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Thread: Bruiser Brody

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    Default Bruiser Brody

    Frank Donald Goodish (June 18, 1946 - July 17, 1988) was a professional wrestler who earned his greatest fame under the name Bruiser Brody. He was born in Detroit, Michigan. Goodish was an All-State football and basketball player at Warren High School, Michigan, and played football at West Texas State. As a wrestler, he helped innovate the "brawling" style and was infamous for his wild and legitimately uncooperative demeanor. Goodish was nevertheless a highly sought free agent who worked for various major wrestling promotions worldwide, attaining fame, notoriety, and several championship titles until his murder in 1988.

    Brody was a major star in the United States, having competed as a freelancer in several companies including the National Wrestling Alliance, Central States Wrestling, World Wide Wrestling Federation, Southwest Championship Wrestling, Windy City Wrestling, Texas All Star Wrestling, World Wrestling Council, Deep South Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, American Wrestling Association, and World Class Championship Wrestling. In the States, he had numerous classic feuds with the likes of Kamala the Ugandan Giant, Abdullah the Butcher, and Jerry Blackwell. He was revered in Japan and made a dominant tag team with Stan Hansen. Brody was perceived as both an asset and a liability by promoters because he was a major draw wherever he competed, but he also had a reputation for refusing to job to other wrestlers. He also competed under the moniker of Red River Jack in Texas, during an angle against Gary Hart's men and Skandor Akbar's Army in World Class Championship Wrestling. Brody also competed as the Masked Marauder for one time in the AWA.

    Brody achieved his now-legendary status in Japan and Puerto Rico. In 1985, he became the highest paid wrestler in the world at one point, as he was earning $14,000 per week over a bidding war between New Japan and All Japan Pro Wrestling. He had a very short stint with New Japan in a feud with Antonio Inoki, where both men were apparently unwilling to put the other over (Inoki was wary of someone who had put over old dojo classmate and rival promoter Giant Baba), and many of their matches ended in no contests or disqualifications.

    In January 1987, Brody was involved in a steel cage match against a young Lex Luger. Luger had been told by a number of veterans (mostly as a gag) that Brody was violent and dangerous in the ring, and Brody had issues with Luger's ego concerning putting other wrestlers over. Shortly after the match began, Brody began standing still and no-selling Luger's punches and other offense. Frustrated, Luger left the ring.

    Brody later informed Luger personally that the stunt was not a personal issue between the two, but a business one between Brody and the office about pay and a booking dispute although Luger has said in a shoot interview that Brody said he was a face (good guy) in World Class in Texas and that he didn't want to mess that up by being a heel in Florida.

    In 1987, Brody began working primarily for the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico, after getting fired from New Japan Pro Wrestling. Brody would continue his feud with Abdullah the Butcher, as well as engaging in a feud with homeland hero Carlos Colon. He briefly returned to AJPW to win his last NWA International Heavyweight Championship. On April 15, 1988, the first attempt to form what became the AJPW Triple Crown was done when Brody faced off against NWA United National and PWF champion Genichiro Tenryu; the result was a double countout . Brody ended up losing the title back to Jumbo Tsuruta four days later.

    On July 16, 1988, Brody was in the locker room before a match with Abdullah the Butcher and Dan Spivey in Bayamón (a city near San Juan, Puerto Rico), when Jose Huertas Gonzalez, AKA Invader I (a fellow wrestler and booker) came up to him in the locker room and asked him to go into the shower to discuss business. It is contested by several wrestlers in the locker room that Huertas was holding a knife wrapped inside a towel when he was waiting for Brody to arrive to the locker room. At the time, Huertas was one of the men who made decisions at the WWC meetings and was also a good friend of Carlos Colón (WWC Promoter and main superstar, and father of Carly Colon and Primo Colon), and it is rumored that Brody had upset him on numerous occasions by refusing to do jobs. It is also believed that Brody was planning to take control of WWC (as Brody apparently began to invest in the promotion), which may have additionally upset Huertas.

    Tony Atlas, who was there at the time of the attack, recounts a different set of events occurring.

    Huertas got into the shower area first and, when Brody bent his head to enter the shower area, Huertas allegedly grabbed his hair and stabbed Brody several times in the stomach and the chest. Brody was taken by ambulance to Centro Medico, but first the paramedics had to take him from the crime scene to the ambulance. However, they couldn't lift him, so Tony Atlas took it upon himself to carry Brody up to the ambulance. They then took him to main hospital facility in San Juan, but he died hours later while undergoing a second surgery. Huertas, who always maintained his innocence, was tried for murder, and was acquitted by a jury of his peers, citing self-defense. Afterwards, a number of wrestlers (including Mick Foley) refused to work in Puerto Rico in protest of the jury verdict, which temporarily crippled the Puerto Rican wrestling scene. According to Bret Hart, Bruiser lay injured in the locker room for several hours before a fellow wrestler called paramedics.

    Personal life
    Goodish was married twice, firstly on June 4, 1968 to Nola Marie Neece, however the marriage was brief and ended in divorce on October 12, 1970.

    Goodish's second wife Barbara remained with him until his untimely death in 1988. Together they had a son named Geoffrey Dean, born November 7, 1980.

    Honors and influence
    He has been honored by two wrestling Halls of Fame in Japan and was named to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996. Brody was posthumously awarded the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Editors' Award in 1988.

    Barbara Goodish (his widow) signed a "Legends" contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), allowing them to produce and distribute merchandise in his likeness, as Brody had spent 1976 and 1977 feuding with the likes of Bruno Sammartino and Ivan Putski in the WWWF (later renamed WWF and then WWE). As a result, the first WWE Bruiser Brody action figure was made and released as a part of the WWE Classic Superstars line by Jakks Pacific.

    The modern hardcore "brawling style" of wrestling has been heavily influenced by the work of Bruiser Brody, and wrestlers such as Mick Foley, Togi Makabe, The Predator, "The Necro Butcher" Dylan Keith Summers, and The Berzerker have all patterned their styles off of Brody. In addition to this, Brody also assisted the careers of several wrestlers, among them the Undertaker (Mark Calaway) and Big Van Vader (Leon White), having wrestled both men in their professional debuts.

    In late 2007, Larry Matysik and Barbara Goodish (Frank's widow) wrote a book titled Brody, released by ECW Press. Also in 2007, Crowbar Press released a quote book about Bruiser Brody. Simply titled Bruiser Brody, the biography features a foreword by Stan Hansen, as well as interviews with several people from Brody's personal and professional life. Bruno Sammartino, Abdullah the Butcher, Dory Funk, Jr., Dave Meltzer, Jim Duggan, Carlos Colon, and Harley Race are among those who are featured in this book of quotes.

    On September 14, 2007, Bruiser Brody was inducted into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame. In December 2008's Nintendo Power, video game designer Suda51 claimed that his favorite wrestler was Bruiser Brody; there is some potential of Brody's techniques inspiring the ones in the Nintendo Wii game No More Heroes.

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