The final inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame class this year is Ed Leslie, who performed under countless names in his career. The news was announced by SI.com with Leslie joining DX, Honky Tonk Man, Torrie Wilson, Harlem Heat, The Hart Foundation, and Sue Aitchison.
Leslie started his career in 1977 and paired his best friend Terry Bollea. Leslie began as Ed Boulder, the brother of Terry Boulder and would later adopt the Hogan moniker as Dizzy Hogan. His stops along the way included wrestling for Mid-South and signed with the World Wrestling Federation in 1984 as they expanded nationally. This run gave birth to his most famous identity as Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, a heel aligned with Luscious Johnny V.
Beefcake wrestled on the first WrestleMania card in March 1985 against David Sammartino. Later that year, he was paired with Greg Valentine as The Dream Team. The duo defeated Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo in August 1985 for the tag titles, the one and only title reign of Beefcake’s in the WWF. They held the titles until WrestleMania 2, dropping them to the British Bulldogs and teaming for another year. The breakup occurred at WrestleMania 3 with Beefcake and Valentine arguing after defeating The Fabulous Rougeaus. The turn was sealed when Beefcake came to the aid of Roddy Piper and helped cut Adrian Adonis’ hair. Beefcake was a popular mid-card babyface but never got past a certain level.
In July 1990, he nearly died in a parasailing accident that put him on the sidelines for an extended period. He returned in 1991 to host the Barber Shop interview segment, most famous for the site of The Rockers’ breakup. His final storyline in the company was as the tag partner of Hulk Hogan for WrestleMania 9 as they challenged Money Inc. for the tag titles in April 1993. The angle was set up with Beefcake’s injured face being attacked and Hogan returning after a year off WWF television.
Leslie followed Hogan to WCW in 1994 and would go through numerous characters from The Butcher, Brother Bruti, The Booty Man, The Man with No Name, Zodiac, and The Disciple. When Hogan turned heel and joined the New World Order, Leslie was part of an angle at Hog Wild 1996 to cement the turn. Hogan had just defeated The Giant in the main event, and it was the night before Hogan’s 43rd birthday. Leslie brought a birthday cake into the ring for Hogan and was attacked by Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall. He would later join the group as The Disciple while growing out a beard and using the stunner as his finisher.
Leslie wrestled for WCW until October 1999 right before Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara started with the company. Leslie has never officially retired and has done independent tours and one-offs for years and is a fixture at wrestling conventions.
Leslie and Hogan had a major falling out years ago with Leslie threatening to write a “tell-all” book about his former friend. Hogan gave public legal warnings and the two did bury the hatchet over the past few years.