In the world of wrestling, there are natural rivalries, some are technical masterpieces, Bret Hart and Curt Hennig, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair. Some are deeply personal, Matt Hardy and Edge, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Then others are pure violence and make no mistake about it, whenever Abdullah The Butcher and Bruiser Brody entered an arena you knew there was going to be blood and violence.
Brody and Abdullah spilled each other’s blood all over the world, Japan, Puerto Rico, and all across the United States, ironically the center of this feud was in Japan despite the two men only having one recorded match in the orient. Brody was one of All Japan’s highest-paid talents which made him tough to do business with anywhere else as Giant Baba wasn’t paying Brody to go out and lose every match. Abdullah the Butcher was also a mega attraction in Japan and wasn’t going to lay down for anyone either as it would hurt his stock in the orient as well. While these circumstances made it difficult, the result of the wars between Brody and Abdullah were rarely, if ever disappointing.
We’ll start off looking at their matches in Texas, primarily for Fritz Von Erich’s World Class Championship Wrestling. Typically, both men were heels in the promotions they worked for but in Texas, the people loved Bruiser Brody. When Abdullah began to terrorize the territory, the people knew there was only one man who could put an end to the butcher’s path of destruction, enter Bruiser Brody. In one of their first bouts in WCCW Abdullah used a fork on Brody, nothing new, “Abby” used a fork on almost everyone he was in the ring with. In response, Brody grabbed the microphone and unloaded an attack on the Butcher. Both men would battle up the aisle way behind a door until Brody emerged and chased Abdullah and his manager, Gary Hart off with a 2×4.
The center of this rivalry, however, was Puerto Rico, where they had numerous battles against each other. These battles from bell-to-bell were often short, but it was the melee afterward that kept fans wanting more of the bruiser and the butcher. Puerto Rico oftentimes held shows in outdoor stadiums and Brody and Abdullah would give the audience all they could handle, often brawling all around the arena and even into the stands at times, long before ECW was even thought of. The raucous crowd was with Brody every time he’d unleash an overhand chop or solid right hand to the face of the feared Butcher, giving him what the fans felt he truly deserved for terrorizing so many of their heroes.
Puerto Rico was always more of a wild, anything-goes style territory known for many crazy bouts and numerous barbed wire matches, it was no wonder these two pioneers of hardcore would find their most memorable clashes in the state. Anytime Brody and Abdullah clashed in WWC nobody was safe, fans, security…any objects laying around the building, Brody and Abdullah were masters of using their environment as a weapon.
One such match they had was in Caguas, Puerto Rico saw Brody and Abdullah in a wild 12-minute bout that spent all of 3 minutes in the ring. The match, I believe was ruled a double count-out but wins and losses did not matter to these two when they face each other, winning was only determined by who was able to walk after the fight. Brody would chop Abdullah all the way into the stands before the butcher would scurry off, leaving Brody to stomp around the arena aimlessly, daring his foe to re-emerge. Abdullah obliged and the two began battling amongst the crowd in the bleachers until Brody chased Abdullah off with a trash barrel.
One of my personal favorite bouts between these two wild men happened on, February 28, 1987 in Hiram Bithom Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. These two brawlers went all over this stadium, Brody lost his boot and the tool I am, all I could think is “Man, his sock is going to be dirty!” Brody then took off his other boot and continued beating Abdullah all around the stadium. The action was fierce, intense, wild and thrilling and that is summing up the entire Brody/Abdullah rivalry. These men were an absolute spectacle and always delivered their end of the show. Brody ended the brawl by sending Abdullah into the locker room as he paraded victoriously around the stadium and going back to the ring where he promptly removed his other boot and threw it.
Bruiser Brody and Abdullah the Butcher’s final clash would happen on July 13, 1988. The match was built up after Abdullah was beating an enhancement talent senseless and, Brody would storm the ring to make the save. The two men would spend the next weeks beating up random enhancement talents until this final clash. The match itself was only 9 minutes long, as Brody and Abdullah weren’t marathon men but easily pack 15 minutes of action into their brief bouts. As usual, Brody stormed the ring to take out the butcher, not pin him but put him out of professional wrestling for good, in kayfabe of course. Brody wasted no time in wrapping the cord of a camera around the neck of the butcher…several times and for the next two minutes pulled and gripped that cord as tight as he could. Eventually, seeing that the match was not going to get under control, the referee ruled the bout a disqualification but again, Brody was the moral victor as he was the last man standing.
In a rivalry that spanned, decades, promotions and countries Brody and Abdullah drew nothing but money…and blood everywhere they battled. The crazier they got, the louder the fans cheered, the chaos that these two were notorious for made them must-see attractions all over the world. The feud felt real, it felt authentic. You believed these men weren’t characters, but they were REAL, a trait that is missing in today’s world of professional wrestling. Brody versus Abdullah packed stadiums all across the globe and proved that sometimes it’s not always flash and flamboyance the people want, sometimes the fans just want to see a good fight and without question, Bruiser Brody and Abdullah the Butcher ALWAYS brought the fight!
Many of their matches are readily available on YouTube and I would advise anyone who pines for the days of real men in wrestling to give them a watch. You won’t be disappointed.
All pictures courtesy of wwe.com