VIEW FROM THE RISING SUN
by Masanori Horie
The greatest brawler of all time in professional wrestling, Frank "King Kong Bruiser Brody" Goodish
Who will be "Bruiser Brody 2000?"
About two weeks before Bruiser Brody was dead, they planned "Bruiser Brody vs. Cactus Jack" at Dom DeNucci's show at the Coliseum in Athens, OH, but they switched matches. Cactus was a 23-year-old green boy and had no choice in '88. He had to face Tony Atlas. Cactus' wrestling school mate, Dr. Mark Curtis (Brian Hildebrand) managed Johnny Valiant against Brody, and Brody gave Brian's face the boot! Brody vs. Cactus never came true, but there is no doubt Cactus inherited Brody's spirit.
The Sheik and his wife, Joyce Farhat, will arrive in Tokyo on 12/10/98. Sheik will have his retirement ceremony at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on 12/11. Just 17 years ago, The Sheik faced Bruiser Brody. Sheik & Mark Lewin lost to Brody & Jimmy Snuka by DQ (8:31) in Kumamoto City on 12/7/81, and Sheik lost to Brody by DQ (3:16) in Akita City on 12/8/81.
Brody handled himself in terms of dealing with promoters and looking out for himself. No doubt Sabu inherited not only Sheik's professionalism, but also Brody's independent spirit. However, Cactus will be Cactus, and Sabu will be Sabu ... Who will be "Bruiser Brody 2000?" As time goes by, young fans, who welcome Stone Cold or Goldberg, won't know about Brody at all.
Frank "King Kong Bruiser Brody" Goodish, who was one of the most influential men in the wrestling world, struck Japan for the first time from 1/2 to 1/29/79. The Dallas territory and All Japan Pro-Wrestling had a strong relationship in those days, and Jack Adkisson (Fritz Von Erich) sent Brody to Giant Baba for All Japan's January tour. The program introduced Brody ... "198cm 135kg" (6'3" 297 lbs.) ... "born in Pennsylvania in '46" ... "debuted in '73." He was on tour with Fritz (1/5-1/8), King Curtis Iaukea, Baron Von Raschke, Dom DeNucci, and Mr. Fuji for four weeks. His first match was a handicap match at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on 1/2/79.
1/2/79 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Brody beat Motoshi Okuma & Masao Ito in a handicap match (Brody b. Ito [5:04])
Brody was in a 14-man Battle Royal (The Destroyer [Dick Beyer] won [10:15])
1/3/79 Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Brody beat Kim Duk (Tiger Chang Lee) (6:17)
Brody won 10-man Battle Royal (13:45)
1/5/79 Kawasaki City Gym, Kanagawa
Brody & King Curtis Iaukea beat Giant Baba & The Destroyer (Brody b. Baba [9:50])
It is said that Bruiser Brody was influenced very much by King Curtis Iaukea's wrestling style.
Brody caught not only a promoter's heart but Japanese fans' heart as a new sensational gaijin (foreign) wrestler by only 3 matches. He had a single match with Baba in Osaka Furitsu Gym on 1/29/79.
It was an unprecedented case for a new gaijin.
Bruiser Brody vs. Giant Baba
Frank Goodish was a defensive tackle at West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) from '67 to '68. Terry Funk said Goodish was "a good ballplayer, but uncontrollable, sort of like his ring personality." After kicking out of WTSU, Brody played pro-ball in Canada, came back to Texas, and became a sports writer for the "Dallas Morning News." Then he attended wrestling shows at the Amarillo Sports Arena every Thursday, and decided to be a professional wrestler.
[Bruiser Brody won these Titles in Japan]
International Heavyweight Title Tournament
All Japan Pro. had an eight-man tournament for the vacant title with Brody, Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Jack Brisco, Abdullah the Butcher, Baba, Tsuruta, and Kim Duk from 4/24 to 4/30/81. Dory won the title when Brody abstained from the tournament final because of injury. Dory had his first title defense against his own brother, Terry, at Matsudo City, Chiba on 4/30/81 (Dory beat Terry [54:00]).
10/9/81 Kuramae Kokugikan (Sumo Hall), Tokyo
International Heavyweight Title match
Brody beat Dory by DQ (9:36)
Brody became the 11th champion.
'81 World Strongest Tag Team League Tournament (11/27 - 12/13/81)
Brody & Snuka won the tournament to beat The Funks at Kuramae Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo on 12/13/81 (Brody b. Dory [21:41]) when Stan Hansen ran in and western-lariated Terry. Other teams were: Baba & Tsuruta, Tiger Jeet Singh & Umanosuke Ueda, Harley Race & Larry Hennig, The Sheik & Mark Lewin, Tenryu & Ashura Hara, Great Kojika & Okuma, and Baron Von Raschke & Killer Karl Krupp.
4/21/82 Osaka Furitsu Gym
International Heavyweight Title match
Brody beat Dory (15:15)
Brody became the 13th champion.
3-Team Round Robin Tournament
4/20/83 Tokyo Gym--Brody & Hansen b. The Funks (Brody b. Terry [13:55])
4/22/83 Sapporo, Hokkaido--The Funks b. Brody & Hansen by DQ (16:38)
4/26/83 Toyama City--Baba & Tsuruta b. Brody & Hansen by DQ (9:54)
4/28/83 Kyoto Furitsu Gym--Brody & Hansen b. Baba & Tsuruta (Hansen b. Tsuruta [13:09])
'83 World Strongest Tag Team League Tournament (11/25 - 12/12/83)
Brody & Hansen beat Tsuruta & Tenryu at Kuramae Kokugikan on 12/12/83 (Hansen b. Tenryu [17:45])
Other teams were: Baba & Dory, Tsuruta & Tenryu, Singh & Ueda, Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras, Barry Windham & Ron Fuller, Hara & Mighty Inoue, and Goro Tsurumi & The Mongolian (Gene Lewis).
