|Birth name||Terry Ray Gordy|
|Born||April 23, 1961|
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
|Died||July 16, 2001 (aged 40)|
Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, United States
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Children||3; including Ray Gordy|
|Family||Richard Slinger (nephew)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||The Executioner/Forest Druid|
Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Billed weight||289 lb (131 kg)|
|Billed from||"Badstreet U.S.A."|
|Trained by||Archie Gouldie|
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.
Gordy held many championships throughout the course of his career, including 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 (1974–1980)
Gordy was a standout high school football and baseball player at Rossville High School, but dropped out of high school following his freshman year. Trained by Archie Gouldie, he started wrestling at the age of 13 in 1974 as "Terry Mecca" for the International Wrestling Association.
In early 1979, Gordy began wrestling under his real name and formed the Fabulous Freebirds with Michael Hayes, with Buddy Roberts later added to the group. Gordy and Hayes had met while training in Mississippi the year prior.
Georgia Championship Wrestling (1980–1982)
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, and became one of the first acts to use entrance music. One match on the Saturday night WTBS Georgia Championship Wrestling show saw the Freebirds take on the Junkyard Dog and Ted DiBiase, where towards the end of the match, Gordy gave DiBiase 4 consecutive piledrivers, which led to DiBiase being taken away in an ambulance.
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 when they feuded with Ole Anderson and Stan Hansen.
World Class Championship Wrestling (1982–1989)
In late-1982, the Freebirds went to the Dallas, Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling promotion and had a feud with the Von Erichs (David, Kevin, Kerry and Mike), which kicked off when Gordy slammed the cage door on Kerry during his cage match on March 15 at WCCW Star Wars against Ric Flair, where Michael Hayes served as 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. 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, which he dubbed the Asiatic 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. During his time there, he also held the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship on two occasions.
World Wrestling Federation (1984)
Universal Wrestling Federation (1986)
In 1986, when the Freebirds were in Universal Wrestling Federation, the former Mid South Wrestling, Gordy became the first person to win the UWF Heavyweight Championship and held it for six months, before losing it via forfeit to the One Man Gang, after an angle the same night in which Gordy was injured in an auto accident by "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, whom he feuded with. During this time, Gordy and the Freebirds had an ongoing feud with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, in which Duggan and Gordy squared off, usually ending in a disqualification because of outside interference.
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. In 1989, Gordy helped Hayes to reform the Freebirds, with Jimmy Garvin, in the NWA, which became World Championship Wrestling in 1991. Later, he and Steve Williams defeated the Steiners to become World Tag Team Champions.
Gordy and Williams returned to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1992 and won the WCW World Tag Team titles. At that point, they were considered the most dominant team in wrestling, making $10,000 to $15,000 a week. 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. Their feud with Rick and Scott Steiner in Japan 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). 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.
On August 18, 1993, while traveling from the United States to Japan for a tour, Gordy took an overdose (from which he almost died of three years earlier) of pain medication and slipped into a five-day coma, ultimately suffering permanent brain damage. As a result, he had to relearn how to talk, walk, and wrestle. He returned to action later that year, but never received a shot at the Triple Crown again or possessed the skills he once had. 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.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1995)
In 1995, Gordy worked for Smoky Mountain Wrestling, teaming with Tommy Rich as the Militia. Gordy won the SMW Heavyweight Championship by defeating Brad 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.
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, 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), which he lost due to outside interference from The Eliminators.
Return to World Wrestling Federation (1996–1997)
Gordy had a brief run in the WWF as The Executioner a gimmick of an ex-druid in 1996 and 1997, where 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 as Bearer's "hired assassin". He made his TV debut at the In Your House pay-per-view Buried Alive on October 20, 1996, 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. However, at In Your House 12: It's Time on December 15, The Undertaker defeated The Executioner in an Armageddon Rules match, and Gordy left the promotion in January 1997.
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. 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.
Later career (1997–2001)
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.
Gordy had two daughters and a son, Ray Gordy, who wrestled for WWE as "Jesse" and "Slam Master J" before being released in 2010. His nephew is Richard Aslinger, who competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling as Richard Slinger. His daughter Miranda currently wrestles on the independent circuit and has also competed in Japan. He was known for his "high octane, southern lifestyle" outside of the ring.
Death and legacy
Following his death, the Terry Gordy Memorial Show was held in his honor on August 11 in Birmingham, Alabama. Various wrestlers including Fabulous Freebirds cohort Michael Hayes and former tag team partner Stan Hansen praised Gordy for being one of the best workers they ever worked with. In 2014, he was posthumously inducted into the Southern Wrestling Hall of Fame. 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.
