For someone who's heyday was in the 1980s and 1990s, Brutus Beefcake sees very little similarities between wrestling back then and now. There's a completely different style that's on display across most promotions and athleticism seems to have replaced old-school, technical wrestling.
Beefcake talked about the differences in eras and how he's holding up at 62 years old when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"I'm doing great and I try to hit the gym when I can. I've been traveling and am going back to Scotland later in the year," said Beefcake. "My knee [replacement] is doing fantastic and I was worried about my other knee…so I'm not wanting to replace my other knee like a lot of guys have had to. That was my first surgery after 42 years in the ring which is an amazing feat in itself. The fans stepped up to help make it possible and I'm just grateful.
"The response everywhere I've been has been tremendous since the Hall of Fame. I'm just excited to go out and go new places that I've never been because the receptions have been amazing."
Beefcake having just one surgery in 40 years in the ring is an amazing accomplishment. He was asked what he attributed that to and he pointed to the aforementioned different wrestling style from back in the day.
"It's a whole different type of wrestling now. They are closer to being gymnasts than we ever were," stated Beefcake. "We did less high-risk moves although we worked way more than they ever have. We worked seven days a week, sometimes twice on the weekends doing TV tapings. I checked my books when being interviewed by CBS Sports and had basically 500 matches in 1985-87. That's another feat in itself.'
He mentioned since they barely had any time off, they all worked a style where they could still show up each night and perform.
"Wrestling was a different thing - there was actually wrestling in the wrestling match. We weren't worried about doing flips and cartwheels and stuff. We were out there fighting," said Beefcake.
Best known for his time in WWE, Beefcake also spent time in WCW under various gimmicks. There he worked under Eric Bischoff and he was asked about Bischoff being brought in as the Executive Director of SmackDown.
"I wish him the best of luck. That's gonna be a tough position as they have a lot of people coming and going. With everything being scripted, it makes things way more difficult. Back in our day, guys handled their characters and didn't have to be told what to do. We knew our job and knew how to do it well. So, he's got his hands full," said Beefcake, who added that he didn't have much direct interaction with Bischoff in WCW.
"I wasn't really in the office so I didn't see him much. I'm not real close with him but I know his son and we've done projects together. Everything's always been great."
Beefcake is a bit removed from the current wrestling scene and he talked about what takes up most of his time these days.
"Since I'm not doing wrestling events, sometimes I'll do a live Barber Shop with people," said Beefcake. "I'm enjoying being home, hanging out with friends and cooking out. I'm a little burned out on wrestling [laughs]. It's been my life for 45 years so sometimes it's just cool to go to the beach, go fishing, ride my motorcycle, go to the gym and just not think about wrestling."
Beefcake joined WCW right as the Monday Night Wars were starting and many see this current era as something reminiscient of that time with AEW. He shared his thoughts on the fledgling promotion.
"I did both [Starrcast] events with Conrad who always said 'Brutus Blanking Barber Beefcake.' I wish them luck. It's been too long and our business hasn't had any competition and a business needs competition to be successful. I wish them the best of luck and I hope it means more people can have better jobs," said Beefcake.
Beefcake's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Brutus discusses reuniting with Greg Valentine in Canada this coming weekend, his memories of the Dream Team, how he's doing health wise, his generation vs the current one, his Hall of Fame induction, Bret Hart being attacked at the ceremony, Eric Bischoff's new WWE role, the launch of AEW and more.