Frank Donald Goodish (June 18, 1946 – July 17, 1988) was an American professional wrestler who earned his greatest fame under the ring name Bruiser Brody. As a wrestler, he helped innovate the "brawling" style and was infamous for his wild and legit uncooperative demeanor.
He was the first opponent of The Undertaker, who would later go on to work for WWE, in 1990.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Goodish was an All-State football and basketball player at Warren High School, Michigan, and played football at West Texas A&M University (then known as West Texas State) and with the Washington Redskins in the NFL.
Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]
After attending West Texas A&M and working as a sportswriter Goodish was trained to wrestle by Fritz Von Erich ( Jack Adkisson ). He first wrestled in Dallas - Fort Worth and later Louisiana. As Bruiser Brody and King Kong Brody, Goodish competed as a freelancer in several companies including the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), Central States Wrestling (CSW), World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), Southwest Championship Wrestling (SCW), Windy City Wrestling, Texas All-Star Wrestling (TASW), World Wrestling Council (WWC), Deep South Wrestling (DSW), Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWF), American Wrestling Association (AWA), and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). In the States, he had numerous feuds with the likes of Kamala the Ugandan Giant, Abdullah the Butcher, and "Crusher" Jerry Blackwell. In Japan, he was in a tag team with Stan Hansen. Brody 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 at one time in the AWA. Later on he went to Vince J. McMahon's WWWF in 1978 where he challenged WWWF champion Bruno Sammartino but was unsuccessful in winning the championship. He also teamed with Big John Studd. It was also in WWWF where he wrestled Invader 1 (Jose Gonzales), who he refused to sell for.
In 1985, he had a very short stint with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) in a feud with Antonio Inoki and many of their matches ended in no contests or disqualifications. In 1987, Brody began working primarily for the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico after getting fired from New Japan. Brody continued his feud with Abdullah the Butcher, as well as engaging in a feud with Carlos Colon. He briefly returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling to win his last NWA International Heavyweight Championship. On April 15, 1988, the first attempt to form what became the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship was done when Brody faced off against NWA United National and PWF champion Genichiro Tenryu; the result was a double countout. Brody lost the title to Jumbo Tsuruta four days later. In WCCW in Texas he was actually a babyface, most often against Abdullah The Butcher. However against Abdullah in Montreal he was a heel managed by Floyd Creatchman. While there Tim "Killer" Brooks acted as his brother Buster Brody. In St. Louis for a short time he was popular in a NWA world title match against Ric Flair, which went to a one-hour draw. Due to his huge reputation in Japan promoter Shoehi Baba had the match taped and later aired on Japanese TV.
In Florida he beat Brian Blair for the Florida State championship. Brody had an infamous cage match with Lex Luger in Florida at NWA Florida in January 1986. In the middle of the match, Brody stopped "working" and stood around. Luger and Bill Alfonso, the referee of the match, were puzzled and attempted to speak to Brody who did not respond. Luger and Alfonso decided to forgo the planned finish of the match and Alfonso disqualified Luger in a spot where Luger continually punched Brody in a corner and did not back off. After the match, Luger recalls asking Brody if he did anything wrong to upset him, to which Brody responded "no", and Brody's reasons for not working were not very clear, stating that "the match just wasn't working". In Larry Matysik's book, Wrestling at the Chase, Matysik states that before the match Brody told him "I'm not putting up with any of his bullshit" and that Brody was upset that Luger would not sell for him. However, when watching the match, it is clear that Luger did sell for Brody. In a later shoot interview, Bill Alfonso said that there was a miscommunication issue on who would lead the match and there was no ill will ever between the two. Another scenario was that Brody was upset with the promoters over his paychecks (Brody had a contentious history with wrestling promoters for much of his career) and decided to embarrass the promotion by being uncooperative in the match. In 1987 he returned to the AWA where he fought Greg Gagne and Jerry Blackwell. Despite his reputation as being disagreeable with promotors he would aid any who needed a boost in ticket sales as he was guaranteed to bring in crowds. While working for WCCW in Texas he was the booker and produced their TV program. Due to his education and love for the wrestling business he was nicknamed The Intelligent Monster.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Prior to his wrestling career Goodish worked as a sportswriter in San Antonio, Texas. Goodish was married on June 4, 1968 to Nola Marie Neece; the marriage ended in divorce on October 12, 1970. Goodish's second wife, New Zealand born Barbara Smith remained with him until his death in 1988. They lived in Texas. Together they had a son named Geoffrey Dean, born November 7, 1980.
