WWWF/WWF #36 Page #2

Of course, Brazil also regularly faced the usual crop of WWWF opponents, such as Baron Mikel Scicluna, Killer Kowalski, Magnificent Maurice, Crusher Blackwell, and Ernie Ladd, to name a few.  He even faced then teamed up with Gorilla Monsoon.  In July of 1977 he faced “Superstar” Billy Graham for the WWWF Title in Baltimore, MD.  Unfortunately, Graham left with his hand raised.  But closer to his home town in Detroit, MI, Brazil defeated Champion Graham by disqualification in December of the same year.

In 1978, Brazil took only a handful of dates in the WWWF, instead deciding to concentrate on wrestling closer to home in Detroit’s Big Time Wrestling.  He took few if any dates in 1979 and the early 1980s.  Finally, he returned to the WWF in, of all times, 1984 in the middle of the Federation’s main expansion year.  He had slowed quite a bit by this time, but still had a little old magic and charisma, and could actually move surprisingly well for the advanced age he was by then.  His return seems to have been triggered when he substituted for Tony Atlas in a 6-man tag team match at the Capitol Centre in Landover, MD, just outside of Washington, D.C.  In the match, Roddy Piper, David Schultz and Paul Orndorff defeat Rocky Johnson, Brazil & S.D. Jones.  Shortly after, Brazil subbed for Atlas again at a match I attended at the Erie Civic Center, in another tag match with Rocky Johnson against The Wild Samoans, in the only time I ever had the opportunity to see the legendary Brazil live and in person.

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Although his 1984 stint was short and somewhat forgettable, it was an opportunity for Northeastern fans to have one last live look at a legend.  Probably his most memorable match of this run was a loss to Big John Studd at the Philadelphia Spectrum, which aired on the first episode of TBS’s World Championship Wrestling featuring WWF wrestlers.

Although Brazil no longer wrestled for the WWF, he did not yet retire.  He continued wrestling a pretty full schedule for almost another 10 years.  In fact, he finally “officially” retired in 1993 when his son Bobo Brazil, Jr. debuted on the indie circuit.  That same year, Sr. was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame at the King of the Ring Pay Per View.  Finally, Brazil sadly passed away in January of 1998. 

Next Month:  

I’ll take a look at another wrestling legend of the 1960s and 70s, “Classie” Fred Blassie, but this time I’ll concentrate mainly on his wrestling career in the WWWF.

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