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- World Tag Team Championship (7 times) – with Stan Hansen (2) and Steve Williams (5)
- World's Strongest Tag Determination League (1988, 1990, 1991) – with Stan Hansen (1988) and Steve Williams (1990 and 1991)
- World's Strongest Tag Determination League Fighting Spirit Award (1989) – with Bill Irwin
- Georgia Championship Wrestling
- Global Wrestling Federation
- International Championship Wrestling
- ICW Mississippi Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Mid-South Wrestling Association | Universal Wrestling Federation
- NWA Mid-America
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (1986)
- Tag Team of the Year (1981) – with Michael Hayes
- Tag Team of the Year (1992) – with Steve Williams
- Ranked No. 31 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1992
- Ranked No. 36 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Ranked No. 3, 16, and 34 of the top 100 tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Michael Hayes, Steve Williams, and Stan Hansen, respectively, in 2003
- Southeastern Championship Wrestling
- Smoky Mountain Wrestling
- Texas Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2014
- World Championship Wrestling
- World Class Championship Wrestling | World Class Wrestling Association
- NWA American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA American Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Michael Hayes
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Texas version) (1 time)
- NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship (Texas version) (6 times) – with Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts (5) and Iceman Parsons & Buddy Roberts (1)
- WCWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts 2
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Best Brawler (1986)
- Match of the Year (1984) with Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes vs. the Von Erichs (Kerry, Kevin, and Mike) in an Anything Goes match on July 4
- Best Three-Man Team (1983) with Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts
- Tag Team of the Year (1980) with Buddy Roberts as The Fabulous Freebirds
- Tag Team of the Year (1981) with Jimmy Snuka
- Tag Team of the Year (1992) with Steve Williams as The Miracle Violence Connection
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2005) – as part of The Fabulous Freebirds
- 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.
- Oliver, Greg (July 17, 2001). "Terry 'Bam Bam' Gordy dead at 40". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
- Meltzer, Dave (2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Professional Wrestlers. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-1-58261-817-3.
- Marvez, Alex (August 10, 2001). "Hayes Among The Many Who Will Not Forget 'Bam Bam'". Sun-Sentinel. Tribune Media. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
- 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.
- "Terry Gordy bio". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
- McAdam, John (24 June 2022). "Episode 211: Refreshments For The Less Fortunate". Stick To Wrestling (Podcast). Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
- "The 25 roughest brawlers in wrestling history". WWE. June 19, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
- Molinaro, John (July 18, 2001). "Terry Gordy remembered as a great talent". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
- 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.
- Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 1: WWF 1963 – 1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1492825975.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cawthon, Graham (2014). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 4: World Championship Wrestling 1989–1994. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1499656343.
- "Solie's Title Histories: WCW". www.solie.org.
- Foley, Mick (1999). Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-039299-1.
- Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 2: WWF 1990 – 1999. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ASIN B00RWUNSRS.
- "It's Time". Pro Wrestling History. December 15, 1996. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
- Prichard, Bruce; Thompson, Conrad (15 October 2021). "STW #293: WWF In Your House Buried Alive". Something to Wrestle With (Podcast). YouTube.com. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
- Gerweck, Steve (2010-04-22). "WWE releases six talents". WrestleView. Archived from the original on 2010-04-24. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Podgorski, Alex (November 24, 2022). "For Richard Slinger, wrestling in Japan was as real as it gets". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
- "Miranda Gordy's bio". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
- Meltzer, Dave (August 6, 2018). "July 23, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Death of Terry Gordy, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
- Fuller, David (February 15, 2013). "Pioneer 90.1 Rasslin Memories with David Fuller February 15, 2013". Rasslin' Memories (Interview). Interviewed by George Schire and Glen Braget. Minnesota: KSRQ.
- "Exclusive interview: Catching up with former WWE Superstar Ray Gordy". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
- "Solie's Title Histories: AJPW – ALL JAPAN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING". www.solie.org.
- "Solie's Title Histories: AJPW – ALL JAPAN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING". www.solie.org.
- "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
- "Solie's Title Histories: GEORGIA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING (NWA)". www.solie.org.
- "Solie's Title Histories: GWF – GLOBAL WRESTLING FEDERATION". www.solie.org.
- Tanabe, Hisaharu, ed. (November 17, 2018). "ICW Mississippi Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. Archived from the original on November 17, 2020.
- Oliver, Greg (2014-11-26). "Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2015 announced". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2014-11-28.
- "PWI Awards". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Kappa Publishing Group. Archived from the original on January 21, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
- "The Internet Wrestling Database – PWI Ratings for Terry Gordon". Retrieved 2015-12-05.
- "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.
- "Solie's Title Histories: NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE". www.solie.org.
- "Solie's Title Histories: NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE". www.solie.org.
- "Solie's Title Histories: SMW". www.solie.org.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Texas: NWA / World Class American Heavyweight Title [Von Eric]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 265–266. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "NWA United States Heavyweight Title (1967-1968/05) - American Heavyweight Title (1968/05-1986/02)". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
- 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.
- "N.W.A. American Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Texas) Dallas: NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 271. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "Texas Brass Knucks Title [East Texas]". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- 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.