WWE Legend George 'The Animal' Steele Dies at Age 79

Photo credit: WWE.com.
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2017

WWE Hall of Famer George "The Animal" Steele died at the age of 79.

Steele's death was confirmed on WWE.com. ESS Promotions agent Eric Simms sent out a tweet Thursday reporting Steele's wife said the former wrestling star was in hospice care. WWE also released a video honoring Steele on Saturday:

The Animal left a long-lasting impression on the wrestling business, which led to many of his peers offering their condolences and memories on Twitter.

WWE legend Hulk Hogan was among them:

Another WWE Hall of Famer and pop culture phenomenon, The Iron Sheik, chimed in as well:

Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross also tipped his cap to Steele with the following tweet:

Steele made his professional wrestling debut in 1967 and competed in the squared circle for more than two decades.

The Detroit native was known for several distinguishing characteristics, including a green tongue.

He also set himself apart from the rest with his signature act of tearing open the turnbuckle covers and eating the stuffing inside.

Although Steele was a villain for much of his career, he turned face in 1985 and went on to engage in a feud with Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

Steele lost an Intercontinental Championship match to Savage at WrestleMania 2 and was in Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat's corner when he beat Savage for the title at WrestleMania 3 in what is widely considered one of the greatest bouts in wrestling history.

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