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Insane Insights From Dark Side Of The Ring: Terry Gordy

Dark Side of The Ring Season 5 Episode 3 focused on pro wrestler Terry "Bam Bam'' Gordy. This one was a tough watch as while I was never alive during the peak of the Fabulous Freebirds, my favorite one out of the bunch was always Terry "Bam Bam'' Gordy. I always thought he was the best in the ring, and he was a very great talker.


This episode had notable talking heads in the wrestling business including Mick Foley, Jim Cornette, Jim Garvin, David Manning, Kerry Von Erich, Miranda Gordy (Terry's Daughter), Ray Gordy (Terry's Son), and Richard Aslinger (Terry's Nephew).


A notable person who was not interviewed was Michael P.S. Hayes who was the leader of the Fabulous Freebirds. This is not a surprise as he currently works for WWE and a lot of these episodes don't paint the company in a good light.


Honestly, it's for the best Hayes is not interviewed as that dude himself does not come across as a class-a-type character with the insane stories I have heard. If you read up on the stories, it is stunning that dude has held a job for that long in WWE. I honestly might write a piece on Michael P.S. Hayes and the stories that don't paint him in the best light.


The focus was mainly on Terry Gordy, and I learned a lot from this episode.


10. Terry Gordy Would Skip High School to do Pro Wrestling



Early on in the episode, Terry's kids are looking through some old photos and they show an old school report card of Terry Gordy and it is plagued with F's on it. A big reason why is because of the number of absences he had been on the road to becoming a pro wrestler.


He did this at the age of 14 years old which is something I never knew about coming into this documentary. It will never be done again as youths will never be a pro wrestler that young and the business woke up on that when the Mass Transit Incident occurred in ECW.


The coolest part is that there is footage of a 14-year-old Terry Gordy wrestling on TV and the documentary showcased this. My jaw dropped. I have never seen this before of a 14-year-old Terry Gordy as a pro wrestler. For someone with little training in the ring, he was very good, and it was clear that he was a prodigy.


9. What Inspired the Freebirds Name



Who helped inspire the Freebirds Gimmick, well the 70's band Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is cool as I was never alive when Lynyrd Skynyrd was at its peak, but I love their songs. I never knew that they helped inspire the Fabulous Freebirds name.


In the 70's the band Lynyrd Skynyrd was huge and so many people liked them. So, when Gordy and PS Hayes got together, they were given the name Freebirds which was named after the song, and they came out in the actual Lynyrd Skynyrd song.


Which was super unique as at the time it was uncommon for pro wrestlers to come out with music. They were not the first to do it as that goes to Gorgeous George and Chris Colt. Colt is another Dark Side of the Ring Topic I am looking forward to the most, BTW.


When looking at it, I did not realize how Lynyrd Skynyrd helped inspire the Freebirds name and their gimmick.


8. The Further Details of his Bar Fight



The documentary then dives into Terry Gordy's problems with alcohol. Which I kind of knew as the Freebirds were notorious for the party lifestyle. Terry's son Ray remembered a quote where Terry said that Wrestling was the best cure for a hangover, which Idk if I believe him as getting a hangover sucks.


I am not shocked that Terry Gordy got involved with a bar fight, but the details that are discussed are super crazy. This came from Terry's daughter who told the story.


What happened was that Terry took his wife to the bar as he was in town. Then while at the bar some dude decided to make a move and hit on Terry's wife. Probably not the brightest idea for a guy to hit on a man's wife. Especially when the husband is the size of Terry Gordy.


So, a brawl occurs to the point where the police have to be called. Terry was so irate that the police had to restrain him, and this did not make Terry happy. It got him so pissed to the point where he dented the hood of a cop car, with his head to avoid getting arrested. Just insanity, that is how boozed and piled up Gordy was.


7. What Ended the Fabulous Freebirds 1984 Tenure With the WWF



With the Fabulous Freebirds growing in popularity, it was only a matter of time until the WWF were going to sign them. They did in 1984, but it did not last long. They barely lasted a week there.


The reason why is because the group made a very bad impression. Especially Terry Gordy who was so hung over and even fell asleep in front of Vince. Yeah, it's no wonder they did not last long in the company.


Never fall asleep while your boss is talking to you. Don't be drunk when you are in front of your boss as well and that cost the Freebirds their chance to be in WWF in the 80's.


6. Terry's Depression Got Worse During his Japan Years



Many don't 1,000% know when Terry Gordy's pill issues started, but they got a ton worse when Gordy started working in Japan. Terry Gordy had a very rigorous and rough schedule where he worked 360 days on the road. My goodness, that is just insanity.


The long time away from his family and the lengthy tours took a toll on his mental state. The schedule was so brutal that Gordy was hooked on sleeping pills, especially to help with the time zone changes. Remember Gordy would often flip-flop from Japan to America with his dates in wrestling.


