  • Clark O’Brien

    My favourite George story was when he went back to his teaching job and denying to his students that he was the wrestler off TV.

    • GoodOldBoz

      His first gimmick name? ‘The Student’! Of course ..:

  • MaffewOfBotchamania

    ”better than wrestling!”

  • James M. Fabiano

    Obviously I have his autobiography somewhere as I got it signed. Anyone read it and if so what did you think?

  • Mr. DC

    Thank you for your condolences during this tough time.

  • GoodOldBoz

    “Oh GEORGE!”

  • Hogan & Piper got me into watching wrestling but it was George The Animal Steele that made me laugh and become a true fan.

    “How now brown cow.”

  • GoodOldBoz

    Most of you guys are probably lucky enough to have never heard of him, but there’s a staggeringly unfunny Scottish ‘comedian’ out there called Limmy. Whenever a famous person dies, he tweets the same ludicrous meme:

    “I met x at a charity event. Surprisingly down to Earth and VERY funny”.

    He’d better not try that here..:

    • wnyxmcneal

      Or what?

      • GoodOldBoz

        “And we don’t even have to discuss that”

  • Knuckleberry Pinn

    My favourite George Steele memory is definitely that time he needlessly took up half of Ricky Steamboat’s spotlight at Wrestlemania III.

    • wnyxmcneal

      That was awesome. Steele and Steamboat both get their revenge on Savage

    • Sexy Miz

      Thumbs down. He was the added attraction needed to pull the Detroit Pontiac crowd from red hot to molten hot.

    • tzunset

      Yeah, who remembers Steamboat from WrestleMania III?

  • ONITA100

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Raenc8wb7k

    Posting this after listening to Tommy Dreamer on Busted Open radio. Steele versus some jobber where he dislocates the guys shoulder, it’s a pretty gruesome watch. You eventually realize the guy can probably just pop his shoulder out of place on command but in a 1981 kayfabe world i’m sure it was very believable

  • ReinEngel

    I had just fallen in love with the man after watching his shoots. Rest in peace, you wonderful man.

  • Nick Demola

    Reposting what I wrote on the Day Thread. In true Hunter S. Thompson style, I took the subject of the piece and made it a story about me… but hey, there’s some good George stuff in here too. RIP Animal.

    George Steele made me a wrestling fan.

    I was in third grade and the announcement was made that a special guest was coming to the school. Only the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders would be invited to the event.

    My friend Ryan told me that he’d gotten his next door neighbor to come visit… George “The Animal” Steele. That’s who the guest was.

    I was a nascent wrestling fan. My parents HATED pro wrestling, and I was the oldest boy. The only one who wanted to watch the show. And we didn’t have a lot of money, living just outside of Detroit, so we only had a shitty color TV and a tiny, tiny black and white TV. I would sneak into my parents’ room to watch Superstars on that black and white.

    I went to the principal’s office and demanded that 3rd graders be allowed to see George too. Heck, I was in a combined 3rd-4th grade class! Why should half the class go and the other half not be able to go? It was unfair!

    Myself, my friend Tony, and a couple other kids caused such a ruckus that they finally said that it was fine. We got to go.

    And man, let me tell you, George was huge. He sat up on that stage and told stories about wrestling that, frankly, I don’t remember. But he told us all that he loved Detroit. He loved our school. He wanted us all to get an education so we could be smarter than him. He didn’t kayfabe at all.

    I asked him why his tongue was green, and he said it wasn’t really green and showed us that it was normal. He said he painted it that way as his gimmick. And that it started when he was playing football in high school and bit his tongue really badly. It was black and blue and swollen, and he saw it in the mirror and was grossed out. He saw some green paint nearby and decided to paint it and play the rest of the game with the tongue painted that way. It freaked out the other team, so he just kept doing it. And he brought it to wrestling years later… that he didn’t always do that, but it was something he brought up and the guys in charge liked the idea, so he went ahead with it.

    The memory I have of that day that I’ll never forget was him asking for who the biggest kid in the school was. Jeff Hinson. No doubt. He was a 6th grader and he was tall and big and athletic and we all looked up to him/feared him. George told him to come on stage. When Jeff got up there, George whispered something in his ear and then yelled out, “WHO WANTS TO SEE ME PICK OLD JEFF HERE UP BY THE EARS???” We went nuts! Then he did it! And Jeff walked off stage holding his ears, with a look of pain and amazement on his face. In fact, Jeff sold the ear thing the entire rest of the school year. He’d find times at recess to rub his ears and go “Man, that still kinda hurts.” When I started doing wrestling columns in my teenage years I told a couple indy guys that story, how George picked a kid up by the ears, and they smartened me up to the trick. Old carny trick. But Jeff sold it like a champ!

    That day made me a wrestling fan for life. George was a gentle guy, a loving guy. I saw him a couple more times after that, just out and about. He was always such a gentleman.

    RIP George. It’s the name I knew him by, so that’s the name I’m using. You showed an eight year old that no matter how big or mean looking someone is, you have to give them a chance and get to know them… often times, people will surprise you.

  • Manjiimortal

    RIP Steele.
    Just watched his cage match against Bruno in 1970 the other day, it wasn’t good, but Steele was a great character and a great guy.

  • Sexy Miz

    Literally just last week I was thinking “they should put George Steele in the Hall of Fame while he’s still alive.”

    Then I found out he actually WAS in the Hall, and I was happy.

    Now I find out he’s dead, and I’m sad.

  • Sexy Miz

    Meanwhile, Nicole Bass is reportedly still alive, though would probably be wishing she weren’t if she could.

    • johntcole

      She should be off life support by now, hopefully she won’t suffer too much longer.

  • tzunset

    Come to think of it…the Flying Hammerlock would be a great finisher for Strowman.

    • Sexy Miz

      That actually takes a lot of skill. Not sure Strowman can pull it off.

      • tzunset

        He might pull an *arm* off…

  • MyronB

    It’s amazing that George the Animal Steele challenged Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship.

  • Starscreamlive

    Goddammit! I didn’t even know he was sick. George, Jake, and Kamala were what made me a WWF fan when I was growing up. Rest in peace, buddy.

  • Mr.Snrub

    Member when George “The Animal” Steele appeared on Monday Nitro to try and get Double J over?

    • James M. Fabiano

      OK that’s eerie…cause three of the people involved in that angle are now dead. Two within a month.

      • Sexy Miz

        #PrayForTito

  • JosephM

    George Steele joined the pantheon of great performances by wrestlers in films, portraying Tor Johnson in “Ed Wood”.

  • Dana

    Sad to hear.

  • Greg Dufour

    George made a video to be released when he died. It’s on his Twitter. Definitely check it out. He talks about his life.

    • Sexy Miz

      That’s some quality proselytizing there.

  • TheOriginalDonald

    Now Ivan Koloff is deceased. RIP

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