Brutus Beefcake Reacts to Hall of Fame Induction, Talks Near Career Ending Accident

Apr 2, 2019 - by James Walsh

Brutus Beefcake spoke with Sports Illustrated for a new interview looking back at his career in light of his WWE Hall of Fame induction. Highlights are below: 

On being inducted into the Hall of Fame: “This is the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of work. I’m grateful to the WWE, and I cannot wait for the tremendous honor.” 

On learning how to wrestle: “I never went to a wrestling school. So I learned the basics from the veterans, and that is how I learned my craft. It’s a tough way to learn, but there were people like Ivan Koloff and Mr. Wrestling who took a real interest in trying to help me…Terry (Hogan) and I were just a couple kids from Tampa living our dream. We had sat on the beach for endless days talking about wrestling, and then there we were, living it, working territories in Florida and Alabama with guys like Ox Baker, Bob Armstrong, and Professor Toru Tanaka. They took us under their wing and helped make us into what we became.” 

On starting his career as a heel: “Learning the craft as a heel changed my whole career. The heels are the ring generals and direct the matches, so I learned ring psychology and how to make a crowd respond. That run really prepared me to become ‘The Barber.’” 

On creating his barber gimmick: “It was a big pretty big challenge to create ‘The Barber.’ At first, I thought, ‘The Barber?’ I had no idea what to do. It was difficult, but I had help. Hogan was the guy who said I should put guys to sleep with the sleeper and then cut their hair. I thought, if that worked, it was going to be very exciting. And it worked big time.” 

On the parasailing accident that nearly killed him: “My doctors told me I was lucky to live. I was never supposed to wrestle again. I was also going through a bad divorce and my parents had just died, so that was a really dark time. I took life one day at a time. I had the support of people in the WWE, and I had a good friend in the Hulkster. Terry pulled me from the depths, and he told me I was going to get better. With a lot of support, I did.” 

On Hulk Hogan: “Terry is the best babyface of all time. Right from the beginning when we started as the Boulder Brothers, I had a good feeling that something special was going to happen to us in pro wrestling. Every hill we had to climb, we climbed. Reflecting back on my career, it’s been such an honor.” 

On his career: “I’m filled with amazing joy and happiness to have touched so many lives. My 41 years in the ring were an honor and a privilege, and I’m so happy to be joining the WWE Hall of Fame.”

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