Last updated by David Buckler on February 17, 2017
NWA (Detroit) World Tag Team titles w/Frankie Lane defeating John Bonello and Randy Scott (May 3, 1980);
In the Beginning:
George “The Animal” Steele was born James Meyers in Detroit, MI in 1937.
George Steele initially had a career in teaching and coaching in the Madison school system.
Getting into the Business – The Student:
James Meyers debuted under a mask, in Detroit, wrestling as “The Student” to keep his identity a secret from his real students.
~~~The Student was a member of the long-running old-school heel stable Gary Hart’s Army.
~~~Eventually, he dropped the mask and became George “the Animal” Steel, a very unorthadox ‘wildman’ wrestler.
Robert Louis Howell wrote: George Steele’s legit brother donned the Student Mask and work as George’s tag team partner and protege in the Pittsburgh territory under the name of “Professor X”.
Anonymous wrote: In the early 70s, wrestling matches were held about every three weeks at the Scranton CYC. It was always a big draw ? but ? for several years it was constant sell-outs (approx 6,000?). Chief Jay Strongbow was a phenomenal draw in Scranton during his peak. He, Pedro Morales, and Bruno Sammartino, among other babyfaces always prevailed in the “ultimate showdown” (cage, death, strap ? whatever type decisive match). Such was not the case with George “The Animal” Steele and Haystacks Calhoun. The match was at least the second (if not the third) main event between them. Joe Louis was the referee. Steele pulled out his knife, cut Calhoun pretty good (blood everywhere), and knocked him out of the ring. Joe Louis counted Calhoun out and declared Steele the winner. The arena went wild!!!
The CYC was primarily a basketball arena. The wrestlers came from each of two locker rooms ? one for the heels and one for the baby faces. Along the back wall heading to the Heels dressing room were a series of double doors exiting to the alley behind the CYC. Before getting there, the wrestlers walked through the ringside seats and alongside a section of the bleachers. The CYC was totally filled ? SRO. As Steele walked past the bleachers, a young boy (10-12?) jumped on his back. With a single one-armed motion, Steel grabbed the boy and tossed him back into the bleachers. (At this point, I should add that Scranton was still pretty much a coal miner town with a coal miner’s mentality.) THE ENTIRE SECTION OF THE BLEACHERS came after Steele, chased him through the double doors, into the alley and down the street. Steele was literally running for his life. The other “heels” all ran from the dressing into the alley, formed a circle around Steele, and eventually wedged their way back into the arena and dressing room. The “focal point” of the circle was Iron Mike McCord (later, I believe, Austin Idol). Steele and the other wrestlers ran “away” from the crowd with Steele in the middle. McCord “faced” the crowd, taking slow and deliberate steps backwards while basically pounding to the ground anybody trying to get trough him to Steele.
McCord was quite a sight ? I believe he saved Steele from real harm that night. I’m surprised I was never able to find mention of this in any internet site that discusses wrestling. I’ve seen the card identified by sites that chronologically list wrestling cards for each year. However, you would think such an event would gather a little more discussion.
George Steele responsed: That is not what happened Brad. I never went in the ally and ran. The locker room door was next to the exits. There was two doors at each end of the locker rooms and the fans came in both doors. The way cleared by police and the wrestlers. The Police did walk me to our car. There was no real problem. I did not cut Stacks with a knife. God Bless.
Anonymous wrote again: I didn’t really mean cut with a “real” knife. Other than that, I think George’s recollection is a bit off. The police may have walked him to the car after the “show.” However, after the “match,” he most certainly was chased into the alley, the wrestlers circled him, and McCord was the “point man.” The “doors” he is talking about were next to the locker room entrance, but were not exits/entrances for fans at wrestling and boxing matches. These were the doors in back of the arena, emergency only. It was an emergency!!! LOL
Big Time Wrestling / Detroit – George “The Animal” Steele:
George Steele (still wrestling as a heel) had a brutal feud with The Sheik, another legendary Detroit madman.
May 3, 1980: Geroge Steele and Frankie Lane beat John Bonello and Randy Scott to win Detroit’s version of the World Tag Team titles.
~~~This would be the only title George Steele would hold during his entire career.
~~~May 24, 1980: John Bonello and Randy Scott recaptured the World Tag Team titles from George Steele and Frankie Lane.
1981: George Steele also worked the Georgia territory as a tag team partner of Dusty Rhodes for a limited period.
World Wide Wrestling Federation – George “The Animal” Steele:
~~~J.D. Smoothie and Corey Havoc (w/Gigalo Joe Jones) beat Neko the Monkey Man and Botchagalup the Banana Boy (w/George Steele).
~~~The Nigerian Nightmares and Niya w/George “The Animal” Steele defeated Saddam Insane and Smith James and Jana w/Gigalo Joe Jones.
George “The Animal” Steele passed away on February 16, 2017.
April 16, 1937
Originally from Detroit, Michigan Retired in Cocoa Beach, Florida
Height and Weight
6'1" 245 lbs
The Student (Detroit) The Animal Machine (9/10/86)
The Animal Clutch (Hammerlock)
Arm Bite Eating the Turn-buckle
The Sheik Bobo Brazil Bruno Sammartino Gorilla Monsoon Haystacks Calhoun Pedro Morales Bob Backland Hulk Hogan Roddy Piper Randy Savage One Man Gang Kamala Adrian Adonis Andre The Giant Honky Tonk Man Jake Roberts Danny Davis