Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Frank Goodish, AKA Bruiser Brody, was a huge, at times complex, star in the wrestling world during the '70s until he was Murdered in A Dressing Room in Bayamon, Puerto Rico by fellow wrestler Jose Huertas Gonzalez.
Brody started in the territory system where a “green” talent would travel the territories, learn and gain experience and little money unless you worked on top. Bruiser Brody fortunately had the look, the charisma, and the size to become a star within a few years. He debuted in 1973, and by 1976 he was headlining Madison Square Garden against the legendary Bruno Sammartino.
Very few professional wrestlers at the time had the drawing power of Bruiser Brody, and in the 1980s he was arguably one of the top 5 draws in the business. As the only one who wasn’t affiliated primarily with the WWF or NWA, Brody became a huge star in Japan. If Japanese press were present while in the States, he would not “Do The Favor” or take a loss in the middle of the ring, so as to protect his spot as the top Gaijin in Japan.
For the majority of the 1980s, Brody wrestled for World Class Championship Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling, although in 1985 Brody made the jump to Rival Promotion New Japan and Boss Antonio Inoki. This run was very short, as Brody maybe had 25-26 matches before leaving the company. Brody then began working primarily in Puerto Rico’s wildly popular WWC. Brody had feuds with Boss/Too Star Carlos Colonas as well as his most famous rival Abdullah the Butcher. Periodically, Bruiser Brody would mend the fence and go back to All Japan and Giant Baba, but he was mainly in Puerto Rico.
Growing tensions with former opponent and Talent Invader 1 (Jose Gonzalez) would ultimately prove to be the demise of one of wrestling's greatest attractions: Bruiser Brody.
On July 16,1988 Brody rode to a sold out stadium with fellow wrestlers Dutch Mantell and Tony Atlas. Brody was called into the shower by Gonzalez, and as he turned into the shower room, Brody was stabbed by Gonzalez. This terrible and heinous crime to this day has went unpunished, as Brody's persona of a wild man and violent wrestler was used against him in a Puerto Rican court room. Gonzalez was acquitted because the American wrestler who saw what happened didn’t receive their subpoenas until after the trial had already ended.
To borrow a line from Johnny Valentine, “They might not believe wrestling’s real, but I can damn sure make them believe I am,” and Brody was just that!!
Brody's presence was enough to make even the toughest guys take a backseat and believe in what they were witnessing. Brody's legacy will forever be remembered as a wild, hardcore brawling Big Man, who influenced many stars after him, most famously Mick Foley AKA Cactus Jack. In my opinion, Brody was wrestling’s Greatest Big Man. Whether going 60 minutes in St. Louis with Ric Flair, or going 10-15 bloody brutal minutes with Abdullah, you knew that when Brody got in or out of the ring you were always going to get your money's worth.