“Killer” Tim Brooks, who was a well-traveled veteran spanning decades and numerous countries, has died at the age of 72 after battling cancer.
The announcement was made by his son Clayton Brooks on Tuesday:
It is with a heavy heart that we the Brooks family announce that our father, loving husband, brother and friend has made his depart from this earth to the heavens. From the Brooks family we want to say thank you for all the prayers, love and support through these terrible times. Dad was the toughest man I have ever met he fought cancer like I have seen no other. With all the accomplishments he has made through his 73 years on this earth from being a army veteran of the Vietnam war to holding just about every championship belt through professional wrestling and a hall-of-famer. Most of all he was a God-fearing man a wonderful husband to his wife of 13 years Julie, the best father and grandfather to us kids. He will be missed dearly by so many. We will keep everybody updated on arrangements as they’re made thanks again for the love and support.
The Vietnam veteran did not get into the industry of professional wrestling until he was 21 years old at the behest of his cousin Dick Murdoch and the Funk family. According to Gary Hart’s book, Brooks and Murdoch’s mothers were sisters with Murdoch put up for adoption but maintaining a relationship with his cousin.
Brooks was thrown into a battle royal in Texas as a replacement in 1969 and embarked on his pro wrestling journey that took him everywhere.
He had notable stays in Detroit winning their tag titles three times with Ben Justice & Abdullah the Butcher, the NWF, Georgia Championship Wrestling, and for Southwest Championship Wrestling in San Antonio where he won their heavyweight title twice in 1984 defeating Scott Casey for the first and Bobby Jaggers for the second and final run before losing it to Kevin Sullivan in December 1984.
It was in Stampede where he became their North American heavyweight champion in March 1977 defeating Larry Lane and would hold the title until July losing to Dan Kroffat.
Brooks had a well-remembered team with Roddy Piper that was a big deal in the Pacific Northwest for Don Owen as they won the Pacific Northwest tag titles on New Year’s Eve 1978 defeating Dutch Savage & Jonathan Boyd.
He was key to a famous angle in March 1983 that is more remembered for its duplication five years later. While wrestling for Georgia, Brooks won the NWA National heavyweight title from Paul Orndorff and “sold” the title to Larry Zbyszko for $25,000. Authority figure and promoter Bob Geigel stripped Zbyszko of the title for the nefarious means by which he obtained the title and set up a 12-man tournament. It was won by Zbyszko, who embarked on a feud with Mr. Wrestling II (the late Johnny Walker). Of course, in 1988 this was a similar premise for the WWF title to be held up after Ted DiBiase attempted to buy the title from Andre the Giant and set up the tournament for WrestleMania 4.
One of Brooks’ most famous territories was in Texas wrestling for World Class Championship. In Hart’s book, he credits Brooks along with Don Jardine and Mark Lewin as instrumental in helping to develop the Von Erich sons regarding their in-ring and handling themselves in the industry.
Brooks won the Texas heavyweight title from David Von Erich in May 1981 and later, the territories Television title in June 1985 for a five-day reign that was ended by “Iceman” King Parsons.
He was a stalwart within World Class and tight with booker Gary Hart, who booked the company through Christmas 1982, which was the night of the famous angle involving Terry Gordy smashing the cage door on Kerry Von Erich’s head allowing Ric Flair to retain the NWA title and setting the territory on fire. Hart left feeling he was underpaid for the big show with the booking assumed by Ken Mantel.
Brooks also had a big career wrestling for the World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico, beginning in 1985 including a feud with the late Hercules Ayala. He traveled to Montreal for International Wrestling and billed as “Buster Brody” under Eddie and Floyd Creatchman (with the idea he was related to Bruiser Brody, one of his close friends and a frequent opponent for Brooks).
After retiring in 1997, he ran the North American Wrestling Allegiance Pro Wrestling School, and among those he trained was Keith Lee, who wrote about the passing of Brooks.
Acutely aware of the pain today brings.
He was my birth, my knowledge, my preparation. Home when I was homeless.
— Hopeful Lee (@RealKeithLee) June 30, 2020
Brooks was open about a long stretch of drug abuse that was believed to have lasted for twenty-five years before he was forced to clean up and had legal problems stemming from his use.
Brooks was part of this year’s class for the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum and was awarded at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion in June 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We send our condolences to the family and friends of “Killer” Tim Brooks.
-Greg Oliver: “Killer Tim Brooks Dies” at SLAMwrestling.net
-Gary Hart: “My Life in Wrestling: With a Little Help From My Friends”