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Bruiser Brody

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Abby was better because there was no double cross to his act. He presented himself as a lunatic fat guy who was turned on by violence and would cut your ass up with a fork. And that's exactly what he delivered night after night for decades.

 

Brody's act, by contrast, was a total gyp, as others have described in the thread.

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What I don't get about Brody is why *bookers* were always putting him in these 20+ minute main events. Nobody booked Abby in 60 minute broadway, and if they did it would have been miserable. I wonder if Brody would have been more active with less time to fill.

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I'm visiting my parents for the holidays, and for purposes of this discussion I dug out some old RFVideo compilation tapes. After a couple of hours of Brody matches, I feel more prepared to address some stuff here.

 

Yeah, Brody didn't bump much. But considering how bad he was at it, did you really want him to do it more often? Brody seemed incapable of taking standard flat-back bumps. When he fell, it really looked like the guy had just fallen down. He sometimes did it more Flair-style, coming down on his side rather than his back. It's like, oh, like Kane's seeming inability to take a clean face-first bump. And for what it's worth, in a match against Kamala, Brody took way more bumps than his opponent did. Also: how can you guys claim with a straight face that Brody not bumping much is bad, and then turn around in the same post and praise Abdullah who bumps MUCH less?

 

As for selling: that bleeds into an overall argument, which is that Brody simply tended to take too much of his matches and guzzle his opponents. (Although when Mark Henry or Great Khali do the same thing, it's been defended on this board as "playing their role" as a big scary monster. Why not the same for Bruiser?) That's very true, and it can be quite frustrating to watch him brush off the Tenryus of the world as if they didn't have a chance. When Brody felt like selling, which was admittedly only half the time, he did just fine. He did the sort of drunken-stumble-backwards stuff that guys like Sandman frequently do; it's not exactly Ricky Steamboating out to the cheap seats, but it's still selling and still gets the point across that the other guy must be knocking the shit out of him.

 

 

Finally, and more importantly: where in the blue hell did this talking point about Brody's shitty-looking offense come from? Because I'm not seeing it, at all, not one bit. His punches look average, and his kicks look downright vicious at times. That windmilling-overhand-chop thing he does just needed to get somewhere within the general vicinity of the guy's head, it didn't need Tajiri-like accuracy to be plausible. And sometimes he does some surprisingly cool shit, like after backbreaking Terry Funk once he held onto him and just kept Funk there, suspended in mid-air like he was a small child.

 

It's especially disingenuous considering the standards of the time. "Everything Brody did, Hansen did better" is true, but it's hardly a grievous insult to say that someone isn't as good as one of the greatest wrestlers in all world history. More importantly: Brody's offense looked like fucking Kawada's compared to many of the guys he regularly shared the ring with. Snuka's and Dory's strikes consistently looked worse than Brody's. And let's not forget friggin' Giant Baba, one of Brody's biggest feuds, who had offense so ludicrously awful-looking that it was often an active detriment to his matches. (And I like Baba, but it astounds me how many times I've seen people feebly try to claim that his strikes didn't look like cold diarrhea.)

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I think that's the thing is that everything needs to be taken in the contest of the time frame not measured by standards of other eras. To me like I said before Brody passed the eyeball test everywhere I saw him on t.v, whether the AWA, Montreal, Central States, World Class or Japan

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I think that's the thing is that everything needs to be taken in the contest of the time frame not measured by standards of other eras. To me like I said before Brody passed the eyeball test everywhere I saw him on t.v, whether the AWA, Montreal, Central States, World Class or Japan

 

We are taking him in the context of his time. The denizens of this forum have probably watched more wrestling from that era on average than virtually any other forum on the web. It's Brody's direct comps to guys from those places at those times that makes him look so bad.

 

I'm not kidding.

 

Comp him to Blackwell as a brawler - it's not a favorable comp for Brody. To Hansen? Not a good comp. Tommy Rich? Not a good comp. Abby (which I'll get to more in a second when I respond to Jingus) - well you could maybe argue Brody's best matches were better, but if you asked me whether or not I would rather watch a "best of Abby" comp or a "best of Brody" comp it would take me about a tenth of a second to pick Abby.

