Terry Gordy
Birth nameTerry Ray Gordy
Born(1961-04-23)April 23, 1961
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
DiedJuly 16, 2001(2001-07-16) (aged 40)
Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, United States
Cause of deathHeart attack
Spouse(s)
Connie Gordy
(m. 1979; his death 2001)
Children3; including Ray Gordy
FamilyRichard Slinger (nephew)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)The Executioner
Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy
Terry Mecca
Billed height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)[1]
Billed weight289 lb (131 kg)[1]
Billed from"Badstreet U.S.A."
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Trained byArchie Gouldie
Debut1975

Terry Ray Gordy Sr. (April 23, 1961 – July 16, 2001) was an American professional wrestler. Gordy appeared in the United States with promotions such as Mid-South Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling and the Universal Wrestling Federation as a member of The Fabulous Freebirds. He also appeared in Japan with All Japan Pro Wrestling as one-half of The Miracle Violence Connection.

Championships held by Gordy over the course of his career include the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, AJPW World Tag Team Championship, WCW World Tag Team Championship, NWA World Tag Team Championship, UWF Heavyweight Championship and SMW Heavyweight Championship.

He has been posthumously inducted into the Wrestling Observer, Professional Wrestling, and WWE Hall of Fame.

Professional wrestling career

Early career (1975–1982)

A standout high school football and baseball player at Rossville High School, Gordy dropped out of high school following his freshman year and started wrestling in 1975 at the age of 14 as Terry Mecca for the International Wrestling Association.[2] In early 1979, he began wrestling under his real name and formed The Fabulous Freebirds with Michael Hayes, with Buddy Roberts later added to the group.[3] In 1980, the Freebirds moved to Georgia Championship Wrestling, where they won the territory’s tag team championship. The Fabulous Freebirds had feuds while there, including those against Tommy Rich, Junkyard Dog, Kevin Sullivan, Austin Idol, and Ted DiBiase. One match on the Saturday night WTBS Georgia Championship Wrestling show saw the Freebirds take on the Junkyard Dog and Ted DiBiase. Towards the end of the match, Terry Gordy gave DiBiase 4 consecutive piledrivers, which led to DiBiase being taken away in an ambulance.[citation needed] In 1981, the Freebirds split up when Buddy Roberts left the area. Michael and Terry then had a falling out, which led to a feud against each other. Terry and Michael eventually put their differences aside, and reformed the Freebirds as a duo in 1982 where they feuded with Ole Anderson and Stan Hansen.[citation needed]

Memphis CWA Wrestling and Mid South Wrestling (1979–1985)

The Freebirds came to Memphis the first time in 1979 and feuded mainly with Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee. When in mid South Wrestling, he formed The Fabulous Freebirds as the suggestion by Bill Watts with Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts. They returned in 1984 to feud with Lawler & Austin Idol and later with Lawler & Phil Hickerson.

World Class Championship Wrestling (1982–1989)

In 1982, the Freebirds went to World Class Championship Wrestling and had a feud with the Von Erichs (David, Kevin, Kerry and Mike) that was kicked off when Gordy slammed the Cage door on Kerry during his Cage Match at WCCW Star Wars (1982) against Ric Flair where Michael Hayes was the special guest Referee, inciting a riot among fans attending. They traded the six man title back and forth a few times over the years.[3] Gordy was also at one time one half of the WCCW American Tag Team champions. While in WCCW, Killer Khan taught Gordy how to perform the Oriental Spike.

All Japan Pro Wrestling (1983–1994)

Gordy teamed with Stan Hansen beginning in 1983 in All Japan Pro Wrestling. Gordy later teamed with Steve Williams as The Miracle Violence Connection.[4] During his time there, he also held the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship on two occasions.[4]

World Wrestling Federation (1984)

The Freebirds spent a brief time in the World Wrestling Federation in 1984, but were fired after missing a show and showing up late and drunk.[5]

Universal Wrestling Federation (1986)

In 1986, when the Freebirds were in the Universal Wrestling Federation, the former Mid South Wrestling, Gordy won the UWF Heavyweight Championship title and held it for six months,[6] before losing it via forfeit to The One Man Gang, after an angle the same night in which Gordy was injured by "Dr. Death" Steve Williams.[3] During this time, Gordy and the Freebirds had an ongoing feud with the Hacksaw Jim Duggan, in which Duggan and Gordy squared off, usually ending in a disqualification because of outside interference.[3]

Jim Crockett Promotions/NWA World Championship Wrestling (1987, 1989, 1992)

