I also had the Hulk Hogan and Iron Sheik big rubber action figure. Hogan got pretty beat up. Iron Sheik, less so. But George is still in mint condition to this day, assuming my mother didn't throw him out, give him away, or sell him in a garage sale for ten cents. He was the last of the three figures that I got and I didn't play with it much.
Tbat was such a lousy toy line. Hogan was a decent pose for fighting (knees slightly bent and muscle pose) and even Iron Sheik was okay (one arm flexing upwards, the other arm flexing down towards his hip). But George was just a gross hairy guy with his arms straight down.
It's kind of weird that I even had this stuff. Was I watching wrestling at this time? I must have been maybe 7. Maybe I watched it if I happened to catch it. That Sunday morning/afternoon show. That's all they had back then.
I have some vague memories of his matches but it might be from watching Youtube videos. I know he had the green tongue and he'd rip out the ring corner protector things with his teeth and he was a wacky, kind of mentally retarded character. I also know that before this "family" WWF era, he was a much more vicious and violent character.
He missed the big WWF global television era. That's his problem. He was born a bit too soon. The WWF really started taking off in maybe 1987 but George was probably on the way out by 1984.
You think about all these wrestlers from before there was television. Not just Lou Thesz and Karl Gotch but the lesser known wrestlers. All their matches...not recorded. It's almost like these people never existed.
I was looking for footage of some old boxer a few days ago when I realised that he was from a time before widespread television. Indeed, this was before television. They had movie reels but just some weird highlights.
Same sort of thing for vaudville actors and comedians and whatever. There were surely some great ones but who knows or cares because their stuff wasn't recorded.
Still, it's not all about your performances living on forever via recordings. I mean...who even watches 99% of the shit we do have? You think people are watching these weird olde tyme, grainy, partially-missing boxing reels?
Even stuff as recent as 20 years ago. Are people watching the squash matches from WWF Superstars? Or some middleweight boxing match that was on USA Friday Night Fights? Unless there's some historical significance, nobody's watching that shit and it may very well be lost to the ages soon if it isn't already.
So I can't say that I have any great memories of George the Animal Steele. And he might not have any amazing matches that were recorded. But that's okay. He was a wrestler, that's an interesting job, and I'm sure he enjoyed it. Doing a job that you enjoy, what could be better? I'm sure that he lead a rich, full life.