Devils Down In Georgia
What If the Original Legion Of Doom Had Never Disbanded?
by Henrik M
The year is 1983, and the world of wrestling is in a state of flux. In the NWA national scene, the battle between veteran and new blood has never been more apparent with the brutal war between Harley Race and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. On the east coast, the opportunistic World Wrestling Federation has begun to make serious waves. And down in the storied Georgia Championship Wrestling, a pair of young hellraisers known as The Roadwarriors have just been paired up with veteran The Spoiler, powerhouse King Kong Bundy and the sinister Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
The team, led by manager “Precious” Paul Ellering would normally have long since collapsed under the egos of its members, but the managerial skills of Ellering is nothing if not formidable, and he has so far managed to keep the group together. As we join them, it is June, and the Roadwarriors have just brought the National Tag Team titles to the group by way of a tournament victory. Our story begins in the studio of World Championship Wrestling, where Ellering and his group have just arrived for their interview. As always, Roberts is point and center ,with the Roadwarriors and Bundy next to him. Spoiler, silent and inscrutable, observes from the back.
“Mr Ellering, your men, your… Legion Of Doom as you call them, have certainly made an impact here in Georgia. May we have a few words on what your future plans are?”
“Precious” Paul sneers, smacking his signature rolled up Washington Post against his palm. “Solie, my boys, my Legion, are going to take down everyone who stands in our way. Hawk and Animal, they already got the National Tag belts, soon, we’ll have the National Heavyweight title, the National TV title, every piece of gold Georgia has to offer!”
The group smirks and nods amongst themselves, the two Roadwarriors adjusting the Tag belts flung over their shoulders. Ellering continues “When I put this group together, people told me, you cant keep athletes of this caliber in a team, theyre too different, they’ll clash, it wont work. Well, here we are, months later, and no clashes, no problems. Ya see, Solie, we each bring something to the group that makes us better than our components. Me and Spoiler, we bring experience, Jake brings psychology and mind games, King Kong Bundy brings sheer size, and Hawk and Animal bring their own patented brutality.”
Roberts is the next to fill in, one hand on Bundys shoulder and the other on Ellerings “You know, I havent been here all that long, but when Paul approached me about joining forces with these guys, how could I resist? All my life, what Ive had to do my whole life is to grab something and take it, and these guys, they know what its all about.”
“Damn right, Jake” says Animal “Just take a look, take a long hard look at us. Does anyone out there actually think that anyone, Ole Anderson, Buzz Sawyer, Brett Sawyer, Bob and Brad Armstrong, can take on Hawk, or myself? Or Spoiler, or Jake or Bundy? Me and Hawk are the tag team champions, and its just a matter of time before we add more gold.”
“And now, Solie, if you excuse us, my boys have some prepping to do before their next matches.” With that, Ellering and his group stalks off, leaving Solie to introduce upcoming matches.
Ellering wasnt exagerating about his intentions for the Legion Of Doom. First on the list, a TV title shot for Jake Roberts against the Iron Sheik, formerly a canditate for the Legion, but now just another body in the water for Ellering. Unfortunatly, Ronnie Garvin is the current No1 contender for the Television title, and the higher ups has seen no reason why Roberts, while certainly showing promise, should be given any preference to the decorated Garvin. This news is not well recieved however, and Ellering has Roberts cut a swath of destruction through anyone he is paired up against.
Meanwhile, the race is on for who will challenge the newly crowned Tag Team champions for their titles. There is no former champions to ask for a rematch clause as they, the Wild Samoans, had headed to higher ground up north earlier that year, and so, there is no guessing who may end up with the contenderships. The champions themselves makes the spot seem none too desirable either, as they destroy any and all teams that dare get in their way. One team that refuses to be intimidated however, turns out to be Buzz and Brett Sawyer, both accomplished brawlers in their own rights. Managed by semi-retired Ole Anderson, the group has drawn the battle lines, and the Roadwarriors might not find them as easy to overcome.
