The Fallen King: Bruiser Brody Murdered 30 Years Ago Today (VIDEOS)

It was thirty years ago today that one of professional wrestling’s most influential big men, Bruiser “King Kong” Brody, was stabbed to death in Puerto Rico by José Huertas González (aka Invader I) prior to his match with WWC. It remains one of the most polarizing deaths in pro wrestling, as González was acquitted of the murder and went free, while nearly all of his peers witnessed nothing short of murder.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, the man who would become King, Frank Goodish, was a stand out football prospect, an All State player with Warren High School, and then moving on to West Texas A&M on a football scholarship. He joined the NFL’s Washington Redskins, then headed to the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League (CFL). When he couldn’t get on with either the NFL or CFL full time, he returned to Texas to play semi-pro ball. But it was clear that football was not his destiny. A chance meeting with Ivan Putski directed Goodish to Ed Farhat (the original Sheik) who trained him and got him started in the Midwest as Frank “The Hammer’ Goodish. He also worked with Fritz Von Erich in Big Time Wrestling (pre-WCCW), as he’d met Von Erich while working as a sports writer in Texas, and in NWA Tri States (pre-Mid South). In 1975, he began to work for Vince McMahon Sr. in the WWWF, where McMahon renamed him Bruiser Brody.

A life long “outlaw”, Brody never signed exclusive with any promotion – he was a perpetual independent, working for the WWWF, multiple NWA territories, AWA, All Japan, NJPW, CMLL and Puerto Rico, creating a legacy of a big brawling terror that became a star attraction in any territory that he arrived in. His legacy shows a 3x NWA International Heavyweight Champion (one of the three belts unified to make the All Japan Triple Crown in 1988, shortly before Brody’s death) as well as multiple other singles and tag team titles, but his title reigns were insignificant compared to the character himself. Bruiser Brody was a perpetual monster, a man full of violence in the ring who created a blue print for big men and brawlers for the rest of history.