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PG WEEK: What If?

It's PG Week here at the Blog of Doom, and as promised, a special life-or-death What If?

What if the events of July 17, 1988 turned out differently for Frank Goodish?

A little background: on that day, Goodish was in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, preparing for a match when fellow wrestler Jose Huertas Gonzalez asked him to step into the shower for a private discussion.  There was a scuffle, then a loud groan the whole locker room heard.  Tony Atlas was first on the scene to try to see what happened... and he wound up carrying Goodish to the ambulance.  Goodish did not survive.

Huertas was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but the trial was a circus.  Several witnesses, Atlas among them, were too scared to testify against the politically connected Huertas.  He was found to have committed the act in self-defense.

You know Huertas better as Invader #1, one of Puerto Rico's biggest heroes.  You know Goodish better as Bruiser Brody, one of the greatest crazy brawlers of all time.

Needless to say, the impact has two parts.  First, suppose Brody merely sees it coming, refuses the meeting, or otherwise survives.  Of course, he never sets foot in Puerto Rico again, but what becomes of his career?

A few things to consider:

The WWF clearly had some interest in Brody, seeing as how the Berzerker gimmick is almost a direct tribute (the hand gesture he made is copied from Brody's).  In fact, rumors were rampant that the Berzerker gimmick was originally designed for Brody, then held off for a few years out of respect.  How far does he take it?

Obviously, Brody would've needed a mouthpiece (since part of his mystique was never talking).  John Nord, the Berzerker in our world, got Mr. Fuji.  Does Brody?  Or does Vince see money in him and make him part of the Heenan Family?

How high a profile does Brody have?  This is the tricky part.  Brody was very protective of his image and often refused jobs in the minor leagues.  Many bouts he was in went to double countouts or double DQs rather than a finish.  Brody's debut in 1989 would have coincided with the return of Rowdy Roddy Piper, a similar headache.  Would Vince have wanted both on the roster?  Would Piper/Brody have made sense as a feud without a winner?

When Brody would have been 48 or so, Shane Douglas threw down the NWA Title, and Eastern Championship Wrestling became Extreme.  In real life, Paul Heyman revitalized Terry Funk's career and made him a star well into his mid-50s.  But would he go the same route if he had Bruiser Brody, whose reputation as a hardcore man was much stronger than Funk's, as a centerpiece?

Brody's character was a wildman from New Mexico who didn't care about his own safety or the humanity or well-being of his opponents.  A year or so after Brody's death, WCW introduced us to another New Mexico madman with similar lack of care: Cactus Jack Manson.  What happens to Mick Foley's career if his breakthrough role comes while the original he'd be accused of ripping off is running wild in the WWF?


But now, let's make things more sinister.  This next part may be beyond the scope of this website.

Suppose in the scuffle, it's Huertas and not Goodish who dies.  Atlas and others would have known it to be self-defense, but how does the world change then?

First, consider the atmosphere in Puerto Rico.  Invader #1 was and is a beloved hero on the island, and Bruiser Brody was his fierce rival, a madman with no personal control or sense of right and wrong.  And in 1988, kayfabe ruled the day on the island.  Could Brody get a fair trial?  Would he get a venue change?

Within a year of this incident, however, New Jersey's state athletic commission would announce, alongside the WWF, that wrestling officially is not a real sport, but a venue of entertainment.  Granted, this would be for insurance purposes, but the very announcement could have ramifications as far as Puerto Rico.  With this in mind, the venue change (or even an appeal) gains traction.

Remember how earlier I said that Vince wanted Brody?  Does he intercede in this trial, in a hope that a grateful Brody will sign with the WWF?  Or does he realize that his family product image can't afford to have someone tainted by murder in it?  (Unlike with Jimmy Snuka, this one would be near impossible to cover up.)

