|Birth name||Frank Donald Goodish|
|Born||June 18, 1946|
Uniontown, Pennsylvania, United States
|Died||July 17, 1988 (aged 42)|
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
|Cause of death||Stabbing|
(m. 1968; div. 1970)
(m. 1972; his death 1988)
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Billed weight||300 lb (136 kg)|
|Billed from||Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|Trained by||Fritz Von Erich|
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. He also worked as King Kong Brody, The Masked Marauder, and Red River Jack. Over the years Brody became synonymous with the hardcore wrestling brawling style that often saw one or more of the participants bleeding by the time the match was over. In his prime he worked as a "special attraction" wrestler in North America, making select appearances for various promotions such as World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Central States Wrestling (CSW), Championship Wrestling from Florida (CWFF), and the American Wrestling Association (AWA) among others. He worked regularly in Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW).
Behind the scenes Goodish was very protective of his "in-ring" image, hardly ever agreeing to lose matches and building a reputation of a being volatile; he would on occasion actually intentionally hit or hurt opponents during a match contrary to the pre-determined nature of professional wrestling. His in-ring work and wrestling persona earned him an induction in the professional wrestling hall of fame, St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame, Southern Wrestling Hall of Fame, Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame and the WWE Hall of Fame.
While his wrestling persona had a reputation for brutality and being uncontrollable, his personal life was described as the complete opposite by his second wife Barbara, especially when it came to their son.
Goodish died in 1988 from stab wounds suffered backstage in a shower during a wrestling event in Puerto Rico. The killer was Jose Huertas Gonzalez, the wrestler known as Invader I. A jury acquitted Gonzalez of murder, ruling that Gonzalez killed Goodish in self-defence. Key witnesses to the killing did not give testimony at Gonzalez's trial due to their summons only being received after the trial had concluded.
This situation led to many US wrestlers not working in Puerto Rico for a long time afterward. The Brody murder remains one of the most controversial incidents in the history of professional wrestling.
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.
After attending West Texas A&M and working as a sportswriter Goodish was trained to wrestle by Fritz Von Erich. 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 Central States Wrestling (CSW), World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), Southwest Championship Wrestling (SCW), Windy City Wrestling, 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. In 1976, he went to Vince J. McMahon's WWWF where he challenged WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino but was unsuccessful in winning the championship. Brody also teamed with Big John Studd. It was also in the WWWF where he wrestled Invader 1 (José González), for whom he refused to sell.
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. Brody was in an ongoing feud with The Russian Brute who later went on to AWA fame with Manager Ox Baker. Due to his huge reputation in Japan promoter Shohei Baba had the match taped and later aired on Japanese TV.
In Florida he beat B. Brian Blair for the Florida State championship. Brody had an infamous cage match with Lex Luger in Florida on January 21, 1987. 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 promoters 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.
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.
On July 16, 1988, Brody was in the locker room before his scheduled match with Dan Spivey in Bayamón (a city near San Juan, Puerto Rico), when José Huertas González, a fellow wrestler and booker, allegedly asked him to step into the shower area to discuss business. There was an argument between the two wrestlers and a scuffle ensued. Due to the design of the dressing room, there were no witnesses to the altercation. However, two screams were heard, 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 size, paramedics were unable to lift him. He later died from his stab wounds. González claimed self-defense and testified in his own defense. He was acquitted of murder in 1989. The prosecution witnesses living outside of Puerto Rico did not show up, claiming they had not receive their summons until after the trial had ended.
Dutch Mantel and Tony Atlas, fellow wrestlers, have said that in the 1970s, when Brody and Gonzalez had wrestled each other, Brody had wrestled very roughly and beat up Gonzalez. Gonzalez stated that, while on the way to hospital, he had vowed to fellow wrestler SD Jones that he would kill Brody one day.