One of wrestling’s strangest oxymorons is that many of the men who adopted gay/feminine gimmicks were some of the toughest s.o.b.’s around. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis. Dustin “Goldust” Runnells. “Gorgeous” George Wagner. And then there’s The Exotic One, Adrian Street. Pound for pound, many longtime fans consider him one of the toughest, roughest men ever in the sport. Just look at him tearing up Randy Savage.
Ironically, his image was a total 180 from his abilities. The pig-tails. The glitter. The s&m leather. Adrian Street is rightfully a legend in the sport, and it was through sheer talent and ability that he made this gimmick work.
And work it, he did. Street’s promos are legendary, especially his music videos. “I’m In Love With Me,” “There’s Something Very Strange About A Cowboy,” and “Imagine What I Could Do To You” were some of the funniest, downright hilarious clips ever shown on a wrestling show. He had a habit of calling his opponents “Gwendolyn.” He pranced. He fanned himself. He goofed. And then he beat the hell out of his opponent, like he did here with Davey Boy Smith.
What might surprise a good number of the fans who have heard of Street may not even realize that he was already in his 40’s when he arrived in the States, and had been wrestling in Europe for years before adopting the Exotic gimmick. He spent quite some time making a reputation for himself as a great mat worker, as well as legit tough man, who took no quarter and gave none.
One of his most famous matches occurred in Mid-South, where he shocked then-television champion Terry Taylor with a kiss on the lips, and pinned the stunned wrestler to win the title. But he didn’t always resort to using the more flamboyant aspects of his gimmick to win, and that’s a difference many imitators since have yet to understand.
Today, you will see quite a bit of influence of Street in WWE’s Rico. In fact, when Rico was preparing for the role, he made it a point to talk to Adrian for advice on how to do the gimmick. Sadly, though, talented as Rico is, he has yet to grasp the subtleties of the Exotic gimmick. For the most part, outside of his entrances and interviews, Street would drop the act and proceed to knock his enemy silly. Sure, he would occasionally skip or such, but he knew when to get down to business.
Adrian was always accompanied to the ring by Miss Linda, one of the most downright toughest “broads” ever in the industry, and one of the earliest examples I’ve found of a female valet actually getting physically involved in beatdowns on babyfaces.
Today, Adrian and Linda have retired to Florida, where they have run a training school, and have survived Adrian’s bout with throat cancer. They can be found online at their website http://bizarrebazaar.com from which these images were taken.