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Allen Coage

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Allen James Coage (October 22, 1943 – March 6, 2007) was an American professional wrestler with the WWF and Stampede Wrestling among many other companies, better known by his ring names Bad News Brown and Bad News Allen. He was also the 1976 Olympic bronze medal winner in judo, in the heavyweight division. He remains the only American heavyweight to have won an Olympic medal in judo.

Biography

Early judo and wrestling training

Allen Coage was a US Grand Champion for Judo and received a full scholarship to the Kodokan with the help of Hank Kraft. Prior to his training as a wrestler, Coage trained in judo for the better part of two decades, under the direction of renowned instructor Yoshisada Yonezuka, and earned a spot on the United States Olympic team at the Games in Montreal. He even trained in Japan with judoka masters, living in near poverty and continuing on solely for the love of his sport. After his bronze medal victory, Coage attempted to open his own judo school. Later, he decided to try his hand at professional wrestling. He began training with Antonio Inoki around 1978.

New Japan Pro Wrestling, World Wide Wrestling Federation, and Stampede Wrestling (1977-1988)

After short stints with New Japan Pro Wrestling and the then-World Wide Wrestling Federation, Bad News Allen found a long-term home in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling, centered in Allen's adopted home city of Calgary. Allen remained with Stampede from 1982 until 1988, with some tours of Australia and Florida during that time, and had matches with wrestlers such as the Dynamite Kid and Bret Hart. He often referred to himself in interviews as "the Ultimate Warrior," a name that was later used more famously by wrestler Jim Hellwig.

World Wrestling Federation (1988-1990)

Allen returned to the World Wrestling Federation in early 1988 as Bad News Brown, and it was during this time that he achieved his greatest notoriety. While the roster was mostly filled with ultra-virtuous babyfaces and cowardly and monster heels, Bad News was something entirely different; a tough loner who stood on his own and fought to his last breath. While other heels had hitherto largely displayed some form of affinity to one another, Bad News was reclusive; as such, he respected nobody - not even the other heels - as he showed when abandoning his teams at the Survivor Series of 1988 and 1989. Some memorable moments from his WWF tenure included winning the battle royal at WrestleMania IV by eliminating Bret Hart, who was then a heel, after a sneak attack, a brief feud with then-champion Randy Savage in early 1989 which led to matches in the main event, feuding with Roddy Piper (starting before the 1990 Royal Rumble and culminating at WrestleMania VI) and with Jake "The Snake" Roberts (where Bad News had a sewer rat against Jake's snake) and attacking WWF President Jack Tunney on The Brother Love Show. Bad News also had a brief run challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship. Bad News eventually left the WWF after SummerSlam 1990, claiming Vince McMahon failed to live up to his promise to make him the company's first black champion.

As written in the autobiography of the Dynamite Kid, his well-known toughness was accentuated in a confrontation involving André the Giant, who had made a racist comment on a tour bus for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Coage overheard it and made the driver stop the bus, walking off and yelling at the Giant to get off and fight him one on one. In one of the few times anyone can remember him backing down from someone, André did not move from his seat and later apologized for the remark. According to Hulk Hogan, whom was questioned about the incident on the television show "The Voice" this never happened. He claimed what actually happened was he was sitting in between Brown and Andre and after a joke was made by Andre, Brown reached into his bag and Andre said that if he pulled anything on him he would end him and that was the end of it.

Later wrestling career (1990-1999)

Coage continued to work in independent promotions for several more years, including Japan's shoot wrestling UWFi promotion. Coage retired in 1999 due to knee damage. He continued occasionally working independent shows for friends while living in Calgary with his wife, and had considered starting a promotion himself. Additionally, he taught wrestling with Canadian wrestling coach Leo Jean, and worked as a mall security officer in Airdrie, Alberta.

Death

Coage died on the morning of March 6, 2007 in his hometown of Calgary at Rockyview Hospital, having been rushed to the hospital after complaining of chest pains. He died minutes later of a heart attack.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Judo

  • Olympic Games
    • 1976 Bronze medalist, Heavyweight
  • Pan American Games
    • 1967 Gold medalist, Heavyweight
    • 1975 Gold medalist, Heavyweight

Professional wrestling

External links

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