Books

Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel

Written by a close friend in Larry Matysik combined with Frank’s widow Barbara Goodish, the biography takes you inside Frank’s life as much as you could ask for given that he had been deceased 19 years at time of publication.

 

An appropriate title for a much anticipated life story of wrestling’s truly successful rebel, Frank Goodish also known as ‘Bruiser’ or ‘King Kong’ Brody. Written by a close friend in Larry Matysik combined with Frank’s widow Barbara Goodish, the biography takes you inside Frank’s life as much as you could ask for given that he had been deceased 19 years at time of publication. Not only was Larry a confidant of Brody, he was also a commentator for Wrestling At The Chase, a promoter, a protegé of Sam Muchnick and at one time an employee for the WWE, he has wrote two other books titled Wrestling at the Chase and Drawing Heat the Hard Way.

Independent in every sense of the word, something that could not be said of many wrestlers in the territory days of wrestling and of even less could be distinguished with in today’s scene. Brody would travel from area to area working for different promoters, travelling all over the world to find the best money without having to fight backstage as well as in the ring for it. Starting with his youth in Michigan before playing football at possibly Texas’ most well known school for wrestler’s of that period, West Texas State. Matysik takes you back to how Goodish broke into the business and subsequently created his now famous brawling, wild man character. It would be this gimmick that could be turned on or off at Brody’s own will that would make him one of the biggest draws across America reaching as far as the Orient. Larry provides you a look into the journey taken, the obstacles he had to tackle, and the possibilities that could have been had his whole life not come to a horrible premature end. You stop off to visit such places as the World Wide Wrestling Federation [Later WWE], World Class Championship Wrestling, American Wrestling Alliance, New Japan Pro Wrestling, World Wrestling Council, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Australia, and St. Louis among others meeting the individuals that influenced him for the better or worse through-out his career, people like, Stan Hansen, Terry Funk, Jim Ross, Giant Baba, and Vince McMahon Sr. Matysik takes you inside Goodish’s head explaining his logic, philosophy, and outlook on the wrestling world, mixed with Barbara’s input of his personal life once he was no longer playing ‘Bruiser’ Brody, makes for a unique read into the real man that was Frank Goodish. Within holds the good, the bad, and the ugly; the friendships, the consequences they felt when they dared to try to get one over on ‘King Kong’ Brody, and the tragic death of Frank Goodish in the showers of a wrestling locker room.

At times Larry Matysik seems to be justifying Frank’s actions so the reader feels endeared to him more than normal, however he doesn’t appear to sugar coat or hold back on any of the information still giving what comes across as a true reflection of Brody’s persona. An interesting read, with fun stories retold that could have been long forgotten if not for the incredible impact Frank had on the few that he did allow into his inner circle. All in all a good enjoyable read that won’t be put down easy by anyone who has had a taste of the ‘Bruiser’ Brody magic.

– By Jimmy Wheeler

By Larry Matysik
Published by ECW Press
Released August 15, 2007
Pages 240, Paperback

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