Bruiser Brody and Lex Luger: When Wrestling Disrespect Turned Ugly in a Match

The Unforgettable Steel Cage Showdown Between Bruiser Brody And Lex Luger

Auditorium, Florida, January 1987. [Photo Copyright and credit: Howard T. Brody]
Photo Credit: Howard T. Brody.
The infamous steel cage match between Bruiser Brody and Lex Luger took place at the War Memorial Auditorium in Florida in January of 1987. It was one of the more unusual incidents in the crazy world of professional wrestling.

Bruiser Brody was a veteran at this point in his career and very well-respected amongst his peers. Lex Luger, on the other hand, was almost the polar opposite. He was green (new to the business) and didn’t have the respect of the locker room.

What Good Friend John Nord Thought About Bruiser Brody

Photo Credit: WWE.

"The Berzerker" John Nord once said of his friend and mentor, "Brody didn’t like guys that were cocky but liked people who treated him with respect."

Jim Duggan’s View Of Bruiser Brody

Photo Credit: WWE.

‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan mirrored this view. "He was an imposing person, a huge guy. He was rough with people – if guys didn’t like what he did in the ring, he’d just beat them up. Whattaya gonna do if you get beat up in the ring? You can’t call a cop…"

Wrestling Historian And Pro Wrestling Stories Writer Booby Mathews Gives His Opinion

Long-time Pro Wrestling Stories writer and Living The Gimmick author, Bobby Mathews.
Photo Credit: Bobby Mathews

Pro Wrestling Stories writer and wrestling historian Bobby Mathews adds, "Brody had that kind of reputation with many wrestlers. If he wanted to take liberties, he would. If he didn’t want to cooperate, he wouldn’t.

"He was the last of an outlaw breed and a wrestler who looked out for himself in many ways. He wrestled on his terms and no one else’s. If he thought a promoter or another wrestler was looking to get over on him, watch out.

"Brody often refused to do jobs. He sometimes changed the finish of a match while the match was going on. Brody was not above shooting on his opponent during a match to send a message to another worker or to a promoter.

"And he was nomadic. He wouldn’t hesitate to leave a territory without ‘doing the honors’ for a local star on his way out. Brody also had a reputation for never losing a locker-room fight. For one thing, he was legitimately tough. And he always landed the first punch."

The Mistake Lex Luger Made Before His Steel Cage Match Against Bruiser Brody

Photo Credit: WWE.

Being the vet that he was, Brody wanted to call it in the ring. However, Lex, who barely had a year of wrestling experience under his belt, was talking to Brody before the steel cage match, telling him how the match would go and what he had envisioned for it. This was a huge no-no.

Bruiser was the last guy you would want to get on the wrong side of by *telling* him what to do, especially before a match.

When the Show Grinds To A Halt: The Bizarre Turn Of Events In The Unpredictable Steel Cage Match

Photo Credit: WWE.

What followed was a steel cage match that started as any should, two professionals working together, cooperating, and putting on a show for the fans in attendance. It was all going to plan — until it wasn’t. Brody just stopped working. He stopped selling. He stopped caring. He stopped doing anything. He just stopped.

Luger would throw offense at Brody, but he wouldn’t budge. Luger, undoubtedly confused, maybe terrified even, wanted out. They couldn’t get the cage door open, so Luger scaled the cage walls and climbed out as quickly as he could.

A Surreal Encounter For Lex Luger

Photo Credit: WWE.

Lex Luger sat down with RF Video and talked about this infamous match:

"He just stopped working. It was just bizarre; I just wanted to get out of there. The ref looked at me; I looked at the referee [Bill Alfonso], we’re both like, ‘What’s he doing? He’s not doing anything, what do we do?’ He just stopped working."

The majority of the witnesses who have spoken out in the aftermath of this match said that Luger left the arena and immediately jumped into his car.

“He got out of dodge quickly.” But Luger insists otherwise. "I walked over to him, I thought he was mad at me or something, or there was something wrong. I was very green; if I offended him or I did something wrong, I wanted to apologize, you know?

" I was young, he was a big scary guy, and I was like, ‘I just wanna get out of the ring,’ ’cause I didn’t know what was going through his head. He had razor blades on his fingers, and I was like, ‘What’s this guy gonna do next?’"

A Clash Of Perspectives: Bruiser Brody’s Surprising Motive

For years, controversy shrouded the murder of Bruiser Brody. Reports from those present the night of his stabbing raise the question: was his murder a cover-up? We look closely into this through accounts from those there while celebrating his life through tales from those who knew him best.
Photo Credit: WWE.

In regards to why Brody would have sabotaged the match, Lex continued, "[Brody] just said, ‘I’m working as a babyface in Texas right now. I’m getting over good there, and you’re a babyface here, it’s just not working, no big deal.’

"He was totally cool after the match. [The office] was probably upset. I’m sure they weren’t happy, I’m sure they questioned his professionalism because I’d never do that to somebody, you know? But especially with how inexperienced I was, I didn’t know what he was doing.

"I was like, ‘Is this guy on something, or is this guy freaking out on me or what’s he doing?’ I mean I’ll fight anybody, but I mean when you’re in a ring, you’re sacrificing, you’re giving yourself.

"It’s kind of bizarre, you know? Real bizarre. I just told the referee, ‘Just DQ me.’ But then they couldn’t get the door open, I was like, ‘I’m getting the [heck] outta here!’"

Barry Windham’s Insight: Unraveling the Aftermath of the Controversial Match

Photo Credit: USA Networks.

Present backstage was Barry Windham. He had this small piece of insight on the aftermath with Hannibal TV:

"[After the match, Brody] wondered where Luger went, and he wondered what happened, but ya had to know Brody — that was just his personality. He probably didn’t like Luger anyway, you know, he was a pretty boy."

Behind The Steel Cage: Bill Alfonso Recounts The Unforgettable Bruiser Brody vs Lex Luger Match

Photo Credit: WhatCulture.

The next best seat in the house, besides Luger’s, would have to be the referee that night, ECW alum, Bill Alfonso. In an interview with Wrestling 911, Bill described the bizarre steel cage match:

"It was Bruiser Brody against Lex Luger in the steel cage match, and that was a big event back then… Now they’re all over the place, ladders, and tables, and chairs, you know what I mean? But it was a big thing then.

"So Luger, for the first year, they kind of hand-picked his opponents and babysat Lex ’cause, you know, he had a beautiful body. He never was a great worker; he wasn’t no Ray Stevens or no Barry Windham; he had a great body, though. He was Lex Luger. And they put him with Bruiser Brody.

Bill Alfonso’s Recount Of The Match Continues

Photo Credit: WWE.

"Lex wanted to talk to Bruiser before the match, but Brody didn’t want to be bothered, and [Brody said], ‘Call it in the ring, whatever happens in the ring, that’s what happens.’

They had their match, they did a couple of little lock-ups, push-offs, and then Brody started beating him down, boom, right away getting heat on him and Luger’s asking me, ‘What do I do?’

Alfonso Provides Direction As Lex Panics In The Cage

Photo Credit: WWE.

"I said, ‘Just listen to Brody, he’s gonna be alright, you’ll be alright, he ain’t killing ya!’ And now Lex is taking offense because he’s never been treated this way. So he tried to make a comeback on his own, sort of hit him, but Brody no sold.

"[Lex] hit him in the head, boom boom boom… nothing. And finally, Brody started beating him up all again, not really bad, just sports entertainment kind of beat up and Lex panicked so bad.

"This is the main event in Fort Lauderdale at the War Memorial in a cage. He panicked so much that he just climbed over the cage, ran to the dressing room, jumped in his car, and drove back to Tampa. End of story."

Unveiling The Backstage Dynamics: David Penzer Reveals Intriguing Insights

Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling.

