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:
WrestleMania III: George Steele helped Ricky Steamboat defeat Randy Savage for the Intercontinental title.
WrestleMania IV: George Steele was scheduled to compete in a battle royal, but “screwed up his knee” on the way to the ring.
~~~At this event, held at Trump Plaza, they had some horrible steps on the entrance way which George got tripped up on.
During the late 80s, George began bringing a raggedy puppet mascot to the ring with him. he called it “Mine”.
Late 80s: George left the WWF and worked for numerous independent promotions around the US.
July 14, 1986 – King Of The Ring: Harley Race defeated George Steele in the 1st round.
July 28, 1986 – All Star Wrestling: George Steele and The Junkyard Dog defeated The Moondogs (Moondog Rex and Moondog Spot).
August 30, 1986 – Championship Wrestling: George Steele and The Junkyard Dog defeated Mr. X and The Gladiator.
September 14, 1986 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele and The Junkyard Dog defeated The Funk Brothers (Hoss Funk and Jimmy Jack Funk).
September 20, 1986 – Superstars: George Steele and The Junkyard Dog defeated Steve Lombardi and Tony Nardo.
October 11, 1986 – Superstars: George Steele and The Junkyard Dog defeated Steve Regal and Terry Gibbs.
November 9, 1986 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele and The Junkyard Dog defeated Al Navarro and Joe Mirto.
November 24, 1986 – MSG Network: Kamala defeated George Steele.
January 3, 1987 – Saturday Night’s Main Event: Randy Savage defeated George Steele to retain the Intercontinental title.
January 10, 1987 – Superstars: Billy Jack Haynes, George Steele and The Junkyard Dog defeated Frenchy Martin, Mike Luca and Tim Patterson.
January 18, 1987 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated Tony Nardo.
February 22, 1987 – Wrestling Challenge: Butch Reed defeated George Steele by count-out.
April 26, 1987 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated Jesse Cortez.
May 2, 1987 – Saturday Night’s Main Event: Randy Savage defeated George Steele in a lumberjack match.
May 10, 1987 – Wrestling Challenge: The Honky Tonk Man defeated George Steele by disqualification.
June 7, 1987 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated Rudy Ryder.
June 20, 1987 – Superstars: George Steele defeated Al Navarro.
July 26, 1987 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated The Gladiator.
August 8, 1987 – Superstars: George Steele defeated Dusty Wolfe.
October 24, 1987 – Superstars: The Honky Tonk Man defeated George Steele by disqualification.
February 6, 1988 – Superstars: George Steele defeated Wellington Wilkins Jr. in a dark match.
February 22, 1988 – MSG Network: George Steele defeated Sika.
March 20, 1988 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated Boris Zhukov by disqualification in a dark match.
April 30, 1988 – Superstars: Greg Valentine defeated George Steele by count-out.
June 19, 1988 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated Randy Neverman.
June 25, 1988 – MSG Network: George Steele defeated Greg Valentine by count-out.
July 2, 1988 – Superstars: George Steele defeated The Intruder.
July 9, 1988 – Superstars: George Steele defeated Scott Colontonio in a dark match.
July 17, 1988 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated Len Kruger.
September 11, 1988 – Wrestling Challenge: George Steele defeated Larry Stephens.
September 17, 1988 – Superstars: George Steele defeated Chance McQuaid.
Retirement – George “The Animal” Steele:
George Steele had a leading role in the movie “Ed Wood”, which won two Oscars.
October 3, 1996: During an episode of Seinfeld called “The Bizarro Jerry”, where Jerry dates a woman with ‘man hands’.
~~~Jerry says “Those meaty paws. I feel like I’m dating George ‘The Animal’ Steele!”
July 16, 1997 – USA: George Steele defeated Johnny Valiant.
July 17, 1997 – USA: The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke) and George Steele defeated Lord Zieg, Sheik Satoure and Tiger Khan.
July 19, 1997 – ECWA: George Steele defeated Mr. Ooh La La.
March 21, 1998 – WWA: George Steele defeated The Mongolian. George Steele, Mike Hollow and Sgt. Slaughter defeated Bulldozer, Rick Fuller and The Mongolian.
April 25, 1998 – ECWA: Boogie Woogie Brown and George Steele defeated Mr. Ooh La La and The Persian Prince.
World Wrestling Federation – The Oddities:
December 29, 1997 – RAW: Brian Christopher and Jerry Lawler defeated George Steele and Taka Michinoku by disqualification.
December 21, 1998 – Heat: George Steele returned as a member of The Human Oddities, along with Kurrgan, Golga and Giant Silva.
James Meyers is inducted into both the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame and the World Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame.
George Steele begins working on a book that covers his 40 year career in the wrestling business.
Semi-Retirement – George Steele:
January 3, 1999 – Sunday Night Heat: George Steele defeated Mosh.
January 25, 1999 – RAW Is WAR: Droz defeated George Steele.
February 20, 1999 – Shotgun Saturday Night: The Disciples Of Apocalypse (8-Ball & Skull) & Too Much (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor) defeated The Oddities (George Steele, Giant Silva, Golga and Kurrgan).
February 21, 1999 – Sunday Night Heat: The Disciples Of Apocalypse (8-Ball & Skull) & Too Much (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor) defeated The Oddities (George Steele, Giant Silva, Golga and Kurrgan).
May 16, 1999 – AWF: George Steele defeated Miss B. Haven by disqualification.
May 17, 1999 – WXW: George Steele defeated Nikolai Volkoff and Thunderfoot in a 3-way match.
October 2, 1999 – NWA 4nd Annual Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl: George Steel defeated Jack Hammer.
October 10, 1999 – Heroes Of Wrestling: Greg Valentine defeated George Steele.
October 23, 1999 – SCW: George Steele defeated Notorious Norm.
October 24, 1999 – SCW: George Steele defeated Drew Lazario.
December 4, 1999 – APWF: George Steele defeated Doink.
January 10, 2000 – WCW Monday NITRO: George Steele defeated Jeff Jarrett in a “bunkhouse brawl” with help from Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit.
February 29, 2000 – Shakedown: George Steele defeated “Illustrious” Johnnie Stewart for the “presidency” of AWA Superstars.
March 10, 2000 – NWL: George Steele defeated Brian Anthony.
March 11, 2000 – NWL: George Steele defeated Hyjinx.
March 18, 2000 – MCW: George Steele defeated Romeo Valentino.
June 10, 2000 – MCW: George Steele defeated Romeo Valentino.
August 4, 2000 – Superstar Wrestling Explosion: George Steele defeated Wisconsin Doink The Clown.
September 30, 2000 – ACW: George Steele defeated Sgt. Medallion.
August 6, 2001: Sports Illustrated prints an article about St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Steve Kline.
~~~Kline explains that his athletic inspiration was George “The Animal” Steele!
~~~Kline discusses Steele’s heel days, saying “I want to be the guy that fans throw drinks and popcorn at.
George “The Animal” Steele is going to appear in a new wrestling video game called “Legends of Wrestling” for Sony Playstation 2.
Mighty Ions have an album called ‘Face Rakin’ Rock’ that has George Steele on the cover and includes a song named after him.
~~~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