Photo Credit: WrestleZone/Dominic DeAngelo

Bruiser Brody Dies Thirty Years Ago Today After Stabbing In Puerto Rico

Bruiser Brody Dies Thirty Years Ago Today After Stabbing In Puerto Rico
Photo Credit: Miguel Discart /

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Bruiser Brody‘s untimely death. Brody (real name Frank Goodish), was stabbed in a locker room while wrestling in Puerto Rico by Jose Gonzalez, but Gonzalez was acquitted due to a flimsy justice system and no one being present at the time of the trial (which is also surrounded by controversy).

Some of the wrestlers that were in attendance for that fateful night were Tony Atlas, Dutch Mantell (Zeb Colter), Savio Vega and Dan Spivey (Waylon Mercy). Brody, Gonzalez and others were all wrestling for Carlos Colon‘s WWC promotion at the time. Pro Wrestling Stories compiled a few interviews with Mantell and Savio Vega about that fateful July 16th evening and The Sun has an article on the whole story as well which quotes Tony Atlas. A few quotes from Mantell and Atlas are below:

Dutch Mantell on encountering the aftermath:

“As I entered, I was following Bruiser and I noticed Carlos [Colon] and Invader [Jose Gonzalez] sitting on a bench to my right. Invader was trying on his leather strap – that he wears on his arm – with his teeth. Neither spoke.

Thinking back on it now, I don’t believe any acknowledgment was made to Brody either. I followed Brody to the rear of the room, directly in front of the shower door.

There were other guys who were already there. The Youngbloods, TNT, Roberto Soto, and Castillo Jr. were in various stages of unpacking and getting ready.

I have always hated dressing rooms, so I sat down briefly and, still feeling uneasy about the tension that I felt, decided to go check the crowd. The is a ritual with me; I always check out the crowd or arena when I get there just to familiarize myself with it.

Bayamon Stadium is a baseball stadium so I arose from my chair and headed through a tunnel to get to the field. It’s only about 100 feet through the tunnel, and I stood, watching the crowd file in for no more than three minutes, and I had not been gone from the dressing room longer than 5 or 6 minutes, at the most.

But when I returned, my eyes met horror.

The whole dressing room was chaotic. The first person I saw was Chris Youngblood. I asked him what had happened. He was almost hysterical as he said, ‘Jose stabbed Brody.’

I still did not know what he meant but as I looked deeper in the room, I saw Brody lying prone on the floor with several guys surrounding him. I thought that some guy named Jose had rushed into the room and attacked Brody. Everybody in PR is named Jose so I looked at Chris again and he said, ‘Invader – Invader stabbed Brody.’”

Tony Atlas on being in the locker room during the stabbing:

“When Brody was lying on the floor bleeding, the guys were just going over their matches like nothing had happened.”

Brody laid on the floor for about 45 minutes because it was the beginning of the show and the ambulance couldn’t get though the crowd of people.

“They couldn’t lift the gurney to get him on the ambulance, so they said, ‘Can any of you guys help?’

“Every wrestler in that dressing room – including American wrestlers – turned their back.

“When [the police] asked what happened, everyone in the dressing room said they didn’t see nothing.”

Atlas described how when he began to lift Brody, he smiled at Atlas and said: “Don’t drop me, brother.”

But his injuries were gravely serious. Atlas recalls that that Brody had “two eight-inch cuts on his belly… his liver was cut in two, plus his intestines were cut in two.”

You can read the full write-ups by The Sun and Pro Wrestling Stories by clicking on the respective links.

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