Not present in a backstage capacity that night, but present in attendance, was former WCW ring announcer David Penzer. Penzer has spoken to guys that were involved backstage that night and on his podcast "Sitting Ringside with David Penzer," he revealed a few further details:

"I never talked to Lex about that match, though I have talked to different people involved in the match. What happened was Lex was on his way to NWA at the time. He was on his last week, and he was acting real cocky. I guess Brody didn’t like it.

"There were some rumblings that certain people in the back were egging Brody on.

“Brody stopped selling, Luger got kind of nervous because he knew he couldn’t take Brody in a legit fight, he didn’t wanna get the **** beat out of him when he was on his way up to his plush job in WCW for way more money and exposure, so he just took a powder and never came back!"

The WCW Pay-Per-View That Never Was

WCW Big Bang - The Pay-Per-View That Never Was
Photo Credit: WWE.

One of the most fascinating ‘what if?’ scenarios in wrestling surrounds the demise of WCW and this purported large-scale pay-per-view that was hailed to occur on May 6th, 2001!

Read: WCW Big Bang – The Pay-Per-View That Never Was

WCW Invasion in WWF: Where Did It All Go Wrong?

The WCW invasion of the WWF should have been one of the biggest angles in wrestling history. Only it wasn't. Where did it all go wrong?
Photo Credit: WWE.

KEVIN NASH: "It would have been worth it if Goldberg didn’t put his hand through a limo!"
ERIC BISCHOFF: "What WWE did sucked. It was horrible from the beginning.”

It should have been one of the biggest angles in wrestling history. Only it wasn’t!

Read: WCW Invasion in WWF – Where Did It All Go Wrong?

8 Tales from a Former WCW and Turner Corporate Employee

8 Tales from a Former WCW and Turner Corporate Employee

Ric Flair appeared in my office yelling and screaming at me like a mad man for a solid 40-minutes. He was so hot and heated I thought he was going to have an aneurysm!”

For many years, Richard Steinberg was the Director of Corporate Research at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS) and Director of Marketing Services for World Championship Wrestling (WCW). While working in those prominent roles, he grew close with multiple wrestlers and was involved in many legendary (and unusual!) moments behind the scenes and on the road. Incredibly, he somehow lived through it all!

Read: 8 Tales from a Former WCW and Turner Corporate Employee

Why Ric Flair Shockingly Left WCW for Arch-Rival in 1991

In one of the most shocking moments in wrestling history, Ric Flair debuts on WWF television for the first time with Bobby Heenan alongside his NWA Championship Belt, WWF Prime Time Wrestling, September 9th, 1991.

“He said, ‘**** you and the belt!’ He will go down as the biggest idiot of all time.”

Before the age of the Internet, unless you were amongst the early few subscribers of the dirtsheets, spoilers and backstage happenings were not commonly known to the everyday fan. So imagine the surprise of watching WWF Prime Time Wrestling on September 9, 1991, when out waltzes Ric Flair alongside Bobby Heenan cradling his WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt like a baby. It was one of the most shocking moments in wrestling history!

Read: Ric Flair in WWF – Why He Shockingly Left WCW for Arch-Rival in 1991

Dangerous Alliance: Their Short Yet Impactful Influence on WCW

The Dangerous Alliance - Larry Zbyszko, Rick Rude, Bobby Eaton, Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman), Arn Anderson, and Stunning Steve Austin
Photo Credit: WWE.

Sandwiched between the glory years of the Four Horsemen and the invasion of the nWo, another group of incredible expertise led by Paul E. Dangerously was formed.

This group consisting of a young Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Larry Lybyzko, Rick Rude, Bobby Eaton, and Madusa were dubbed the Dangerous Alliance, and this is their shocking story!

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Pro Wrestling Stories is an MSN Syndicated Publication.

Braeden Farrell is a senior writer for Pro Wrestling Stories. He is a long-time fan of wrestling based out of Adelaide, Australia. He can be reached on Twitter @braedenfazza.