From WWF Obscurity: The Man with No Face

WWF Superstars was a staple in my Saturdays growing up as a kid. It was a pretty formulaic wrestling program. Prime time shows were inconsistent and never aired regularly, but you could always count on there being a Superstars show on Saturday (right before American Gladiators). Superstars was basically a compilation of matches from house shows, where WWF made a large amount of money from merchandise and ticket sales, and usually pitted the higher midcarders against complete jobbers. Main eventers would appear to promote their pay-per-view matches, but seldom in a wrestling match.

Lots of great stuff used to happen during Superstars. But there was something that was so great that never got off the floor that I recently remembered and would like to share with you. I found this Youtube video, which is a match of Dino Bravo (dead) vs. Greg Valentine (not dead). The link I included starts the video at the relevant point.

Here’s my recap because I know you won’t click the link. Click the link and enjoy the video.

At the start of the video, Bravo and Earthquake (dead) (both managed by Jimmy Hart at the time) are beating up on Valentine. A few seconds in, the crowd goes wild and some dude wearing a mask, a bandana, and a strange tribal chain mail armor, runs in for the save. The avenger then, in unusual fashion, picks up Valentine, makes sure he’s ok, and then runs away. My research has led me to find that this character made one more appearance on TV, and I found a video on YouTube, but it has been taken down. Sad face.

So what was going on?

This was a character that the WWF had developed and were planning to call either “The Avenger” or “The Mariner” (I believe the latter is the more likely name). He was slated to make a series of run-ins and make the save on the face by beating the heels to a pulp. Behind the mask was Ed Leslie, known to the world as Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.

Months prior to this, Leslie was involved in a near fatal jet ski accident which brutally damaged his face. He underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries. The angle described above was the idea of the creative team to get Leslie back on TV while his face healed. Why he came out and insisted on performing a face butt? I have no idea. However, clearly this was something that was very over with the crowd.

Unfortunately, the angle never went further and nobody knows what the ultimate plan for it was.

My brother and I used to rewind that over and over. It’s amazing. Fan reactions like that are difficult to obtain, and having a total nobody do it is special. Plus the behavior of this character is really weird and abnormal. The internet has named this character “Fur Face,” a name that I’ll never understand.

I hope you enjoy it.

Ohh yea. This relates to the nWo because Ed Leslie was temporarily part of the nWo in the late 90s when he debuted as The Disciple.


7 thoughts on “From WWF Obscurity: The Man with No Face

  • Chris

    Good Read. (I did click the link)

    I always enjoy reading about wrestlers and their previous characters.

    Did you know Bret Hart was originally packaged as a cowboy?

    • derryX

      Yes I did…it was because the creative team at the time looked at his history working for Stampede Wrestling in Canada and thought that was a good idea. Thank God they put him in pink and black tights and paired him with Anvil. Cowboy Bob Orton was bad enough!

  • Jason Fresta

    I remember this character VERY vividly… at first when I was a kid… i remember thinking it was Jake Roberts for some reason. I think this was around the time that Earthquake had “crushed” poor Damian! But that could be my swiss cheese memory being off.
    I later remembered the character when the world was blessed with the internet and found out that it was in fact Leslie. I specifically remember wondering when it happened, waiting for the character to re-emerge. I think that The Mariner also attacked Rick Martel after a match.

    Ed Leslie will be signing autographs at the Chiller Theatre convention later on this month. a show that I have close ties with. I can ask him what the long term plans were with this character…cause it always bothered me as well. great read! thanks!

    • derryX

      Thanks for the compliment! If you do talk with him, please email me (link at the upper right), as I am VERY interested in what the plan was.

      Honestly, watching that video now, I’m surprised people didn’t suspect it was Hogan. Leslie was bulking up at the time, and, aside from the thin legs, it looks a lot like Hogan.

      I mentioned I had a video of the Martel Run-in, but it’s been taken down. Annoying!

  • J

    How was ed a nobody at the time he did the gimmick he was well know as Beefcake before doing Fur face


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