Colorful 1980s Wrestling Character Made His Debut in Upstate NY
If you watched wrestling during the '80s and '90s, perhaps you remember one of the WWF's most popular characters: Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake.
Ed Leslie, the real man behind the role, was born in Tampa, Florida... but it was Leslie's wildly outlandish "Barber" character that was born in Upstate New York.
BEFORE THE BARBER
Throughout the better part of the '80s, Leslie was known as the villainous Brutus Beefcake. Beefcake was a heel -- aka, a "bad guy" -- and would resort to dirty tactics to pick up wins. He won the WWF Tag Team Titles in 1985 with fellow wrestler Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, where they were known as The Dream Team.
Things would change for Beefcake's character at WrestleMania III in Pontiac, Michigan. In front of over 90,000 fans, Beefcake would make an appearance during the "Hair vs. Hair" match between "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, which saw Piper pull out the victory. But it was Beefcake who did the trimming after the bell.
THE "BARBER" WAS BORN... IN ROCHESTER
Despite his trial with the clippers, Leslie didn't know it would become his complete identify. According to his biography, Struttin' & Cuttin':
When I walked into the next venue after WrestleMania III, it was just business as usual. I strolled into the War Memorial Arena in Rochester, found my dressing room, and started to lay out my gear. I was going about my business when Rene Goulet and some of the other producers came over to me... Rene was holding a white jacket...
'Here it is,' they said.
'Here is what?' I asked, taking the jacket...
'Your new gimmick. You are the Barber now.'
Nobody told me I was taking on a new persona.
Despite some initial pushback, Leslie eventually embraced the gimmick, becoming one of the most memorable wrestlers during his time. And it all kicked off in Rochester, New York!