There are some interesting George Steele facts. The man had a long and interesting life, both in and out of the ring. Now that the WWE legend has passed away, here is a better glimpse of who he was.
George Steele facts: he was quite the athlete
Several pro wrestling stars began their careers elsewhere. George Steele had dreams of playing sports professionally. He was quite the athlete as a high school student in Michigan. Steele played track, baseball, football and basketball. He especially excelled on the gridiron. Steele ended up on the Michigan State Spartans football team. Unfortunately, though, knee injuries cut his career short.
George Steele facts: he was quite the scholar
On screen, George Steele played a monster heel. The character seemed almost primitive. So, people made assumption about his intelligence. However, Steele was quite educated. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Michigan State University. Steele then earned himself a Master’s degree from Central Michigan University.
George Steele facts: he was a teacher and coach
Not a lot of people would believe it back in the days, but George Steele also had a job outside of pro wrestling. He used his education to help others. Steele was a high school teacher in Michigan. He also coached wrestling and football. Back then, social media was not a thing, so it was easier for Steele to live a double life. Though, there were some students that recognized him as a wrestler.
George Steele facts: he wrestled under a mask
The reason why George Steele became a pro wrestler was because of money. He wanted to make more of it. To protect his day job as an educator, though, he needed a way to hide. Thus, Steele began his career in the industry by working underneath a mask. Ironically, he was called, The Student. To prevent Steele from having to speak, Gary Hart operated as his manager and handler.
George Steele facts: he took his name from an opposing coach
Bruno Sammartino discovered George Steele and wanted to work with him. However, Sammartino insisted that Steele drop the mask and name. Not wanting the educational system to find out, he started pondering potential monikers. He decided to use the name of a legendary high school football coach in Michigan. The actual George Steele gave him permission to use the name.
George Steele facts: he headlined with Bruno Sammartino
During the 1970s, performers knew that they made it in the industry whenever they worked a program with Bruno Sammartino. The Italian was and still is considered one of the biggest stars in the history of WWE. George Steele and Sammartino worked an hour long main event match at Madison Square Garden. That was huge back then. The two of them wrestled to a draw. That meant that the promoters believed in Steele as a draw.
George Steele facts: his interview style was not planned
There was a time where George Steele would cut normal promos. However, a promoter reminded him that it did not fit with the character that he was portraying. That upset Steele, as he wanted to showcase his linguistic skills. He decided to do a mock promo where he sounded like an animal. Rather than being upset, the promoter ended up loving the routine. So, Steele had to stick with it.
George Steele facts: his feud with Randy Savage was changed
Initially, promoters wanted a brief feud between George Steele and Randy Savage. The goal was to get the audience to feel sympathy towards the Animal. A failed attempt to win over Miss Elizabeth would break his heart. However, the audience absolutely loved the feud. Thus, the promoters decided to extend the program to more than a year.
George Steele facts: he retired because of a disease
Some are under the impression that George Steele retired as a pro wrestler because of a knee injury. That stems from the fact that he stood outside the ring during the battle royal at Wrestlemania IV. While his body did take quite a bit of damage, that was not the reason for his retirement. In 1988, Steele was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. That led him to give up the in ring portion of his career.
George Steele facts: he had his colon removed
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease. However, there are treatments to keep it in remission. In order to keep the symptoms from affecting him, George Steele opted to have his colon removed.
George Steele facts: he was a backstage agent for WWE
After his in ring career ended, George Steel stayed with WWE. Management opted to utilize him as a backstage agent. They were that impressed with his knowledge of the business. For whatever reasons, Steele did not end up working for too long in that role.
George Steele facts: he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Doink the Clown
In 1995, WWE decided to induct George Steele into the hall of fame. There were plenty of candidates to do the honor of giving an induction speech. However, management opted to go with Doink the Clown. That was a puzzling move since there was not a big connection between the two characters. Randy Savage was the better choice. However, the Macho Man was with WCW at the time.
George Steele facts: he worked with WCW and TNA
Most wrestling fans will remember George Steele as a WWE star. However, the veteran performer also worked for rival promotions. WCW signed him for a match against Jeff Jarrett on Monday Nitro. TNA then utilized him as a groomsmen during a wedding segment between Jay Lethal and SoCal Val. Jake Roberts, Kamala and Koko B Ware were the other members of the wedding party.
George Steele facts: he did a movie with WWE star Greg Valentine
Most everyone knows that George Steele was in a Tim Burton movie called Ed Wood. However, what people might not know is that he attempted to do a comedy series. A short movie called “Somethin Fishy” was filmed. It was shopped as the pilot episode. The show featured Greg Valentine as his sidekick. The two characters purchased a fishing camp together.
George Steele facts: he was mentioned on Seinfeld
In one of the more memorable episodes of Seinfeld, Jerry dates a woman with ridiculously large hands. It was something that he could not get past. While complaining about his girlfriend, Jerry compares it to dating George Steele.
George Steele facts: the Wrestling Observer ridiculed his late career
Though his career is legendary, George Steele did not impress the Wrestling Observer towards the end. In 1986, the newsletter stated that the worst tag team in the industry was Steele and Junkyard Dog. Steele’s feud against Danny Davis in 1987 was considered the worst of the year. In 1987 and 1988, Steele won the Most Embarrassing Wrestler award.Categories: Featured