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Beefcake gives WWE the brush-off
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


Brutus Beefcake today.
Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

Wrestling has changed a lot since Brutus (The Barber) Beefcake and his shears ruled the ring.

And it's not all for the good, says Ed Leslie, who still wrestles with his Barber gimmick, albeit in smaller venues. Beefcake doesn't see himself returning to WWE, where he found so much fame in a previous run.

"I'm not really down with their program," he said. "I'm from a different era, I don't fit into their mould.

"I came up with guys like Tito Santana, Greg (The Hammer) Valentine, Junkyard Dog and Hulk Hogan. And there are people who still like that (kind of wrestling). There was a simplicity. It was good guy versus bad guy. It wasn't a striptease show and there weren't people driving tractor trailers, running over guys.

"There weren't rehearsals before the show. We just went out and wrestled. We didn't have writers telling us what to say, we had our own characters. Some of (today's wrestlers) are robots."

The Barber, 50, has found inner peace. He's happy to be blessed with a 10-year-old daughter and wife. Happy to be working for a friend's pool business. Happy to still wrestle and meet fans. On Nov. 29, he'll wrestle at Calgary's Ogden Legion. On Nov. 30, he's in Edmonton at NAIT. (Tickets at ticketweb.ca.)

Basically, The Barber's happy to be alive -- especially since a parasailing accident 17 years ago.

"I shouldn't have survived. It was a miracle," he said. "I had no hope, but I beat the odds. There were a lot of things going through my head as I was lying in a hospital bed. I had eight titanium plates and 32 titanium screws in my head.

"My lifelong friend Hulk Hogan was there and took me in as one of his family. He helped me get back on my feet ... he brought me back to life. It was like a lightning bolt had hit me in the forehead. I was reborn and I never looked back."

AROUND THE RING: TNA will head north for four shows -- Dec. 27 in Montreal, Dec. 28 in Quebec City, Dec. 29 in Gatineau (tickets at Robert Guertin Arena, at reservatech.net or 1-877-545-3330), and Dec. 30 in Oshawa, (tickets on sale Thursday at General Motors Centre or ticketmaster.ca). Among the stars expected: Kurt Angle, Christian Cage, Samoa Joe, Phenomenal AJ Styles, LAX, Jay Lethal and Robert Roode ... WWE's Save Us promos could play out on tomorrow night's RAW. From all accounts, it would appear Chris Jericho once again will be in a WWE ring ... Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels headlines tomorrow night's WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view.

WRESTLING REALITY: Okay, I admit it ... too many pucks to the head in my youth have caught up with me. In last week's column about The Fight Network's wonderful Wrestling Reality series, I misidentified the producer as Greg Jennings, who's a fine receiver with the NFL's Green Bay Packers. In fact, Greg Hemmings, an award-winning and talented Canadian, is the producer.