PWF World Tag Team Title 4-Team Tournament (4/13 - 4/26/84)
Brody & Hansen beat Baba & Dory in Yokohama Bunka Gym, Kanagawa to win the Tournament. Other teams were Tsuruta & Tenryu, and Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell.
The Road Warriors had their first Japan tour from 3/8 to 3/14/85. Brody got frustrated with All Japan's storyline pushing Animal & Hawk and the much smaller Riki Choshu. He received an offer from New Japan Pro-Wrestling when 13 wrestlers jumped to All Japan in '84. Brody came out unexpectedly at the New Japan show at Korakuen Hall with "Beethoven's Symphony No. 5" on 3/21/85. But, Brody and New Japan's relationship failed when Brody and Jimmy Snuka no-showed the "'85 IWGP Tag Team League Tournament" final against Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi in Sendai, Miyagi on 12/12/85. They were reconciled in August '86, but Brody no-showed again in November. Brody returned to All Japan from 10/5 to 10/11/87.
3/27/88 Nippon Budokan, Tokyo
International Heavyweight Title match
Brody beat Jumbo Tsuruta (17:07)
Brody became the 17th champion.
[Bruiser Brody's last match in Japan]
4/22/88 Kawasaki City Gym, Kanagawa
PWF World Tag Team Title match
Tenryu & Hara beat Brody & Tommy Rich (Tenryu beat Rich [14:56])
Bruiser Brody had 26 tours in Japan over a 10 year period.
133 single matches : 79 - 8 - 46
362 tag team matches : 152 - 161 - 49
Bruiser Brody died after he was stabbed by Jose Gonzales in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 7/16/88. All Japan held the first annual "Bruiser Brody Memorial Night" at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo at 8/29/88 (they had held until '94); Brody's wife, Barbara, and son, Jeffrey, were invited to the show, in which Stan Hansen faced Abdullah the Butcher.
All Japan won't have "Memorial Night" anymore. Abdullah will debut with an another office, and Hansen is expected to finish his career in 1999. Who will be Bruiser Brody 2000?
[Bruiser Brody won these titles in the U.S.A.]
NWA United States Tag Team Title (LeRoy McGuirk, promoter)
Frank Goodish (Brody) & Stan Hansen beat Johnny Eagles & Terry Lathan, October 1974
NWA Western States Heavyweight Title (Nick Roberts, promoter)
Frank Goodish beat Ray Candy in Lubbock, TX, November 1975
NWA Florida Heavyweight Title (Eddie Graham, promoter)
Frank Goodish beat Rocky Johnson (father of "The Rock" Rocky Maivia) in Tampa, FL, 12/31/75
NWA American Heavyweight Title (Jack Adkisson, promoter)
Brody beat Fritz Von Erich on 1/3/77
Brody beat Fritz Von Erich on 4/13/77
Brody beat Fritz Von Erich in Ft. Worth, TX, 9/11/78
Brody beat The Spoiler (Don Jardine) in Houston, TX, 11/30/79
NWA Texas Tag Team Title (Paul Boesch & Jack Adkisson, promoters)
Brody & Mike "The Alaskan" York beat Jose Lothario & Cien Caras, May 1977
Brody & Gino Hernandez beat Kevin & David Von Erich in Ft. Worth, TX, August 1978
Brody & Kerry Von Erich beat Mark Lewin & Killer Tim Brooks in Ft. Worth, TX, 7/23/79
NWA Texas Heavyweight Title (Paul Boesch, promoter)
Brody beat Dale Valentine (Buddy Roberts) in Houston, TX, 5/28/78
NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title (Paul Boesch, promoter)
Brody beat Mark Lewin in Dallas, TX, 6/10/79
Brody beat Mark Lewin in Dallas, TX, 7/29/79
Brody beat Professor Toru Tanaka in '79
Brody beat Stan Stasiak in '81
WWA World Heavyweight Title (Dick "The Bruiser" Afflis, promoter)
King Kong Brody beat Dick the Bruiser in Indianapolis, IN, 8/4/79
NWA Central States Tag Team Title (Bob Geigel, promoter)
Brody & Ernie Ladd won the tournament in Kansas City, KS, 2/3/80
NWA Central States Heavyweight Title (Bob Geigel, promoter)
Brody beat Bulldog Bob Brown in Kansas City, KS, 4/10/80
NWA American Tag Team Title (Jack Adkisson, promoter)
Brody & Kerry Von Erich beat Gino Hernandez & Gary Young in Dallas, TX, 1/11/81
Brody & Kerry Von Erich beat The Fabulous Freebirds (Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes), 6/17/83
SCW World Tag Team Title (Joe Blanchard, promoter)
Brody & Dick Slater beat Tully Blanchard & Gino Hernandez in San Antonio, TX, 1982
World Class Television Title (Jack Adkisson, promoter)
Brody beat Rick Rude by DQ in Ft. Worth, TX, 5/17/86
You may contact Masanori at email@example.com
Visit the American Pro Wrestling Message Board (Japanese language only)
E-mail messages are ALWAYS welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org