Death[edit | edit source]
On July 16, 1988, Brody was in the locker room before his match with Dan Spivey in Bayamón (a city near San Juan, Puerto Rico), when José Huertas González, a fellow wrestler and booker, asked him to go into the shower to discuss business. Brody entered the shower stall and a few minutes later a scuffle ensued, followed by two screams, loud enough for the entire locker room to hear. Tony Atlas ran to the shower and saw Brody bent over and holding his stomach. Atlas then looked up at González and saw him holding a knife. Due to the heavy traffic outdoors and large crowd in the stadium it took paramedics close to an hour to reach Brody. When the paramedics arrived, Atlas helped carry Brody downstairs to the waiting ambulance as, due to Brody's enormous stature, paramedics were unable to lift him.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- King Kong Kneedrop (Jumping knee drop, sometimes from the top rope)
- Signature moves
- Atomic drop
- Backbreaker rack
- Diving overhead chop
- Heart punch
- High knee
- One-armed body slam
- Running high kick
- Running leg drop
- Vertical suplex powerslam
- "Choujyu" (Japanese for Super Beast)
- Entrance themes
- "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin (NJPW)
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- NWA International Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- PWF World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Stan Hansen
- World's Strongest Tag Determination League (1981) – with Jimmy Snuka
- World's Strongest Tag Determination League (1983) – with Stan Hansen
- January 3 Korakuen Hall Heavyweight Battle Royal (1979)
- Central States Wrestling
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- National Wrestling Federation
- NWF International Championship (1 time)
- NWA Big Time Wrestling/World Class Wrestling Association
- NWA American Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- NWA American Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Kerry Von Erich
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Texas version) (8 times)
- NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Texas Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Mike York (1), Gino Hernandez (1), and Kerry Von Erich (1)
- WCWA Television Championship (1 time)
- NWA Tri-State
- NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Tri-State version) (2 time) – with Stan Hansen
- NWA Western States Sports
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2014
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Editor's Award (1988) tied with Adrian Adonis
- PWI ranked him #14 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Pro Wrestling This Week
- Southwest Championship Wrestling
- St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2007
- Southern Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2013
- Tokyo Sports
- Lifetime Achievement Award (1988)
- World Championship Wrestling (Australia)
- World Brass Knuckles Championship
- World Wrestling Association
- WWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- 5 Star Match (1984) with Stan Hansen vs. Dory and Terry Funk on December 8
- Best Brawler (1980–1984, 1987, 1988)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
References[edit | edit source]
- (2009) WWE Encyclopedia. DK, 47. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Texas Marriages
- Texas Divorces
- Texas Births
- Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.115)
- Atlas, Tony. ATLAS Too Much ... Too Soon. Crowbar Press. (p.197-205) ISBN 978-0-9844090-2-0
- Bruno Lauer's profile . Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- House of Humperdink . Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved on 2009-09-08.
- Matt Mackinder 2008-01-17. Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear . SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved on 2008-04-04.
- NWA International Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- PWF World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Central States Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Central States Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Florida Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories, 4th, Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- NWA American Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA American Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Texas Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Texas Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- World Class Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA United States Tag Team Title (Tri-State version) history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- Caldwell, James 2013-11-26. News: Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame announces 2014 HOF class . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2013-11-26.
- Pedicino, Joe; Solie, Gordon (hosts) (March 21, 1987). "Pro Wrestling This Week". Superstars of Wrestling. Atlanta, Georgia. Syndicated. WATL.
- Pedicino, Joe; Solie, Gordon (hosts) (May 16, 1987). "Pro Wrestling This Week". Superstars of Wrestling. Atlanta, Georgia. Syndicated. WATL.
- SCW Southwest Brass Knuckles Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- SCW World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- ja:東京スポーツ プロレス大賞 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports. Retrieved on 2014-01-20.
- WWA World Heavyweight Title (Indianapolis) history At wrestling-titles.com