The Freebirds spent some time in the National Wrestling Alliance's Jim Crockett Promotions where they split to feud briefly, but later reunited.[7] In 1989, Gordy helped Hayes to reform the Freebirds, with Jimmy Garvin, in the NWA, which became World Championship Wrestling in 1991.[3][8] Later he alongside of Dr. Death Steve Williams defeated the Steiners to become World Tag Team Champions.[9]

Gordy and Williams returned to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1992 and won the WCW World Tag Team titles.[4][9] They also won the NWA World Tag Team titles in a tournament at the Great American Bash card in Albany, Georgia, one week later, and unified the titles.[4] Their feud with Rick and Scott Steiner; in Japan, this was hyped as a feud between the best foreign teams of the two top Japanese promotions (the Steiners were competing for rival New Japan Pro-Wrestling at the time).[4] Despite advances by New Japan, Gordy and Williams, out of loyalty to the AJPW founder and promoter, Giant Baba, refused to compete for the promotion (which had business ties with WCW at the time), leading to Gordy's departure from WCW before Halloween Havoc and Williams' departure after Starrcade.[4] In 1993 Gordy, while traveling from the United States to Japan for a tour, took an overdose of pain medication and slipped into a coma, ultimately suffering permanent brain damage.[10] He returned to action later that year, but never received a shot at the Triple Crown again. In 1994, Gordy had a small reunion with Hayes and Garvin as the Freebirds in the Global Wrestling Federation where he and Garvin won the GWF Tag Team titles.

Various promotions (1989-1995)

After World Class folded in 1989, Gordy wrestled in various promotions. He started working for United States Wrestling Association (USWA). In 1991, he worked for Universal Wrestling Federation where he feuded with Don Muraco. In 1994, he reunited with The Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin) for Global Wrestling Federation in Texas where they feuded with Bill Irwin, Black Bart and Moadib. Gordy returned to USWA in 1995 where he teamed with Tracy Smothers.

Smokey Mountain Wrestling (1995)

In 1995 Gordy worked for Smokey Mountain Wrestling teaming with Tommy Rich as the Militia. He would feud with Brad Armstrong. Gordy won the SMW Heavyweight Championship defeating Armstrong when he teamed with Thrasher to defeat Armstrong and the Wolfman on October 27. A month later he dropped the title back to Armstrong in a Country whipping match. Gordy left SMW before its closed its doors at the end of the year.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1996)

In 1996, Gordy appeared in Extreme Championship Wrestling to challenge Raven for the ECW World Heavyweight title, as the "internationally recognized #1 contender". He had been working for the International Wrestling Association of Japan promotion in Japan, wrestling deathmatches. He lost, but went on to team up with Tommy Dreamer and later to reunite with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to wrestle The Eliminators. He also wrestled Bam Bam Bigelow at Ultimate Jeopardy in what was billed as the second ever "Battle Of The Bam Bams" (The first happened on a Windy City Wrestling show). Gordy lost the match due to outside interference from The Eliminators.

Return to World Wrestling Federation (1995, 1996–1997, 1998)

Gordy had a brief run in the WWF as The Executioner in 1996 and 1997. He teamed up with Mankind, both managed by Paul Bearer, and feuded with The Undertaker. The Executioner came to the ring under a mask and carrying an axe and Paul Bearer 's "hired assassin".[11] He made his TV debut at the In Your House pay-per-view, Buried Alive, where he interfered in The Undertaker's Buried Alive match with Mankind, hitting Undertaker with a shovel and burying him with the help of Mankind and several other wrestlers.[11] However, at In Your House 12: It's Time, The Undertaker defeated The Executioner in an Armageddon Rules match, and Gordy left the promotion shortly afterwards.[12] His final televised appearance was on the January 12, 1997 episode of WWF Superstars, where he lost to Goldust, after which Paul Bearer turned on him by hitting him with his urn.[13] He was advertised to be one of the 30 participants in the 1997 Royal Rumble match, but did not make an appearance. He returned to WWF one last time at a house show as the Executioner on April 28, 1998 losing to Wellington Wilkins.

On an episode of Something to Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard claimed that the Executioner gimmick was given to Gordy because McMahon had doubts that Gordy could still compete effectively and the use of a mask was intended to protect Gordy so that if that were the case, Gordy's legacy would not be tainted.[citation needed] Had Gordy been able to compete at a high level then there would have been the opportunity later for Gordy to unmask. It was mentioned that the hiring was mostly done as a favor for Michael Hayes.[citation needed]

International Wrestling Association of Japan and WAR (1995–1997, 1998)

Gordy returned to Japan working for International Wrestling Association of Japan where he wrestled in deathmatches. Mainly worked in tag teams. He left IWA Japan in 1997. In 1998, Gordy returned to Japan for the final time working for Wrestle Association R where he feuded with Genichiro Tenryu.

