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George “The Animal” Steele Dies; WWE Legend Was 79

The WWE universe has lost a legend.

George “The Animal” Steele, one of the wildest, most beloved and unpredictable superstars in the history of the company, has passed away from kidney failure.

He was 79 years old.

steele picture

Born William James Myers, The Animal’s death was confirmed by WWE management and also by the ex-athlete’s wife, Patricia.

She told TMZ Sports that Steele had been in and out of hospice care since last April.

Prior to breaking into the sports entertainment business, Steele earned his Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University and became a high school teacher and wrestling coach in the Detroit, Michigan area.

During this time in his life, Steele started to dabble in the world of professional wrestling, first appearing inside a WWE ring in 1967, where he feuded with WWE Champion Bruno Sammartino.

Other feuds for Steele during this period included battles with Pedro Morales and Bob Backlund.

He never won the title, but Steele was considered a strong, often-used villain for about two decades.

george steele

Then, in 1985, a storyline found The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff abandoning Steele during a match.

As a result, the wrestler ended up being managed by Caption Lou Albano, transforming into an oddball of a fan favorite with a green tongue and a penchant for eating the insides of a turnbuckle.

In response to his death, Hulk Hogan Tweeted the following this morning:

“My brother, only love, only grateful.”

Added former wrestling manager and executive Jim Cornette:

“Sorry to hear of the passing of George “The Animal” Steele–top star, great guy, had some fun car trips/talks with him in the 90’s. #RIP.”

da animal

Here’s a look at other social media reactions from members of the WWE family:

John Layfield: Got the privilege of traveling the world with George ‘The Animal’ Steele and enjoyed every minute of it. RIP my friend.

The Iron Shiek: REST IN PEACE GEORGE THE ANIMAL STEELE. YOU WERE ALWAYS THE INTELLIGENT BROTHER I LOVE YOU.

Jim Ross: Sad to hear the passing of old friend & fellow @WWE HOFER George “The Animal” Steele at age 79. The @michiganstateu grad was good man.

Tommy Dreamer: I feared him as a kid. I cheered him as a teenager. I became friends w/him as an adult. Never be another like. George the Animal Steele.

We send our thoughts and condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Steele.

He joins the above list of celebrities who have died in 2017.

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Sage Steele Whines About Airport Protestors, Gets Roasted Online

In the days since Donald Trump issued an executive order that bans refugee admission to the United States from seven countries, many celebrities have spoken out.

As recorded in the photo gallery below, most of these stars have slammed the possibly illegal decree as being un-American and immoral.

But Sage Steele has made headlines for a different reason.

She focused a bit more on the personal inconvenience caused by protests over the weekend against the Muslim… and Twitter has responded to Steele’s comments in the way Twitter so often does.

That is, in very critical fashion.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, thousands of protestors gathered in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and many other cities around the country.

They were on hand to voice their strong support for immigrants and refugees, those who were being detained by customs officials in response to Trump’s order.

As a result, traveling through airports in these cities was made a lot more difficult, a consequence of citizens using their First Amendment rights that did not sit well with Steele.

“So THIS is why thousands of us dragged luggage nearly 2 miles to get to LAX, but still missed our flights,” wrote Steele on Instagram, along with the following photo of the crowd at Los Angeles International Airport.

steele pic

The ESPN host added:

“Fortunately, a 7 hour wait for the next flight to Houston won’t affect me that much, but my heart sank for the elderly and parents with small children who did their best to walk all that way but had no chance of making their flights.

“I love witnessing people exercise their right to protest! But it saddened me to see the joy on their faces knowing that they were successful in disrupting so many people’s travel plans.

“Yes, immigrants were affected by this as well. Brilliant.”

As a rule, when you are on the way to Houston to cover the Super Bowl for your job, you probably should not complain about… well… almost anything.

But you definitely should not be the one complaining when families are being torn apart and translators who worked for the U.S. war efforts in the Middle East are being denied entry into the country because Donald Trump Steve Bannon wants to cater to an ignorant voter base.

And social media was quick to take Steele to task for her whining.

anti Steele

HA! Those are pretty great replies, even Steele might have to admit.

Other critics took a similar tact as these commenters, basically saying:

Yeah, protests can cause some inconveniences. But… ummm… priorities and bigger picture please!

“@sagesteele the nerve of MLK to block that bridge in Selma. Didn’t he know that he was tying up traffic! What a jerk!!!!” wrote one astute Twitter user, while another chimed in as follows:

“SAGE STEELE: Tom, talk about how the media should get off your back, and how making me miss my flight is actual terrorism. TOM BRADY: Gladly…”

Steele, however, took the criticism in stride. She didn’t really back down from her position.

“All good!  But just bc someone has a different opinion, doesn’t mean they’re “the worst”. Unless, of course, only YOUR opinion is allowed,” she Tweeted on Sunday.

That viewpoint is often true.

We’re not sure if it applies here, however,

Steele isn’t coming out against the protests; she’s just complaining about how the protests affect her. That’s the main issue people have here.

It would actually have been less self-involved and less noteworthy if Steele simply said she agreed with Trump’s order.

Steele is the daughter of a U.S. Army Colonel and she criticized Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans for kneeling during the national anthem as a message against Trump in November:

“Hey @MikeEvans13_ look up definition of the word DEMOCRACY & remember this pic while kneeling/exercising your right to protest #perspective.”

The picture Steele shared at the time was of a man in mourning, kneeling at the tombstone of a dead U.S. soldier.

Click through the slideshow above for a look at how other celebrities have reacted to Trump’s Muslim ban and then share your view on this controversy below.

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