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The Beast (1938-2009)

Real NameYvon Cormier

Birthdate - 11/3/1938 - 3/4/2009

5'10" 255 lbs. - Memramcook, NB

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s)Les Ruffen

Professional Background - n/a

AliasesIvan the Lumberjack, Joe Gump, Pierre LeBelle

Peak Years1960s-1970s

Place in HistoryYvon Cormier was a product of rural life in the Maritimes. He was a rugged man who trained his body working in the woods and doing hard manual labor. In the late 1950s, he met Emile Dupre, who felt the rough-looking Cormier could make a career for himself in pro-wrestling and he did. After leaving the Maritimes for Indianapolis, Cormier, then called “Ivan the Lumberjack” began learning his craft. He was eventually given the name “The Beast” while wrestling in the Carolinas and his career took off from there. He wrestled around the US and Canada as well as having tours of Japan and Australia. After his success, three of Cormier’s thirteen siblings followed him into pro-wrestling: Rudy Kay (Jean-Louis), Leo Burke (Leonce) and Bobby Kay (Romeo). The Beast began returning to work the Maritimes during the summer months before traveling elsewhere during the other three. In that region, the formula was simple. The Beast played the monster face and Burke played the technical babyface and they and their brothers (although it was not acknowledged they were all brothers) feuded with the heel in for the season, usually the North American title being the prize to gain. It was a successful formula for many years with men like Ox Baker, “The Stomper” Archie Gouldie, Killer Karl Krupp, “Nature Boy” Dillon and Fred Sweetan. Several different people ran the local promotion, but The Beast always had steady work there and in Toronto where he had become a major star. His mainstream slowed down in the late 1970s, but The Beast has continued wrestling as long as there has been an active organization in the Maritimes, a true credit to his love of the sport. Pro-wrestling has had many big times and big places, The Beast has lived and worked through both of them and he became perhaps the biggest star the Maritimes ever produced.