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 - Charles Laffere


“Well everybody's heard about the bird 
Bird bird bird 
Bird is the word 
Don't you know about this bird? 
Well everybody knows that bird is a word 
Bird bird bird bird is the word”

“Surfing Bird,” as performed by the Ramones from “Rocket to Russia”
Rest in Peace, Brother Joey.

“Who needs insurance? We're going to live forever."-Michael Hayes to Bill Watts, after signing wrestling’s first $1,000,000 contract, 1986.

Hello and welcome back to another installment of my UWF memories. I am Charles Laffere, and this week we will be looking at the Freebirds wild flight through the UWF in 1986-87.  

The last time we met, the Freebirds had begun their reign of terror in Georgia Championship Wrestling. By the early 1980s, the boys had established both collective and individual identities. As a unit, they had a tremendous combination of excellent interview skills, superior in-ring work and instinctive violence. The Freebirds could generate enough heat in an arena to warm up Minneapolis on a January day.  Likewise, the separate personalities of the guys made them stand out. Michael Hayes was the charismatic mouthpiece, a prancing, and funny yet tough talking cross between Gorgeous George and Ric Flair (only with Allman Brothers hair). Terry Gordy was an awesome brawler equally adept at singles or tag competition. Buddy Jack Roberts was often relegated to the role of goofball or whipping boy, but he was a solid worker and every bit as effective as the others when united as part of the duo/trio.  

After an extensive run in Georgia featuring success as a team, a bitter breakup and subsequent reunion and even a transformation to fan favorite status, the Freebirds took off and landed in Dallas, working for World Class Championship Wrestling. On Christmas night 1982, Hayes and Gordy made a typically auspicious debut, winning the inaugural NWA World Six-Man Tag Team straps. However, Roberts was not the third member of the team, having split from Gordy and Hayes during their Georgia years. Instead, David Von Erich completed the unit. The main event pitted NWA World Champ Ric Flair against Kerry Von Erich in a cage match for the title. The guest referee was none other than Michael Hayes. The night commenced with Hayes and Gordy turning on Kerry., costing him the belt. Just to drive the point home, Gordy slammed the cage door shut out Kerry’s head.  

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