Terry Funk vs Bruiser Brody December 7th 1982

The Setting – Terry by this point was a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion as well as becoming a star in Japan for his displays of emotion (rare in Puro) and his gutsy performances. Frank Goodish aka Brody had been wrestling for various promotions under different names since his debut in 1973. It was his character of Bruiser that gained him worldwide fame and a reputation for being a hard case wrestler. Brody could ‘look after himself’ and as a result didn’t think twice about doing what was for the benefit of his career and not that of his opponent or promotion. He was an imposing man; 6ft 8, long curly black hair, muscular, acted very odd at times and his forehead was covered in ‘gig marks’. His matches were known for being filled with blood and weapon shots.

The Match – Brody storms into the ring doing his usual shouting of “Huss! Huss! Huss!” as the fans join in. Terry has his ‘dukes’ up ready as fans start chanting “Huss!” again. Brody in the ropes as Terry starts beating on him then a lock up. Bruiser pulls Funks hair and throws him around. Hard scoop slam and a leg drop. He follows up with knee drops to Funk who appears to be busted open by one of them. He goes outside and Brody follows. He gets a chair and wallops Funk with it seemingly catching his ear. Back inside Brody repeatedly runs the ropes and kicks Funk in the head. He again goes outside. Old Tel has his head rammed into the ring post as we get a great shot of his bloodied face and ear. Struggling to get back in the ring he is punished with kicks and a knee drop for a two count. Big Bro’ hoists Terry up for a delayed piledriver that gets a two count. Funk attempts a comeback with shots to his foes face. He slaps on a side headlock and mule kicks Brody in the nuts. They both go ringside and Funk shoves him into the ring post and throws a table on him. Brody blades at this point, as he did in every match. Terry follows up with headbutts in the ring. Bruiser powers out of a side headlock with a back Suplex for another two count. The big man climbs to the top rope but is chucked off. Funk applies his trademark spinning toe hold for the submission attempt. Fans start cheering. Brody’s mate Stan Hansen comes to ringside. Brusier manages to get to his friend who checks on him. As Funk gets out the ring Brody starts biting his forehead! He throws a table onto Funk just as his brother Dory Jr attacks Hansen. They all get in the ring for a massive brawl as the ref throws the match out (typical of a Bruiser match). Dory hits Hansen and Brody with a steel chair. Terry starts throwing several chairs into the ring (good old Terry). Dory is being double teamed until babyface star Jumbo Tsuruta runs in with a chair and chases off the heels. Brody goes nuts in the audience waving a chair around as he storms off.

The Aftermath – Terry would criss-cross between Japan and America over the next 15 years. He would end up in the WWF for a while in the mid 80’s. However he made reinvent himself as ‘Hardcore’ in the 90’s working for Atsushi Onita’s bonkers promotion FMW. This also helped his career in the US as he would work for ECW, WWF and WCW by the end of the decade. Brody would continue to be a wild and crazy brawler in Japan and even Puerto Rico for the right price. He infamously no sold for Lex Luger during the middle of a heavily hyped Cage match. Luger fled the cage in fear of his life because of Bruisers rep. It would be his rep that sadly got the better of Brody – on July 16th 1988 at a show in Puerto Rico he was killed. In the showers of the arena that was hosting a show he was working Brody was asked by promoter and wrestler Jose Gonzalez to have a ‘conversation’ in the showers. Minutes later wrestlers in the adjoining locker room heard groaning and Tony Atlas ran in to see Gonzalez holding a bloodied knife stood over a downed and blood covered Brody. Despite Atlas and paramedics trying to help Brody died aged 42. Gonzalez claims he did it in self defence and based on Brody’s rep authorities believed him. As a result, and because no wrestler was willing to testify, Gonzalez was not charged with murder.

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James Simpson (@KnowYourPuro)