And what of the media?  Bear in mind, the Huertas trial was strictly provincial news, but add an American to it and things may change.  What attitude would they take in 1989?  On the one hand, it's an American being given an unfair trial in Puerto Rico for the flimsiest of reasons.  On the other, it's a wrestler who portrayed himself as being one step away from murderer accused of being the murderer.


So there you have it.  A two-pronged What If.  A little deeper than just "what if Wrestler X didn't do Angle Y", but hopefully not too macabre for the setting.  Have at it, and I'll be back tomorrow with a Retro Rant of one of my favorite old-timey PPVs, as PG Week continues.


  1. Porn-Peddling Jef VinsonDecember 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    A little deeper than just "what if Wrestler X didn't do Angle Y"
    *Insert CM Punk joke here*
    Seriously, I think Brody would have been in ECW at least once, and most likely WCW.

  2. The invasion would have been better

  3. I think Dave Meltzer talked about what if Brody lived. Probably would have went to WCW and had a stint in ECW. If he went to WWE probably just another Monster for Hogan to beat.

    Probably ended his career playing the feds against each other and got some nice but short contracts.

  4. Another guy would have played the Berzerker?


    Usually something like this would be a long post by me, but someone else has already given one hell of an answer, if only to the "What if Brody doesn't die?" part.

    As for if he was the murderer, instead of the murdered? Well, this is 1989, WELL before the internet or any sort of "real-time" coverage of events like this would be standard... Unless he is able to leave the country ASAP, and realize he's never going back, this cannot end well for him. But his chances of leaving right away are also high, similarly because of the "slow" response time.

    The murder would definitely make headlines in PR, maybe cross over into places Brody was well known, but once back on American soil he could easily get off with a "self-defense" plea, especially if he got ANY support from other wrestlers on how dangerous the island could truly be.


    The one other impact such an event would have... Puerto Rico would be an EXTREMELY dangerous place for most wrestlers for a good while, yes, even more dangerous than it already was.

  6. FYI- Brody talked. He wouldn't need a mouthpiece. He was a pretty good interview.

    I highly doubt Brody would of dressed up in the Berzerker outfit. He more likely would of had a run similar to Killer Khan in 87. Only difference is he would of gotten a PPV match out of it possibly.

    I'm sure he would of ended up doing a small stint in ECW like Hansen did compared to Funk.

    As for WCW I don't think it changes the run Cactus Jack had if he comes. Again probably a short run anyway like Abby and Hansen. Those guys all did business in a similar fashion.

  7. Brody was such a shrewd business man, it is hard to imagine him having more than a cup of coffee with either WCW or WWE. He may have had some good brawls in ECW or latter day Japan but I don't see much of a future for him in WWE or WCW. I could see him having the intelligence to put a viable promotion together in the post WCW world however. Again I imagine he would have some kind of falling out with someone before the promotion would be able to do any damage. Brody was his own worst enemy.

  8. PG Week, murder. Hmm.

  9. Judging by what Bret wrote in his book, no one would get a fair trial if you're not native to the island.

  10. Let me connect the dots, WWE-style.

    Chris Benoit MURDERS family and self - WWE goes PG.

    Not quite that simple in reality, but fuck it, it works out.

  11. The circle is complete.

  12. He wasn't a young guy when he died, and he had a poor rep as far as doing business. I don't see much for Brody in the big 2. If either one took a shot on him he'd wear out his welcome pretty quick.

    He probably would have floated around the remnants of the territories, maybe gone to Japan, and had a bit of a run in ECW, but again I don't see him on top even there.

    If the knife had gone the other way? I don't really know, but I'm willing to bet that it wouldn't have gone well for him unless he got off of the island pretty quick. And even then, wouldn't the US just send him back? PR is almost a state, isn't it?

  13. Puerto Rico is not a country, it's a U.S. Territory. Puerto Rican soil is American soil.

  14. I could've seen him getting the run that Terry Gordy got against Taker in late 96 but it would've turned out way better. The match quality would've been a 100 times better. I would've loved to have seen him get a short run with Taker and then a brawl or two with Foley.


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