STAN HANSEN & BRUISER BRODY
1975 - 1984
PWF (AJPW) World Tag Team Champions
Written by Adam Zimmerman
Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody first teamed together in 1975 in Leroy McGuirk's Tri-State territory. Nothing much came of the first teaming and they eventually went their separate ways with both guys showing up in the old WWWF at different times in the late 70s to challenge Bruno Sammartino for his WWWF World Championship. Both men were unsuccessful in their bids to claim the title. Hansen even returned to the WWWF in 1980 to challenge the then-title holder Bob Backlund in a classic cage match held in Madison Square Garden.
Also in 1980, Hansen traveled to Japan for the first time to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling while Brody was still touring various territories in the United States. After a couple of years, Hansen decided to jump ship to All Japan Pro Wrestling and Brody happened to be there at the same time so they decided to team up once again. Here, they had tremendous battles with teams like Harley Race and Dick Slater, Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta and Terry and Dory Funk Jr., who were their main rivals. I heard Stan Hansen say once that, "I've never hit anyone harder than I hit Terry Funk".
The Funks were the most popular "gaijin" team in AJPW at the time... hell, they were probably the most popular team altogether. The fans really loved them and they had established themselves there for a few years at this point.
Hansen and Brody were like two monsters, King Kong and Godzilla, come to life and teamed together. They would stomp down to the ring, swatting unlucky fans that got too close like houseflies. It was really a sight to see when these two teams faced off. The fans loved the Funks and as much as they also loved Brody and Hansen; they feared them as well.
Japanese fans, especially back in the "old days", were usually very quiet. They showed how interested they were in a match by quietly paying attention. Any time these two teams met, though, the crowd was in a frenzy! Well, as much of a frenzy as any Japanese crowd gets into which is to say that they at least cheered loudly and constantly throughout the epic encounters.
Hansen and Brody participated in All Japan's Real World Tag League in 1982 to 1984, winning the 1983 tournament. The Real World Tag League is a yearly round robin style tournament held by AJPW (usually in December) to determine who the best tag team is.
It was also around this time that the duo briefly toured Puerto Rico for the WWC where they feuded with Carlos Colon and Brody's longtime nemesis (also one of my favorite Canadians... excluding any present company, of course), Abdullah the Butcher. Hansen again won the 1985 Real World Tag League in All Japan but by this time he was teaming with Ted DiBiase and Brody had moved on to teaming with folks like "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka.
Hansen and Brody's split was amicable. They didn't turn on each other. There wasn't any classic "miscommunication" during a match. They just sort of moved on. They even wrestled against each other a few times before Brody returned to Puerto Rico in what would be, sadly, his "final tour". Stan Hansen ended up teaming with a lot of different people in Japan over the years but I always think his first partner was his best; Bruiser Brody. Truly a "monster heel" team if they ever was one.