William James Myers, well-known by his ring name George "The Animal" Steele and also famous because that his green tongue and ability to tear up and "eat" a turnbuckle, has passed away at the age of 79.

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Steele was a Detroit native and also Madison Heights High institution teacher who coached wrestling, football and also track, and held a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and also a master's from main Michigan University.

"The Animal" was inducted into the WWE hall of reputation in 1995, and the Michigan High college Coaches Association hall of Fame in 1996.

While his in-ring success with the WWE space nothing come scoff at, Steele might be most remembered for his duty in the WrestleMania III match in between "Macho Man" Randy Savage and also Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat in 1987 in ~ the Pontiac Silverdome.

Steele, at the point seen by fans together a hero fairly than a villain, assisted Steamboat win the WWE Intercontinental Championship by pushing Savage off the ropes and stealing the ring bell from the hand of the Macho Man. His aide come the fan-favorite Steamboat took place in former of a then-WWE record 93,000-plus fans.

Wrestling fans of the 1980s will have a tough time forget watching Steele lumber around the ring through his famed green tongue and also "taste" because that turnbuckles. ~ mischievously attack Pete Sanchez with a international object, watch Steele rip and also chew his means through the ring's turnbuckle pad.

He climate feeds, suffocates and beats down his enemy with the innards of the chomped up turnbuckle.

It was the strangest that love triangles, and it produced some of the many unique and compelling outside-the-ring moment in pro-wrestling television.

Steele in 1987 feuded through "Macho Man" Randy Savage end the solutions of Savage's manager and real-life wife miss out on Elizabeth.

Before Hulk Hogan to be an worldwide superstar setting the world's "Hulkamaniacs" ~ above fire, he challenged Steele in 1984 in the then-WWF. "The Animal" was still a full-on villain and also thanks to the assist of his dastardly manager Mr. Fuji, beat the blossoming superstar via counting out.

After acquisition Fuji's salt come the confront while Steele distracted the referee, Hogan was unable to make the 10-count. This sent the crowd into a frenzy as they pelted Steele and Mr. Fuji v trash from their seats.

Steele's first taste the the WWE -- then the WWWF -- came in 1967, once he locked up with then-champion Bruno Sammartino. If he never ever tasted the WWE's top championship, Steele had his fair share of memorable sports entertainment moments.

At the period of 72, Steele not only made an illustration on WWE's Old school edition that Monday Night Raw, but he got connected in a enhance and even ate a turnbuckle during a dispute between Kofi Kingston and David Otunga (singer Jennifer Hudson's husband).

Steele lumbers his way to the ring flashing his well known green tongue before climbing right into the ring, pounding on the corner and devouring an unsuspecting turnbuckle.


Steele first showed up in Detroit-area wrestling promotions in the late 1960s if still to teach high school. That wrestled through a mask under the ring surname "The Student" to defend his genuine identity.

In 1980, Steele and also partner Frankie Laine winner the NWA Detroit tags Team Championships. While "The Animal" would victory a pair of various other titles in tiny independent promotions, this represented his "biggest" championship win.

In 2012, Madison Heights called its football ar Jim Myers stadion for his 25 year of coaching football, track and also wrestling at the school.

Steele had actually crippling Crohn's condition and dyslexia, and writes around his life inside and outside the ring in depth on his website and autobiography "The Animal."

Steele, regulated by the renowned Captain Lou Albano in ~ the time, made an illustration on the eccentric Rowdy Roddy Piper's interview show "Piper's Pit." Steele, was managed at different times by 3 of the most well known managers in sporting activities entertainment background in Classy Freddie Blassie, Mr. Fuji and also Captain Lou.

As a villain, Steele come close come beating the likes of Sammartino, Pedro Morales and Bob Backland because that the championship.

Macho man Randy Savage, known by wrestling chroniclers as one of the most expert talkers of all time, was no shy about his feelings for the comical version of "The Animal."

Watch this in march 15, 1986 interview with typical Gene Okerlund and Savage to relive the out-of-this-world 1980s.

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During his an ext comical days together "The Animal," Steele would go come zoos and reconnect v his other creatures. For a WWE video on Steele and Mean Gene Okerlund's visit come the Detroit Zoo in 1985, click here. 


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