Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake was an ideal wrestler for his time. He falls into the category of superstars who were very popular for their time, but aren’t as well-regarded many years later. It’s a bit understandable as to why that’s the case, because of how “gimmicky” his character was, but even so, it fit well for the time period.
One must remember that this was an era where superstars were given over-the-top gimmicks, and Brutus Beefcake, to his credit, made it work pretty well. He got quite over as well, and it definitely helped that he was friends with Hulk Hogan. Regardless, the biggest strength that Beefcake had was versatility of characters – he could play a heel and face both convincingly, and get over well with both.
He faced a lot of unsuccessful character changes post-facial injury, but even so, he did have quite a few good matches. Here are the very best of them.
vs The British Bulldogs – WrestleMania 2
WrestleMania 2 wasn't a great PPV in itself, but it was responsible for one of the most feel-good moments at the time. The British Bulldogs were the hot up-and-comers in the tag team division. The crowd was hot for the young British team, and they would put on an excellent showing with The Dream Team, one that could be considered the match of that PPV. In the end, Valentine and Beefcake lost the titles to the young upstarts.
In the build to a big SummerSlam main event involving Randy Savage & Zeus against Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake. Beefcake took on Savage, who was accompanied by Sensational Sherri. He wasted no time in going after the Macho Man, and they would have an extremely solid contest, with Beefcake getting a whole lot of support from the crowd.
He held his own, too, but it ended by DQ after Sherri hit Beefcake with his sling bag. He did stand tall, however, as he sent Savage into Sherri at the turnbuckles.
vs. Fabulous Rougeaus – The Big Event 1986
Before they had turned heel, the Rougeau brothers were good babyfaces, who were able to work technical matches at a higher level than most people give them credit for. They would take on The Dream Team of Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine, and in front of a capacity 70,000 crowd in Canada, they were the biggest babyfaces out there.
They worked a very nice, methodical match and would end up picking up a great home country win against The Dream Team. The Rougeau Brothers would turn heel not long after, but in hindsight, it could be argued that it was the wrong decision to make, especially since they had picked up quite a bit of steam as babyfaces.
vs The British Bulldogs – Saturday Nights Main Event – October 1986
The British Bulldogs had a rather extensive feud with The Dream Team, facing them on more than one occasion and having won the tag titles from them in the first place. In late 1986, The Dream Team had another major opportunity to capture the tag team titles, in a 2-out-of-3 falls match.
However, it was very clear that despite it being a tense, even match, The Bulldogs had their number. History would repeat itself, and The Bulldogs would cruise to victory, retaining their tag team championships. The best part of the feud was how they managed to mix it up and have a different match every time. While it wasn't as good as their WrestleMania 2 match, it was the closest that they had come.
vs Mr. Perfect – WrestleMania VI
Mr Perfect really deserves a lot of credit for making this match what it was. It should be remembered that Perfect was undefeated at the time, and he played the role of a brash, young cocky and overconfident superstar. Accompanied to the ring by The Genius (Lanny Poffo), Perfect had the upper hand, but the crowd was super hot for Beefcake, who was a major babyface.
Perfect made Beefcake look like a million bucks in this match, bumping post-to-post and selling in the craziest fashion. The finish was a bit flat, but overall, it got a great reaction. Beefcake tried cutting Perfect's hair, but The Genius saved him and ended up getting his hair sacrificed instead. While it was a nice moment, there definitely could have been a better opponent to end Perfect's undefeated run.