King Kong Bundy shows no signs of slowing down either, and like Ellering has promised, his eyes are on more gold, namely the crown jewel of Georgia Championship Wrestling, the National Heavyweight Championship held by the infamous Larry Zbyszko, who, aside from his less than reputable actions “up north”, is despised by the Georgia crowd for him buying of the National title back in March from Tim Brooks. While he was eventually forced to relinquish his title due to the rule violation, he has now reclaimed it under more legal conditions, and the crowd finds itself torn between who to support. Zbyszko claims in an interview in late June that Bundy has no claim to his championship, and he will not agree to a title match until he sees that the “rookie” has earned one. This does not sit well with Ellering and his men, and Zbyszko finds his matches increasingly disrupted by run ins and interferences, usually by Bundy, but sometimes by the whole Legion. As June draws to a close, and Georgia really starts baking in the July heat, there’s some large changes looming on the horizon…
During a match card in the first days of July pits Hawk, Animal and The Spoiler with Ellering at ringside against a triple threat of challengers, not only the Sawyers, but also Ron Garvin, who hasnt taken too kindly to the Legions attempts at taking him out of the TV title picture. It has been a long, ardous match, with neither side giving anything, and any advantage Ellering might have given being cancelled out by the watchful eye of Ole Anderson, and The Spoiler is currently facing down Buzz Sawyer, when a murmur rises from the crowd. Down the aisle walks a very familiar, blonde, longhaired visage. Standing by the ring is none other than “Pure Sexy” Michael Hayes, the leader of the legendary Fabulous Freebirds, hometown heroes of Georgia. From the side, Ellerings angry voice can be heard, demanding why the Freebird has shown himself here, and even the Sawyers and Garvin seem apprehensive, the Freebirds, while loved, arent exactly known for their pure intentions. However, Hayes makes no move to interfere, and even Oles questions remain unanswered. The action in the ring heats back up, and The Spoiler has managed to isolate Buzz in his team corner, tagging in Animal and nails Buzz with a quick sucker punch to the throat before exiting. The referee angrily admonishes Spoiler, but backs off to continue watching the action, as it seems like the Legion has Buzz against the rope. Animal hoists the dazed Buzz up on his shoulders, setting up for the dreaded flying clothesline, dubbed the Doomsday Device by Ellering, and it looks bad for the fan favorites. However, just as Hawk ascends the top rope, theres a commotion at ringside. Out of the crowd comes the rest of the Freebirds, Buddy Roberts and “Bam Bam” Terry Gordy. Ellering is immediatly on guard, and Spoiler drops off the apron in case things turn heated. However, aside from their sudden appearance, the Freebirds make no move, and it soon becomes apparent why. The distraction has allowed Buzz to regain his bearings, and with Hawk distracted by the newcomers, he takes his chance and nails Animal with an elbow to the back of the head, causing the Roadwarrior to lose his prey, who quickly dashes over to his partners, and tags in Ron Garvin. Before the Legion has realized whats happening, Garvin takes out Animal with a knockout punch, enough for a three count, and when Ellering finally understands what has happened, hes livid. However, his calls for retribution are unheeded, as the ring now has six men who are willing to brawl, and without Roberts or Bundy, the Legion finds themselves outnumbered. As The Roadwarriors collect their belts from the time keeper, Ellering leads his men back to the locker room, vowing revenge on another day. The crowd cheers, with chants of “Freebirds” echoing throughout the Atlanta dome, but with three new players on the Georgia scene, its anyones guess how things will develop from here.
The next week, the fans are treated to an interview between Gordon Solie and the newly returned Freebirds. The three are their usual selves, swaggering confidence and all.
“Gentlemen, I dont think anyone expected to see The Freebirds back here in Atlanta, but I think theyre more than grateful to see you again. What brought on this sudden return?”
Michael Hayes struts up to answer “Well Solie my man, me and my Freebird brothers were hanging out down south, when we catch Ellering and his little crew of lunatics tearing apart our hometown! Now, I know we havent always been on the side of the angels, but if theres one thing we Freebirds wont stand for, its someone turning Georgia upside down! So me, Bam Bam and Buddy pack our bags, and head home, and we promise we aint leaving for a good long while”
“Thats right” says Terry Gordy “And while we’re at it, Bundy, I know youre watching this, and I dont like how youve been strutting your fat ass around like you own the place. Im laying down a challenge for you, any time, any place, to rumble with Bam Bam. Dig it?”
Roberts is the next to lay down a challenge “And Jake, youve been eyeing that TV title a bit closely for my tastes. I think its time that ol’ Buddy Jack teaches you what a real fight is.”
