George ‘The Animal’ Steele Shoot Interview

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Every once in a while RF VIDEO is lucky to happen upon a wrestling personality that we never thought we’d be able to “get.” Some of those are because the money is just ridiculous. Others will not break kayfabe under any circumstances, fiercely clutching to one of the most time honored traditions of the sport. And a few, just a few mind you, are just legitimately out of their mind insane. Years ago we made headlines scoring an interview with the crazed Abdullah the Butcher. No one ever thought we could get the Madman of the Sudan to let his guard down, but he did, and only for RF VIDEO. Another shocking “get” was none other than the homicidal, the suicidal, the genocidal, SABU. The very performer who changed wrestling itself in the ’90s broke his decades long silence in our ground breaking shoot interview series.

Now, after years of trying to track one man down, we finally succeeded. A man who everyone knows, but no one has heard him talk. One of the wildest men to ever step into the ring of professional wrestling. Yes, we are talking about the one… the only… George “the Animal” Steele!

Talk about one great story after another, George was so into this interview that it became an absolute blast just to be a part of the experience. Long time WWF (and going even further back, WWWF) fans are going to be euphoric with all the stories we got from Steele. George talked about what impact the original Sheik had on him, both personally and professionally, and how he constantly worked on his act to make it in wrestling. He discussed how it was Bruno Sammartino who got him into McMahon’s WWWF and gives exclusive detail on the real life heat the two men had at the time. We went into all the legendary matches with Bruno at the Garden along with the sell outs in Pittsburgh. You want the scoop on all the top faces of the time including Pedro Morales, Gorilla Monsoon, Andre the Giant, and Bob Backlund? Well, today is your lucky day as George is as informative and entertaining as anyone we’ve ever hear talk about the subject.

Coming from the old school, Steele described what it was like to work his gimmick 24/7 and what effect it had on his personal life. George talked about his constant breaks from wrestling, why they were needed, and some of the things he did on his off time. Wait until you hear how he fooled students when they asked if he was a wrestler! We also loved an incredible story on how Steele learned to play the backstage politics game after overhearing Vince Sr. and Jr. in the bathroom talking about his push. This is one story that will have you rolling! George also came from the time when great managers were littered all over the wrestling landscape, and we got stories on the best of them including Albano, the Grand Wizard, Mr. Fuji, and Freddie Blassie. Why did Capt Lou get fired every week? How did George react after Roddy Piper told him he was killing the business with his gimmick? Did Steele like working for Vince Sr or Vince Jr? What did George tell Vince after he filmed the Vachon wedding, and what did Vince do in return? You’ll have to listen to find out!

George talks about all his infamous matches in the WWF with Hulk Hogan and working backstage with Mean Gene Okerland. He talked about his matches with Jimmy Snuka and Sgt. Slaughter and told everything about what happened with him when he went to Georgia to work for Ole Anderson. How did Steele ruin his match there on purpose with Piper and Ole, and why did he do it and leave? Is your appetite whetted yet?

George talked about what it was like to finally turn babyface and work with Randy Savage and Elizabeth, including a great story concerning a locker room fight that took place in the shower between him and Savage. What were his thoughts on the way Savage controlled Liz and the way Savage acted in general? What ribs did he play on Savage? How did George land a part in the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie about Ed Woods ? We asked everything!

For the first time ever George the Animal Steele lets you into his world, totally out of character, and at times he does some very funny bits during that will have you laughing out loud. Mixing the funny with the serious – such as talking about why he had a fall out with Vince and how he worked for WCW for one night and the heat that is caused – this is a shoot you will want to check out, especially if you are a fan of wrestling’s storied past.

