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Bruiser Brody

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There is this:

 

http://board.deathvalleydriver.com/topic/3...good-match-now/

 

It's threads like that that are responsible for DVDVR having the rep it does. Bonus points for the "Meltzer hates wrestling" and "Meltzer only likes matches with big moves" talking points.

I'm not interested in turning this thread into a discussion on Meltzer's match positions, but having just read that thread from beginning to end I couldn't find a single instance in it of anyone pimping Khali. Couple of references to improvement, but no one really touting him. If anything there was a lot of talk about how Cena wasn't given enough credit for carrying him

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Doing some research for the podcast I was reading some WONs from mid-88 and stumbled on Meltzer's initial report and then obit for Brody. Quite a piece of work. I haven't read it all, but I think we shouldn't underestimate the impact it had on the smart fans of that period. Brody was essentially mythologized and almost deified by Meltzer. Adrian Adonis died around this time too (7/11/88 newsletter) and he didn't get a 7-page eulogy like Brody (8/1/88 newsletter). He was written of as an all-time great and at a time when most fans hadn't seen much more than what they grew up with, it's easy to see how an inflated view of Brody's worth might come about.

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Doing some research for the podcast I was reading some WONs from mid-88 and stumbled on Meltzer's initial report and then obit for Brody. Quite a piece of work. I haven't read it all, but I think we shouldn't underestimate the impact it had on the smart fans of that period. Brody was essentially mythologized and almost deified by Meltzer. Adrian Adonis died around this time too (7/11/88 newsletter) and he didn't get a 7-page eulogy like Brody (8/1/88 newsletter). He was written of as an all-time great and at a time when most fans hadn't seen much more than what they grew up with, it's easy to see how an inflated view of Brody's worth might come about.

You hit the nail on the head with the word "deified." As a bunch of us discussed a while back here, Brody had Meltzer and Larry Matysik working full time from the moment Brody died to the present day to portray him as a legend among other things. On top of that, Matysik claims that he and Brody were Meltzer's first ever inside sources and were pretty much his first friends in the business, so I imagine that Meltzer still looks upon Brody as the Golden Goose.

 

Bottom line is, if you read the book by Matysik, take some dramamine first, because it can get damn nauseating at times.

 

Brody had a natural look, athletic gifts and God given abilities which could have made him a candidate for GOAT - easily. Look at the dude's size, flexibility and charisma. From where I sit, the problem was that he was so selfish (some would say paranoid) and refused to put other people over (or even sell for them) that it made the classic matches he was involved in few and far between. Considering his potential he could have been and should have been SO much better.

 

I don't hate Brody, I have a ton of Brody matches in my collection, I enjoy his and Hansen's matches against The Funks, or his matches with Abby - for what they were. I would even go so far as to call myself a Brody fan, but I can be objective - I don't think he was even half as good as Matysik and Meltzer make him out to be.

 

Once in a while somebody like Bobby Heenan will come out and say that Brody was a total asshole who made life miserable for people he worked with, but for most others it seems like a taboo subject to speak ill of a dead legend who has been deified from on high. That makes an objective conversation about his career difficult.

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I've seen the Brody/Duggan comparisons here and people forget this but Brody was Duggan's mentor and Duggan created the early version of his Hacksaw gimmick as an homage to Brody. Duggan of course would surpass his mentor in every way but he was a template of what his mentor could've been if he would've been a team player instead of stiffing promoters and wanting to be over at all times.

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When I went through the DVDVR thread, I came across the following gems:

 

why do so many people completely refuse to get the point

 

he's GOOD at his job because he's disabled, you jackadaw

Jesus Christ, HE'S A FREAK OF NATURE. Wrestling is a carny sideshow spectacle of ridiculous bullshit for children and retarded people, why SHOULDN'T a giant fucking dude who looks like he eats babies be wrestling in the main event?

 

How many times do we have to say it before some of you people get it through your skulls? Outside of people on the internet, NORMAL people do not tune into wrestling programs or buy tickets to shows to see people do MOVES~!, they want to see a bunch of roided up freaks pretend to hit each other and sing songs about pussy.

I'm sure there's more.

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Does "we can't criticize that guy, he's dead" really hold weight in pro wrestling? Granted, in his case it was murder, but still.

That's the thing - Brody's case is unique because his murder was so closely tied in with his reputation and behavior. This is really delicate and I don't want to come across sounding like a total asshole here, (which I still might) but if you read that book, especially the first couple of chapters, it comes across as a real defense against anybody who has ever suggested that Brody was anything other than a victim of a random attack.

