Posted by Steven
After reading Bret Hart’s autobiography again, I began thinking of all the greats whose careers were helped in one way or another by a feud with the Hitman. The first example is Bad News Brown.
Allen Coage was born on October 22, 1943. As a member of the United States Olympic team in 1976, Coage became the first, and only, American Olympian to medal in judo. When plans did not work out to open his own judo training center did not pan out he decided to try his hand at professional wrestling. Beginning his training with the legendary Antonio Inoki in 1978, it was when he began training with Stu Hart in Calgary.
Bad News began making a name for himself, feuding with popular babyfaces Bret Hart and the Dynamite Kid. During his time with Stampede, he often referred to himself as the “Ultimate Warrior,” which as we all know was the name used by Jim Hellwig when he wrestled in the WWF. After catching the eye of Vince McMahon, he moved to the big time.
From 1988 to 1990, Bad News Brown (as he was now known) played the role of a loner heel who would turn his back on anyone. During both the 1988 and 1989 Survivor Series, he deserted his teammates during the match. For those who do not remember, Wrestlemania 4 was all about the tournament. After Andre the Giant had defeated Hulk Hogan on the Main Event, he forfeited the title to Ted Dibiase. When the title was held up due to the controversy surrounding that match, the top 14 contenders were entered into a tournament for the then-WWF championship.
For those not involved in the tournament, there was a 20 man Battle Royal. Forgetting the fact that George “The Animal” Steele never actually stepped into the ring and, as a result, was technically never eliminated, the final two combatants were Bret Hart and Bad News Brown. The two of them had seemingly formed a partnership when they worked together to eliminate the Junkyard Dog. As the two heels celebrated their victory in the middle of the ring, Bad News delivered a Ghetto Blaster (enzuguri) to the back of Bret’s head. That act not only gave him even more heat and added to his reputation as someone who could not be trusted, but it was also the event that began the Hitman’s solo push. As a result of this match, Bret Hart went from being the cocky tag-team specialist to a rising singles star.
With a well-deserved reputation as a legitimate bad ass, he is probably the only wrestlers to ever make Andre the Giant back down. During a bus trip in Japan, Andre used a racial slur that Bad News overheard. Demanding the bus pull over, he challenged Andre to get off the bus. Rather than risk being injured at hands of someone half his size, he simply stayed in his seat and apologized for his misdeed. Regardless of anything else that happened in his career, the fact that he made the great Andre the Giant back down earns him a spot at the top of wrestling’s list of toughest fighters.
Allen Coage died on March 6, 2007 of a heart attack.
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