George Steele Dies, 3 New Champions and Top WWE News from Week of February 18

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2017

George "The Animal" Steele in a promotional photo.
George "The Animal" Steele in a promotional photo.Credit:

The past week featured three different titles changing hands, the death of a legend, a couple of retirements and another addition to this year's Hall of Fame class.

Let's take a look at WWE's biggest stories from the past seven days.


3 New Champions Crowned

Sunday's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view featured a few standout moments, but none were as satisfying as seeing Bray Wyatt win his first WWE Championship by pinning John Cena and AJ Styles.

The same night, Naomi defeated Alexa Bliss to become the new SmackDown women's champion in the biggest match of her career.

The following night on Raw, Bayley pinned Charlotte Flair to win the Raw women's title, becoming the final member of The Four Horsewomen to become a women's champion on the main roster.

With the exception of the Universal Championship, every title on WWE's main roster has changed hands over the past two months. Some may disagree with this type of booking, but it's always fun to see someone win a championship they deserve.


George 'The Animal' Steele Dies

According to, WWE Hall of Famer George "The Animal" Steele has died at the age of 79.

Steele was known for his antics inside the ring throughout his career, but most of his fame came from his time in WWE.

He began as a terrifying heel, but he ended up becoming one of the most beloved gentle giants in the business after a segment involving Miss Elizabeth.

He was known as the man with the green tongue who like to rip open turnbuckles with his teeth, but he was also a talented competitor who took care of his opponents in the ring.

Despite the simple nature of his character, Steele was an educated man, having received his master's degree from Central Michigan University and becoming a high school teacher.

Anyone who grew up in the '70s and '80s likely has fond memories of watching him do his thing. Rest in peace, George.


Rosa Mendes Announces Her Retirement from Wrestling

Rosa Mendes hasn't been seen on WWE television since October 2015, when she served as a backstage correspondent for the SmackDown brand.

She gave birth on February 13, 2016, and exactly one year later, she announced her retirement via Instagram.

In addition to working as a wrestler, valet and backstage interviewer, Mendes was a cast member on Total Divas for several seasons.

Teddy Long to Be Inducted into WWE Hall of Fame

The WWE Hall of Fame class for 2017 is shaping up to be great, and the list grew by another name when Teddy Long was announced as the next inductee on Raw.

Long spent over three decades in the wrestling business and is one of the best examples of somebody starting at the bottom and working their way up the ladder.

His career started in 1985, when he served as a member of the ring crew for WCW. He was eventually promoted to a referee and later a manager.

When he became the general manager of SmackDown, he made an immediate babyface turn and continued to work as a good guy until parting ways with the company in 2014.

His love for booking tag team matches turned him into an internet sensation, spawning several memes and GIFs. He might not be a wrestler, but Long's contributions to the business earned him his spot in the HOF a long time ago.


WWE Stars Burgled at Live Event

Less than one month after AJ Styles reportedly had a bag stolen at a live event, more WWE Superstars have become victims of burglary.

Heath Slater tweeted out a picture of the broken window of his rental car, with Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension noting their bags were stolen out of the vehicle.

Just about everyone has either known someone who has had something stolen from them or has been the victim of theft, so we can all empathize with their situation.

One thing is likely. Whoever stole Konnor's and Viktor's bags probably had no idea the people they were stealing from could crush them with one hand.

Thea Trinidad Joins Movie About Paige's Family

Thea Trinidad, better known to TNA fans as Rosita, has joined the cast for the upcoming film based on Paige's family called Fighting with My Family, according to The Rock.

Trinidad is one of the most well-known female wrestlers to never work a match on WWE's main roster, but she has appeared as a Rosebud and worked a match against Asuka in NXT.

The Rock's Instagram post doesn't mention whether she is playing a real WWE Superstar or an original creation for the film, but he did note she is portraying the Divas champion during one of the biggest moments of Paige's career.

Paige defeated AJ Lee to win the Divas title in 2014, but since Lee is no longer a member of WWE and has since married CM Punk, who may as well be known as WWE public enemy No. 1, it's unlikely Trinidad would be playing her in the film.

Regardless of which Superstar she ends up portraying, this is a big step forward for Trinidad. Not only is she working with the biggest movie star in the world, but this role could also land her a spot on the WWE roster.


Brock Lesnar Retires from MMA

According to Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting (h/t Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc), Brock Lesnar informed UFC officials of his immediate retirement from MMA this week.

Lesnar was already serving a one-year suspension from fighting for the UFC after failing two USADA drug tests.

He may be one of the most celebrated pro wrestlers working today, but in the world of MMA, Lesnar was a polarizing figure.

While he may never fight for the UFC again, fans can look forward to seeing him lock up with Goldberg one more time at WrestleMania 33 in April.


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