I recently came across an article on The Post Game that highlights an excerpt from WWE legend George "The Animal" Steele's memoir entitled Animal. In the excerpt, Steele discusses the angle involving the love triangle with "Macho Man" Randy Savage and the lovely Miss Elizabeth, Savage's manager. It makes for an interesting read, and I highly recommend it.
Reading the article brought back a lot of memories. It reminded me that one of the more entertaining and memorable rivalries from the 1980's was Savage vs. Steele. Not only was the prestigious Intercontinental Championship usually at stake, but so was Miss Elizabeth's love. I like to call this saga Beauty and two Beasts.
During his run as Intercontinental champion, Savage was one of the most hated stars in professional wrestling. He was flamboyant, loud and arrogant. He was also mean and nasty. He was quite simply a beast. His possessive and abusive behavior toward Elizabeth was absolutely appalling for its time. Savage was so intense and raw that it looked like, without much provocation and under the right circumstances, he could have certainly hit her. As a kid, I feared for Elizabeth because I honestly thought he would hit her.
There were a number of the top stars in the company that stood in Savage's way for supremacy, but none as strange or as unlikely than George "The Animal" Steele. Steele was an oddity all unto himself. With his shaved head, caveman like vocabulary and body hair so thick it looked like a sweater, Steele was at one point considered one of the most dangerous and out of control madmen the business had seen. He, too, was a beast. Eventually, he turned things around and became a popular superstar. He also found love in Miss Elizabeth.
Steele was infatuated with Elizabeth, which infuriated Savage. Although Elizabeth seemed flattered by Steele's attention, there was no way she was going to leave Savage for him. Besides, Savage's grip on her was too strong.
Their matches were not wrestling classics compared to say Savage vs. Steamboat at WrestleMania III, but they had their own charm about them. Although Savage's title was on the line, the two were more at odds over Elizabeth. Steele always found himself distracted by Elizabeth. Savage had no problem using her as a distraction as long as it meant victory and that Steel didn't actually get to touch her. You rooted for Steele because he was the underdog, as strange as that sounds. You wanted him to get the girl and the gold, but if he could only get one of the two, we would have preferred the girl.
Although Steele never convincingly defeated Savage for the title or gained the love of Elizabeth, something good came out of this. The feud with Savage allowed Steele to have one last great run with the company, the highlight of his career being his match with Savage at WrestleMania 2. Pretty good for a beast!
Any memories you want to share? Please feel free to hit me up on Twitter @tonydolemite