BIO: Michael Hayes
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Signature Moves: Front Facelock Drop, DDT
WCCW Titles Held: WCCW Six-Man Tag Team Champion (five times with Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts, once with Kerry and Kevin Von Erich), WCCW American Tag Team Champion (with Terry Gordy) and WCCW Tag Team Champion (twice with Steve Cox).
Notable WCCW Feuds: The Von Erichs, Bruiser Brody, Iceman King Parsons, Devastation Inc., Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts and the Samoan Swat Team.
Need to Know Facts: One of the industry's all-time greatest personalities was born Michael Seitz on March 29, 1959. Hayes started wrestling in 1977 in the Tennessee regional promotions, alongside future professional wrestling legends Percy Pringle III/Paul Bearer and Rock 'n' Roll Express member Robert Gibson.
In 1979, Hayes would form the legendary Fabulous Freebirds with Terry Gordy, using Lynyrd Skynyrd's signature tune "Free Bird" as their entrance music, starting a trend in pro wrestling in the United States. The duo would eventually add a third member, Buddy Roberts, solidifying the team for years to come.
The Freebirds spent the early 1980's in Jim Barnett's Georgia Championship Wrestling area, where they won the National Tag Team Titles on several occasions. Hayes and Gordy would also feud with each other briefly during this time before mending fences and entering World Class Championship Wrestling.
By the fall of 1982, the Freebirds had gradually made their way into WCCW where they were initially considered babyfaces, and on December 25, 1982, Hayes and Gordy defeated Iron Mike Sharpe, Ben Sharpe and Tom Steele to become the inaugural WCCW World Six-Man Tag Team Champions with the help of David Von Erich (subbing for an absent Buddy Roberts). However, later on that same Christmas night wrestling card, the legendary Freebirds-Von Erichs feud began.
Hayes was voted by WCCW fans to be appointed as "special referee" of the Ric Flair-Kerry Von Erich steel cage match for the coveted NWA World title. During the bout, Hayes, who had an apparent dislike for the champion Flair, decked Flair and demanded Kerry cover him for the title win. However, the proud sportsman Kerry did not want the title via Hayes' underhanded tactics. This incensed Hayes, who pushed Kerry out of his way and angrily exited the steel cage. Kerry followed Hayes toward the door and was trying to explain his stance when Gordy (who had been manning the cage door from outside the ring) slammed the cage door on Kerry's head, ultimately leading to a victory for NWA Champion Flair. Needless to say, the war between "decency and filth" (as Kevin Von Erich later declared on television) was on!
The Freebirds and the Von Erich brothers traded the prestigious Six-Man trophy on five separate occasions from 1983-1986, selling out World Class venues throughout the Southwest area. (Many wrestling insiders credit this feud in making WCCW one of the world's hottest promotions during that period.)
Hayes was the self-appointed leader of the Freebird team, possessing exceptional mic skills and charisma that was virtually unrivaled during that particular period in wrestling history. (In 1984, he even recorded the team's theme song, Badstreet USA!)
In 1984, The Freebirds left World Class. They had a VERY brief stint in the WWF but left when management wanted to split them up.
The Freebirds spent a few months in the AWA during 1985, feuding with The Road Warriors over that group's version of the World Tag Team Titles. Their interference in a match that pitted the champion Warriors against the tandem of "Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal (not the current WWE wrestler William Regal who was known as Steve Regal early in his career) and longtime Freebird ally (and generally considered the "fourth Freebird") Jimmy Garvin, cost the LOD their tag team titles.
After another brief run in World Class during the first half of 1986, the Freebirds entered Bill Watts' Universal Wrestling Federation with Sunshine as their manager. They feuded with The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers), Ted DiBiase, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Watts.
The 'Birds final run in World Class, which took place in 1987-88, was unlike any of their previous WCCW stays as Hayes returned as a babyface, feuding with Roberts and Gordy and siding with the Von Erichs!
After his stint with WCCW, Hayes went to the NWA, where he defeated Lex Luger for the US Heavyweight title. He also reunited with Jimmy Garvin to form a new version of the Freebirds, capturing the NWA World Tag Team titles. They would eventually reunite with Terry Gordy and return to Dallas for a final, brief run in the Global Wrestling Federation shortly before that promotion closed its doors in 1994.
Hayes now works for the WWE where he serves as an agent, happy to share his vast wealth of wrestling knowledge to many of the up-and-coming superstars hoping to make an impact within the industry.