This has been a bad weekend for old school wrestling fans with the deaths of Nicole Bass, George “The Animal” Steele and The Russian Bear Ivan Koloff. Nicole Bass was 52, George Steele was 79 and Ivan Koloff was 74.
Back in the day I was a big fan of both George Steele and Ivan Koloff. George Steele with his green tongue and his crazy antics in the WWF ring were things of legend. I first saw George Steele live at Madison Square Garden vs. Bob Backlund, and with classic George he was hitting Backlund with some sort of foreign object. Of course the referee never saw it, and Backlund grabbed the object in front of the referee and got disqualified in typical WWF fashion. George was a legend and I even had his action figure and his little green tongued teddy bear “Mine”. R.I.P George Steele and thanks for the memories.
Koloff was the first evil Russian and went all the way to the WWE championship by beating Bruno Samartino and ending Brunos long title reign. Koloff only had the title for 21 days until losing it to Pedro Morales. Koloff was rough and tough and a true legend.
Here are some of the best of George and Ivan :