Debuting on August 8, 1957, “Exotic” Adrian Street is, perhaps, the most influential professional wrestler you’ve never heard of. I only learned about this Welsh legend last year — and I know a great deal about wrestling — because I watched a documentary that aired on the WWE Network called Adrian Street: Imagine What I Could Do to You. One year later, this androgynous gender-bending brawler is back with his own documentary — You May Be Pretty, But I Am Beautiful: The Adrian Street Story — and it’s one every fan should see.
Adrian Street is the first professional wrestler brave enough to adopt a drag-queen inspired attire and an effeminate personality. He was glam rock before glam rock existed. As a result, his makeup influenced David Bowie; and after seeing Adrian’s birds of paradise outfit, Elton John requested that a similar one be designed for him with musical notes instead.
The documentary talks about how Street is the son of a coal miner, and the photos of him in drag standing beside his father and the coal miners are incredible. The juxtaposition of these visages is stark and profound, and they further emphasize just how brave and bold Adrian Street was when it came to his entertainment and art form — an icon in the making.
Adrian was both sizzle and steak. His entrance was a sight to behold, with him coming to the ring accompanied by original music he sang himself. He even went on to produce a full 12-song album called Shake, Wrestle “N’ Roll in 1986 that features incredibly solid numbers that have catchy hooks and comical lyrics. His real-life wife Miss Linda was his valet, providing additional mystique to this already enigmatic superstar. In between the ropes, Adrian Street got it done. A consummate performer with an extensive knowledge of wrestling moves, Street was all man when on the mat and his opponents knew he could legitimately hurt them, if need be.
“Exotic” Adrian Street is an incredible figure in professional wrestling history. While he never made it to WWE, he was a big-time superstar in Britain and in the now-defunct Continental Championship Wrestling. He grappled with legends such as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Jerry Lawler, Austin Idol, and others. He’s written seven books about his life and career, released a music album, and continued to push the boundaries of entertainment year after year. Without him, Goldust would never have existed. He influenced the music industry and professional wrestling, while serving as an inspiration for millions worldwide with his bold attire and unwillingness to fit in. You May Be Pretty, But I Am Beautiful: The Adrian Street Story is an excellent snapshot of a magnificent career that more people should know about.