3 pro wrestlers who flirted with Commanders throughout franchise history

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) A.J. Francis
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Commanders flirted with Frank Goodish

If Frank Goodish had signed with the Oakland Raiders in the late 1960s after he left West Texas State, the wrestling world might never have known Bruiser Brody. And he might still be alive.

Goodish was a beast at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds with the agility to match. He played offensive line at a college where other future wrestling stars Ted DiBiase and Terry Funk also played. Future Miami Dolphin Mercury Morris was there too – it wasn’t only wrestlers.

Had he gone to the Raiders, I find it hard to believe Al Davis wouldn’t have converted Goodish into a defensive end where he could have played alongside the likes of John Matuszak and Lyle Alzado. He was bigger, stronger, and nastier than any of them.

But with the now Washington Commanders, he was relegated to the practice squad, trying to fit in on a team coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi. After his death, Goodish was cut. He never made it off the taxi squad – a forerunner to today’s practice squad.

Goodish bounced around both pro and semi-pro leagues for another year or two before giving up football and embracing wrestling.

He would lift weights with a friend of his named Joe Bednarski (Ivan Putski) introduced Goodish to the squared circle. His looks and charisma – and his massive size and athleticism – made him an instant success.

He was the scary heel who fans couldn’t help but like, and as such, became very much a directional signal for where wrestling was headed. Goodish had great success all over the world for the better part of two decades.

But Goodish was also a very intelligent, very stubborn man. He was rougher in the ring than most wrestlers and he would not acquiesce to what he considered ridiculous storylines.

You can read up on his death in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1988 – stabbed by fellow wrestler Jose Gonzalez in the locker room. Many believe Goodish was murdered in cold blood over some long-simmering feud.

There are other theories that go in even darker directions. But Gonzalez claimed self-defense and was acquitted. So it’s likely we will never know what really happened.