WWE Hall of Famer George “The Animal” Steele joined Inside The Ropes radio this past Thursday. Here are the highlights:
On his character becoming nonsensical in his promos: “I did my own interviews and I was very articulate in the WWF when I got there but once they called me The Animal, and I was doing an interview with Vince and he said I was making too much sense for an animal so I turned into the ooh ooh aah guy and became the comedy character and it was a great run.”
On working WrestleMania 2 with Randy Savage: “I had a great time. It was not as stressful as when I wrestled Bruno because Bruno and I were hardcore. I was a cartoon character with Randy so it was easier. Randy was in all honesty, a very jealous guy about Elizabeth and what you saw was sort of real. So then the further I went on TV to make him jealous and the further I got, the angrier he was.”
Memories of WrestleMania 3: “It was about twelve miles from home. The Savage/Steamboat thing was Not my kinda match. I heard them talk that match for three weeks, I was sick of hearing about it. They called the spots, it was a great match but there was no psychology. Andre was a very good friend, Vince and Hogan did not know what Andre would do when he got to the ring if he’d lay down. He sort of kayfabed them. I’m sitting watching, laughing my tail off because I knew what Andre would do. When Hogan slammed Andre, that made him.”
Why he left WWF in 1989: “I was deathly ill with Crohns disease. I was in hospital for a month, and I knew it was all over, I couldn’t keep wrestling. I didn’t know I’d have to retire, but once I got to hospital, I knew it was over.”
On being inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1995 and founding the PWHOF: “It was fine. they brought my family in. After my induction they didn’t do any inductions for years. I talked to this guy Tony Mollano who’s responsible for the boxing hall of fame and I told him there wasn’t a physical building, and so we set up the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, New York. It’s a good thing. We’re not in competition with Vince. But we have a building people can come along and take a look at history.”
Thoughts on Montreal Screwjob: “To me that’s one of the biggest jokes in wrestling of all time. Lets be honest, who did Bret Hart beat to win the belt? They give him the belt and then he can’t drop the belt in his own country? Give me a frickin break. By Vince doing the double cross Vince became the hottest thing in the business when all he did was take his belt back. He outdid everyone who walked away like Hulk and Bret.”
Quick Fire Thoughts:
Hulk Hogan – Right place, right time.
Bret Hart – Lucky.
John Cena – Johnny come lately.
Ric Flair – needed the belt.
Undertaker – One of a kind.
The Rock – Great.
Ultimate Warrior – (Laughs) Thats all I have to say.
To hear the rest of the interview where Steele talks about coming up with his ring name, facing Sammartino at MSG, The experience of WrestleMania 2 being in 3 cities, starring in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood and his faith and lack of involvement with wrestling in recent years, click here.