George 'The Animal' Steele Talks Being Upset With WrestleMania III, Randy Savage, Vince, His Gimmick
WWE now trying to please everyone and not succeeding by leaning towards being a family friendly product: "I don't want to go quite that far with it because again they got a great following. What Vince Jr. did, and I remember Vince Jr. and Bruno Sammartino doing commentary together. And Bruno would refer to it as the world's champion and Vince McMahon Jr. would say no, it's the WWF champion. And they use to argue over that. Well what Vince Jr. was doing, he was setting up the brand. Now let's look at wrestling from the way it is today. And this is not a knock. Cause I'll talk about the athletes in a minute. Wrestling today, is like the circus coming to town. Instead of calling it the circus, they call it the WWE is coming to town. Whose wrestling is not always that important. It's the brand name that is important now. Which is what I think is going on. They got everything you could have in the circus. They got their wrestlers—people ask and they go oh you guys were better than they are. No they're better athletes than we were. Big time. You're never going to see George Steele get on the top rope and do three flips. That ain't going to happen. But we were tougher. Of course we had to be. It was a different business. I think that Madison Square Garden is a good example. How many times do they come to Madison Square Garden now over the course of a year? Maybe two or three times. That's like the circus coming to town. Am I not right? Ok when I was wrestling and Bruno, Bobby Backland and Pedro Morales and everybody else in that era, we were in the Garden every three weeks. And selling it out. Why don't they come every three weeks now? They probably couldn't because it's a different business. Totally different business."
How someone as intelligent as Jim Meyers could create someone as opposite as George Steele: "Let's say I was in a main event at Madison Square Garden on a Saturday night. I come home Sunday and I'm gonna be on the football field on Monday with a whistle around my neck. My wife had this process of we have to get George in the box and get Jim OUT of the box. And that mentally had to happen cause it was a huge swing in personalities. When I first came to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, the WWWF, I did my own interviews. And I was very articulate. Along the way they called me, the first year I was in there they called me I think it was George "The Destroyer" Steele. And the next time it was George "The Bruiser" Steele. I didn't like either one of them. But the people, because of the hair, the body; I was pretty viscous looking, started calling me an animal. And I'd get on the microphone using my intelligence and say I'm not an animal, I'm a people. As soon as I did that, the more they would call me the animal. And finally about the third or fourth year the WWF picked up on the animal thing. So that was not created, it just happened by the fans. The fans are the greatest creation team. Now, take that to a step farther. The first year I came in they knew I was only going to be there two and a half months. I was going back and teaching. It was always a part time job with me. So they didn't waste a manager on me. That's why I did my own interviews, I didn't have a manager. All the other heels had managers. The second time in I did not have a manager. The third time in they give me the Grand Wizard and the reason being was I was getting over so good, they wanted to keep the name hot while I was back teaching and coaching. So every once in a while something would be said about George "The Animal" Steele when I wasn't there. And then finally about four years later, Vince Jr. is now doing the announcing and he's becoming part of the team. And I'm doing--I think it was with Freddy Blassy. And Freddy's talking and I'm talking, we're both being very articulate for two wrestlers. And Vince looked at me and said you're making too much sense for an animal. Which kind of irritated me to be honest. So I looked at him and we're gonna do a retake. I don't like to do retakes. The camera comes on and I go (makes incoherent noises). And I make that face, look up like I'm nuts (more incoherent noises), just to rip him. And he said to me that's what I want. So that's how that was developed."