GEORGE "THE ANIMAL" STEELE
- Hello everyone to yet another Coliseum Video never before recapped on the Net (to my knowledge, at least). Before we go any further, I should warn any and all workrate freaks to hit the back button now because I will not be responsible for what you are about to read. Yes indeed, it is ninety minutes of film dedicated to George “The Animal” Steele. I should note that while I recognize George Steele as a horrible wrestler, I was always a mark for his style back in the day, and can still appreciate his uniqueness today. It was always a hoot to me whenever he would “YOU!!!” at someone and the crowd would echo. Anywhoo, this video was produced in 1987 and was the 47th tape churned out by Coliseum. With all the dilly-dallying out of the way, let’s get to the review.
- Gorilla Monsoon welcomes us to this feature. He previews the matches we will see while clips of both heel and face George play on the screen.
- WWF Championship Match: Bruno Sammartino vs. George “The Animal” Steele in a Steel Cage --- Well, this is a most interesting way to get us started. We’re in the Philadelphia Arena and Steele is escorted by a police squad. All of the sudden, we’re JIP as Steele is stomping away on Bruno. Monsoon and Johnny V are overdubbing commentary. Bruno gets pissed and fights back. Steele gets rammed in the cage twice and just like that Bruno exits the cage via the door.
- Gorilla Monsoon vs. George “The Animal” Steele from MSG --- Vince McMahon is on commentary here. At least Monsoon doesn’t have to overdub it. We’re JIP as Steele has the advantage with a nervehold. However, Monsoon clamps on a bearhug. Steele goes to the eyes and both guys are down. Steele uses his hidden object throughout the match. Insert your own punchline here. Steele actually knocks Gorilla over the top rope in a weird visual. In a predictable ending, Monsoon ends up with the object, bonks Steele with it a couple of times, and Steele takes a 10-count hike to end it.
- George “The Animal” Steele w/ Capt. Lou Albano vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth(RIP) from SNME --- Vince and Jesse on commentary of course. Steele has since turned face and it’s 1985. Pre-IC Title reign for Savage. Before the match, Steele has eyes for Elizabeth which puts him with 98% of the male population at the time. Savage seems less than pleased. The ring is about as small as the ol’ WCW Worldwide ring at Disney MGM. Steele chucks Savage out early and gives chase until he sees Liz. Back in the ring, Steele mauls Randy some more until they end up outside the ring where Savage uses Liz as a human shield. Peek-a-boo! Back in, Steele eats up a buckle and feeds the stuffing to Savage. However, Steele stops paying any attention to the match and gets victimized by a flying axehandle by Savage which is enough for a 1-2-3. Savage immediately carries Elizabeth to the back.
- We go to Dr. Ziff’s office as Capt. Lou looks to seek out some mental therapy for George Steele from TNT. This segment can also be found on Best of WWF Volume 3. Steele is laying down on a couch. Ziff proclaims himself as “the doctor of last resort.” McMahon seems skeptical. Ziff claims he will turn Steele into a pussycat. We start with some hypnosis. Steele seems sad that his school teacher called him a dummy when he was 13. Ironic since Steele was a legitimate school teacher. Those Legends of Wrestling 2 interviews are quite insightful. Steele became repressed and sad since he was booed and spat on in his matches vs. Bruno Sammartino. Steele gets brought out of the haze and goes Bonkos! Albano claims that Steele must be cheered from now on to keep him from depression.
- “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Elizabeth on TNT from 1985 --- This segment along with the SNME match are also on the 1986 Randy Savage/Elizabeth video. Savage rips out an Elizabeth pic out of the WWF Magazine and tosses it at her. Savage played such a masterful creep because his character, while berating Liz all the time, never would cross the line with her. It stayed verbal which gave the character more shelf life because if he ever did ‘hit’ her, a virtuous face would immediately vanquish Savage and take Elizabeth. Savage is also wearing his semi-famous “Hulk WHO?” tank top. The back says, “Macho Man #1.” A goofy doorman has a package for Elizabeth. Savage is peeved. “A man in my position can not afford to look ridiculous,” proclaims Savage. That’s still one of my favorite Machoisms. The package contains roses padded by turnbuckle stuffing. Better than the Mr. America mystery. A fun segment which did its part to further the Macho Man character.