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Yeah, Brody didn't bump much. But considering how bad he was at it, did you really want him to do it more often? Brody seemed incapable of taking standard flat-back bumps. When he fell, it really looked like the guy had just fallen down. He sometimes did it more Flair-style, coming down on his side rather than his back. It's like, oh, like Kane's seeming inability to take a clean face-first bump. And for what it's worth, in a match against Kamala, Brody took way more bumps than his opponent did. Also: how can you guys claim with a straight face that Brody not bumping much is bad, and then turn around in the same post and praise Abdullah who bumps MUCH less?

I would expect him to have a basic idea of how to bump. There are a few guys who appeared to basically have no clue how to take a flat back bump. Brody is one. David Von Erich is another. I'm not a big DVE fan, but he made up for it because he would at least show some vulnerability, which is something Brody almost NEVER did. Granted it's apples and oranges because one was a face and the other a heel, but those are the two guys that come to mind as far as not knowing how to take basic bumps.

 

On Abby I think Childs said it best - Abby delivered on his character. Brody didn't. Will and I have both talked about this many times but Brody would come to that ring swinging that chain like a nut and you were thinking you were going to see this totally out of control nutcase. And then the match starts and that's not what you got. With Abby you got what you expected to get - a guy stabbing you with shit and running around like a lunatic.

 

It's also worth noting that Brody was booked in more straight matches than Abby and yet despite this if you asked me to list big or meaningful bumps I've seen from either guy, my first thoughts would be Abby taking a brainbuster or Abby taking monkey flips. I'm not sure I could name a single bump of note in Brody's entire career. Abby was portrayed as an even wilder version of Brody than Brody and yet I can recall many instances where he at least looked vulnerable. Not that many with Brody.

 

But more importantly saying "X does this more than Y, so how can you say X is bad" is a shit argument. In this instance it doesn't work because while the characters were fairly similar, Brody was a guy that was often booked in "straight" matches or matches that required more traditional heat segments, comebacks, et. I can't imagine anybody disputing that, and I think it follows that if you believe that argument to be true you also must acknowledge that there are different things different sorts of matches require. Not bumping at all in a straight tag match is a lot worse than not bumping at all in an all around the arena brawl. I assume this would be a universal point of agreement. And in this instance that point is relevant.

 

 

As for selling: that bleeds into an overall argument, which is that Brody simply tended to take too much of his matches and guzzle his opponents. (Although when Mark Henry or Great Khali do the same thing, it's been defended on this board as "playing their role" as a big scary monster. Why not the same for Bruiser?)

The problem with argument in parentheses is that's it's not true. For starters no one really touts Khali and in fact I've seen guys play "chop down Khali" with Khali "selling" many times. Secondly Mark Henry shows FAR more vulnerability and bumps far more than Brody to the point where I can't see how any one could make an objective argument to the contrary. Now I'll listen to it if someone can provide the matches. But someone is going to have to do that. Because just off the top of my head I can point to stuff readily available from Henry. Hell the Cage Match last year with Bryan was built in large part around Henry's injured leg. Show me Brody doing anything even close to that.

 

That's very true, and it can be quite frustrating to watch him brush off the Tenryus of the world as if they didn't have a chance. When Brody felt like selling, which was admittedly only half the time, he did just fine. He did the sort of drunken-stumble-backwards stuff that guys like Sandman frequently do; it's not exactly Ricky Steamboating out to the cheap seats, but it's still selling and still gets the point across that the other guy must be knocking the shit out of him.

Brody would often sell the initial impact of a move, but was generally horrid at long term selling and was not good at changes his speeds either. That's one thing you will often see out of bigger men who are still working on top in a match after taking a big spot or shot. They'll stay on offense, but they will sell the damage and the tempo will change. It's the notion that the offense of their opponent is dangerous and can have some sort of impact that the vast majority of Brody matches lack.

 

Finally, and more importantly: where in the blue hell did this talking point about Brody's shitty-looking offense come from? Because I'm not seeing it, at all, not one bit. His punches look average, and his kicks look downright vicious at times. That windmilling-overhand-chop thing he does just needed to get somewhere within the general vicinity of the guy's head, it didn't need Tajiri-like accuracy to be plausible. And sometimes he does some surprisingly cool shit, like after backbreaking Terry Funk once he held onto him and just kept Funk there, suspended in mid-air like he was a small child.

