Wrestling is such an interesting thing to talk about. While I have never been that too much into wrestling, or any sport for that matter, I do appreciate the people who do it for a living. Often when you think about wrestling, your mind immediately thinks of the WWW. Or the WWF, depending on the era of it that you were born into. Wrestling has become a spectacle of sorts. Compared to other sports, there isn’t that many rules to the type of wrestling that the WWE does. But the thing that people often seem to enjoy are the personalities that make it into the ring.
I think everybody is aware that, for the most part, there is some semblance of a narrative when it comes to WWE matches. I never really got into wrestling all that much. But I have seen some of the matches that the WWE has done over the decades. Everybody is playing a character or an exaggerated version of themselves when they are in front of the thousands of spectators that paid to be there. I mean, the E in WWE stands for entertainment. I don’t think any other sport uses “entertainment” in any of their names.
So many different personalities have come from doing professional televised wrestling. And one of them is Brutus Beefcake. Judging from his name, you can tell that he’s a big dude. As somebody who didn’t really grow up during the era where he was popular, it’s hard for me to have any type of connection to him or his persona. I have to be honest with you, I don’t really care that much about wrestling. Though the introduction to this article has made that very clear.
There isn’t really that much I could find regarding Brutus Beefcake’s personal life. All that I could find is that he was born in Tampa, Florida and that his real name is Edward Harrison Leslie. I always find it funny whenever I see someone with three first names as their actual name. Aside from that, there is no information regarding his years in elementary up to college. I’m not really surprised all that much that certain personalities don’t have incredibly detailed biographies about them.
He started his wrestling career in 1977 with Terry Bollea. For some reason, they were often billed together as brothers. It sort of made sense though. They often were a pair when it comes to their personas. When Terry was “Terry Boulder”, Edward was “Ed Boulder.” When Terry was “Hulk Hogan,” his persona was named “Dizzy Hogan.” I actually didn’t know that Hulk Hogan had a partner. And also his name was Terry?! That’s honestly kind of a mind blowing moment. He was already part of the WWF by then but seemingly left.
Edward rejoined the WWF as Brutus Beefcake in 1984. Like I said at the top of this post, the kind of wrestling that the WWF did was kind of very performative. I mean, even luchadores have a knack for flair so I can’t really be mad about. Apparently, Brutus was really vain and kind of outlandish. There’s really something about playing a character that people could hate that feels kind of fun to do. You’re just really letting your id take the wheel.
Pretty much most of his career was with the WWF. There were definitely a lot of highlights in his career. But it’s sort hard to talk about them even with context. He fought a lot of dudes in the ring. And he did a lot of bits during the matches. Apparently there was a moment where he would bring a pair of shears and would often do a cutting motion with the shears as his finishing move.
Eventually, Edward left the WWF in 1993. He did, however, wrestled for a bit in New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1994. It seems that he spent about three years wrestling in that circuit. He later on went to wrestle at World Wrestling Championship. I don’t really know how people can sustain their wrestling careers like that. He eventually retired in 2015. At that point, he had a net worth of $2,000,000. In 2019, he was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame.