Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gone, But Not Forgotten: Bruiser Brody

Rest in Peace Frank Goodish
aka Bruiser Brody
1946-1988
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

July 17, 1988 one of wrestling's greatest stars was taken away from us.  Bruiser Brody was one of the best big men in the sport, hands down.  He stood 6'8" and tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds.  He seemed invincible with his giant frame, long, black hair, furry boots, and that unmistakable "husk" chant.  But we learned that wasn't true after he was stabbed in the stomach in a locker room in Puerto Rico and died the next day.

I had only been a wrestling fan a few years at the time of Brody's murder.  I had the honor of seeing him once in person as he took on Ric Flair for the NWA world heavyweight title in St. Louis.  The year was 1985, and Flair intentionally got himself disqualified.  Even though Brody never won the world title, he was well respected by the fans, writers, and wrestlers around this country.  The magazine Wrestling Superstars named him the best in the world one year (I think it was 1986), where he just edged out Flair for the top spot.

He wrestled all over the world, spending a lot of time in Japan and Puerto Rico.  I first took notice of him in World Class Championship Wrestling and Wrestling at the Chase.  He played a face in both companies, but when he showed up in the AWA he was a brutal villain.  Brody waged war with the Gagnes, probably doing more than he should have to help Greg look like a credible threat.

He teamed with the Von Erichs, and feuded with the likes of the One Man Gang, Kamala, and Abdullah the Butcher.  In fact, Abby was his last opponent when they wrestled in a tag team match.  Danny Spivey and the Butcher defeated Brody and Carlos Colon.

Brody in action
Brody was in his early 40's at the time of his death.  There didn't seem to be any signs of him slowing down, so I can only imagine what might have happened with his career.  He never wrestled for the WWF, I often wonder what Vince McMahon might have done with him.  I imagine he'd have a different character and would have likely been fed to Hulk Hogan.  Some dream matches I would have loved to see with Brody include him taking on Andre the Giant (in a WWF ring), Cactus Jack, and the Undertaker.

Hopefully one day this legend will take his place in the WWE Hall of Fame.


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