There are several fighters who continue to be highly underrated despite their stellar status. WWE races, in which they failed to win any major titles or televised main events. Bad News Brown, born Allen Coage, was one such actor in the business.
Although he never won a world championship, Bad News Brown made his mark on the sport of professional wrestling in countries like Canada, Mexico, and Japan. Bad News Brown was one of those men who was amazing to watch in the ring, even though he never rose to the top, a reliable ring worker with a respectable past. So let’s dig in and explore the legacy of judo expert and former Olympian turned pro wrestler Bad News Brown.
Bad News Brown had a background in judo and participated in the Olympics
Allen Coage noticed a sign for Jerome Mackey’s Dojo when he was 15 years old and began training judo there under his tutelage. After graduating from high school in 1962, Coage began working in a bakery and, at the relatively late age of 22, he began competing in judo, but quickly made up for lost time by winning the Chicago Invitational Tournament.
Allen won the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) heavyweight championship five times and captured gold medals at the Pan American Games in the heavyweight division in 1967 and 1975. Although injured and unable to compete in the 1972 Olympics, Coage bounced back and excelled in 1976. He won a bronze medal and made history as the first black American to do so in a sport other than track and field or boxing.
After his Olympics win, Bad News Brown transitions to professional wrestling
After winning the bronze medal at the Olympics, Bad News Brown made an effort to start his own judo school. Subsequently, he made the decision to pursue a career in professional wrestling, and around 1978, he began training himself under the management of Antonio Inoki. However, Brown tried a number of jobs before deciding to pursue a career in professional wrestling, even serving as Aretha Franklin’s bodyguard for a time.
During brief appearances with the World Wide Wrestling Federation and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Bad News Brown found a permanent home in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling. He was with Stampede from 1982 to 1988, getting into big fights with Bret Hart and The Dynamite Kid.
In early 1988, Bad News Brown rejoined WWE. Bad News was depicted as a tough loner who had no respect for anyone. He scored big and emerged victorious by last eliminating Bret Hart in the battle royal at WrestleMania 4.
In early 1989, Bad News became involved in a brief rivalry with Randy Savage, which was followed by a heated feud with Roddy Piper. Additionally, Bad News briefly contested Hulk Hogan for the WWE title. Bad News eventually left WWE after SummerSlam 1990, claiming that Vince McMahon reneged on his promise to make him the company’s first black champion.
Bad News Brown had legit heat with Andre The Giant
Both Bad News Brown and Andre The Giant were wrestling titans in the 1980s. However, that did not imply that the two were friends, as Andre and Brown were notorious for not getting along. Don Callis discussed an incident where Bad News Brown challenged Andre the Giant to a gunfight while the two were touring Japan in the 1980s during an interview on Talk is Jericho. When Bad News Brown overheard Andre make some racial slurs in the back of a tour bus, he challenged the figurative giant to a battle royale.
“Brown said that Andre was making comments or jokes or whatever, name calling. And Bad News said, ‘Hey Andre, I don’t appreciate that! Can you keep that s**t to yourself?’ And Andre goes, ‘Hey, News, fuck off!’ So News says, ‘well, I’m not going to accept that.’ [Brown]It’s like, ‘Get your big ass off this bus!’ and he’s trying to get Andre out. And News told me, he said, ‘Look, like a shoot, I don’t know what would have happened.
There were also a few other incidents that added more fuel to the fire between Bad News and Andre, and there was legitimate heat right up to the end of his WWE run.
Bad news, Brown’s last years and sad passing
Bad News Brown continued to work on the independent circuit after his stint with WWE, but retired in 1999 due to a knee injury. He took on the role of heel color commentator for the short-lived television relaunch of Stampede Wrestling with play-by-play announcer Mauro Ranallo. In addition, he worked as a security guard at a shopping mall and taught alongside Canadian wrestling coach Leo Jean.
Bad News Brown passed away at the age of 63, on March 6, 2007 in Calgary, where he was born and raised. He had been sent there after complaining of chest symptoms and left the world suffering a heart attack minutes later. While Bad News is dead, his impact and his contributions to the fight will be etched in the history books forever.