 

I wasn't there, so this is all just information I have read or things I have seen or heard from interviews (especially with Tony Atlas, Terry Funk and Gary Hart) but from what I understand Jose Gonzalez was the booker in Puerto Rico and by all accounts, Brody was making his life miserable. Brody and Gonzalez had a history together, having worked together in the WWWF, where Brody used to allegedly treat Gonzalez like shit and stiff the hell out of him when they were in the ring together.

 

When he ended up in the WWC, Brody was working for Gonzalez but apparently ignoring his directions and changing matches on the fly, in the ring. He was openly mocking Gonzalez in front of the other guys in the locker room, yelling at him and humiliating him in front of people, and going over his head all the time to Carlos Colon and Victor Jovica. There is even speculation that Brody was still stiffing Gonzalez in the ring so much that Gonzalez turned himself face so he wouldn't have to fight Brody. Rumor is that Gonzalez had a daughter who died, but he kept working instead of taking time off to mourn. At the same time, Colon and Jovica were putting pressure on him to "deal with" Brody and reign him in. Gonzalez snapped, and stabbed Brody to death in the locker room.

 

The only point of contention has been whether or not Brody and Gonzalez were arguing at the time of the murder, or if Gonzalez just lost his shit and stabbed Brody unprovoked.

 

The sad thing is, even Matysik doesn't dispute most of those facts. His point is that even though Brody had been bullying Gonzalez, it didn't justify murder, which of course is absolutely 100% true. However, I guess some people have pointed out over the years that Brody treated so many people like shit, and stiffed and bullied so many guys over so many years, it was bound to catch up to him at some point.

 

Nobody reasonable has ever claimed Brody deserved to die, but the entire book by Matysik seems to be an attempt to justify Brody's behavior throughout his entire career, and excuse or explain it away. On top of that, you have a ton of guys (Mick Foley being one of the biggest ones) who never knew the guy that claim he was a huge influence.

 

I think that anybody "in the business" who would try and be critical of Brody would most likely run into the argument that "No, he was a legend" or "Hey the poor guy was murdered" without taking into account the fact that the way he lived his life seems to have had something to do with why he was killed. Once again, I am not saying in any way, shape or form that he "deserved" to die but objectively I don't think you can ignore the precipitating factors and pretend it was a totally random act of violence, either. Even his own friends don't think that.

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If you want to pretend those posts were touting Khali's ability as a good wrestler you can, but I don't see how anyone can really read them as an endorsement of his abilities in the way we generally talk about those things in discussions like this. Reading the whole thread through - which I did last night - there were one or two people who said he'd improved and Dukes (who was clearly trolling) arguing what he does above - Khali's freakshow status made him a monster foil people wanted to see opposite Cena. There is no discussion of Khali the great worker in that thread. No discussion of Khali the good worker in that thread either, unless one wants to run with the above quote as an endorsement of that sentiment which is a massive stretch.

 

Honestly I've probably come closer to praising Khali than that in pointing out that I think he is perfectly inoffensive as a guy people like Ziggler and others can work spots around and a guy who doesn't try to do things he clearly can't do. I know I once posted that I thought he smoked Davey Richards as a wrestler and I still feel that way. But I don't think he's a good wrestler in any meaningful sense of the term.

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Duggan of course would surpass his mentor in every way

I don't hate Duggan or anything but hahahahaha.

 

I think that anybody "in the business" who would try and be critical of Brody would most likely run into the argument that "No, he was a legend" or "Hey the poor guy was murdered" without taking into account the fact that the way he lived his life seems to have had something to do with why he was killed.

I know you loaded your post with disclaimers but unless Brody went around stabbing people in showers this is a pretty bizarre statement -- the idea that being a difficult performer has any degree of traction in the wrestler mindset for justifying a shanking murder just reminds me how strange, depressing and anti-social wrestling is. He stiffed him! He went off-script! There have been performers in other fields way more difficult than Brody and I can't say that, say, music is any poorer because Neil Young or Axl Rose didn't have to worry about being garroted by David Geffen.

 

I'm not trying to morally grandstand you because you seem to have a pretty good handle on the real-world morality of the situation, I'm just not really sure what the point of the post is if not a sort of twilight zone rationalization. It seems enough to talk about him supposedly not being as good at his job as claimed and say mean things about his wrestling matches without even getting into that stuff.

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When I went through the DVDVR thread, I came across the following gems:

 

why do so many people completely refuse to get the point

 

he's GOOD at his job because he's disabled, you jackadaw

Jesus Christ, HE'S A FREAK OF NATURE. Wrestling is a carny sideshow spectacle of ridiculous bullshit for children and retarded people, why SHOULDN'T a giant fucking dude who looks like he eats babies be wrestling in the main event?

 

How many times do we have to say it before some of you people get it through your skulls? Outside of people on the internet, NORMAL people do not tune into wrestling programs or buy tickets to shows to see people do MOVES~!, they want to see a bunch of roided up freaks pretend to hit each other and sing songs about pussy.

I'm sure there's more.

 

Yeah, nowhere in there does it say Khali was a good wrestler. It says that a Giant deformed guy who looks like a monster is an attraction a lot of people want to see. And the point that most fans go to shows to see characters and not "moves" is true.

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There really wasn't that much good at his role talk. Khali isn't even close to the focus of the thread. In 13 pages there is more talk about Khali being poor or needing to be carried than anything else.

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There really wasn't that much good at his role talk. Khali isn't even close to the focus of the thread. In 13 pages there is more talk about Khali being poor or needing to be carried than anything else.

I re read the whole thing, too. It was like a Nam flashback. :lol:

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I know you loaded your post with disclaimers but unless Brody went around stabbing people in showers this is a pretty bizarre statement -- the idea that being a difficult performer has any degree of traction in the wrestler mindset for justifying a shanking murder just reminds me how strange, depressing and anti-social wrestling is. He stiffed him! He went off-script! There have been performers in other fields way more difficult than Brody and I can't say that, say, music is any poorer because Neil Young or Axl Rose didn't have to worry about being garroted by David Geffen.

 

I'm not trying to morally grandstand you because you seem to have a pretty good handle on the real-world morality of the situation, I'm just not really sure what the point of the post is if not a sort of twilight zone rationalization. It seems enough to talk about him supposedly not being as good at his job as claimed and say mean things about his wrestling matches without even getting into that stuff.

I was worried that my post would come across as if I was trying to justify or rationalize his murder. I wasn't, but I can see how it comes across like that. There is no excuse or justification for what happened to him, at all. However, there is an explanation for what happened to him. Part of that explanation involves his infamous behavior in locker rooms all over the world.

 

My post was in reply to Ditch, saying how it is hard to be critical of Brody in some circles because of the fact he was murdered and the circumstances of his murder. The fact of the matter is that some people have used the circumstances of his death to try and re-write history or change the perceptions of Brody that existed prior to his murder. My point was that his murder was reprehensible and tragic, but it doesn't change the truth about who he was inside or outside the ring. I find the blatant attempts to deify and canonize the guy irritating - and I consider myself a fan.

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There have been performers in other fields way more difficult than Brody and I can't say that, say, music is any poorer because Neil Young or Axl Rose didn't have to worry about being garroted by David Geffen.

I don't know, if Axl did have to worry about being whacked by the Geffen hit squad then he may have put out more than one album in 20 years. And reunited with Slash.

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My post was in reply to Ditch, saying how it is hard to be critical of Brody in some circles because of the fact he was murdered and the circumstances of his murder.

I tend to think people perceive Brody was a great wrestler because 1) unlike many main-eventers of his era he was a natural performer who effortlessly projected "wild man" and contributed to a riot-like atmosphere so well people just assume the rest of the presentation and 2) they're Meltzer zombies with a generalized lack of refinement/they're just less uptight about constitutes "great brawling" (depending on your point of view.) I don't think anyone thinks he was a great brawler because he was stabbed to death in the shower by his booker.

 

The fact of the matter is that some people have used the circumstances of his death to try and re-write history or change the perceptions of Brody that existed prior to his murder. My point was that his murder was reprehensible and tragic, but it doesn't change the truth about who he was inside or outside the ring. I find the blatant attempts to deify and canonize the guy irritating - and I consider myself a fan.

I need to read the Matysik bio, but other than the controversy over his prowres acumen and friends testifying that he was actually a kind and intelligent man in private life I don't see much variation in the opinion that he was often an unprofessional dickhead to work with. The Luger cage match tape isn't exactly a secret.

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What does the fact that Brody was gutted in Puerto Rico have to do with acknowledging him stinking up Japan, Texas and most anywhere else he went? I don't see the connection.

It's not so much the fact he was killed but the fact that him being killed resulted in a massive eulogy from Meltzer which helped to generate a myth of this great and legendary worker.

 

The timing is arguably key: 1988. That was a time when a guy like Meltzer had a sizable audience but also a time when footage was not readily available and the tape trading scene wasn't what it was in, say, the late 90s.

 

Received wisdom, once it is acquired, dies very hard. Look at Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask. The idea that that is a great match is almost hard-wired into the minds of at least two generations of fans.

 

If Brody doesn't die, he doesn't acquire this mythical status. He probably has a run in early 90s WCW or something and is remembered by lots of people as being a shitty brawling guy not too much better than Jim Duggan. If Brody does die, he doesn't get Meltzer working overtime to put him over as an all-time great.

 

Point being: most fans don't go back and watch old 80s territories, or All Japan footage from 1981. Most fans will remember seeing one or two Brody matches they were ok with and be happy to go on rep. That rep is absolutely connected with his death and its timing.

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If Brody doesn't die, he doesn't acquire this mythical status. He probably has a run in early 90s WCW or something and is remembered by lots of people as being a shitty brawling guy not too much better than Jim Duggan.

This is ridiculous. I'd think even haters would have to acknowledge Brody was a charismatic performer with a great look and a successful main eventer in almost every major territory. Meltzer did not create that perception in 1988. If anything, Brody's diminished circumstances would have been the result of his behavior outside of the ring and not his performance in it.

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I agree with what Jerry said. His death, the timing and circumstances of his death probably played a major part in why he's been remembered the way he is. Those people don't rewatch old matches. To this day you can still hear people throwing around the story that "Brody beat the shit out of Luger who ran from the cage, scared as hell" despite the video evidence that none of this happened. Anyone can watch a large batch pf Brody matches today and see how poor Brody's work actually was.

 

Good points have been made here, about his death and how it played a role, about his look and about the fact Abby was much more fun and a much better worker. Brody was all about his post-mortem myth, lots of blood and waving a chain while Led Zeppelin was blasting into the speakers.

 

(John Nord was the best Bruiser Brody ever)

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Nord Claims that Brody and he were about to come in to WWF as a team when he died. They asked Hansen about that and he didn't seem to know about it but also said that Brody would do business if that was the case since he was a business man.

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Nord Claims that Brody and he were about to come in to WWF as a team when he died.

Around 1988/89 ? I don't see it. Vince didn't brought Brody to work with Hogan before, and Brody was hooked up with All Japan at the time, I doubt he would have got more money from Vince to come as one half of tag team with a green guy from AWA. What would a Brody/Nord team do in the WWF when Vince already had that team with the makeup and SM outfit whose name eludes me at the time ?.... ;)

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I don't think Brody ever had any serious discussions or negotiations with McMahon about coming into the WWF. His wife and Matysik don't mention it in the book, other than to say it would have probably happened at some point or another had he not died. I don't think Brody would have been willing to give up on Japan, and that would have been a condition of his signing with the WWF, I am sure. According to DK's book, he and Davey Boy had to agree to give up AJPW before McMahon would put the Tag Titles on them at WMII.

 

One thing people do seem to agree on is that Baba was building towards Brody vs. Hansen when Brody was killed. I love the reaction of the crowd and announcers during this match. Check out the reaction at about 1:10 into that clip, when it becomes clear that Brody is going to tag in while Hansen is in the ring...you can tell AJPW fans were salivating at the potential of the Brody vs. Hansen dream match and rumor had it Baba was planning on giving it to them.

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What does the fact that Brody was gutted in Puerto Rico have to do with acknowledging him stinking up Japan, Texas and most anywhere else he went? I don't see the connection.

It's not so much the fact he was killed but the fact that him being killed resulted in a massive eulogy from Meltzer which helped to generate a myth of this great and legendary worker.

 

The timing is arguably key: 1988. That was a time when a guy like Meltzer had a sizable audience but also a time when footage was not readily available and the tape trading scene wasn't what it was in, say, the late 90s.

 

Received wisdom, once it is acquired, dies very hard. Look at Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask. The idea that that is a great match is almost hard-wired into the minds of at least two generations of fans.

 

If Brody doesn't die, he doesn't acquire this mythical status. He probably has a run in early 90s WCW or something and is remembered by lots of people as being a shitty brawling guy not too much better than Jim Duggan. If Brody does die, he doesn't get Meltzer working overtime to put him over as an all-time great.

 

Point being: most fans don't go back and watch old 80s territories, or All Japan footage from 1981. Most fans will remember seeing one or two Brody matches they were ok with and be happy to go on rep. That rep is absolutely connected with his death and its timing.

 

I agree. Had Brody not died the way he had, I don't think he would be remembered the way he is now.

 

Not that I don't agree with a lot of the points blueminister has made, though. Brody did have tons of charisma, natural ability and a great look. So much so that it has been copied too many times by the likes of Duggan, Nord, Foley, Terkay, etc.

 

And as an aside...I like the DK vs. Tiger Mask matches...so pfffttthhh. :P

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Brody was already being mythologized by the Apter mags well before his death and the Meltzer bio as a special type of performer. Brody pictures were all over the mags and he was the favorite wrestler of heel columnist Eddie Ellner (who I thought was a worked writer like Matt Brock for some reason, but then there is this http://www.layogamagazine.com/issue43/depa...ddie_ellner.htm). The wrestling mags had a lot of influence back then.

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