Sad news about a guy whose WCW run in the 1990s was legendary for his enthusiasm for the business if not his wrestling ability. Former NFL defensive lineman turned Four Horseman Steve “Mongo” McMichael was diagnosed with ALS, an incurable nerve disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in January of this year.
McMichael shared that with Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune for a story that came out today (April 23).
This is a tough one.— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) April 23, 2021
Bears legend Steve McMichael has been diagnosed with ALS and is declining quickly.
"Say a prayer" for #TeamMongo.
Inside McMichael's new existence.https://t.co/arvWFcxMUy
After winning a Super Bowl with the Chicago Bear in 1985, McMichael played for nine more seasons in the NFL. He turned to wrestling shortly after retiring in a 1995, first appearing at in WrestleMania XI as lumberjack for Lawrence Taylor’s match with Bam Bam Bigelow. That was set up by an appearance on Raw commentary - the job he was first hired for on WCW Nitro.
An angle with Ric Flair set-up his move to the ring, first as fellow NFL-er Kevin Greene’s partner, then turning on Greene to join the Four Horsemen. Mongo feuded with the Dungeon of Doom and the nWo during his four years in WCW, with many of his programs involving his (and later Steve Austin’s) wife Debra.
Now, at 63 he’s faced with living the rest of his life with a disease that weakens and impairs muscles until the sufferer loses the ability to move, speech, and finally breathe.
“I promise you, this epitaph that I’m going to have on me now? This ain’t ever how I envisioned this was going to end. I want everybody to realize why they’re no longer going to see me around. I thought I was ready for anything. But man. This will sneak up on you like a cheap-shotting Green Bay Packer.”
Keep McMichael and his family in your thoughts and prayers. If you’re able and inclined to support them more tangibly by purchasing some Team Mongo merch, you can do so here or here.
UPDATE: A GoFundMe has also been launched to help pay for McMichael’s medical care, and support his wife and their 13 year old daughter - “We know that Steve’s fans will want to help as he as inspired so many in his lifetime. He has raised millions of dollars for various charities and plans to use his notoriety to help raise money for families living with ALS.” You can find more information and donate here.