by Nik - December 06, 2013
With the festive period upon us, and thoughts of Santa, the Undisputed King of Beards, in the forefront of our mind – what better time than now to give you my top five favourite WWE beards of all time?
Well, okay, World Beard Day in September probably would have been a better time for this column – but screw it. You’re getting it now.
To the library!
5. Damien Demento
Perhaps a surprise entry to kick things off, but I think one should doth one’s cap to Mr Demento for being a little innovative with his beard. His gimmick was essentially to “be a weirdo”, and thus the weird beard perfectly complemented that. It’s amazing what you can do with a couple of elastic bands. Just ask Macgyver.
And, hey, when does Damien Demento get to be in the top 5 anything? Let’s give the guy a break.
This is pretty cool too: If you look intently at Demento’s facial hair it looks like some sort of ghostly, shadow creature with its arms raised in the air. It even appears to have eyes! Dead spooky, right?
4. Bruiser Brody
Bruiser Brody makes the list for being the first guy to legitimately make his beard part of his character. (And whilst he may never have wrestled in the WWF, he did appear for the WWWF… So he makes the cut because I make the rules)
Brody was reknowned for working as an uncooperative, unhinged outlaw – a gimmick that simply would not have worked without a wild beard to go with it. And he didn’t seem that different away from the squared circle – it took no stretch of the imagination to legitimately perceive the man as an oddball badass.
If you saw this guy in a bar and he spilt your pint, you’d apologise to him and offer to buy him a drink. If the same scenario occurred and Brody didn’t possess a mad beard, you’d likely demand he replace your spilt drink and twist his nipples until he obliged. Without the beard, he’d have been a nobody.
Beards can have a strange aura.
3. Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
The Million Dollar Man’s beard might not look too awe-inspiring on first glance… But when one takes the time to carefully observe its grandeur, it’s rewarding to realise that his face fluff was groomed to absolute perfection.
The Million Dollar Man character came along when the workings of the wrestling business were still massively protected from outsiders. Consequently, Vince McMahon put a great deal of effort into presenting the Million Dollar Man as a genuine millionaire. He’d only fly in first class, he would always be driven in a limo (by good, old Virgil), he only stayed in the top hotels and ate in the best restaurants… and presumably tipped very heavily.
In order to maintain the illusion that DiBiase genuinely was a millionaire playboy, it also seems they didn’t draw the line at paying out for some absolute sterling treatment from the finest beard salons in the land. Just look at its majesty!
2. Daniel Bryan
Some of you might be pretty shocked to see Daniel Bryan not top the list. That’s what they call me “The Master of Suspense”.
Actually, nobody calls me that. They just tell me to get out their way.
At first glance, beard aficionados out there may well be eager to point out that, in truth, Daniel Bryan’s beard doesn’t differ greatly from that of, say, The Wyatt Family’s, The Highlanders’, Hillbilly Jim’s, Mike Knox’ and likely several other hairy chaps who have starred in the WWE over the years. But Daniel Bryan’s beard is different… Because, to me you see– much like the tale of Sampson – it’s the source of his power.
Think about it! When Daniel Bryan debuted for the WWE, there was of course some major buzz from the IWC due to his indie credentials. But we all knew that due to his stature, background and general lack of mic skills, he was only ever going to be midcarder in the WWE regardless of his wrestling prowess. And we weren’t proven wrong. He’d have competitive matches with the likes of The Miz or Santino Marella, but would routinely be jobbed out or even squashed by WWE big guns like Batista and The Big Show.
But then something changed. Daniel Bryan was sporting just stubble when he won the Money in the Bank briefcase in 2011, but already he seemed to have a new layer to his machismo. Fast forward a few months to when Bryan cashed in the briefcase on The Big Show, and sure his beard was still in its infancy, but by then its presence was very apparent. And whilst this teenage-esque beard was still being sported on the night he dropped the title to Sheamus in mere seconds – it was arguably the same night he rose to prominence in the eyes of wrestling fans. Because of the beard? Probably, says I (stick with it).
Fast forward again to the tale-end of 2013 and it truly has been the year of the beard. Daniel Bryan’s face-fur is a shaggy, untamed mess. And you know what? I think it’s fair to say he’s been the most over wrestler in the company in the last few months – by a considerable amount.
So there you have it; Daniel Bryan’s rise to superstardom can be directly linked to his beard growth. This is a beard that truly houses mystical properties.
5. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
I was a huge fan of The Hart Foundation as a kid. I admired their wrestling ability, the fact that they wore pink which suggested to me they were very comfortable with their sexuality, and the way in which their two very contrasting personalities perfectly complemented one another. Bret Hart was the calm, technical eye-candy whilst The Anvil was the unglamourous power-house… With an awesome beard.
As I youngster I adored The Anvil’s idiosyncrasies. Whenever he got excited, be it during a promo or during a match, he would forcefully pull at his beard and shape it into a point – often whilst laughing with his mouth gaping exaggeratedly wide. It was maddeningly infectious to behold, and surely led to an epidemic of children telling their parents they wanted a goatee for Christmas. He made beards cool – and that’s not always easy.
And that’s why Jim Neidhart tales my number one stop. Because, 20 years later, I still wish I had a beard like him that I could stroke when I’m excited, or when I’m laughing like a maniac. Curse my babyface features!
So which beards are your favourites? Or are you more of a moustache and sideburns fan? Share your thoughts below. I love it when you do.
Over and out.
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