Ric Flair's association with the Carolina Hurricanes is well-established, as the now-"retired" wrestling superstar's trademark "WOO!" and Jumbotron appearances are hallmarks of the RBC Center experience. He's also sounded the "Hurricane Warning" siren at home games (video).
Confidence is in abundance when you've got The Nature Boy in your corner. So the Boston Bruins, who face the Hurricanes at home in Game 7 of their semifinal series tonight, had only one recourse: Harness the energy of their own wrestling icon.
Wait ... my gawd, that's Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake's music!
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Ed Leslie, who wrestled in the WWF as both Brutus Beefcake (video) and later with a hair-snipping "barber" gimmick, is a friend of someone on the Bruins training staff and has attended practice and games in the past. Over on Stanley Cup of Chowder, there were some details about Beefcake's strange post-wrestling career:
Those of you who didn't follow wrestling, might know Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake (whose real name is Edward Leslie) as the man who caused an anthrax scare on the MBTA. While working as a fare collector at Downtown Crossing in 2004, Leslie reportedly left "white powder" out on the counter of his booth. A concerned T rider reported it and the station was shutdown due to concerns that the substance could be anthrax. After an investigation it was reported that the powder was cocaine. Leslie was fired by the MBTA for violating their drug policy and checked into rehab but still denies that the substance was cocaine.
Huh. Anyway, Beefcake's influence on this series can't be ignored. Matt Kalman of The Bruins Blog writes that the team won its last two games with "The Barber" in attendance, and he's expected to be in the arena for Game 7. Which will certainly come in handy if someone needs his playoff beard removed by a professional.
Clearly, both wrestlers have an affect on their respective teams. But who wins the Tale of the Tape?
Really, too many to count. But possibly 22 world titles.
The Four Horsemen
"The Nature Boy"
"Woo!" "Stylin' and Profile'n!" "In order to be the best, you gotta beat the best!"
WWF Tag-Team Titles
Hulk Hogan, Greg "The Hammer Valentine
"The Barber," "The Disciple," "Brother Bruti," "The Zodiac"
"Hulk Hogan is my best friend. Give me a job."
Advantage, Hurricanes. H/T to Hub Hockey for all of it.