Can you talk about your football background
How and why did you get into wrestling
Who trained you
What do you remember about your first match
Did the veterans kayfabe you when you first broke in
Talk about the dressing rooms back then, the heel and face locker rooms
Who came up with the Student gimmick
Was it difficult wearing a mask
Do you think a masked wrestler could get over today
Memories of Gary Hart
Memories of the first time you met the Sheik
How far did he go in playing his gimmick
You have been outspoken in the past about the difference between gimmick and persona, can you elaborate
What did you learn watching the Sheik
Who mentored you early on
Memories of Bulldog Brower
How did you wind up wrestling for Bruno Sammartino in Pittsburgh
How come you didn’t continue as the Student
Who came up with the name George Steele
Were you the Animal yet
Memories of Bill Miller
Did you like the territory
Memories of wrestling Bruno in Pittsburgh
Was the promotion an outlaw promotion since Bruno had been blackballed
At what point in your career did you gain more confidence in yourself
How did the Animal gimmick come about
Did you find it hard to do or did it come easy
How did the turnbuckle eating start
Is it true that you taught and coached during the year at this time
How hard was it to do both
Did you have a student during that time period recognize you at school
What happened the one day with the green tongues
How did you wind up in the WWWF
Impressions of Vince Sr and Toots Mondt
Did you like working the territory
Who did you ride with
Memories of wrestling Bruno for an hour
Memories of matches with Jay Strongbow
Memories of matches with Edouard Carpentier
When you went to the WWWF the first time, did it come out to the media that you were a teacher part time
Memories of wrestling Gorilla Monsoon
Memories of matches with Pedro Morales
Where were your favorite territories to wrestle in and why
Memories of matches with the Sheik in Detroit
Memories of wrestling in Georgia
Thoughts on Ole Anderson
Memories teaming with Dusty against Ole Anderson and Roddy Piper
Memories of matches with Andre the Giant
How did you wind up going back to the WWF in 1977
How were things different with Billy Graham on top
Thoughts on wrestling Dusty
Memories of matches with Ivan Putski
Memories of teaming with Stan Stasiak
How different was it when you went back with Backlund on top the next year
Memories of Lou Albano getting fired at the TVs
Did you like Vince Sr
Memories of matches with Backlund during this time period
Billy Graham says he was hard to work with because he was paranoid, do you agree
In 1981 you seemed to have wrestled all year, did you take a sabbatical
You had a few runs against Backlund, did he get easier to wrestle
A few of your matches that aired either on the USA network or Spectrum wrestling ended really quick, was there a reason for that
Memories of the Grand Wizard
Memories of Freddie Blassie
What was the secret behind the green tongue
How different were things when you returned in 1984
Memories of being managed by Mr. Fuji
Did he ever rib you
Did you find it more competitive, because it seemed like a lot of guys were fighting for a top heel spot
How crazy was the drug and party scene then
Memories of Roddy Piper
How different was Vince Jr to his dad
Did anything he do or not do as compared to his dad impact you
Any good Iron Sheik stories from this era
Were you surprised at how big the WWF was getting at that time
Memories of the infamous match against Hogan and Gene Okerlund
Memories of matches with Hogan
Memories of matches with Jimmy Snuka
Some say he was so messed up that it was hard to work with him at times, any truth to that
Memories of matches with Sgt Slaughter
Were you surprised when Vince started expanding into other territories
Were you surprised he took over Georgia Championship Wrestling
Did you like doing some of the off the wall stuff like TNT
Who’s idea was it to turn you babyface
Were you for it
Memories of your run with Savage
A lot of guys have said that Savage was crazy and over protective of Liz, did you ever see that
How was Elizabeth to work with
Memories being paired with Lou Albano
Was it weird to be a babyface after being a heel for so long
Memories of your babyface turn on Saturday Nights Main Event
Memories teaming with Hogan
How did Vince change as he got more successful
Memories of Wrestlemania 2
Was there any thought to you going over for the IC belt
Did you think the business was too exposed when Mr. T came in
Memories of the British Bulldogs
Do you think Dynamite went too far with his ribs
Bruno talks a lot about being miserable during his comeback in 86, do you have any memories of Bruno during this time period
Memories teaming with Junkyard Dog
Memories of matches with the Honkytonk Man
Memories of Jake Roberts
Memories teaming with the Crusher in Chicago in 87
Memories of Wrestlemania 3
Memories and thoughts on Steamboat
Were you surprised when Harley Race came over to the WWF
What happened at Wrestlemania 4
Who came up with the Mine puppet
How did you wind up leaving the WWF
Did you leave on good terms
How did you get into Ed Wood
Were any of the actors wrestling fans
How did you wind up back as part of the Oddities
Was it supposed to be a one shot deal
How did you wind up taking an agent’s job
Do you like it
Who was the one guy or girl that frustrated you or angered you the most
How did you wind up wrestling on Nitro
Did you feel that you burnt a bridge with Vince
How were you treated
How shocked were you about what happened to Elizabeth
What do you think about all of the deaths in wrestling over the last several years
Why do you think guys today seem to be injured more than guys from your era
You once said the biggest mistake you made was not taking Vince to a wrestling gym when you broke him in, can you expand on that
Are you surprised that Vince started wrestling
Who was your favorite and least favorite manager and why
Who were your favorite opponents
What are your thoughts on today’s wrestling
Thoughts on TNA
Any good road stories, ribs
Have you ever refused to do a job and if so why
Any regrets
Fav and least favorite matches
Thoughts on the current WWE and TNA products
Do you think a character like George the Animal could get over today
Do you see yourself with another WWE run as a manager or anything like that?
Are you surprised when you see some guys who don’t know when to let go
Do you still wrestle on the indys today
Who was your fav and least favorite booker and why
Do you ever want to write a book