Long before he cut and strut his way into the hearts of WWE fans in the 1980s, Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake was born Ed Leslie. Leslie was a Tampa, Florida kid that followed in the footsteps of his best friend, Hulk Hogan, into the bizarre world of professional wrestling. Leslie and Bollea forged a friendship that would become instrumental in Leslie's life and career in professional wrestling. Leslie, in fact, would be so closely linked to his best friend that he would go on to wrestle as Dizzy Hogan and claim to be Hogan's brother. While the two weren't actual brothers in blood, the two forged a deep and arguably unparalleled bond; but, many have wondered who is Ed Leslie? Does he have a story of his own apart from Hulk Hogan's lofty shadow?
Leslie played many roles in his professional wrestling career. From Dizzy Boulder, to Dizzy Hogan, to Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake, to the Booty Man, to Big Brother Bruti, to the Zodiac, Leslie was an enigma and a man of many names and faces. This article helps to better define who Leslie actually is by taking readers on a journey through a Hall of Fame-worthy career.
#5. Beefcake Was Dead Set Against His Most Successful Gimmick
Brutus Beefcake never wanted to be "the Barber" at all. In fact, he was dead set against the iconic character. When Beefcake came to the WWE, he was essentially billed as a male stripper, hence the name "Beefcake," which was actually given to him by Linda McMahon.
Beefcake metamorphosized into a tag team specialist and even captured the WWE Tag Team Championships with Greg "the Hammer" Valentine. The two became known as The Dream Team; but, like any good dream, the run didn't last forever, as the two broke up shortly after their WrestleMania III match against The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. After "Rowdy" Roddy Piper defeated Adrian Adonis in a WrestleMania III Hair vs Hair bout, Beefcake made his way to the ring to assist Piper in cutting Adonis' hair. This sparked Vince McMahon's interest in a "barber" character.
Vince McMahon was a bit of a hair aficionado himself and went to such great lengths to care for his own hair that he entrusted a celebrity hairstylist named Sal Fedora. It is Fedora, who was the impetus for "The Barber" character.
At first, Beefcake detested his new gimmick and he even thought that the entire thing may be a rib; but, his best friend Hulk Hogan went into the back and consoled Beefcake. Playing the role of a horse whisperer, Hogan convinced Beefcake that the gimmick could be a lucrative one and even came up with the idea that Beefcake should cut his opponent's hair at the end of each match, similarly to how Jake "the Snake" Roberts would wrap his snake around his defeated opponents. Beefcake accepted his mentor's advice and the rest is history.