George "The Animal" Steele (Jim Myers),
Businessman and Wrestling Legend - 27th June 2003
people know George Steele as the wrestler who competed
for world championships around the world. He fought
the best in the business from Bruno Sammartino, to
Randy Savage, all the way up to Hulk Hogan.
some of the great wrestlers', George did well in the
movie business, including a leading role in the award
winning, Ed Wood.
Jim runs a successful business, looks after his heath,
assists worthy charities, and resides with his lovely
wife in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Myers takes time out to do an e-mail interview with
why and when did you get involved in wrestling?
was teaching and earning $4,300 a year in 1961. I
needed a part time job to support my family.
"The Animal" Steele was born James Myers
in Detroit, MI in 1937. Before he became a wrestler,
he was a teacher. He began his career in Detroit in
the 1960's. At first, he wore a mask and wrestled
as The Student as a member
of the long-running old-school heel stable Gary
Hart's Army. He taught for 25 years.
wild brawling wildman that changed as the business
did, to a lovable wildman.
pro for 40 years.
do you consider the highlights of your career?
really had three wrestling careers:
learning the business as THE STUDENT while wearing
as George I was one of the wildest to step in to the
ring from 1966-1985
from 1985 to 1985 and way beyond I became a loved
What are your thoughts on the
series of matches you have with Randy
was really the twilight of my career - It was a great
way to finish my career.
was a great run that was really at the end of my career.
Liz was great. I hated her death. It elevated Randy
to superstar status and sent me to the WWE hall of
fame. That is a win-win.
50 years from now, how would you like to be remembered?
a successful businessman that gave back.
would be nice to be remembered as a man of the Lord
What keeps you busy these days?
having success pinning Crohn¹s disease. Doctors
say there is no known cure for Crohn¹s but God
have my health and life back things just keep getting
better. How can you beat life on the beach with a
wife of forty eight years and a successful home base
business? I am involved many charities. I also do
belong to a very active Rotary Club, and serve as
Sergeant-at-Arms, and I serve on three boards that
I am passionate about. The PWHF
e ARC and
the MSU Space Coast Alumni Club. I am
most excited about the fact that I have accepted Jesus
Christ as my Lord and Savior.
has helped make a lot of good things happen in our
lives. Thank you for remembering.
Steele Official website
Animal' now a teddy bear: Florida Today - 24th October
25 years until his retirement in 1988, George "The
Animal" Steele was a professional wrestler who
WWWF fans loved to boo.
hairy and green- tongued, the giant madman looked
like a character from Street Fighter II. He chewed
turnbuckles, grunted like an early life form, and
fought the likes of Gorilla Monsoon, Bruno Sammartino
and The Sheik.
the same time, for 25 years until his retirement in
1985, a nice, quiet high school teacher and coach
in Madison Heights called Jim Myers, '61, was enjoying
success; his 1969 wrestling team won the state crown
and his 1985 football team went undefeated. Both are,
actually, one and the same. "I had a wife, two
kids and a $4,300 salary," explains Myers, now
living in Cocoa Beach, FL, with wife Pat. "I
needed some extra money. A friend suggested wrestling."
Jim never wrestled before. A bad knee had stymied
his football career at MSU.
To conceal his identity, he wore a mask during summers
wrestling in places like Madison Square Garden. "Soon,
everyone knew," he recounts. "Wrestling
got really big, with TV coverage and all." In
1984, he appeared before 97,000 fans in Wrestlemania
II at the Pontiac Silverdome--the largest indoor audience
ever according to Guinness. His students would bring
magazines featuring George "The Animal"
Steele for him to autograph. "Who's this ugly
guy Steele?" Jim would ask them with transparent
innocence. Once some 80 football players showed up
with his trademark green tongue (a result of chewing
mints). He pretended not to notice.
A WWWF Hall of Fame inductee, Jim now works as a WWWF
road agent. But he has found yet another career. After
a bit part in The Nanny, he got a key role in Tim
Burton's movie Ed Wood, playing Tor Johnson, "the
first actor who played monsters without makeup."
Jim worked alongside the likes of Johnny Depp, Bill
Murray, Patricia Arquette and oscar-winning Martin
Landau. He is the featured star of his next movie,
Blowfish. An indication of his movie success is that
one can now buy George Steele stuffed animals, toys,
and even dolls. Dolls? "Well," says Jim,
"they are action dolls."
MYERS: THE ANIMAL GOES HOLLYWOOD (author unknown)
VS Tito Santana
VS Bruno Sammartino