Steve “Mongo” McMichael is best known by football fans as being part of the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears. McMichael earned a Super Bowl ring with the team and would also later be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
But wrestling fans best remember Mongo from his stint in WCW in the 1990s. He was originally a commentator on WCW Monday Nitro before later becoming an in-ring performer and a member of the Four Horseman.
Mongo reflected on his time in both football and wrestling including why he decided to become a commentator shortly after his last NFL game.
“It was just something I wanted to keep in my life,” Mongo told Andy Malnoske on our WINCLY podcast. “Football was gone in my life. Entertaining people and the roar of the crowd?man there’s nothing like that. Go out and entertain the crowd and give them what they want ? man, you’re over.”
Mongo received mixed reviews on his broadcasting skills but he revealed what separates someone who is good on the mic vs. someone who is not.
“You’ve gotta be smart enough to have your own script in your head, you can’t be fed it,” stated Mongo. “That’s what gets a wrestler over on the mic. It’s gotta be off the top of your head man, you can’t go in there with a script.”
Mongo says that Bobby Heenan taught him to have a sense of humor about being a commentator and to not get his feelings hurt.
The Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl after the 1985 season, but they didn’t get to visit the White House due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. So when Barack Obama became President, he invited the team to the White House some 25 years after their victory.
“You know what [Obama] said to me,” Mongo asked. “We’re standing in line and he’s shaking our hands and he said to me, ‘You cut your ponytail off!’ That’s when I knew he was a wrestling fan. He knew me, he’s from Chicago!”
Mongo cites that Super Bowl victory as the pinnacle of his athletic career as the victory validated himself in the eyes of his peers.
“The things you do in life that a real warrior accomplishes, every warrior in the world appreciates that,” said Mongo on the Super Bowl win. “They might be jealous or resent it, but they respect it. You’re only as great as your greatest adversary. Every warrior has always known that.
“That’s why the title of Flair’s book is “To be the Man, You’ve got to Beat the Man.”
When Mongo was in WCW, he was often involved in feuds with the New World Order. But he says that if he had his ’85 Bears teammates by his side, then the NWO would have never stood a chance in the ring.
“You know how powerful the NWO was? They ran the whole show and nobody had a say but them,” stated Mongo. “They couldn’t touch my ’85 team baby!
We had characters that would get on the mic and entertain you and make you laugh and make you cringe. [The NWO] were amateurs compared to us.”
He then reminded everyone that the Bears created the Super Bowl Shuffle and there was no such thing as the “NWO Shuffle.”
“Did the NWO cut the ‘NWO Shuffle’ or was that the ’85 Bears? Oh yeah, now I remember,” said Mongo.
In Mondo’s full exclusive interview with Wrestling Inc. he also discusses how Ric Flair is in real life, today’s pro wrestling being too scripted and more. You can listen to Wrestling Inc’s full WINCLY interview with Mongo in the embedded audio player below. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get our latest podcasts as soon as they become available: