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Sometime I wonder what would have happened with the careers of workers whose careers have been cut short because of injury or death. What would have happened in the career of :

 

Magnum TA

Art Barr

Eddie Gilbert

Brian Pillman (if no car accident that fucked up his ankle)

Bruiser Brody

Adrian Adonis

Crash Holly

 

I wonder how they would have fit in the scene...

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Barr would have gone to ECW with Eddy while still working AAA, doubt WCW would have taken him though because of his previous run there and the sexual assault conviction...most likely would have stuck around Mexico even after the economy tanked. Even if he got a WCW gig it's hard to see it amounting too much, he was too small and would have been lumped in with the luchadors jobbing on WCW Saturday Night no doubt.

 

Gilbert had burnt all his bridges, I'm sure he would have gone through a cycle of showing up in USWA or ECW, hanging around a bit and getting fired, repeating the same pattern over various indies in the US, Puerto Rico and Japan.

 

Brody's career may have been similar to Abby in the 90s, maybe All Japan six mans (don't know if his ego would allow him to do that while Hansen and Williams were still on top) or more likely a regular gig as an Ontia foe in FMW alongside indies in the US and Puerto Rico.

 

Adonis before he died was morbidly obese (see his last AWA appearances), I think he was basically finished at that point as far as getting a major gig.

 

Crash Holly would have done little more other than what he was doing, working the indies, maybe another low-level WWE run.

 

Magnum and Pillman are the only ones who would have continued at a top level had injury/death not occurred, but not sure where exactly, would be interesting to hear speculation though...

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Forgot about Kerry. That's another one. If no motorbike accident and both feet ? Bigger career in the WWF ? Goes straight to WCW ?

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Adonis had lost a lot of weight before he died (matches from that period are available from NJPW TV) and was close to back to his old self. He was still bigger than he was in his prime but probably would've lost even more weight and gotten a good spot in the US again. That said: What was he doing working for McKigney, anyway? Did he pay better than the remaining territories? It seems weird that a big name like Adonis would end up on Bearman shows before going to Memphis, Continental, World Class, Portland, or even Calgary, which was getting decent magazine coverage at that point thanks to Owen plus had a national cable slot in Canada.

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With Magnum, I suspect the issues with Jim Crockett's haphazard expansion and Dusty Rhodes' haphazard booking would have remained and may very well have hurt his push. I look at Sting's rise in Crockett, then continuing in WCW, and ultimately getting botched between booking and poor management and suspect Magnum would have gone the same route.

 

Pillman is an interesting case. If he hadn't been in that accident, he definitely would have been a much better worker in the ring than he was during his WWF stint. I suspect he still would have signed with WWE and may very well have been put closer to the top of the card. Assuming the accident still happened and he had been more careful in his attempt to return to the ring, I don't think he would have had that long of an in-ring career with WWF, although the company might have tried to get some mileage out of a program with Austin.

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Magnum TA

 

Don't think much different would have happened. It would be interesting to know when Crockett started negotiating with Luger and closed the deal there. Perhaps Lex wouldn't have come in, and instead would have gone to the WWF. But the notion of Maggie The Franchise Champ is pretty much a myth to me. Dusty booked heels to hold the titles, faces to chase and get screwed over while heels bitch out. The only way Maggie would have been the Franchise Champ would have been if he turned heel and took Flair's spot. That doesn't seem likely when you think about it. I'm sure that we'll eventually here a story when people realise that's the only possibility, and it will be another boondoggle like the Stone Cold Superstar revisionist bullshit.

 

Anyway, Maggie would have stayed in the role that Barry, Lex and Sting occupied in 1987-88 while Dusty had the book. After that... who knows.

 

 

Art Barr

 

I think Art was always destined to die or have something bad happen to him. If he hadn't died then, he would have died in ECW or in the Monday Night Wars. Same reason: overdose.

 

 

Eddie Gilbert

 

I wonder if Eddie had it in him to turn into what Terry Taylor became: long term member of creative committees. Terry had the knack of burying his ego and getting pushed back int he mix to keep a job. I don't think Eddie did. I don't see a role for him in the Monday Night Wars because he would have runned egos wrong even if it cost him a nice six figure job.

 

ECW was already out, and it's hard to see him and Paul reconciling over that. It's possible that Eddie would have kept trying to start an indy promotion like ECW.

 

 

Brian Pillman (if no car accident that fucked up his ankle)

 

Would have died of an overdose at some point in the 90s or early 00s even if he didn't have the accident. Was already losing his mind before the accident. He would have ended up banged up in one way or another from the in-ring stuff, and would have hit higher levels of painkillers eventually. Mix in the partying, and he would have died.

 

Bruiser Brody

 

Probably would have bounced around Japanese indies in the 90s. May have worked briefly for ECW at some point like the Funks did when Paul was trying to get things off the ground.

 

I think some have vastly overrated what was left in the tanks for him. He's just turned 42. If you watch his matches in that last series in All Japan, it's pretty clear his body isn't in great shape in terms of breaking down.

 

Folks who think he would have lasted to the Monday Night Wars need to remember that he would have been 50 when the Wars started to take off in 1996. He was a wrestler who, unlike Piper & Savage & Co., *wasn't* a big star in the US in the 80s that kept getting jobs and often at good $$$. Brody wasn't exactly the most tolerant with promoters, bookers and wrestlers fucking with him... and the Monday Night Wars were all about that type of bullshit. He wasn't a big star in the US, so no one would have treated him like WCW treated Piper.

 

In Japan, folks need to recall that he walked out on All Japan when the Road Warriors and Choshu & Co. came in. He saw the handwritting on the wall, and wanted no part of it. What do folks think would have happened when Tenryu left and it was time to elevate Misawa & Co? Anyone expect Brody to work with those guys like Hansen did, not only in terms of quality but in the willingness to make them look good while also beating them up? Not likely. Or when Gordy & Doc got their push, being willing to put over the MVC? Just not likely. Hansen didn't start breaking down until 1994/95, and he was three years younger than Brody.

 

Far more likely, he would have tried to go with Tenryu... *if* Tenryu would have wanted him. It's not like Tenryu stole any of the major gaijin of All Japan: Hansen and Gordy stayed, with Gordy getting the Triple Crown twice soon after. You think Brody would have liked seeing Gordy pushed up to that level?

 

If he went to SWS, that would have blown up in no time. If he didn't, then he would have wandered off to somewhere like FMW. Onita would have certainly like to have him. Slight problem: Onita liked beating those top gaijin in the big matches. Does anyone see Brody willing to put over Onita like Terry did? I guess it's possible...

 

Then there's the issue of people who think that Brody in the 1989-91 time frame would have come in for a massive, huge, Wrestlemania level feud with Hogan.

 

1989: Hogan vs Savage

1990: Hogan vs Warrior

1991: Hogan vs Sarge

 

Which of those was Brody going to knock out of the saddle?

 

None. Even if Hogan-Sarge was a bomb to a degree, it was specifically designed to play off the War. Vince thought it would be massive. There's no way he would have thought Hogan vs Brody would have been more massive.

 

It's more likely that Brody *if* brought in would be in a short feud like Hogan-Perfect. And after that, once Brody found himself working in the 2nd or 3rd match on the card, he would have wandered off.

 

I just don't think he had as much future as people dream up.

 

 

Adrian Adonis

 

Probably would have partied himself to death.

 

 

Crash Holly

 

I think something tragic was always going to happen to Mike. He had the bug bad... :/

 

John

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I think Brody would've come in around 89-90 if he had lived but not for a Wrestlemania run as like John said his name wasn't big enough for that but I could see a Summerslam match maybe with Hogan. Savage was the definite plan for WM V, Sarge was a no brainer for WM VII but regarding WM VI wasn't the original idea to be Hogan vs. Mike Tyson. Mike was going to be the special ref for SNME in February but he lost to Buster Douglas who took his place and I think that Tyson being the ref was going to be the beginning of a big angle.

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I don't think the plan was ever a realistic Hogan vs Tyson in 1990. Hogan and Warrior was being set up for Mania:

 

* SNME issues taped 01/03/90 to air after the Rumble

 

* 01/21/90 issues at the Rumble

 

* 01/27/90 SNME airs

 

* 02/05/90 Toronto presser announcing Mania at SkyDome and Hogan-Warrior

 

* 02/10/90 Superstars repeats announcement

 

* 02/11/90 Tyson drops title to Buster

 

* 02/23/90 Buster refs Hogan-Savage on TME

 

Dave had the speculation on Hogan-Warrior from the first issue of 1990, and probably back into 1989 if I went back to look. In the second issue he called it a lock. He didn't cover Tyson's signing until it was actually announced, and even then said it would be Hogan-Warrior despite spending time on how much money Hogan-Tyson would make. Pretty consistent on that.

 

The first issue did indicate that Zeus wouldn't have a shot at Mania because he sucked, but one gets a feeling that the knowledge of Zeus not being able to make it even before that cage tag took place. It was booked as a tag to get someone in there to carry the heel side, and Zeus was beaten by Hogan in it. Don't think you would have booked a blow off if there was a possibility going into it that Zeus would be built through Mania. They knew before the match Zeus couldn't carry his half, and any ideas of building him were dead. So they booked it to blow him off, and not even in a singles.

 

John

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I think Eddie and Art would both have made it to WCW from ECW. Bischoff was dead set on beating Vince, and he'd jump at the chance to bring in a team like Eddie and Art. That said, I'm sure Art would have done something stupid down the line and blown it, but he'd have at least made it there.

 

I've talked about Brody before on this board, and my opinion hasn't changed. He'd have gone to Vince for the big money Hogan run, and then went away or was told to go away. He'd have also bullshitted his way to a big money deal in WCW, and, again, went away or was told go away. Then he'd go to ECW to pop a house for Paul E. and then screw him over. Come back in a few months to make amends and pop another house, and then screw him over again.

 

Magnum would have gotten the big win over Flair, but, like John said, it wouldn't have been a huge run. Flair/Magnum would have drawn a huge gate for the win, and then rematches around the circuit, but then what? The only other real money match, on paper at least, is Magnum/Nikita.

 

Crash would have wound up like Spike Dudley. He was doing the Mad Mikey gimmick in TNA when he passed. He'd have had his run and then left and worked small time indies and then left the business. Spike is now working in an Uno Chicago Grill according to his Wiki entry.

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My memories are fuzzy on the Hogan vs. Tyson negotiations, but I think it never got past the talking stages and no deal for a match was ever close to being in place. Weren't the Tyson side worried that Hogan would double cross them and shoot on him on the mat or something?

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I think Eddie and Art would both have made it to WCW from ECW. Bischoff was dead set on beating Vince, and he'd jump at the chance to bring in a team like Eddie and Art. That said, I'm sure Art would have done something stupid down the line and blown it, but he'd have at least made it there.

The question is whether Art would have gotten to WCW alive. Not sure. But if he did, I suspect he would have overdosed in WCW before long.

 

If it was Eddy & Art as a team rather than going into the CW division, I suspect Art's spirits would have been crushed fast. Looks at who was in the tag division by 1996 and into 1997. There's no way people like Hall & Nash and the Steiners, let along Harlem Heat and Sting & Lex, would have done anything to make the Gringos look good. In a sense Eddy was lucky that he got into the CW mix because while they were beat down over time by the powers in WCW, they at least had their own niche where they could do things against each other. I think Eddy from his time in New Japan was perfectly use to the split between heavies and juniors, and accepting a spot. Art... he was seeing the stardom of the Gringos in Mexico. Coming up to the US to get buried by Hall & Nash and the Steiners... his dope use would have gone through the roof with the combo of money and "what the fuck" attitude.

 

 

I've talked about Brody before on this board, and my opinion hasn't changed. He'd have gone to Vince for the big money Hogan run, and then went away or was told to go away. He'd have also bullshitted his way to a big money deal in WCW, and, again, went away or was told go away. Then he'd go to ECW to pop a house for Paul E. and then screw him over. Come back in a few months to make amends and pop another house, and then screw him over again.

He never would have gone to WCW in the pre-Monday Night Wars era. He had no allies there. You think Watts or Flair ever wanted to deal with Brody's bullshit? Ross? Eric had to have head a load of anti-Brody stories in the AWA. By the time Hogan came in 1994, Brody would have been 48 and it's not like anyone in the company would have wanted him.

 

I don't think he would have gone to Vince for "big money". Do you really think Vince gave a shit about Brody? Think Patterson gave a shit about Brody? If Brody went, it would have been for the same type of deal that someone like Kamala got.

 

I think someone mentioned SummerSlam. Wouldn't have happened. Remember the SummerSlam matches from the era:

 

1988: Hogan & Savage vs Andre & DiBiase with Jesse Ventura as special referee

1989: Hogan & Beefcake vs Savage & Zeus

1990: Hogan vs Earthquake

 

This were "major" storylines and matches. Of course it wouldn't have happened in 1988 since it was already on the books when Brody got killed. In 1989, Zeus was a major push for Hogan tying into the movie, and Hogan-Savage was the major storyline of the year. In 1990, Quake was the guy who put Hogan out... and Vince and Pat loved running Fat Guys against Hogan (look up the number of them over the years from Bundy forward).

 

If Brody game in, he would have ended up like Bossman, Bad News or Perfect: short feud that didn't turn into anything super major.

 

 

Magnum would have gotten the big win over Flair, but, like John said, it wouldn't have been a huge run. Flair/Magnum would have drawn a huge gate for the win, and then rematches around the circuit, but then what? The only other real money match, on paper at least, is Magnum/Nikita.

I'm not even sure when Maggie would have gotten the win. If he hadn't gotten it before Dusty lost the book... it would have been a problem. I don't think in a company with Sting and/or Lex that Maggie's role would be super secure.

 

We also need to remember how long it took for Sting to get his win over Ric (7/90) and Lex to get it (planned for 7/91 but Ric tried to hold the company up). The set up for Flair-Lex started all the way back in 1987 when Lex joined the Horsemen, and the turn started at the end of 1987.

 

When Dusty got fired, they went with Steamer. I don't think anyone in positions of power in that 1989-91 time frame had a big soft spot for Maggie relative to say Steam and Sting. He was Dusty's boy. :/

 

 

Crash would have wound up like Spike Dudley. He was doing the Mad Mikey gimmick in TNA when he passed. He'd have had his run and then left and worked small time indies and then left the business. Spike is now working in an Uno Chicago Grill according to his Wiki entry.

I think Matt always was a bit smarter than Mike. They both had the bug for pro wrestling, but Matt actually went to school. Pretty much all Mike wanted to be was a wrestler. I don't think he would have made it through his 30s without a tragedy. :(

 

John

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My memories are fuzzy on the Hogan vs. Tyson negotiations, but I think it never got past the talking stages and no deal for a match was ever close to being in place. Weren't the Tyson side worried that Hogan would double cross them and shoot on him on the mat or something?

They never went anywhere. In fact, they were largely just joke "dream match" nonsense talk. Whatever $$$ amount Vince would have needed to give Mike to do it would have been off the charts: likely more than Mike was getting per big PPV fight at the time, which was ridiculous money. Mix in that Don King would likely get a bite of promoting as well, despite the talk of the revenue that could be generated, it likely would have ended up not making Vince as much money, nor greatly in his contral.

 

Just wasn't going to happen then.

 

John

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He never would have gone to WCW in the pre-Monday Night Wars era. He had no allies there. You think Watts or Flair ever wanted to deal with Brody's bullshit? Ross? Eric had to have head a load of anti-Brody stories in the AWA. By the time Hogan came in 1994, Brody would have been 48 and it's not like anyone in the company would have wanted him.

Agreed on this. I was thinking more in the early 1990's under Jim Herd or Kip Frye, who knew jack about the business and would believe that Brody was a huge star and could draw them big money.

 

I don't think he would have gone to Vince for "big money". Do you really think Vince gave a shit about Brody? Think Patterson gave a shit about Brody? If Brody went, it would have been for the same type of deal that someone like Kamala got.

You're forgetting two things here. Vince's ego and Hogan's ego. I'm sure Vince would love to be able to say he was one of the few promoters who either (A. Were able to actually do business with Brody, or (B. Had the grapefruits to tell Brody where to stick it when he tried his bullshit. Don't you also think that Hogan would jump at the chance to be able to brag that he was one of a handful of people who'd beaten Brody clean?

If it was Eddy & Art as a team rather than going into the CW division, I suspect Art's spirits would have been crushed fast. Looks at who was in the tag division by 1996 and into 1997. There's no way people like Hall & Nash and the Steiners, let along Harlem Heat and Sting & Lex, would have done anything to make the Gringos look good. In a sense Eddy was lucky that he got into the CW mix because while they were beat down over time by the powers in WCW, they at least had their own niche where they could do things against each other. I think Eddy from his time in New Japan was perfectly use to the split between heavies and juniors, and accepting a spot. Art... he was seeing the stardom of the Gringos in Mexico. Coming up to the US to get buried by Hall & Nash and the Steiners... his dope use would have gone through the roof with the combo of money and "what the fuck" attitude.

Eddie and Art coming in to WCW in '95 would have been their best bet. The tag division was more or less the Nasty Boys, Harlem Heat, and Bunkhouse Buck/Dick Slater. They'd be a fresh team being added to the mix with a unique style of wrestling. 1996 brought the returns of the Road Warriors and Steiners, which they'd probably be jazzed about working with. But, yeah, they'd have been buried over time. So what actually happened was better for Eddie.

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Agreed on this. I was thinking more in the early 1990's under Jim Herd or Kip Frye, who knew jack about the business and would believe that Brody was a huge star and could draw them big money.

I don't think Dusty would have brought him in. Dusty punted on using him in JCP. Before Dusty was Ole. BRody wasn't in GA after Ole got more control with the book. A stretch in 1981, and then for just one month in 1983 without doing anything very major. Ole was a prick... hard to see him putting up with Brody. Before that was Flair, which I talked about.

 

If Brody came in, it would be like Hansen... and they wouldn't have put Brody with Lex, and I doubt Lex's buddy Sting would have wanted to work with Brody.

 

 

You're forgetting two things here. Vince's ego and Hogan's ego. I'm sure Vince would love to be able to say he was one of the few promoters who either (A. Were able to actually do business with Brody, or (B. Had the grapefruits to tell Brody where to stick it when he tried his bullshit. Don't you also think that Hogan would jump at the chance to be able to brag that he was one of a handful of people who'd beaten Brody clean?

He could have done that at any point from 1984-88. Instead they brought in Kamala. And OMG. And... christ, lots of people. They had chances to get Brody and didn't give a shit.

 

I think people both back then, and now, project onto Brody this mystical greatness and overness that didn't exist. He really wasn't a fly on the elephant's ass of US wrestling.

 

 

Eddie and Art coming in to WCW in '95 would have been their best bet. The tag division was more or less the Nasty Boys, Harlem Heat, and Bunkhouse Buck/Dick Slater. They'd be a fresh team being added to the mix with a unique style of wrestling. 1996 brought the returns of the Road Warriors and Steiners, which they'd probably be jazzed about working with. But, yeah, they'd have been buried over time. So what actually happened was better for Eddie.

They wouldn't have gone in early 1995. WCW didn't give a crap about them at the time. They probably would have ended up going in at the time when the NJ3 did: late 1995. Doubt they would have gotten pushed to the top quickly.

 

 

John

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Here's a What-If I've often wondered about, what if WCW hadn't given up on Sting so quickly in 1990-1991? I know he wasn't doing great business, but I always thought that taking the title off of Sting so quickly killed his business potential. This was something Vince seemed to get early on, that while running a national promotion, you have to have a franchise babyface that the people believe in, and that the "chase" storyline doesn't work when the top babyface gets beat time and time again (SLL has touched on this in the past).

 

By only holding the title for six months or so, it made Sting look impotent, something Vince never let happen to Hogan. While he always remained popular, I don't think Sting ever really reached his potential, and one of the reasons is because his first reign was handled so poorly, particularly with his first big PPV main event as champion being against Sid instead of a Flair rematch that could have made him, and would have done good business to boot. The Sid match followed by the Black Scorpion fiasco really left that title reign stillborn, and I think was a bigger factor than many people realize in Sting failing to achieve franchise babyface status in 1990 WCW.

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Bruiser Brody

 

Probably would have bounced around Japanese indies in the 90s. May have worked briefly for ECW at some point like the Funks did when Paul was trying to get things off the ground.

 

I think some have vastly overrated what was left in the tanks for him. He's just turned 42. If you watch his matches in that last series in All Japan, it's pretty clear his body isn't in great shape in terms of breaking down.

 

Folks who think he would have lasted to the Monday Night Wars need to remember that he would have been 50 when the Wars started to take off in 1996. He was a wrestler who, unlike Piper & Savage & Co., *wasn't* a big star in the US in the 80s that kept getting jobs and often at good $$$. Brody wasn't exactly the most tolerant with promoters, bookers and wrestlers fucking with him... and the Monday Night Wars were all about that type of bullshit. He wasn't a big star in the US, so no one would have treated him like WCW treated Piper.

 

In Japan, folks need to recall that he walked out on All Japan when the Road Warriors and Choshu & Co. came in. He saw the handwritting on the wall, and wanted no part of it. What do folks think would have happened when Tenryu left and it was time to elevate Misawa & Co? Anyone expect Brody to work with those guys like Hansen did, not only in terms of quality but in the willingness to make them look good while also beating them up? Not likely. Or when Gordy & Doc got their push, being willing to put over the MVC? Just not likely. Hansen didn't start breaking down until 1994/95, and he was three years younger than Brody.

 

Far more likely, he would have tried to go with Tenryu... *if* Tenryu would have wanted him. It's not like Tenryu stole any of the major gaijin of All Japan: Hansen and Gordy stayed, with Gordy getting the Triple Crown twice soon after. You think Brody would have liked seeing Gordy pushed up to that level?

 

If he went to SWS, that would have blown up in no time. If he didn't, then he would have wandered off to somewhere like FMW. Onita would have certainly like to have him. Slight problem: Onita liked beating those top gaijin in the big matches. Does anyone see Brody willing to put over Onita like Terry did? I guess it's possible...

 

I don't know exactly what Onita and FMW payed Terry Funk to come do a clean job to Onita, but I'm pretty sure it was a large amount of money. I'm not sure there's any reason to think that, given the right price, Brody wouldn't have considered doing the same. For the right price, it was probably the most high profile match in the world he could realistically be in at that point, and as you point out he wasn't a young man. It wasn't like there was likely to be a ton of other decent, very high paying options.

 

Brody would have had to have been aware, had he been alive, that by that stage of his career the number of bridges he had left was fading. It's not like in 1994 (or so) there were still all these independants he could go around to, hodling up for short term money, then taking off when he decided to. Vince had already killed that dead. I don't think Brody had a ton of friends left in either New or All Japan either, although I'm not really sure what terms he was on with Inoki and they had feuded in-ring in the past. Maybe it's possible that *if* Brody had gone with SWS/WAR (assuming he's on good terms with Tenryu) and *if* he didn't fuck that up, that *maybe* New Japan uses him during that cross-promotion run they did that featured Inoki/Tenryu at one point. But I kind of find the "Onita pays Brody all the tea in China" more likely, because Onita was a guy desperate to build a legacy while he had time. New Japan had less to gain bringing him in again.

 

I could see Onita backing up a dump truck of money to Brody and him taking it, especially if it was in the wake of the Onita/Funk match and seeing how it really put Terry back into the spotlight at least for a while. If Brody's goal was to keep himself close to the top, and in the spotlight, it might have been his last good option. From there, I'm really not sure where he fits in the wrestling business with all the changes. I wouldn't have been surprised if him and Abby ended up stabbing the shit out of each other in Big Japan, or something, given enough time.

 

There's always the possibility of course, that Brody would take the Onita money, get in the ring, and just refuse to cooperate. Frankly that could have been fun, Onita and a shooting Brody in one of those special effects exploding ring extravaganzas. My sense of humor is warped enough that the idea of even that seems interesting in it's own way.

 

I'm not sure why everyone thinks Brody and Heyman would have worked together so well. Brody's whole thing was getting his money, and fucking promoters. Heyman's whole thing was running up $50 000 on his worker's credit cards, running a PPV that people bought at $30 a pop, and then not paying any of his boys because he had "no money". Maybe as a one off shot a la Raven vs. Gordy, but I can't see an actual run there.

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We've heard a lot about how smart of a guy Brody was. What if he was in pretty good financial shape? Maybe he could have just spent the 90's doing occasional shots for Japanese and American money marks and spent the rest of his time at home. I can imagine him seeing the changes that were happening in the industry and agreeing to do some high-profile jobs for big paydays like an Onita stadium show or a big NJPW show (not sure of what his relationship was like with those guys at the end) in order to cash in while he still could.

 

He could have done some shots in early ECW when they would bring in random guys like Abby and the Sheik for appearances, but he wouldn't have been a weekly part of the TV under Heyman.

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I can definitly see Brody work a match with Onita. They would have packed the Kawasaki stadium and made shitload of money. Hell, Onita did get Tiger Jeet Singh to do a job, so Brody, for a last big payday and match as he was getting old, could very well have done it. Like Tiger, two match program, with Brody killing Onita the first time, and then do a job in a deathmatch in which Onita takes 99% of the big bumps and Brody only bleed a lot and barely touch the wires.

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I don't know exactly what Onita and FMW payed Terry Funk to come do a clean job to Onita, but I'm pretty sure it was a large amount of money. I'm not sure there's any reason to think that, given the right price, Brody wouldn't have considered doing the same. For the right price, it was probably the most high profile match in the world he could realistically be in at that point, and as you point out he wasn't a young man. It wasn't like there was likely to be a ton of other decent, very high paying options.

Terry never really had issues with doing jobs in his career. Not even talking about the 90s. Going back to the 60s, 70s and 80s Terry was willing to do jobs all over the place.

 

Brody had issues doing jobs starting in the 80s, and didn't get over it right up to the point where he got stabbed. In fact, jobbing was one of the reasons (in addition to being a giant asshole prick) that got him stabbed.

 

Note: that not to excuse someone from murdering Brody simply because Brody was a giant asshole prick. But people also know that the murder wan't a random act of a killer simply looking for someone to stab in a shower, and just killed whoever was in there. He drew Brody into the shower and murder him because it was *Brody* and there were reasons he wanted to kill *Brody*.

 

I don't think that absent getting murder that Frank would suddenly turn into Terry Funk. He wouldn't. Never would.

 

As far as large amounts of money, the track record is that Brody walked out on large amounts of money, even when he didn't have an alternate income handy. Doing something because of the money didn't seem to have a big impact on him.

 

I don't think Brody had a ton of friends left in either New or All Japan either, although I'm not really sure what terms he was on with Inoki and they had feuded in-ring in the past.

I think this sentence indicates that you don't really know what you're talking about.

 

I'm not trying to be a prick in saying that, but there really isn't any way to avoid saying it. Brody's history in Japan is extremely well known as it's been part of his bio for years.

 

To say what everyone knows, but seems like it needs to be repeated:

 

Brody walked out on New Japan twice. Once in 1985 and again, after peace was made, in 1986. Those were recent, fresh items that made it pretty clear at the time that he wasn't going back to the company any time soon.

 

Worse for Brody: on the way out the door in 1985, he did a number on Sak. Add in that he bailed from All Japan the moment Choshu showed up. As Inoki went off into politics and scaled back his career, who ran New Japan? Sak as figure head "President" and Choshu as the real power booking and running things. Sak had no love for Brody, so he would never lobby to bring him back. Choshu's philosphy on gaijin was that his crew of workers could make anyone look good, so there wasn't a need to go chasing top stars as regulars making major $$$. They "created" Vader. They took a bad, green Norton and turned him into a top gaijin. They were less successful with others, like Halme. But by the time Halme was failing, the company native base in heavyweights was so strong, and the value of gaijin was so low that it didn't matter. In other words, the door for a regular job in New Japan was closed to Brody early in the Sak-Choshu period, and moving into the 90s because they simply wouldn't want him. This is a company that shrugged off losing Vader to WCW and UWFi to go onto probably the best run of live crowds in their history.

 

In All Japan, Brody came back in late 1987 and early 1988 on his best behavior. Jumbo put him over, and Brody put Jumbo over. This was the era when gaijin weren't as "regular" as they became in the 90s: Hansen didn't work every card, or even every series. Brody didn't work the first series of the year in 1988. He didn't work the second. It's safe to say that he would have worked the Tag League, and at least one series in the middle of the year.

 

One can see him doing that through 1988 and 1989. One can see him remaining on best behavior. I'll cut him the benefit of the doubt that he'd be willing to do a clean job to Tenryu in either a UN & PWF Title match (pre merger) or in a Triple Crown match (post meger) say in the spot where Gordy jobbed to Tenryu in 1989. Hansen jobbed to Tenryu, and perhaps he talks Brody into playing nice.

 

Where I see a problem if Brody makes it to 1990 is that there's a clear fork:

 

* go with Tenryu to SWS for big money

 

* stay in All Japan and over time put over Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi and Taue while working that style they go off on

 

The first is the "path of least resistance". And Tenryu over time was picking off the people who saw their days numbered given where All Japan was headed: Yatsu and Kabuki, for example. Yatsu was one that it seemed like the Babas knew what was up, as he wasn't given anything critical to do before leaving. Kabuki was a surprise.

 

Going to SWS appears to play into Brody's desire to cash in. They were throwing silly money around. The problem with this is two fold: Tenryu wasn't stealing gaijin, and we don't really know what Brody's relationship with Tenryu was (or vice versa). Perhaps Brody being willing to job for him would have made Tenryu his BFF. But I still have a tough time getting past the fact that despite having a lot of money to throw around, Tenryu didn't sign any big name gaijin regulars of the era. Instead, he signed a talent deal with the WWF.

 

I'm really iffy about that.

 

So he stays with All Japan. But how quickly does that blow up? With Hansen losing Tenryu as a partner, the Revolution imploding, and Gordy firming up into a top gaijin team with Doc, it seems "natural" that Brody joins hands with Hansen again rather than Hansen sliding into the team with Spivey. But... how willing is he to put over Gordy & Williams as a (the) top new Gaijin team, the 90s equiv of Hansen & Gordy? This is the 90s, and Baba rapidly is moving towards All Clean Finishes. It's not 100% as we can point to the 1991 Kawada-Taue COR. But it quickly moved from "rare" to "never" with a special exemption to an occassional Abby dq. Could Brody live in that era, with it being Misawa and Gordy/Williams that he would initially be jobbing to (assuming he had no problem jobbing to Jumbo), and over time Kawada, Taue and Kobashi.

 

I don't think so. More than that, I don't think he could have survived in the style long as Hansen did. He probably would have made it into 1991 when he was 46... It's hard to see much past that.

 

After that, it's off to the indies.

 

 

But I kind of find the "Onita pays Brody all the tea in China" more likely, because Onita was a guy desperate to build a legacy while he had time.

I think that's what everyone points to.

 

The problem is that I don't see Onita paying Brody *regularly* (as in coming in for loads of tours), and I see it blowing up in not so long. Onita would want his win.

 

Terry didn't work a ton for FMW prior to Onita's retirement. Really it's famed for just one big match.

 

 

I could see Onita backing up a dump truck of money to Brody and him taking it, especially if it was in the wake of the Onita/Funk match and seeing how it really put Terry back into the spotlight at least for a while.

Onita had an even better match the next year: Tenryu. The year after that was his "retirement match".

 

It's more likely that Onita would have used Brody *before* Terry's 1993 match.

 

 

John

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I can definitly see Brody work a match with Onita. They would have packed the Kawasaki stadium and made shitload of money. Hell, Onita did get Tiger Jeet Singh to do a job, so Brody, for a last big payday and match as he was getting old, could very well have done it. Like Tiger, two match program, with Brody killing Onita the first time, and then do a job in a deathmatch in which Onita takes 99% of the big bumps and Brody only bleed a lot and barely touch the wires.

Agreed that this is the likely path. Onita may not have run two matches, though. The point with the Terry match was to pop the big one, which would be the first. Tiger Jeet's star power was way, way, way down by the point Onita hooked up with him. Terry's was to a degree as well, but Onita was about to get the buzz for it. I suspect Brody would be closer to Terry than Tiger.

 

Their big match would probably be like the Onita-Tenryu match, where Onita brought the garbage while Tenryu brought the opponent star power.

 

And after that... I don't know what path Brody would have in Japan other than smaller feds. Perhaps if he went to FMW first he might go to WAR after. Who knows.

 

My point largely has been to dismiss the notion that Brody's future at the age of 42 was a clear path of major success over the next 8 years. I think if one takes a step out of the Brody Myth Making Aura and into what was really going on in his career in those last few years, and also the landscape of 1988-96 in the sense of who was in charge and what would be required of Brody in terms of work and jobbing... it's not really obvious that great things were ahead. It's quite likely that things would be tough.

 

Perhaps Brody would have loved to go to the WWF and slide into a Hacksaw Jim Duggan gimmick. But even a wrestler as welling to put over *everyone* and do pretty much anything hit a point where he had to quit: Ricky Steamboat. It really wasn't the jobbing, but instead the gimmick going nowhere, and his push being stalled at the bottom... it was clear that he was stuck, and he quit.

 

That's Ricky. Put Brody's giant ego and huge prick attitude into being told that his gimmick was changing to Repo Man. :)

 

Folks might try to offer up a prick like Bad New Allen as a guy who was able to stick around for several years. I think the difference is that as much of a prick as Allen was, he also was willing to do "business" far more than Brody. With Brody, he quickly had issues.

 

John

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Makes me want to read Matysik's book on Brody.

I've read it. It's not a great read, and it can be quite frustrating in parts.

 

Matysik was a close personal friend of Brody, and an out-and-out Brody apologist, so a lot of stuff gets left out, glossed over, or told from Brody's perspective only. The book includes tons of quotes from people like Gary Hart and Meltzer who go to great lengths to excuse Brody's legendary backstage behavior. One quote that gets used multiple times is "that is just a locker room legend, Frank (Brody) never did that...and if he DID, then some asshole promoter must have given him a reason to act that way." At times he actually has the nerve to try and portray Brody as some kind of locker room role model who is standing up for the little guy against the evil promoters, if only others had been as brave as him.

 

The funny thing is, that even friends of Brody's like Stan Hansen and Terry Funk have to admit in some quotes that Brody was a pain in the ass to deal with, but that the "real person" Frank Goodish was a nice guy. Even still Matysik's writing style is annoying, melodramatic, and he is also outright delusional about Brody's actual in ring abilities and what he would have accomplished had he not died. There is a chapter devoted to what might have happened had Brody lived, and Matysik basically had him headlining Wrestlemania.

 

Stuff like Brody's refusal to sell, his refusal to do jobs, his drug use, and his womanizing all get left out. Of course, his widow co-authored the book, so they aren't going to sit there and talk about Brody partying or all the rats he banged. If you want stories like that, you should check out Ron Bass's Highspots Shoot Interview.

 

The good thing about Barbara Goodish being the co-author is that she provides a lot of personal photos and some interesting background on who he was outside the ring. It's a pity that Matysik couldn't be objective and admit some of the things about Brody that are pretty much common knowledge now. If you read between the lines, you can see that he was a selfish asshole 99% of the time, but that sure isn't the way the book portrays him.

 

Ironically, I am a Brody fan. I grew up watching his brawls with Abdullah in Quebec where Abdullah was actually a face and Brody was the heel, believe it or not. I also love his tag matches with Hansen against the Funks and some of his matches with Jumbo from AJPW. I just know that he was a dick, and that you're rarely if ever going to see him get pinned.

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