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Wrestling / Bruiser Brody

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"I'll never find out!"
Bruiser Brody, when asked what it felt like to lose, as quoted in The Pictorial History of Wrestling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Bert Randolph Sugar and George Napolitano.

"Bruiser Brody is another one. He was in some of the great matches of all time, but he was also in some of the worst matches of all time when he was in the mood."
Dave Meltzer, commenting on the AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel (w/Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)-Bruiser Brody match on Volume 1: Busted Open! of the Wrestling Gold DVD series.

Frank Donald Goodish (June 18, 1946 – July 17, 1988) was an American professional wrestler and football player from Detroit, MI, known under the ring name Bruiser Brody. He competed throughout the world, particularly in World Class Championship Wrestling in Dallas, TX, the American Wrestling Association, the St. Louis Wrestling Club, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico. Among his achievements were holding the NWA International Heavyweight Title, which later became part of All Japan's Triple Crown Heavyweight Title, holding the All Japan PWF Tag Team Title with his good friend Stan Hansen, holding the NWA American (World Class) Heavyweight Title four times and holding the NWA Central States (Kansas City) Heavyweight Title. While working for the WWC, wrestler Jose Gonzales, aka Invader #1, murdered Brody by stabbing him to death in the shower after a match on July 17, 1988. He was tried in a Puerto Rican court and was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense in a very controversial trial (such as the prosecution witnesses not being told in time to actually show up.)



