Sports Illustrated is reporting that, as had been advertised, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Real name Ed Leslie, Beefcake broke into the business as Ed Boulder, kayfabe-brother of Terry Boulder (real name Terry Bollea) later known as Hulk Hogan. Leslie never attended wrestling training, but was taken under the wing of veterans like Ivan Koloff & Mr. Wrestling.
Leslie became Brutus Beefcake when he signed with the WWF (now WWE). Beefcake wrestled David Sammartino, son of wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino, at the first WrestleMania in 1985. During this time, Beefcake began teaming with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, calling themselves “The Dream Team.”
The Dream Team won the WWF World Tag Team Championship in mid-1985, not losing the belts until the spring of ’86, when The British Bulldogs defeated The Dream Team at WrestleMania II. Beefcake and Valentine would continue to team until their dissolution at WrestleMania III. WrestleMania III saw the birth of Beefcake’s most famous persona.
Beefcake helped “Rowdy” Roddy Piper win a Hair vs. Hair match against “Adorable” Adrian Adonis. After the match, Beefcake helped administer the requisite haircut, resulting in his new nickname “The Barber.”
As “The Barber,” Beefcake would put his opponents to sleep with his trademark Sleeper Hold. Then he would cut the hair of the passed-out opponents. Beefcake credits Hulk Hogan with coming up with the idea.
Ed Leslie saw his biggest success as “The Barber,” but at the peak of his fame, a parasailing accident nearly took his life. Upon his return from the horrific injury, Leslie needed a less-physical way onto WWF Television, and thus The Barber Shop was born. The show’s most famous segments usually involved the destruction of the set, whether Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through the window, or Sid Justice getting covered in shaving cream while destroying the entire set.
Leslie returned to in-ring action, teaming with Hulk Hogan as The Mega Maniacs. The team faced Ted DiBiase & IRS at WrestleMania IX in 1993. It was the last WrestleMania for Beefcake, ever. Soon after, Hulk Hogan departed the WWF and Beefcake followed. Both men were in WCW by 1994.
Unable to use the Brutus Beefcake character in WCW, Leslie seemingly had every character under the sun. Starting as “The Butcher,” he’d then go on to be “The Booty Man,” “Zodiac,” “The Man With No Name,” and most popularly “The Disciple.” WCW was the last major promotion that Beefcake worked for, eventually making numerous appearances on the independent and convention circuit.
Leslie was back in headlines in 2004, when a bag of cocaine belonging to Leslie was mistaken for Anthrax, shutting down the Downtown Crossing station of Boston’s MBTA, where Leslie was working at the time. Leslie, as Beefcake, also stormed Toronto City Hall in 2014, offering to be the “angel of mercy” for infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who Beefcake said “needed an intervention” in wake of a crack-cocaine scandal.
The WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place on April 6th, 2019, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
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