Brody has pretty good big offensive spots for a guy his size. He does not have very good strikes for a guy his size. Especially a guy with his gimmick.

 

 

It's especially disingenuous considering the standards of the time. "Everything Brody did, Hansen did better" is true, but it's hardly a grievous insult to say that someone isn't as good as one of the greatest wrestlers in all world history. More importantly: Brody's offense looked like fucking Kawada's compared to many of the guys he regularly shared the ring with. Snuka's and Dory's strikes consistently looked worse than Brody's. And let's not forget friggin' Giant Baba, one of Brody's biggest feuds, who had offense so ludicrously awful-looking that it was often an active detriment to his matches. (And I like Baba, but it astounds me how many times I've seen people feebly try to claim that his strikes didn't look like cold diarrhea.)

Baba is a guy who's biggest strength was psychology. He also wasn't a guy working a brawling gimmick. We can argue "well strikes looked way better than Baba's" but that's a bit like saying "Tiger Mask offense was a lot faster/flashier than Fujinami's." It may be true but it tells us little about who the better worker was or the relative weaknesses and problems of TM relative to Fujinami or other guys working a style more similar to his.

 

How do Brody's strikes compare to Lawler, Dundee, Dutch, Savage, Tommy Rich, Buzz Sawyer, Dibiase, Blackwell, et, et.? Saying he had better strikes than guys who's strikes you think sucked tells us even less than "well he doesn't compare well to Stan Hansen."

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I ended up randomly watching a Bockwinkel/Brody match which wasn't particularly good, but Brody sold for a long stretch of the match so perhaps the Brody criticisms need to be refined.

 

I've watched a ton of Brody in recent years from St. Louis, Montreal, Puerto Rico, AJPW, NJPW, Texas and the AWA. You can find islands of selling and even some good matches (for example I really enjoy the Abby match from the Texas Set). But they are rare, rare exceptions.

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A few specific examples from viewing Brody where he pissed me or Childs off and ruined a match...

 

Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka (2/3 Falls) (PWF Tag, 10/06/81)

- Baba gets the tag and Brody continues selling for the only person in the company that matters, the boss.

 

Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody (11/30/81)

- This consisted of Funk selling for Brody while Brody shrugged off Funk's offense. That seems about par for the course. The blood makes for an impressive visual here but there wasn't much to this match.

 

Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen (2/3 falls) (4/20/82)

- When Jumbo was in, the gaigin gave him no love. When Baba was in, Brody lets the boss get his licks in. But damn, fuck Brody and his no-selling. He no-sells a gut wrench suplex from Jumbo and then a double Big Boot from the natives where he can't even bother taking a bump. The 1st fall ends after a sweet Lariat but Brody really brought this fall down. The 2nd fall is Hansen and Brody working over Jumbo until he can make the big tag. Nothing that really stands out besides the fact that they give Jumbo no respect. Once Baba is in, they get a DQ after using a chain. Final fall ends with either a DQ for more chain use or a double count-out. Too many flaws to recommend this.

 

Bruiser Brody vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (Int'l Title, 10/7/82)

- This was surprisingly better than I thought it would be. Jumbo actually went into the match with a game plan of taking out Brody's legs and Jumbo spends most of the match working the legs. The biggest problem is that Brody doesn't know how to sell. The guy is in a Figure 4 and leg grapevines and leg locks for 10 minutes and he shrugs it off. I would have to chalk it up to a good gameplan but Brody kind of killed it.

 

Bruiser Brody/Stan Hansen v. Ricky Steamboat/Jay Youngblood (11/26/82)

- Shit, Brody and Hansen give the faces NOTHING. What an unprofessional sack of shit Bruiser Brody is. Seriously, all take and no give on his part. Really, they treated this like an extended squash and the match suffered as a result.

 

Bruiser Brody vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (Int'l Title, 08/81/83)

- One thing I have noticed about Brody is his poor bumping. I knew he didn't sell. I didn't know he could not bump either. The problem with this match is that it has a Race-Jumbo formula with blood in the 2nd half and a slow 1st half. Scientific chin-lock Brody is not fun to watch.