- We now take our 2nd trip to Dr. Ziff’s office from TNT. Apparently, the first dose of treatment wasn’t enough as Steele, Albano, and McMahon are back for more. The Best of WWF Volume 3 also houses this segment. We will now use shock therapy to make Georgie normal. Steele even mutters such intelligent phrases like, “Whom?” and “How now brown cow.” Everything was going fine until the good doctor turned up the electricity a tad too high and George snapped. Albano and Ziff yell at each other, and with that we go to . . .
- Intercontinental Title Match: “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. George “The Animal” Steele from Boston Garden --- Monsoon and Hayes share the commentating duties. Steele attacks right away and Savage finds himself on the parquet floor. They’re more or less doing the same match as their WrestleMania 2 match. It’s basically Steele attacks, Savage bails. However, Savage whacks Steele with a foreign object for the advantage. Flying axehandle gets 2. Steele throws 3 chairs in the ring and hits Savage with one of them for the DQ. Savage heads out with the victory. Steele bites another turnbuckle open. Savage returns on two occasions just to take respective beatings from The Animal. This is like Raw after it goes off the air. The brawl continues outside the ring as cops, referees, and Rene Goulet in wrestler/agent mode try to break it up. With Savage in the dressing room, Steele returns to the ring to a nice ovation. We CLIP to a 12ish year old fan with a Capt. Lou shirt in the ring trying to rip open the buckle. He’s unsuccessful, so Georgie gets the job done. The fan starts posing in the ring like Hulk Hogan. If he had one less leg, I’d swear he’s Zack Morris . . . I mean Gowan. The kid goes back to his seat and hugs his mom, who is HOT! Milf Milf Milf . . .
- Steele/JYD vs. Demolition from MSG --- We’re back in 1987 with my ears being graced by Monsoon and Hayes once again. This is early Darsow-era. In response to Demolition’s painted faces, George sticks out his green tongue. How jovial. Ax and JYD start. Ax ends up in Steele’s corner and gets bit. Unfortunately, much of Ax’s paint ends up on Steele’s face. Steele in and he bites Smash’s arm. Tag to JYD, and Demolition get him in their corner. The ‘clothesline each other’ spot connects . . . sort of. Maybe I’d buy JYD being hurt if he didn’t lazily fall on his knees instead of his back. The excessive double teaming on JYD continues as The Animal finds a chair on bops Smash with it drawing another DQ. Steele starts yelling “BAD BAD CHEAT CHEAT!!!”
- Mean Gene Okerlund with George Steele at the Detroit Zoo from SNME --- Steele yells “Sheik!” to a camel. He mimics an elephant. Then, in a cute bit, Okerlund finds a resting tiger and asks George what kind it is. “Detroit,” says Steele which prompts Okerlund to explain how they have looked a little sleepy this year. A hippo reminds The Animal of Bundy, while a weasel resembles a certain manager. I dunno. Fun little segment to include on the video.
- George Steele vs. Sika w/ Mr. Fuji and Kimchee from MSG --- Sika attacks early while Fuji jabs Steele with the cane a few times behind the referee’s back. Steele retaliates by using an object of his own to deck Sika twice. Instead of covering, Steele gets tripped up by Mr. Chee and The Animal is after him. Steele forgets what he was doing in the first place and hurls a chair in the ring. Sika picks it up and nails Steele right in front of the ref. Bell rings as Steele ends up with the chair and chases Sika off with several chair shots. Steele gets the duke via DQ.