His depression resulted in his dependency on pills and it's just so sad with how Gordy's mental health was at this time.


5. The Damage of His 1993 Overdose



This part, I kind of knew about as it has often been talked about the overdose, he had in 1993 on the airplane ride to Japan.


The crazy thing and this weren't mentioned in the documentary, but it has been reported that Terry took 50 pills at once during this flight. That is not a typo, he took 50 freaking pills on this flight. How was he able to even do that and sneak those pills on the flight?


So, I knew about him overdosing on the airplane, but what I did not know was how bad the damage was. It was often known that he had permanent brain damage, but it was never specified what the complete issue was.


The Brain Damage that occurred due to the coma he was in affected the way he walked and talked. He had to relearn how to walk, wrestle, and talk as a result. I don't know how this man was able to even be cleared to come back to the ring.


It is clear that the damage was too much, and the dude was in a coma. That should have been the end of his career, but he continued and got himself back into the ring.


4. Who Called Off The Executioner Gimmick



Terry Gordy would eventually return to the WWF when Michael P.S. Hayes was a full-time employee behind the scenes. Hayes wanted to support Gordy getting him money with a new job and WWF gave him a new gimmick where he was under a hood as The Executioner. Going back and watching, Gordy looked ridiculous in that hood, but it was a respect thing.


The peak of The Executioner Gimmick was in the Mankind vs Undertaker Buried Alive Match. In that match, The Executioner hits Undertaker with a shovel which helps Mankind.


Terry at this point was just gone mentally as he barely could remember how to do moves. It was just sad seeing him in the state he was in. It was really brutal seeing Terry Gordy in that state that The Undertaker made the call that this was not going to work as Terry wasn't there mentally anymore.


It was for the best that this was done, and I am glad Undertaker made the call to end this now before it got worse.


4. Mick Foley and Paul Bearer Had to Track Down Terry Gordy



Before Gordy was released from WWE, a lot of people were going to take care of Gordy. No matter what, it was clear everyone respected Terry Gordy. However, with Gordy's problems getting worse, it just became too much.


Gordy would often go from being coherent to being under the influence immediately and would even ask people for extra pills on airplanes. Crazy.


He just got worse with his problems, and it got to the point where he would go missing. Mick Foley and Paul Bearer would have to try and track Terry Gordy down when they could not find him in his hotel room. This is something I never knew about, and I honestly want to know the process of how Foley and Bearer tracked Gordy down.


It was hard for Mick to see a man who showed him kindness when he entered the business, turn into the mess he is today. It is just a tough sight to see, and it happens often in the wrestling business. Another example was in The Junkyard Dog Dark Side of the Ring where Ted Dibiase took care of Junkyard who helped him out when entering the business.


With how Foley saw Gordy in this state and how he would often disappear, he realized that it was not going to be a long-term thing. It was not, and Gordy was eventually released.


2. That 1998 Shoot Interview Was Rough



I am surprised that there is footage of Terry Gordy doing a shoot interview. This was made in 1998 and my gosh Gordy looks super rough. This man has cognitively declined at this point as he was such a confused mess.


It was not a great look and even Terry's family were angered when they saw the interview. I don't blame them one bit. Watching parts of the interview, the person interviewing him focused on the saddest period of Terry's life and career.


The part that made me tear up was when Terry Gordy apologized to the fans for overdosing in 1993 as that ruined his career. He is not wrong there, but it is just sad hearing Gordy say those words. This man was in such bad shape, and it was rough watching this.


1. The last thing Terry said to his son



This was super depressing. So, Terry's career is pretty much over, and he is in the Independent Circuit with wrestling. He got to spend so much time with his family, especially his son Ray.


Ray eventually became a pro wrestler and was getting his career started. The last time that Ray spoke to his father, he wanted Ray to be his tag team partner in a wrestling show in July 2001. Unfortunately, Ray could not make the booking and it never happened. The next day, Ray got a call that his dad stopped breathing and passed away.


That is heartbreaking. It sucked that Terry never got the chance to have a tag team match with his son and that it was the last thing Terry had said to his son.


Even without Michale P.S. Hayes, this was still a very well-made documentary by Vice. I learned a lot of things watching this about Terry Gordy the person and his family as well. Everybody who talked on here was great as well. This was a super depressing watch, but man he was such a great pro wrestler. He will never be forgotten, and I wish I was alive to watch him in his prime. Rest in Peace Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy.


Next week's episode is going to cover Brutus the Barber Beefcake, which is going to be a crazy one as it is going to talk about the parasailing accident and many more events that occurred in his life/career. As I have previously stated, hopefully, he does not come off as delusional as he did in that Marty Jannetty documentary, but we shall see next week.



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