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Date Posted: 13:26:35 02/19/17 Sun
Author: JM
Subject: Re: George "The Animal" Steele
In reply to: Mike Silverstein 's message, "George "The Animal" Steele" on 14:53:06 02/17/17 Fri

Back in the '70s I worked for a promoter (Gene Dargan) and got to peek behind the curtain of this bizarre business. Your facts are correct. Jim/George led a great double life. He made a lot of money as a part-time wrestler and was never a slave to the business because he had teaching. He loved coaching, so he kept the teaching job and built a nice pension and benefits.

Those weekends in Pittsburgh were like a party for a lot of the wrestlers. The out of town guys all stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel and hung out at Frenchy's across Sixth Street. The management there did their best to keep fans out of the small bar, but there were some brawls that spilled out onto the street and Jim/George was in a few of them. There were a bunch of women who provided transportation (and other) services, so the wrestlers never had to search for companionship.

One of George's favorite things was to get the WIIC studio in an uproar just as Pie Traynor was about to do the live read of the American Heating commercial. Pie had enough trouble delivering the lines without interference. He was completely lost when there was a small riot going on behind him.

People who caught only the later years of George's career missed his best work. Instead of grunting, he did witty interviews, punctuated with "Daddy-O." He was truly one of he most memorable characters from the long run of "Studio Wrestling" on Channel 11. Pittsburgh made his career, which he always acknowledged.

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