In the early 1980s, World Class Championship Wrestling was a go-to promotion, and the popularity was virtually paralleled to Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). While Jim Crockett and Vince McMahon created immense buzz in the Carolinas and New England territory, respectively, Fritz Von Erich was making his promotion sail in Texas.
One of the main attractions that allowed Von Erich to maintain confidence of his promotion remaining successful was to put the burden on his sons' shoulders. Mostly, Kerry, Kevin and David. One way that proved this was the rivalry that became one of the best of the 80s - The Von Erichs vs. The Freebirds.
While the Von Erichs were engaging in memorable feuds, and even competing in matches in the NWA territories outside of the WCCW brand, The Freebirds - comprised of Michael P.S. Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy and Buddy "Jack" Roberts ("The Toast of the Coast") - were mainly establishing themselves as credible superstars. While Roberts brought the experience factor to the group, Hayes and Gordy were just two young kids eager to make a statement. And that they did.
In 1982, only a few years after the Freebirds became a group, Michael Hayes was selected to referee an NWA World Title match between Ric Flair and Kerry Von Erich. Initially, Hayes was siding with Von Erich, assisting him in an attempt to win the title due to countless cheating tactics by Ric Flair during their feud. When Kerry refused, this spawned anger from Hayes, which resulted in an attack on Kerry and the feud commencing.
The feud became one of the biggest feuds in WCCW, and one of the most memorable feuds in pro wrestling history. Now, we are seeing another faction vs. faction feud with Evolution and the Shield. One would hope that this feud can give a small glimpse of what the Freebirds vs. Von Erichs paved.
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