- George Steele vs. King Harley Race in a Coliseum Exclusive from Rockford, IL --- Bruce Pritchard and Mike McGuirk with the commentating duties. Race hits a very early piledriver, but misses a 2nd rope headbutt. Steele nails Race with a clothesline and ejects him from the ring. A beating on Harley ensues but The King is able to throw Steele into the corner to turn the tide. The both end up outside and of course Steele brings a chair into the ring. The ref gets between Steele and The King as Hercules runs in and attacks George drawing our 5th DQ/CO finish of the tape so far. A 2-on-1 beatdown takes place until Cowboy Scott Casey and Leaping Lanny Poffo run in but get vanquished about as fast as they enter . . . think of the Hurricane running in on HHH, same thing. The Young Stallions run in and since they’re a little higher in the pecking order, they fare meagerly better. However, King Kong Bundy interjects himself to give the heels the advantage. That lasts until Bam Bam Bigelow makes the clutch save. The heels take a hike. Quick, inoffensive, overbooked chaos never hurt anyone. Steele eats up a turnbuckle for fun.
- We catch a quick segment of Adorable Adrian Adonis finishing up a makeover on TNT. About as fast as I can type that, Animal Steele runs in and a C-O-M-E-D-Y B-R-A-W-L ensues. Well, Vince McMahon throwing Jimmy Hart out of the way was actually pretty humorous.
- George Steele vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart from SuperStars --- Honky is the I-C Champion at this point although it’s a non-title match according to Jesse Ventura. McMahon and Sammartino join him in the booth. With Honky being known for his comedy selling, this could be a bit of a hoot. Somehow, Steele gets his ankles tied up in the ropes which gives Honky a brush of advantage. It’s short lived of course as Steele messes up Honky’s hair. Neck hang draws approval from the crowd. Honky gets the megaphone and hits Steele when the ref isn’t looking. Steele gets the megaphone and hits Honky when the ref is looking. He calls for the bell and The Honky Tonk Man picks up a DQ win. That’s 6 by my count. Steele throws two chairs into the ring and bites a buckle just to keep the continuity of the video alive.
- We now go to George Steele inspecting the factory in which the SuperStars ice cream bars are made. Just call it Confidential before it was Confidential. Still better than the making of a Big Show Stacker 2 commercial. Craig DeGeorge narrates this little piece. Man, this factory looks like a sweatshop. I was actually fortunate enough to snag one of those at a 1989 house show. I remember never being able to find one in a supermarket, but when I finally had one, I realized it was nothing special. Good, but not heavenly. It was nice to find out for myself though. If you want a decent comparison, have a Twix ice cream bar. Oh yeah, so George, what do you think of the ice cream bar. “GOOD!” exclaims George. Fair enough.
- George Steele vs. Dangerous Danny Davis w/ Jimmy Hart from Boston Garden --- This is our finale so if you came this far, stick it out to the very end. Monsoon, Heenan, and DeGeorge at the controls. Heenan considers suing The Animal but figures it’s not worth “4 turnbuckles and 8 lbs of fur.” The Brain is great! Davis only stalls 3 times before initial contact is made, that being Davis’s forehead being bit. Steele with a neck hang and Davis hits the parquet. Davis wants a handshake so he shakes the ref’s hand to show he’s a nice guy. Davis gets his hand bit by Steele for his trouble. After more stalling, Davis gets his ankle gnawed on. Davis bops Steele with our 187th foreign object of the video. Astonishingly, Steele executes his first wrestling move of the tape, a single leg takedown. Way to go, George! If that wasn’t enough, Steele nails Davis with nine consecutive slams and Davis heads out for good. Steele picks up a CO victory.
- Closing credits roll and previews of Best of WWF Volume 15, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and Saturday Night Main Event’s Greatest Hits finish us off.
- Final Thoughts --- Honestly, had they of made this tape a 45 minute quickie containing the skits, heel footage, the Savage saga, and even Steele/Race, I’d almost recommend it for a good laugh. As it is, it’s a video that basically has the same match repeated over and over and over again. Steele never gained a pinfall/submission victory on his own tape. They should have thrown in a jobber squash while they were at it, but ah well. But if you were considering watching this video, I think you would know what to expect anyway. Next time out, I’ll either review Best of WWF Volume 14, Brains Behind the Brawn, or Hacksaw Jim Duggan (reviewed it before but lost it, Dammit!) As always feedback is welcome and thanks for reading!