Saturday, January 3, 2009

Brute Bernard

Wild, bald-headed heel from Quebec. He stood about 6'2" and, according to one report, was brought into pro wrestling by promoter Jack Britton. In his hey-day, Bernard was one of the biggest draws in wrestling, and his full-on loopy-two-shoes caveman routine was a main event all around the world. Brute made his first major appearances in the Maple Leaf Gardens in 1957, wrestling simply as Jim Bernard. From there he formed a very successful tag team with the similarly-styled Skull Murphy of Hamilton, and the two were recognized as world champions in Florida and Australia (where as a team they held the belts five times, tho Skull held them an additional 4 times, with different partners), along with holding the top WWWF tag belts (which they lost to the team of Killer Kowalski and Gorilla Monsoon in 1963).
Bernard and Mike Paidousis, defeated Fritz Von Erich and Waldo Von Erich for the American tag title (Texas) in 1967, dropping them back soon afterwards. He also formed successful tag teams with "Missouri Mauler" Larry Hamilton, and The Angel (Frank Morrell - seen here with JJ Dillon and Brute).
Bernard was married to wrestler Betty Jo Hawkins. He moved to the Carolinas and continued to wrestle into the 1980s. He died in 1984 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is unknown whether this was intentional or not.

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