 

Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. (PWF Tag Title, 4/25/84)

- Another one of those matches where Brody and Hansen give nothing to Dory. However, instead of Terry, you have Baba in there. This leads to an average match where Baba gets control when he is in but Dory is given nothing when he is in the ring. The match ends when Dory has Brody in a spinning toe hold but Hansen gives him a lariat and Brody the win.

 

Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi vs. Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka 11/29/85

- It is pretty hard to get behind a match when no one sells. I mean, the match was pretty good but you wouldn't know that anyone had been in control or had worked a body part. I mean Brody makes a funny face when Inoki nails a picture perfect enziguiri. Compare to Fujinami getting nailed by Murdoch.

 

CHILDS: Antonio Inoki vs. Bruiser Brody (9/16/86) - They made it plain as day that they were going an hour, working with little urgency for the first 35-40 minutes. They basically took their normal match and stretched it over twice as long a period, which led to lots of lying around in holds. Broadway is a tough format but why do it if you're not going to take advantage of it to do something different? If you're asking me for a 60-minute commitment, I want the fucking Thrilla in Manilla, with great swings of emotion and uncertainty about the outcome throughout. The last 20 minutes were OK, with Brody allowing Inoki to look like his nominal superior. But I wouldn't want to watch this again, and I have no desire to inflict it on anyone else.

 

CHILDS: Tenryu/Ashura Hara vs. Bruiser Brody/Jimmy Snuka (taped 11.26.87) - This never grabbed me. Lots of no selling by Brody and a shitty countout finish.

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As far as apples-to-apples comparisons between guys with similar gimmicks go, I think Brody had better strikes than Abdullah. Pretty much anything Abby did that didn't involve a fork looked like garbage.

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As far as apples-to-apples comparisons between guys with similar gimmicks go, I think Brody had better strikes than Abdullah. Pretty much anything Abby did that didn't involve a fork looked like garbage.

Abby's running elbow drop always looked awesome and he knew how to build to it, his throat thrusts always looked brutal (both direct to esophagus and side of neck variation), his big bumps always looked spectacular and was able to get up and fall in really nasty ways when it was required (got thrown around by suplexes in amazing ways, but not often enough that it ceased looking impressive), even his retard faces were better.

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I know this has been pointed out to me before, but it always surprises me to see so much time devoted to Brody criticism, when I personally can't recall a single person ever praising him. I get that he was praised by hardcores in the 1980s, but does he still have avid defenders? He doesn't strike me as a particularly contentious wrestler. The feeling that he sucked is fairly unanimous these days, is it not? Maybe Classics types defend him, but they formed all of their wrestling opinions decades ago and havent changed them. I would be interested in a huge Brody fan explaining his appeal.

The Molinaro book (which was produced by the Observer) rated Brody #18 among professional wrestlers all time. That's pretty substantial praise coming from somewhere.

 

And it's easily the most absurd ranking in that book. Brody over Terry Funk? Harley Race? That's not just overrating Brody. That's ranking him over some of the iconic figures of wrestling.

 

I take it most here wouldn't rank Brody in the top 100? (Keeping in mind that includes more than ringwork)

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On Abby I think Childs said it best - Abby delivered on his character. Brody didn't. Will and I have both talked about this many times but Brody would come to that ring swinging that chain like a nut and you were thinking you were going to see this totally out of control nutcase. And then the match starts and that's not what you got. With Abby you got what you expected to get - a guy stabbing you with shit and running around like a lunatic.

I feel exactly the opposite. Brody, whatever his other faults, always felt to me like he did a good job of selling that he was in a fight rather than a cooperative performance. But Abby? From the first time I saw him until today, I never understood his supposed appeal. An obese man who pretends to poke you in the forehead with a tongue depressor? Seriously? Never jobbed, rarely sold, rarely bumped, and usually did a horrible job of attempting to blade inconspicuously. Every single second I watched him, I was well aware that I was seeing a guy in a consciously-crafted performance.

 

For starters no one really touts Khali

Back in 2007 they sure did.

 

 

Brody would often sell the initial impact of a move, but was generally horrid at long term selling and was not good at changes his speeds either. That's one thing you will often see out of bigger men who are still working on top in a match after taking a big spot or shot. They'll stay on offense, but they will sell the damage and the tempo will change. It's the notion that the offense of their opponent is dangerous and can have some sort of impact that the vast majority of Brody matches lack.

