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Former WWE Manager Recalls The Day Bruiser Brody Got Murdered, How The Jury Judged The Incident

Bruiser Brody

• OLD SCHOOL VIDEO HISTORY (November 11, 2001) – WWF Sunday Night HEAT

On this day in 2001, the World Wrestling Federation aired an episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF Sunday Night HEAT’.

It was broadcasted from the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey and featured pre-taped matches, interviews & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WWF Survivor Series 2001’ PPV.

The card can be found right here:

1. Billy Kidman vs. Spike Dudley

2. Edge vs. DDP

3. Albert & Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Chavo Guerrero jr. & Hugh Morrus

4. Billy Gunn & Chuck Palumbo vs. Justin Credible & Raven

• Former WWE Manager Recalls The Day Bruiser Brody Got Murdered, How The Jury Judged The Incident

During an interview with The Hannibal TV, Old School Wrestling Legend Dutch Mantell (WWE manager Zeb Colter) talked about the day Bruiser Brody got murdered and how the jury judged the incident.

Below are the highlights:

Dutch Mantell: The day was just one of those days, things didn’t feel right. When I walked into the dressing room, still didn’t feel right. I saw Invader and Carlos and they’re sitting in this little cubbyhole and they were talking. And I went and sat down in the corner and Brody sat right beside me. I sat right in the very back corner so that I can see the whole dressing room because I never turned my back on anybody for a record. That’s just the way I felt.

The vibe became so intense, I’m thinking what the f*ck! So I had to get out of the dressing room. I left for no more than 5-7 minutes. I went to the dugout. I was watching the crowd come in. And then I said well I’m gonna go back. When I got back, it already happened. I was walking up some steps and I heard it getting louder and louder it’s, some commotion.

I said what the hell was going on. And then I walked in and saw Brody laying on the floor and then, of course, I said what happened. And at first they said, “Jose stabbed Brody.” I said, “Who?” They said, “Jose stabbed Brody.” I said, “Jose who?” Because everybody’s named Jose in Puerto Rico. They said, “Invader. Invader stabbed Brody.” I mean that was a lot! Because a dressing room is your sanctuary for a wrestler. That’s your safe spot. Fight is one thing but stabbing another guy, never heard of.

Invader hadn’t left. I came back, Invader was still in the shower and Savio Vega was in the shower and they were screaming. When you get in those showers of ceramic, sound echoes and bounces. The door is not a clear door. It’s a translucent door that light will come through but you really can’t see anybody who is there. They were in the shower and I heard them screaming. They were speaking Spanish but even if they had been speaking English, it would be hard to understand what they were saying.

Brody was on the floor and everybody, they didn’t know what to do and they were trying to call an ambulance. Now the medical personnel didn’t get there till 45 minutes later. So he laid on the floor of that dressing room for at least 45 minutes.

Interviewer: Tony Atlas, we’ve interviewed him a couple of times and he said he was also really upset in the dressing room and a lot of people were sitting around and going over their matches, acting like there wasn’t someone actually dying on the floor.

Dutch Mantell: Well we didn’t know he was dying. We didn’t know how bad he was hurt. Nobody knew. Tony got up and Brody was a big guy, right at 300 and maybe 310-320 (lbs). But when you put him on a gurney and you got to go up some steps, it takes some strength to get him up. The little Puerto Rico medics, they couldn’t get him up.

So Tony just picked him up and took him and he got into the ambulance with him and went down to the hospital with him. When he came back about an hour later probably, he was upset. But for him saying that guys were sitting around going around their matches, they had come to work is all I can say. We knew he was hurt but we didn’t know how badly he was hurt.

And actually the Invader came back too and he is already conducting business like whatever happened, happened. He was booking the matches. He left and he was gone for about an hour and then he came back. I think he was back by the time Tony got there. And he (Tony) said, “Don’t you guys know what’s fu*king going on! A man is gonna fu*king die here.” And Invader was conducting business.

But Invader’s brother, did he (Tony) tell you about his brother? Invader’s brother is in dressing too. And I think somebody heard him say to somebody else about Tony, he says, “I guess Tony Atlas wants the same thing.”

The next day we had a big meeting and we all didn’t go to the town the next day. Nobody went. I don’t think it was a coordinated boycott but nobody went. Puerto Rico guys went but none of the Americans went. So they couldn’t have a show. That was a sold-out stadium too. And we had a meeting, I forgot whose room it was in and the hotel we were staying in, and somebody brought up. It could have been me (who brought it up).

We already knew that he had died. And I said, “Wait a minute, a murder happened here guys! They got to be investigating this.” So we made a few calls around to somebody and we got to the police station. And yeah, they were investigating it and they wanted to talk to us.

So, the rest of that night the detectives came over. They took Tony first and he gave his deposition. They took him at five o’clock and didn’t get back to like ten. I went, “Man, did they kill him or what?” Then they came and got me. Then they slowly took everybody through the night to give their deposition. They took it from there and he was arrested. Though he never spent a day in jail. His bail was made. He just went down there, presented himself to the magistrate in Puerto Rico. He never spent a day of jail. I don’t think he was even handcuffed.

I just heard it that morning that the jury found him not guilty. And somebody said well how could that happen. I’ll tell you how it could happen. They used Brody’s character as a wild man against him because everybody on that jury had watched wrestling, and yes we’re talking about hardcore fans believing it, and you didn’t hear that wrestling is fake in Puerto Rico so much.

The defense attorneys argued that Brody was a drug head and he was out of his mind and he was a psycho and he was dangerous and he was menacing. So when they (jury) saw that defense attorney described him like that, they believed it.

Jose Gonzales/The Invader was basically a national hero. So, you got 12 Puerto Ricans on the jury and it was an American guy that they thought was or could be dangerous and it was never in doubt that Jose Gonzales killed Brody. That was never in doubt. What they were arguing was, was it self-defense. So the jury determined yeah it was self-defense because regardless of how you felt about it, that’s how they judged it.

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