What a sad weekend for fans of 1980s WWF wrestling, as we mourn both the “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff and George “The Animal” Steele, both of whom died after lengthy illnesses.
These guys played strong heel characters in the WWF in the early ’80s. Koloff went on to feud with the Road Warriors in the NWA in the mid-1980s, while Steele turned babyface and had a long TV feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage over the affections of Miss Elizabeth.Embed from Getty Images
George "The Animal" Steele
Steele, whose real name was Jim Myers, was 79 when he died on Feb. 16, 2017, while Koloff’s birth monicker was Oreal Perras and he was 74 at his death on Feb. 18, 2017.
Both wrestlers were outright mean during the 1970s for the WWWF. Steele actually did menacing Continue reading
This year marks the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania 2, a lousy card that took place on April 7, 1986.
I’m not sure what to say about this show. Having just rewatched it recently on the WWE Network, Mania 2 was just as bad today as I remembered it back in the day. Even by 1980s standards, the matches felt rushed and there was no showstealer that you’d expect to see today.
This may have been the worst WrestleMania ever, with the only possible competition being WrestleMania IX.Embed from Getty Images
The event — which took place on a Monday night — emanated from three arenas: Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY; Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena) outside of Chicago; and Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Vince McMahon — who clearly believed Continue reading
As a wrestling fan, it’s been sad to hear about the closing of yet another major arena that played such a big part of the sport’s history in the 1980s.
The New Jersey building currently called the Izod Center, but known by many as the Meadowlands, will close at the end of the March after losing its major tenants to competing, more modern arenas in the New York City area. The WWE had planned to hold this year’s SummerSlam at the Meadowlands, but now is on the search for another arena.Embed from Getty Images
For old-school WWF fans, the arena originally made its mark as the site at which Bruno Sammartino originally retired as a full-timer on October 4, 1981, defeating George “The Animal” Steele.
The high point in the ’80s likely came with Continue reading
The CM Punk lie detector performance on Monday Night Raw this week was silly, at least until the end, and reminded me of a long-lost skit involving George “The Animal” Steele.
Filmed for the WWF’s Tuesday Night Titans show (think Vince McMahon acting as Jay Leno), Steele is purportedly subjected to shock treatment as a way to cure his Continue reading
By any standards, George “The Animal” Steele was a bizarre character. I remember as a kid seeing this big, bald guy with an impossibly hairy back and green tongue mowing through jobbers using, as announcer Vince McMahon would say, “an unorthodox style.”
Steele’s big spot in most of his matches was Continue reading
The DDT was one of the greatest finishing moves ever when Jake “The Snake” Roberts would nail an opponent with it in the WWF, and it’s a move well-remembered by WWE wrestlers today such as Randy Orton during his matches on Monday Night Raw.
But what about the 1980s moves that went the way of big hair and Miami Vice that virtually no one uses in 2011? I saw these moves every week, so I’d like to share my top eight most forgotten finishers from the ‘80s: Continue reading
The New York Times actually had a short article today about George “The Animal” Steele’s whereabouts, which made me think back to 1981, when Steele dislocated a jobber’s shoulder on Championship Wrestling.
The prelim guy was Rick Bolton, who, ring announcer Joe McHugh told us, made his debut appearance for this angle.