That's absolutely true. I'm not a blind Brody mark; I just think some of the points in here are rather overstated.

 

How do Brody's strikes compare to Lawler, Dundee, Dutch, Savage, Tommy Rich, Buzz Sawyer, Dibiase, Blackwell, et, et.?

Dunno, they weren't on the tape. I eventually got bored and popped in an old IWA Ted Petty Tournament instead.

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I would get bored of watching a Brody tape too. I feel ya.

Looking at my old VHS collection, I wonder: "why the hell do I have so many Best Of This Guy tapes and so few full shows?".

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On Abby I think Childs said it best - Abby delivered on his character. Brody didn't. Will and I have both talked about this many times but Brody would come to that ring swinging that chain like a nut and you were thinking you were going to see this totally out of control nutcase. And then the match starts and that's not what you got. With Abby you got what you expected to get - a guy stabbing you with shit and running around like a lunatic.

I feel exactly the opposite. Brody, whatever his other faults, always felt to me like he did a good job of selling that he was in a fight rather than a cooperative performance. But Abby? From the first time I saw him until today, I never understood his supposed appeal. An obese man who pretends to poke you in the forehead with a tongue depressor? Seriously? Never jobbed, rarely sold, rarely bumped, and usually did a horrible job of attempting to blade inconspicuously. Every single second I watched him, I was well aware that I was seeing a guy in a consciously-crafted performance.

 

For starters no one really touts Khali

Back in 2007 they sure did.

 

 

 

I don't think that's true at all.

 

I was one of the guys defending Khali a bit from the claims that he was beyond belief awful, but I never touted him as a good wrestler. Never saw it anywhere either.

 

On Abby I think you can make a lot of criticisms of him but "matches felt like cooperative performance" is not one I get at all.

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I would get bored of watching a Brody tape too. I feel ya.

Looking at my old VHS collection, I wonder: "why the hell do I have so many Best Of This Guy tapes and so few full shows?".

 

It's easy to say that in retrospect, but I think a bunch of us have the same thing. Now that you can get DVDs for $1-2 of full shows it makes sense, but when traders were selling tapes for $10-$20 "Best ofs" seemed like more bang for the buck. And now I have a closet with Sabu comps and Ultimo Dragon comps and a Best of Blitzkrieg and so on.

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On Abby I think you can make a lot of criticisms of him but "matches felt like cooperative performance" is not one I get at all.

I've just never liked Abby, at all. A big fat bag of lard who poorly pretends to be "hardcore" by "stabbing" people in the forehead? Right in the exact spot where we all know wrestlers like to blade? C'mon. The fact that he's ridiculously selfish about doing jobs even by old-school standards certainly doesn't help. He never once exuded any sort of menace or intensity to me, he was just a dude who was obsessed with bleeding and making others bleed, and in a slow and pokey manner at that. Hell, in the past twenty years, he usually never even gets in the ring because he's physically inable to. When you can't even perform at the level of 1990-era Andre, that's fucking inexcusable and you should retire already.

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I ended up randomly watching a Bockwinkel/Brody match which wasn't particularly good, but Brody sold for a long stretch of the match so perhaps the Brody criticisms need to be refined.

 

I've watched a ton of Brody in recent years from St. Louis, Montreal, Puerto Rico, AJPW, NJPW, Texas and the AWA. You can find islands of selling and even some good matches (for example I really enjoy the Abby match from the Texas Set). But they are rare, rare exceptions.

 

I watched the Blackwell/Brody matches and he sold again. Not very well, but it was still selling. Brody kind of sucks, but I wonder how much of it is Brody not being very good at what he did as opposed to not doing it. Blackwell smoked the absolute fuck out of him and it seemed like Brody had no idea how to act in the ring. I mean, Blackwell is just kind of shaking his body a bit while he makes a comeback and Brody couldn't even send those kind of signals to a crowd. I did kind of wonder, though, that if everyone had historically said Brody sucked whether anyone would try to defend him as dumb but fun.

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For starters no one really touts Khali

Back in 2007 they sure did.

