Jim Myers chronicles the trials and tribulations of juggling his teaching and coaching career, family time and the insanity of being a World Wrestling Federation superstar in his autobiography “Animal.”
This memoir by George The Animal Steele, with the help of Jim Evans, is an intriguing look of a man who wore many hats throughout his remarkable life.
The memoir is a fun read with Myers sprinkling in his own signature humor in just about every chapter. Fans will enjoy his stories of working with the likes of Bruno Sammartino and the Macho Man Randy Savage, but the book is more than that. It’s a story of triumph and survival. Myers details his struggles with dyslexia and battle with Crohn’s Disease. One can’t help but be inspired by his journey and the words of those who learned or were touched by him.
Then you look at his schedule for so many years. Myers wrestled as a WWE superstar during the summer months only to return to the classroom, gyms and playing fields when the school year began. This would be unheard of in today’s landscape of sports entertainment. That tells you the type of special performer he was and the legend’s drawing power.
Newer fans will appreciate his relationship with Vince McMahon, the impact he had on Tensai’s career and his dealings with Hulk Hogan, which may make you look at the pro wrestling icon differently.
Cowboy Bill Watts, who shares a deep devotion to God like “the Animal”, provides the foreword to the book. The introduction is written by former NFL player Kenneth Dallafior, who benefited from the coaching of Myers.
At 223 pages, “Animal” is a short and entertaining glimpse of Myers as more than this out-of-this-world wrestling character known for taking a bite out of turnbuckle pads.
“Animal” is now available. Visit www.georgetheanimalsteele.com.
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• Alan’s “Animal” review
Alan J. Wojcik, host of Kayfabe Wrestling Radio, also reviewed “Animal.”
“Jim Myers, better known as George the Animal Steele, is an amazing gentleman who deserves to be celebrated and have his autobiography read by millions.
All he overcame, including dyslexia when no one knew what it meant. Dyslexia is a learning problem that makes it hard to read, write and spell. It occurs because the brain jumbles or mixes up letters and words. Children with dyslexia often have a poor memory of spoken and written words.
Myers survived Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s disease is a lifelong inflammatory bowel disease. Parts of the digestive system get swollen and have deep sores called ulcers. Crohn’s Disease usually is found in the last part of the small intestine and the first part of the large intestine.
Myers is a graduate of Michigan State and was an educator; football and wrestling coach at Madison High School in Michigan for near 40 years while married to his wife Pat.
Did I forget to mention when he was a Madison High School teacher, he also moonlighted during summer break as George the Animal Steele for the World Wide Wrestling Federation, run by Vince McMahon Sr., and later World Wrestling Federation, under Vince McMahon Jr. George the Animal Steele is a WWE Hall of Famer.
Thanks to an assist from the Daily Tribune writer Jim Evans and a forward from Cowboy Bill Watts, we enjoy the whole story in “Animal” (IGP, $24.95, 224pp).
The Daily Tribune is in Oakland County, Michigan.
From page one until the end, you will be entertained and educated by Myers’ life story and musings on the wrestling business. You will enjoy reading how Myers went from a normal school teacher going into the wrestling scene of Detroit and the Midwest as the dreaded masked man called the Student to provide for his family.
From there, you will learn about the creation of “the Animal” and how Cloret mints helped Myers get into the character. If you only got to see “the Animal” in his 1980s run in the WWF, you never knew that George Steele did promos for Detroit and Pittsburgh TV where he would meet a “Living Legend” who would become a great opponent in the WWWF, Bruno Sammartino. The character never wore out as Myers tells the reader because he only worked when school was on break.
George the Animal Steele locked horns and partnered with legends like Junkyard Dog, Bob Backlund, Andre the Giant, Captain Lou Albano, Mr. Fuji, Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage in the ring and as a backstage agent.
His newfound faith in God later helped turn his life around for the better. Plus, all the young men and women of Madison High School whose lives were touched in a wonderful way from interacting with Coach Myers.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.”
• Jim Myers (a.k.a. George the Animal Steele) will join Kayfabe Wrestling Radio at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, June 4 to discuss his wonderful book and his upcoming appearance tour. Call into the show live at 267-297-1397.
• In addition to reviewing pro wrestling themed DVDs and books since 2001, Wojcik is a host of Kayfabe Wrestling Radio heard weekly on Wild Talk Radio www.wildtalkradio.com. Go Fight Live www.GFL.TV and www.PWMania.com. The show can be heard all over the world plus your smartphone through Tune In Radio and iTunes for your Apple equipment https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wild-talk-radio-network-on/id580051506.
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