Today In Wrestling History 7/16: Bruiser Brody Killed In Locker Room, Big Show's 1st Angle, & More

* 27 years ago in 1988, Frank Goodish, best known as Bruiser Brody, was fatally stabbed (technically, he died early on July 17th) by Jose "Invader I" Gonzalez in the shower stall of the babyface locker room of Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Gonzalez was acquitted (by majority verdict since Puerto Rican law doesn't require it to be unanimous) after he used a justification defense, though the general belief in pro wrestling has been, for a number of reasons, that it was murder.


Gonzalez, who was the booker for the promotion (WWC) at the time had asked Brody to join him in the shower stall for a meeting. He had a knife concealed under a towel and stabbed Brody.Some of the wrestlers were scared/hesitant to go to the police, but reconsidered after some motivation from TNT (Juan "Savio Vega" Rivera) and Tony Atlas. Atlas gave a statement to police but was never contacted to be a witness at the trial several months later. Dutch Mantell was sent a subpoena to testify, but got it after Gonzalez had already been acquitted.

Motive-wise, Dave Meltzer, who was friends with Brody, has said that Gonzalez was sick of Brody not listening to him and wanted to teach him a lesson, though he may not have been trying to kill him. Gonzalez had also harbored ill-will going back to Brody violently guzzling him in a match at the Nassau Coliseum in 1976. Whatever the reason, it seems like most wrestlers believe it was premeditated murder.


* 20 years ago in 1995, WCW held the second annual Bash at the Beach pay-per-view live from the actual beach in Huntington Beach, California. WCW claimed that the crowd was over 100,000 people, which was actually the number of people on the beach on a typical Sunday afternoon. The show itself had about 9,000 fans watching. The card was also the backdrop for a WCW-themed episode of Baywatch.

It was a famously great, beautiful beach day, which made for great scenery but also motivated fans to go swimming when the show turned out to be below par, especially compared to the surprisingly strong Great American Bash show that preceded it. Perhaps due to working outside, all of the potentially good matches (Sting vs. Meng and Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage in rematches from the Bash plus Hulk Hogan, cornered by Dennis Rodman, vs. Vader in a cage match with WWF-style escape rules) were below expectations.

The show did also feature a major angle on the live episode of WCW Main Event that acted as the pre-show. Hulk Hogan was doing an interview when The Giant (Big Show, who had been a planted fan sitting ringside at a few shows leading up to this) walked over wearing a puffy shirt a la Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride. He yelled "REMEMBER THIS!?!?" and threw the shirt at Hogan, who uttered this immortal line: "I know this's Andre's!" Yes, The Giant was originally supposed to be Andre's son, an idea that was dropped not long after his in-ring debut.


* 8 years ago in 2007, Scott Ballard, the prosecutor overseeing the investigation into the Benoit murder-suicide, held a press conference to announce the findings of the toxicology reports done on Chris, Nancy, and Daniel Benoit. While only one of the findings had any real bearing on the murders themselves, it was all big news for various reasons.

Daniel Benoit tested positive for alprazolam (Xanax), which is highly unusual for a child.The general consensus is that Chris sedated him so he "wouldn't suffer."

Nancy Benoit tested positive for hydrocodone (the main ingredient in Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, but hydrocodone can also break down into hydromorphone in the body), and alprazolam, which the coroner said were all at therapeutic levels. Her blood alcohol content was 0.184%, more than twice the legal limit that's the threshold for drunk driving, but it's hard to judge how much of that was due to drinking because of how the decomposition process affects blood alcohol content.

Chris tested positive for hydrocodone and alprazolam at therapeutic levels. The only steroid he tested positive for was synthetic testosterone. It's hard to tell exactly how much he was taking based just on these results, but his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio (or T:E ratio) was 59:1. Since E is a natural byproduct of T at approximately a 1:1 ratio (with some outliers), a high rating means you took artificial T since there's no extra E to balance it out. For reference, in MMA, few failed drug tests have come close to 59:1, though a couple have and one even beat it by hitting 83.9:1. Generally, 4:1 or 6:1 fails a drug test.


That night, Dr. David Black (WWE drug testing administrator) and Jerry McDevitt (WWE outside counsel) appeared on various cable news shows, claiming that Benoit tested "negative for anabolic steroids." Testosterone is basically the base for all anabolic steroids, though to be fair, Black has, at times, made the distinction that it is technically an androgen. Still, it was, at best, confusing. They also left Nancy Grace's show before the panel (Dave Meltzer, Bryan Alvarez, Konnan, and Marc Mero) came on the show, with substitute host Pat Lalama even making a point of saying I know you don`t want to stay with the panel" on the air.

Meltzer made a point of rebutting the claim when the panel came back on, saying: "First of all, there`s been a lot of people saying a lot of things that are trying to mislead the public here. The first thing I want to tell you is this. I want to tell you this, trying to say that testosterone is not a steroid, as Manny Arora said, testosterone is the most popular steroid for building muscle mass."