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WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016: The Fabulous Freebirds

When you think of famous stables through the history of professional wrestling, I’m sure there are many names that instantly spring to mind. Maybe the legendary Four Hoursmen, the family-driven Von Erichs, the rebellious D-Generation X or maybe you’re still stuck on the thought of the Nexus that could have been? In any event, one of the first names that should be an instant go-to in your mind is The Fabulous Freebirds.

Originally formed in Dallas (the home of this year’s WrestleMania) back in 1979, Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Buddy “Jack” Roberts and Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy were originally brought together in World Class Championship Wrestling by Bill Watts. Originally envisioned as a tag-team, the three worked as a trio – which was almost unheard of at that time – and together mainly worked as heels. During this time they engaged in a now legendary feud with the aforementioned Von Erichs.

Moving around in the NWA-affiliated promotions, The Freebirds toured Georgia Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling and the Oklahoma-based Universal Wrestling Federation, before heading to the American Wrestling Association. Whilst taking residence within the AWA, the trio would feud with The Road Warriors – whose World Tag Team title reign would be lost to Freebirds’ associate Jimmy Garvin and his then partner Steve Regal thanks to interference from the trio.

Fabulous Freebirds 1

During 1984’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling era for the World Wrestling Federation, the Fabulous Freebirds seemed like they’d be a natural fit. However, the trio left the company shortly after turning up late to a show and reportedly getting into an altercation with Andre the Giant.

Back in the UWF, Gordy became the promotion’s World Champion while Roberts held their Television title and Hayes would switch between either acting as the pair’s manager or filling in as the role of heel commentator during broadcasts.  In 1987 Hayes would primarily wrestle for WCCW once again, occasionally partnered with Gordy – who at this time dedicated the majority of his time to performing in Japan. Roberts at this time was beginning to ease up on his career in wrestling.

When moving to World Championship Wrestling in 1989, Hayes would continue to use the name Freebirds in his newly-formed version of the team with just himself and Jimmy Garvin. The tag-team were occasionally joined by Gordy before employing the services of a new third named Fantasia (Brad Armstrong) – who later changed his name to Badstreet and then took on the services of Little Richard Marley as their manager. While in WCW, The Fabulous Freebirds would obtain the promotion’s World Heavyweight Championship, United States Championship and, of course, its Tag-Team titles.

Fabulous Freebirds 2

In 1994 in the Global Wrestling Federation, The Fabulous Freebirds (now comprised of Hayes, Gordy & Garvin) would split after 15 years.

Sadly with the passing of both Gordy in 2001 and Roberts in 2012, there are only two members of  the stable left. Garvin – who has long since retired from the business – and Hayes, who though retired from competition works with the WWE as its Head of Road Agents/Producers after working his way through various on-screen and backstage roles.

Along with being one of the most memorable groups in wrestling history, their legend lives on, in part thanks to the Freebird Rule – which allows any two members of a stable to defend the tag team titles on any given night (which we playfully call the Spirit Squad Rule on Ring the Bell).

So tonight – 37 years on from The Fabulous Freebirds first forming in Dallas Texas, we will finally see one of the most charismatic groups in professional wrestling take their well-deserved place in the WWE Hall of Fame.

 

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Sometimes writer, wannabe animator and podcast creator that talks far too much. Coleman is a collection of atoms that formed in Gosport and relocated to London.

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