 

 

NOBODY was touting Khali in 2007. What matches do you remember them touting? The handicap squashes against the Highlanders? If anything, 2007 Khali was used as a measuring stick for other wrestlers. When Cena had two good matches with him, that was what finally convinced me that Cena was a really good worker. When Khali had a good match with Michaels on Raw, and was clearly the reason why the match was good, that was what opened my eyes to how horrible Michaels had gotten. Add in some pointless Mysterio matches and I'm not seeing where anybody was ever saying that Khali was good, or getting good. He was involved with good matches (my favorite being the Cena/Umaga/Khali match) but nobody was touting him.

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I remember some folks saying that Khali was fine because he played the role of a monster well. For a while there, there was a "he knows his place!" backlash against the usual smark outcry about how much Khali sucked. Maybe I'm conflating opinions on here with some on WKO or something like that, and if so, I'm sorry; I've posted on so many different boards for so long that my memory is little more than an outline of actual history. But yeah, I have totally seen guys defend Khali in a "he works with what he has, and you're not allowed to question the formula!" fashion.

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I never loved or hated Brody. I think the thing i liked about him was his presence and what i disliked was all the stupid no selling shit. If he wasnt only concerned about himself and gave a little to at least the top guys i think he couldve been a lot better and well thought of. If he would of used the template that Vader went by in that he'll give you offense and make you look good but he'll always prove to be meaner and stronger i think he would've been great.

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Okay so I got around to wtaching 5 Brody matches last nite ans I am planning to watch more this weekend, so here goes:

 

1. Brody and King Curtis vs. Destroyer and Giant Baba-1-5-79

What I like about Brody in this mact hare the one armed body slams of Destroyer and his flying knee leading to the pin of Baba. Brody also does sell in this match. His brawling looks too soft but that may be due to him being in the ring with Baba as we know guys liked to take care of him. Didn't seem to be in the ring with Destroyer much who I think is a great worker even at that point. ASeemed like Curtis was in more than Brody. Brusier is huge here, probably slightly above the 300 pound mark, maybe 310 or so. Match was okay, nothing special but is wasn't awful either. I always appreciate clean finishes when top guys are involved.

 

2. Brody vs. Abdullah-4/10/81

Both have good entrances, both bleed and both have slow unispired brawling on their way to what appears as a DCO. They brawl into the crowd so it's their standard match. Brody sells. This is pretty much a nothing match.

 

3. Brody vs. Baba-4/27/81

Brody bleeds here and also sells for Baba. It's the typical match against Baba, slow paced and he has to take care of him with his offense and not hit him too hard. They took the match out side the ring. Brody throws a nice drop kick and finishes it up with a flying knee for the pin. Not a very good match but Brody was alright here.

 

4. Brody vs. Dory Funk Jr.-10/9/81-International title match

Again Brody bleeds and sells here. Good drama in the match and much better brawling from Brody's end now that he doesn't have to take care of his opponent as far as being to ruff with him. One thing I noticed is that Brody is excellent at running the ropes especially for a big man. Brody throws a good dropkick, his chops on Dory are decent. One thing I notice about Brody's offensive attcak here is that he is very deliberate unlike Hansen who is more full bore, I appreciate both styles. Buck Robley is at ringside and figures in the match after Brody attacks Dory with the chain and this also brings in Terry Funk, Dory ends upo using the chain on Brody. I really liiked this match until the run ins leading to the DQ decision. This match had very good drama and the crowd was into it. I don't really like Dory but he was entertaining in this match. This is the first match of out these four that I really think Brody performed real well.

 

5.Terry Funk vs. Brody-11/30/81

Very stiff offense in this match by Brody, hard chops to the chest, kicks, solid chops to the head. Brody throws a great drop kick. Brody also sells chops delivered by Funk. Brody goes to the top roipe at some point and I notice that he has great agility for a big man. Brody gets a back breaker on Funk in order to set up the ref bump. Good flying knee by Brody. Snuka comes to ringside. Brody bleeds and Snuka shortly intereferes. Brody hits Funk with chain. Dory runs in and rescues Terry, four way breaks out with all the principles. I thought this was a good match that coulda been even better if it had lasted longer. Crowd was into everything and drama was building. I thought Brody was great here.

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