Editor’s note: This column originally appeared on http://slam.canoe.ca and was written by Matthew Byer.
Of late Kayfabe Commentaries has been releasing some very interesting video interviews and their Timeline: The History of the WWE 1989: As Told By Brutus Beefcakeis no exception. For those not familiar with Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline series basically the concept of the interview is to go through the major events that happened within a calendar year. Given that 1989 was a pretty significant year in wrestling history, this results in some fascinating stories.
The interview starts off with a discussion with Beefcake about his transition from a heel character to his barber persona and its absorbing finding out that Beefcake’s initial reaction was that of vitriol. Beefcake recounts that he was furious over the idea, particularly due to the fact that he felt he had worked incredibly hard getting over with the audience as a villain that they loved to hate. However, Beefcake states that it was Hulk Hogan who suggested that he should always cut the hair of his opponent after the match because it was likely the only way the audience would buy into the gimmick — which for Beefcake’s sake thankfully worked.
As to who came up with the idea of changing his wrestling character, Beefcake believes it was Pat Patterson; and throughout the interview when questions come up about questionable gimmicks assigned to the wrestlers, Beefcake gleefully states that it was likely Patterson who was responsible for them.
Also, Beefcake recounts how Randy Savage‘s jealousy over Miss Elizabeth, who was his wife at the time, would get out of hand so much so, that if another wrestler glanced at her, Savage would chase them all around the arena. Beefcake brings up as well how Savage would sometimes lock Miss Elizabeth in the locker room and take the key with him to keep the other wrestlers away until he came back from the ring. As for Beefcake’s encounters with Savage’s jealousy, during the interview he described how there were occasions during 1989 where he had to fill in for Hogan in the main event and at the end the match would have to place Miss Elizabeth on his shoulders, which didn’t go over all that well with Savage.
The steroid trial that would engulf the WWE in 1994 was also an issue in 1989, and Beefcake veers a bit off the timeline to tell a tale about how initially the prosecutor thought he would be a star witness for them. However, when the prosecutor was presented with Beefcake’s medical issues due to a boating accident that resulted in steel plates, screws, and wires being put in his head and the documented issues he has with his memory, the prosecutor quickly dropped him from the witness list.
Additionally, this leads Beefcake to talk about the worst blow he ever received in his wrestling career, during his time in WCW, when Diamond Dallas Page hit him in the head with a chair, which he was warned not to do. Beefcake becomes very understandably emotional at this point of the interview as such a blow could have killed him.