Hardcore Legends Part 4: Hansen & Brody
September 14, 2006 by James Watts
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Well, after the last disastrous column that I wrote ("Don't Cross the Boss"), which got nothing but negative reactions, I thought I'd go back to my strong point: writing about the hardcore lunatics that have graced the wrestling ring. This column is about one of the most hardcore tandems to have ever existed in the wrestling ring: the terrible twosome of Stan "the Lariat" Hansen and Bruiser Brody.
Stan Hansen was one of the top monster heels in the business during the '80s and '90s, and he was very successful on both the singles and the tag team circuits. During his storied career, Hansen would get several shots at the WWE title, facing such legends as Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund and (most notoriously) Bruno Sammartino, who would have his neck broken by Hansen's vicious lariat during their title bout in 1976.
Hansen would also hold the AWA World Heavyweight Title with his victory over Rick Martel, and would defend that belt successfully against the AWA legends Nick Bockwinkel and Jerry Blackwell, as well as a young Leon White, who would himself go on to become the monstrous heel known as Vader. Hansen was later stripped of the title when he defended it in Japan without permission from the AWA to do so. Whilst in Japan, Hansen would engage in a bloody feud with the man who would later become his tag team partner, Bruiser Brody.
Brody was also a monster heel, and he would go to almost any lengths to defeat his opponents, which often meant a wild brawl all over the arena, with all manner of foreign objects coming into play.
Brody was often described as a wild man, and his shaggy beard and flyaway hair often contributed to that description. During his career, Brody feuded with the most dangerous men that the business had to offer, most notably Abdullah the Butcher in blood-soaked Puerto Rico.
When Brody and Hansen eventually stopped their feud and joined forces, they became almost unstoppable on the Puerto Rican circuit, having bloody wars with all of their top tandems and even forcing bitter rivals Carlos Colon and Abdullah the Butcher to team together just to provide the two giants with some decent competition. They were also successful in Japan, winning the 1983 All Japan Real World Tag Team Tournament together.
Unfortunately for the wrestling world, Bruiser Brody was stabbed to death in Puerto Rico by Jose Gonzales, a former professional wrestler (he was Invader 1) and (at the time) the booker of the promotion. He has left behind a legacy of memorable battles and brawls, and has inspired a number of wrestlers, including Mick Foley.
Stan Hansen has also inspired a number of today's professional wrestlers, most noticeably John "Bradshaw" Layfield, who has everything from Hansen's look to his build to his finisher.
These two men, along with the Funk Brothers and Abdullah the Butcher & The Sheik, introduced and popularised hardcore tag team wars and, in doing so, changed the face of the wrestling business forever.
by James Watts ..
Ike Eisen wrote:
While Brody and Hansen did contribute to hard brawls during their generation, Freddie Blassie was doing it decades before they entered the business
Jonathan Preston wrote:
Well Mr Watts, you've done it again!! You've managed to write another disastrous column!! Who cares about all of this? Seriously!! If you're going to write about hardcore legends, write about some good ones. Write about Sabu, write about Terry Funk, write about Mick Foley.
Write about somebody interesting!!!!
James Watts wrote:
Mr. Preston, if you'll care to look around the site, you'll find my columns about Sabu, Terry Funk and Abdullah the Butcher, so please look around the site before you post a negative response.
Stephen Mitchell wrote:
In Response to Jonathan Preston, I am unsure of what your little comment was trying to achieve but if it was to try and make you look like an idiotic child it was spot on. I am never down on wrestling fans about their age but sometimes there is an exception to the rules. You are obviously about 7 years old so when it comes to your opinions on LEGENDS like Bruiser Brody nobody wants to hear them. Shut the hell up, you might learn something.
Jesse Lee wrote:
To commenter, Jonathon Preston. Wow, I can't believe anyone could find these two legit tough men uninteresting. I guess it's true... as time goes on, the greats of the past are forgotten. While Terry Funk, Sabu, and Mick Foley do deserve their names as hardcore legends, Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody were the epitome of what a "real man" is supposed to me. Both were tough, both worked stiff, and both has had their cases of getting into some real legit fights backstage (particularly Brody.)
While Terry, Sabu, and Foley may have done crazy things in the ring, they each remain professional in the back. I've yet to hear about any legit fights with any of them involved. Brody and Hansen could go out and shoot in the ring against someone their own size and styles. I, by no means, am downgrading Terry, Foley, and Sabu. It's just that when it comes to real legends in the business, Hansen and Brody should come before those three (except maybe Terry.)
Besides, why should someone write about someone you already know about (apparently you give that impression based on your comment.) Read about different people and really learn of what came before Foley and Sabu. Read and learn about "Classy" Freddie Blassie and The (original) Sheik.
Other than that, awesome column, could be a bit longer and more detailed, perhaps by describing some of the fights Brody used to have.
Stephen "HitScum" Hawk wrote:
Mr. Jonathan Preston, you are one ignorant prick ...
before bashing Mr. Watts for not writing an article about "important" Hardcore legends, try to read the column because you will find out that Hansen and Brody actually influenced great wrestlers like Mick Foley and JBL ...
Hansen and Brody set the standards for nowadays Hardcore tag-team brawls and any of the two amazing Hardcore tag-team matches that you saw and enjoyed during both ECW One Night Stands would have been much different if it wasn't for these to guys to bring it on like they did in their primes ...
The column was not extraordinary as it was kinda short and it had no personal inside on it but I had fun reading it ... now I'm only worrying that my reply is going to be longer than the actual column so I'm going to end it here ...
Mike Stelzner wrote:
Ignore those two, their probably ECW fanboys. Wonderful column in my
opinion. It's not supposed to be the modern hardcore wrestlers; it's the old school when "hardcore" was about thunderous blows, painful submissions, and brutal matches without the uses of folding chairs. Stan Hansen, without a doubt, is a future HOF (in my humble opinion), and one of the bests for his time. Watching JBL perform (god I miss him) was just like a flashback of Stan Hansen. Bruiser Brody was also one of the toughest SOBs of his time.
Mike Sanchez wrote:
I agree with Jonathan Preston 100% if you are gonna write about Hardcore Legends at least write about HARDCORE LEGENDS, I mean come on out of your 4 Columns the only legends I thought were Hardcore were The Funk Brothers and Abdullah The Butcher.
There are Sooooooo many other "Hardcore Legends" to write about and so far your list isnt looking to good.
Brad Dykens wrote:
Give Jonathan Preston and Mike Sanchez some slack. They obviously have never seen Bruiser Brody and Stan Hanson wrestle. They probably think "old school" wrestling is the Smoking Gunns vs The Bodydonnas. Not everybody was watching wrestling before 1999, ya know!
Jonathan Wine wrote:
Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen were legends. Jonathan Preston needs to research a little before replying negatively. I have watched alot of wrestling and still watch today. Brody is one of my all time favorites. His matches in World Class, Puerto Rico and particularly in Japan are classics. I love Foley and Sabu, but the road for them was paved by men like Brody, Hansen, Funk, the Original Sheik and Abdullah the Butcher. As mentioned in the article, these guys were legitimately tough. Alot of guys today appear to wrestle tough but could probably get beat up on the street. Lastly, imagine if Brody was alive and wrestled in ECW!\
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