Later Career (1998–2001)

After leaving the WWF and Japan, Gordy worked in the independent circuit. On February 21, 1998 Gordy teamed with Dan Severn in a losing effort to Doug Gilbert and Dutch Mantel at the Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show for IWA Mid-South. Gordy would reunite with Hayes as they fought Glen Kulka and JR Smooth to a no contest for Power Pro Wrestling on May 28, 1999. He wrestled his last match returning to IWA Japan on February 4, 2001 with Shoichi Ichimiya, Tomohiro Ishii, Yukihide Ueno, and Yuji Kito defeating Doug Gilbert, TJ Shinjuku, Ultra Sebun, Takashi Uwano and Keizo Mastuda.

Personal life

Gordy had two daughters and a son,[citation needed] Ray Gordy, who wrestled for WWE as "Jesse" and "Slam Master J" before being released in 2010.[citation needed] His nephew is Richard Aslinger, who competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling as Richard Slinger.[citation needed] His daughter Miranda currently wrestles on the independent circuit and has also competed in Japan.[14]

Death

Gordy died of a heart attack caused by a blood clot on July 16, 2001.[15] In 2014, he was posthumously inducted into the Southern Wrestling Hall of Fame.[citation needed] A year later, he was also posthumously inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. On April 2, 2016, Gordy was posthumously inducted by his son into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of The Fabulous Freebirds.[16]

Championships and accomplishments

1Won while WCW was still affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance and prior to the NWA and WCW World Tag Team Championships being briefly unified.
2The Freebirds' 5th reign carried over after the title's name was changed to the WCWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship since they were the champions at the time the title was renamed.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Terry Gordy". OWW.
  2. ^ Greer, Jamie (July 17, 2019). "Bam Bam: Remembering Terry Gordy". Last Word on Sports. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "Top 20: 7 The Fabulous Freebirds". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 46–52. ISBN 978-1-5502-2683-6.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "The National Era (Mid-1980s to present): The Miracle Violence Combination". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 284–285. ISBN 978-1-5502-2683-6.
  5. ^ Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 1: WWF 1963 – 1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1492825975.
  6. ^ Hornbaker, Tim (2017-01-03). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-61321-875-4.
  7. ^ Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 3:Jim Crockett and the NWA World Title 1983–1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1494803476.
  8. ^ Cawthon, Graham (2014). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 4: World Championship Wrestling 1989–1994. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1499656343.
  9. ^ a b c "Solie's Title Histories: WCW". www.solie.org.
  10. ^ Foley, Mick (1999). Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039299-1.
  11. ^ a b Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 2: WWF 1990 – 1999. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ASIN B00RWUNSRS.
  12. ^ "It's Time". Pro Wrestling History. December 15, 1996. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "WWF 1996". The History of WWE. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  14. ^ "Matches <Miranda Gordy>". Cagematch. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  15. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Professional Wrestlers. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-1-58261-817-3.
  16. ^ "Exclusive interview: Catching up with former WWE Superstar Ray Gordy". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  17. ^ "Solie's Title Histories: AJPW – ALL JAPAN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING". www.solie.org.
  18. ^ "Solie's Title Histories: AJPW – ALL JAPAN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING". www.solie.org.
  19. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
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  22. ^ Terry Gordy Cagematch.net Retrieved July 20, 2019
  23. ^ Oliver, Greg (2014-11-26). "Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2015 announced". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2014-11-28.
  24. ^ a b c "PWI Awards". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Kappa Publishing Group. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  25. ^ "The Internet Wrestling Database – PWI Ratings for Terry Gordon". Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  26. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  27. ^ "Solie's Title Histories: NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE". www.solie.org.
  28. ^ "Solie's Title Histories: NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE". www.solie.org.
  29. ^ "Solie's Title Histories: SMW". www.solie.org.
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  31. ^ "NWA United States Heavyweight Title (1967-1968/05) - American Heavyweight Title (1968/05-1986/02)". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  32. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Dallas) Texas: NWA American Tag Team Title [Fritz Von Erich]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 978-0-9698161-5-7.
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  36. ^ McDonald, Chris (March 1, 2016). "The Fabulous Freebirds to Be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016". Dallas Observer. Retrieved October 7, 2021.