  • Bash Brothers: With Stan Hansen, Jimmy Snuka, Kerry Von Erich
  • The Bully/Jerkass: Had this reputation at times among other wrestlers and promoters. See Base Breaker on the YMMV page for more.
  • Catchphrase: "HUSS! HUSS! HUSS!"
  • Chain Pain and Chairman of the Brawl: His Weapons of Choice.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: Red River Jack, after losing a Loser Leaves Town match in Texas. Would appear as himself with a second RRJ when one was needed to "prove" Brody and Jack weren't the same person. The second RRJ was played by the late Rick Davidson of the Los Angeles-based Davidson Brothers (not Mark "The Undertaker" Calaway as it was rumored. William "Percy Pringle"/"Paul Bearer" Moody, who worked with both Brody and Calaway, confirmed that it was not Calaway under the second mask.)
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  • The Dragon: In the Sheik's (Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie) Army in the AWA. More bluntly, after Hansen won the Mid-South Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title on May 2, 1977, Brody cut a promo on "Cowboy" Bill Watts, the promoter and top star of Mid-South, about how it was his job to beat up Watts so that Hansen wouldn't have to worry about associating with "filth" like Watts.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: He, Stan Hansen and the Funk brothers (Terry and Dory Jr.) all attended West Texas State University around the same time.
  • Expy: Wrestlers such as "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, The Barbarian (Sionne Vailahi), Cactus Jack, "Mean" Mark Callous (The Undertaker) and Vader (who started out in the AWA in the 1980s as "The Baby Bull" Leon White and had some matches with Brody) all definitely drew a lot from Brody. The most blatant were John Nord, who patterned his Barbarian and Berzerker gimmicks directly on Brody, taking the Berzerker gimmick into full-on Viking territory, and "The Barbaric Berzerker" Jimmy Jacobs, right down to the furry boots and "HUSS!" chant.
  • Finishing Move: Running knee drop.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: In Japan. Also worked with one, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie from Iraq, as a member of the Sheik's Army in the AWA.
  • Garbage Wrestler: Considered the greatest brawler in wrestling history, so much so that, after his death, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter renamed the "Best Brawler" Award, which Brody had won seven times, The Bruiser Brody Memorial Award. Brody's death predated the debuts of Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling in Japan (1989) and of ECW in the U.S. (1992), however the wrestlers and fans of those promotions all point to Brody as being, along with Abdullah the Butcher and the Original Sheik, as one of the founding fathers of hardcore wrestling. That said, Brody was also great with Wrestling Psychology and had a strong grounding in technical wrestling, which enabled him to have great matches with Terry Funk and Ric Flair in the territory days, thus subverting this trope.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Depending on the Writer and where he was working at the time.
    • Larry Matysik notes it didn't really matter if Brody was heel or face - he ended up being cheered anyway. His style was pretty damn heelish: biting, weapons, working stiff. Brody was rarely simply heel or face, and could even switch during a match due to crowd reaction.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It's how he lost his match against then-WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino on December 4, 1976. Brody had ripped the cover off of one of the turnbuckles. He grabbed Bruno in a headlock with the intention of sending Bruno headfirst into the buckle, but Bruno pushed Brody into it instead, with Bruno rolling up Brody for the pin.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In Japan, fans would line up to be beaten with cowbells on bull ropes by Brody and Stan Hansen.
    • Brody would come out swinging a chain, but he would also pick up a chair from the crowd and use that. Or the ring bell. Or a trash can. Or a cowbell.
  • Lightning Bruiser: 6'8", 300 lbs.+ of muscle and could do dropkicks.
  • Mad Eye: Sometimes one would appear to be darker than the other.
  • Nice Shoes: Introduced furry boots to professional wrestling. His reason for wearing them was apparently because he thought his calves were too small to be intimidating.
    • He used rabbit fur from a Houston leather store for his boots. Brody was complaining to his best friend about his small calves, and his friend suggested covering them up.
  • No-Sell: Brody was notoriously selective with who he would sell for, but it added greatly to his tough guy character. It was noted in the book Brody: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Wrestling's Rebel that it took a huge effort just to make Brody go to one knee, but anyone who managed it would instantly get over. When Brody did sell though, it was an amazing sight. During a cage match in the mid 80s, Brody's opponent Lex Luger apparently did something to annoy Brody (Match referee Bill Alfonso suggests that Luger tried to call the match, despite Brody being the veteran, while Luger himself has stated that Brody simply didn't like the reaction the match was getting, as the two were babyfaces in different territories). Brody's response was to stop selling completely and simple stare a hole through Luger, who threw punch after punch to no effect, before deciding simply to leave the cage.
    • Brody faced Danny Hodge early in his career, and wondered why he should sell for "such a little guy". As Jim Ross notes, it only took a few painful holds from Hodge to teach Bruiser a little respect.
  • One Steve Limit: Worked as King Kong Brody in St. Louis, Dick the Bruiser's World Wrestling Association in Indianapolis and other territories where Dick the Bruiser was established.
  • Only in It for the Money: His Kayfabe explanation for working with Sheik Adnan, and, generally understood to be a motivating force for him in Real Life.
    • Jim Ross has a story about going out for dinner with a few friends on Brody's invitation. JR then says the only way it would be a REAL story is if Brody had actually paid for the dinners!
  • Power Stable:
  • Real Men Love Jesus: According to "Superstar" Billy Graham, he never missed a church worship service on Sunday and the first thing he would do if he had to be in another town or country on a Sunday was look for a suitable church.
  • Red Baron: "King Kong", (in Japan) "Choujuu" ("Super Beast"); (as Frank Goodish) "The Hammer"
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Worked as a booker for World Class Championship Wrestling. (Although apparently wasn't very good at this.)
    • In a broader sense, seeing as he might walk out if the booking wasn't going to go his way, he effectively forced the rules he wanted with his reputation and popularity.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Had a notorious reputation among promoters for being hard to work with and refusing to job, and would in fact walk out if he didn't like a situation. Part of this was due to his secure spot in All Japan Pro Wrestling and not wanting word of a job he had done to get back to AJPW's boss, Giant Baba.
    • On the flip side of that, as Larry Matysik notes, the word of most promoters was pretty trash, and Brody simply knew he was a valuable commodity. The proof? Even if he walked out on them, they'd all still try to bring him back when they needed to sell out a building. Granted, Matysik was one of his friends and paints Brody as a true independent rebel who played by his own rules; perhaps a romantic view, compared to other wrestlers complaining he cost them a payday.
  • Tag Team: The Miracle Power Combination, with Stan Hansen
  • Tag Team Twins: Once faced the Mexican Twin Devils (#1 and #2) in what was unofficially a handicap match as they would pull the inevitable Twin Switch routine. This went on until Don Diamond ran down to the ring and threw flour in the hair of one of them, with Brody pinning that one to win.
  • Wrestling Monster: Brody was, simply put, one of the most feared men in the ring back in the day, and was perfectly capable of wrecking your day. In fact, many say that he was killed for it.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Sometimes, rather than walk out if he didn't like a situation, he would do what he could to wreck it instead. Infamously refused to cooperate with a young Lex Luger in a cage match in Florida in 1987. For years fans thought Brody was teaching a disrespectful Luger a lesson, taped razor blades onto his fists, and then forced a terrified Luger to leap out of the cage for his life. Even Bill Alfonso, the referee for the match, has said Brody was teaching a lesson to Luger that you don't tell a veteran how to work a match. When the video of the match was finally shown the truth was revealed though. Brody simply stopped selling and Luger was more confused than scared. He grew more frustrated and simply left when Brody refused to work with him. After the match Luger asked Brody if he offended him, and he was told that he did nothing wrong. Brody did't like that they were both babyfaces and was having issue with the promoter and not Luger.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: According to Tony Atlas in regards to Brody's death, he was supposed to leave Puerto Rico to go to Japan, but Jose Gonzales had connections there who were waiting for him. In his words, "If it didn't happen in Puerto Rico, it was going to happen in Japan."

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