I'll be frank, of the three Freebirds
, I never imagined Michael Hayes
would be the last one standing.
Then again, it's a bit fitting as he was always the spokesman for the three.
And in the wake of Roberts' death, I thought I'd finally put the spotlight on a team that changed so much for the business.
Michael Hayes was born for wrestling, maybe not a great worker but with his great looks and long hair, he had female fans but more importantly, was a master of the mic, doing promo work better than almost anyone of the time.
himself summed it up at their meeting: "You're going to make it for sure.
At first, Hayes
were suspicious of Roberts, thinking him a stooge from the front office.
It was at this point that Hayes took a trip to Texas and worked with World Class Championship Wrestling.
Hayes realized something was heating up at this place, calling up Gordy and Roberts to get them to join him, insisting it would be worth it.
A "fan poll" had chosen Hayes
as the special ref with Gordy
outside to help.
The match was up and down with Kerry having the advantage when Flair shoved Hayes
laid Flair out and urged Kerry to take the pin but the hero Kerry refused.
A frustrated Hayes
went to leave as Flair hit Kerry from behind, knocking him into Hayes but Hayes thought it was Kerry that hit him.
Occasional help would come from Jimmy Garvin, an old friend of Hayes
who, while not officially a Freebird, would be an aid but was busy with his own great work as the arrogant fashion plate Texas champion.
It was another great touch as they went along and Roberts was able to be the one to take the beatings Gordy and Hayes
avoided but still a scrappy guy when need be.
faced Kevin and Mike
along with Fritz, coming out of retirement at the first David Von Erich Parade of Champions with the Von Erichs winning of course.
On the WWE documentary, Hayes
says that the fun of WCCW
died with David, it just didn't feel right anymore, the fire gone.
The AWA was next with Gordy
doing well as a team and Hayes even challenging Rick Martel for the AWA title a few times.
However, the breaking point was when Hayes
suggested a feud with the Road Warriors and Verne Gagne refused, dictating that "you can't have two heel teams fighting each other," missing how the Warriors were the most popular guys in the company.
took exception to Akbar insulting Gordy and so the Freebirds and Devastation Inc
were at war.
Watts had Gordy
win a tournament to become the first UWF champion and with Hayes
and Roberts backing him up, soon dominated for a while.
In 1988, they did an angle of splitting up, Hayes
actually teaming with Kerry as a face while Roberts and Gordy
teamed with Iceman "Blackbird" Parsons.
would move to WCW, working as a singles star at first, even a two-week reign as U.S. Champion.
and Garvin finally teamed up as the Freebirds
with Garvin going by "Jimmy Jam.
The two brought back that old Freebird magic with their combined arrogance and flashy drive and were a great mix in the ring.
They held both the U.S. tag titles and later the World tag belts, feuding with the likes of the Steiners and many others.
and Roberts would all reunite in 1993 for a special tribute show to Kerry and had one last run together in 1994 in the Global Wrestling Federation
Hayes would join WWF under the name of Doc Hendrix before going to his regular name.
A fun bit is that when Hayes
managed the Hardy Boyz, he
had hoped to turn them into a new Freebirds
but they basically told him it was time to let it go.
finally passed on in 2001, Hayes
spending most of that year in mourning for his brother in all but blood.
and Garvin all showed up together on WWE's DVD of World Class, the last time the Freebirds
would be together.