Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Black History Month: Bad News Brown

Bad News Brown
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

My first memories of Bad News Brown are actually when he was Bad News Allen and wrestling in Stampede for Stu Hart.  I had never actually seen him wrestle, but I read about him in magazines like "The Wrestler" and "Pro Wrestling Illustrated."

Then in early 1988 he entered the WWF.  Same bad ass look, but with a new last name.  Allen became Brown.  I'm not exactly sure why, but he had a real mean streak.   One of his first appearances (it may have been his debut) he won the battle royal at Wrestlemania.  He and Bret Hart teamed up to eliminate the Junkyard Dog, then Brown turned on Hart and nailed him with his finisher, "The Ghetto Blaster" and tossed him out of the ring.  With the victory came a giant trophy that Hart smashed into bits, thus setting up a feud with Brown.  Bad News went over in the battles they had, which was sorta surprising to me considering what Bret came to accomplish in his career.

Like I mentioned, Brown was billed as a tough guy and a loner, never being able to get along with his Survivor Series teams.  If memory serves me correctly, he walked out on both his teams in 1988 and 89.

Brown vs. Piper
Besides the time against Bret Hart, other notable feuds Bad News Brown had included a brief battle with Randy Savage for the WWF title.  Brown and Hogan also had some heated contests.  At Wrestlemania 5, Brown and Hacksaw Duggan had a fight for the ages.  They battled to a double DQ, and at the end of the match, Duggan ended up with a big snot rocket in his beard.  Jesse Ventura nearly puked doing the commentary.

But for me, one of the most memorable moments of his career came at Wrestlemania 6.  He and Roddy Piper were feuding after things got out of hand between the two at the 1990 Royal Rumble.  Brown believed Piper was a racist in the storyline and to prove that color didn't matter to him, Piper wrestled with half his body painted black.  It was a site to behold, and only fueled the fire for Bad News.  The two wrestled to a double count out.



Later that summer Brown engaged in a feud with Jake "the Snake" Roberts, promising to bring his sewer rats out to take care of Jake's snake Damien.  I don't remember there ever actually being a rat, maybe just a picture, but I could be wrong on that account.  Shortly after their match at SummerSlam, Brown left the company.  He stayed on the indy scene for a while before retiring in 1999.

Sadly, Brown died in 2007 of a heart attack.  He was 63 years old.  While he didn't gain the gold in the WWF, he did get a lot of notoriety playing the role of Bad News Brown, and the man behind the character, Alllen Coage was an accomplished Judo star.  He won the bronze medal for the U.S. Olympic team in 1976.  More than 30 years later, he's the only American heavyweight to have won a medal in Judo. (That's according to Wikipedia)

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