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Terry Gordy - 5 Great TV Hilights
by Marty Goldstein on 2001-07-18

I was 20 years old when I first worked on a wrestling show. Terry Gordy was already a Main Event star. He was a year younger than me. He had it right from the start, one of those gems that immediately understand and get it. He was a legend both in and out of the ring.

"When I saw Buddy Roberts take the mark by the arm out of the Polo Park Inn (Winnipeg), I knew it was trouble." remembered Dan Denton, then a youngster in the AWA. "I kept telling him to just apologize to Roberts, because things could get ugly. He kept saying f-u.I could see Gordy coming out of the bar towards us, but the guy couldn't. If he had, he might have decided to apologize. Once Terry got to him, that option was removed."

Here are 5 favorite TV moments and why Gordy was so great. I hope I get the years correct.

1)World Class 1983- Gordy was to face NWA Champ Ric Flair at the Sportatorium. That night a new wrestler had debuted straight out of the Florida territory (where the Aptermags had given him a monster push) with a new name. WCCW was going to do elevate Billy Jack (with the Haynes now added in honor of his sick father) to the top of the program.

(Trivia note- he defeated a very young and skinny Sean Michaels, who was introduced as Sean Nickels, in a very funny 2 minute match).

As Marc Lowrence introduced them, Haynes came into the ring accompanied by his manager, Sunshine. He asked to challenge the winner for the NWA title. Gordy shook his hand. Flair waved him off and beckened for Sunshine. In a hilarious speech, Flair said he'd always gotten what he wanted - fly in jet planes,drive fast cars, beat the Von Erichs (thunderous boos), but the one thing he always wanted and never had was Sunshine." Just one kiss..." Meanwhile, Gordy watched from the corner.

She agreed to kiss Flair, and when he asked how was it, she slapped him. Flair sold it, the match started with Gordy afire and the people really thought that the angle was going to lead to a Gordy upset. In this bout, though too short, Gordy matwrestled with Flair and did not look out of his league at all.

Gordy's frustration after being small-packaged while going for the Figure Four on Flair told the story of a guy who had his chance and got out-smarted by a rattled Flair. This was a wasted opportunity because Haynes blew the territory after 2 weeks and thus the match served as a backdrop to nothing.

2) Fall 1984 WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling The Freebirds vs Moondog Spot Moondog Rex and Silent Brain Macnee.

This was also a big deal, the Freebirds were viewed as a major signing with Dave Woolf in their corner music deals, New York, New York... booked as babyfaces, the Moondogs were recent former WWF champs and tried to keep from being eaten up, abandoning Macnee to be pinned after a triple drop kick- yep,Hayes and Gordy and Roberts too- knocked all 3 down like bowling pins. This WWF experience lasted, I think, 1 week.

3)AWA TV Tapings 1985- The Freebirds had finally come to the AWA and with babyfaces like Greg Gagne being shoved down the people's throats who needs heels? Certainly not the fans of Winnipeg, who were not unlike the Baltimore crowds in that they would reject the booker very vocally, and did so in this case. When 3 jobbers, one of whom was a well liked older rookie named Drew Tossel(who looked like a skinny Mr. Clean), waited in the ring, the buzz started in the school gym.

There was only 1 real 3 man team in the AWA, they had just gotten to the AWA and YESSS the music came up and it was the Freebirds, cheered like babyfaces despite being booked as heels. The crowd was especially into the huge Gordy. The marks started screaming for Tossel to "Abandon your team!Leave!Save yourself!". His partners were not amused.

Roberts and Gordy were cracking up in the corner. Sure enough Gordy got tagged in and the fans went nuts, turning it into a hot tag. Gordy began beating on Tossel,and the fans chanted "not him, not him."

Suddenly Baldy got tossed from the ring. The fans cheered Gordy for not pinning Tossel but one of the other jobbers. The fans saw the Freebirds as true superstars, and refused to boo them. This was a sign the AWA was in serious trouble, as the fans wanted tweeners and the AWA reserved that role for Mad Dog Vachon.

4) UWF Fall 1986- I think it was from Lake Charles, LA, in a prime example of why UWF/Bill Watts was the best TV of the time. Scandor Akbar called out Gordy, and with Michael Hayes screaming " Terry. No" from the color spot beside Jim Ross, Bam Bam came down the aisle and tore into One Man Gang. In this fued, the Freebirds were in a promotion that understood tweeners, so when Jeff Gaylord and Terry Taylor and the other babyfaces came out to quell the brawl, the Birds could prolong it by punching everybody. Which, of course, the fans loved.

5) June 1992 TBS CLASH - NWA Tag Team Tournament. Gordy and partner Steve Williams were booked against Australian promoter Larry O'Day and his son Jeff, in what was his maybe 10th match. The Australians got in the tourney as a reward for voting with Bill Watts in his NWA takeover.

This was not a good idea, if your name was O'Day. They actually tried a double team move but it was not to be. Gordy and Williams beat on the old man, who looked like 60, and beat the snot out of the clearly scared second generation also-ran. It was the best 2 minutes of the nite, we laughed hysterically.

Truth be told, any WCW TV squash match from that era with Williams and Gordy is a good lesson for all those young guys who don't know how lucky they are to even be in a ring. They made everyone believe. That is what made Gordy great.

I recommend Gordy vs. Raven in ECW 1996,it had a good backstory and unreal crowd heat. It was booked to conceal Gordy's health problems and Raven's broken foot. They had a million run-ins and Gordy looked like Superman while still doing the job.

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