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 - Charles Laffere


The 1990s were not a good era for tag teams. Individuality has taken precedent. As the decade came to a close, stables like Degeneration X, the New World Order, and the Hart Foundation had dominated the business. Few teams from the WWF or WCW made an indelible impression. Having little familiarity with ECW, I cannot comment on the status on tag units in that promotion. In WCW, Harlem Heat and the Outsiders (Hall & Nash) made their mark. However, the Hall & Nash team was little more than an extension of the group’s total domination of the promotion. In the WWF, tag champs seemed to come and go with little staying power.

It was much different in the 1980's. Tag teams had endurance and popularity that existed past the next storyline turn or pay-per-view. The Rock and Roll Express, the British Bulldogs, the aforementioned Hart Foundation, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, Ole and Arn Anderson, the Koloffs, the Midnight Rockers, the Steiners - the decade was an embarrassment of riches for tag team wrestling fans. The Road Warriors, with their face paint, “Iron Man” intro and relentless take-no-prisoners attitude, changed the nature of tag teams totally, inspiring a couple of direct rip-offs-Demolition in the WWF and the Blade Runners in Mid-South.

Of all of these teams, two of the most influential and dominant of the decade headlined in Mid-South. The Midnight Express, with Jim Cornette at his crazed best, provided a constant foil for both Bill Watts and whatever face tag team dared to cross their path. The Fabulous Freebirds, with Michael "P.S." Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy, and Buddy Jack Roberts were totally unique and unforgettable.

The Freebirds, with their original 3-man unit, are unquestionably one of the most innovative and successful tag teams of the 1980's.  The Freebirds first appeared in the  Mid-South promotion in 1979. On November 24 of that year, Hayes and Gordy, barely into their 20s, teamed to win the Mid-South tag straps by defeating Bill Watts & Colonel Buck Robley in Shreveport. LA. The cocky young duo ruled the tag division for nearly six months before being defeated by The Junkyard Dog & Robley on April 6,1980. Then, the Hayes-Gordy version of the Freebirds started a nasty feud with the Dog, who held a folk-hero status in the territory at that time. The first signs that the ‘Birds would get as down and dirty as any heel was shown during this feud.   More...

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