“Well, you heard it here first folks” says Solie, rounding out the interview “The Freebirds are back, and they had some harsh words to say for the Legion Of Doom. What this means for Georgia Championship Wrestling remains to be seen.”
Ellering doesnt take the Freebirds interference, or their challenges lying down, and immediatly sends the Legion on the offense. In the second week of July, Buddy Roberts finds himself facing down Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and while Michael Hayes has his friends back, theres no doubt that Ellering will do anything necessary to aid his insidious client. The match itself is a standard game for Jake, using every dirty trick he knows to try and gain an advantage over his experienced opponent. However, Buddy Jack is a Freebird, and knows every tactic the Snake can hope to think of. The result is a very even, closely fought match, with the opponents matching eachother punch for punch, and hold for hold. A surprise thumb to the eye from the Snake throws Buddy off his game, and before he can recover, Jake tries to hit him with the DDT. Jake Roberts doesnt expect Buddy Jack to nail him in the gut with a quick knee, however, and the Freebird himself is a master of the DDT, something Jake is quickly taught as he finds his iconic technique reversed on him, the Snakes head smacks into the mat, and his eyes goes blank. Ellering tries to spare his client a humiliating pinfall loss, but Hayes is down by the ring for a reason, and prevents “Precious Paul” from aiding Jake long enough for a three count in favor for Buddy Jack. The Snake is helped to his feet by the manager as the Freebirds taunt from the aisle, and Jake Roberts seethes, knowing his chances for the TV Title can only lower from this embarassing defeat.
Things dont improve for the Legion, as the situation they had hoped to prevent, with Ronnie Garvin defeating the Iron Sheik for the National TV Title on the 8th of July, occuring despite their best efforts to usurp Garvins nr one contender spot. On top of that, new Nr One contenders for Animal and Hawks tag belts are chosen, with the Armstrongs emerging out on top, and a defense is set for later in July. Bob and Brad Armstrong are both tough veterans in the sport, and, while not as brawny or violent as The Warriors, their speed and pure technical skill makes them more than a match for the champions. The title defense is set for that week, on the same card as Ron Garvins first defense, against his occasional ally Buzz Sawyer, and the National Heavyweight Title defence by Zbyzsko against “Wildfire” Tommy Rich. The Legion is once again frustrated in their chase for the gold, about the only thing that goes according to plan is that the Bundy-Terry Gordy match is set for that same card.
The Television title defense is set to open the show, with Ron Garvin, title strapped around his waist, struts down to the ring to face his tough opponent. Neither man is a technical marvel, but their sheer tenacity and brawling skill makes them a good match for eachother. Garvins well known punching strength seems to give him a bit of an edge, but its far too close to call. Some ten minutes into the match, Garvin finds himself on the recieving end of Swayers brutal powerslam, and barely gets his shoulders up for a two count. Sawyer tries to press his advantage with a diving splash, but Garvin manages to get his knees up, and Buzz slams chest first into them. With his opponent stunned for the moment, Garvin prepares his patented KO Punch, waiting as Sawyer begins to stagger to his feet, but before it can connect, seemingly out of nowhere, comes Jake Roberts and The Spoiler, armed with baseball bats!
Garvin scarcely has time to react, before he’s busted open by a vicious blow to the head by Roberts, and Sawyer doesnt even know whats going on before Spoiler has him down and out again. Sawyers brother Brett comes running out, with Ole Anderson in tow, but its too late, the match has been declared a DQ, and the champion is a bloodied mess on the ground. To the angry reception of the crowd, Roberts taunts his brutalized enemy from the isle, before vanishing behind the curtain and Garvin has to be helped to the back by the Sawyers.
Up next is the Bundy-Gordy match, and the audience is out for blood against the Legion, and Terry Gordy is just the man to deliver it to them. The large hometown brawler makes his way to the ring, to the tunes of the classic “Freebird”, dressed in robes decorated with the colors of Georgia. Next, King Kong Bundy arrives, surprisingly without any backup, and the two men face down in the ring, the match promises to be a brutal slugfest. No sooner has the bell rung and the two are on eachother like wild animals, arms locked up in an attempt to overpower eachother. Bundy manages to get the first edge in, thanks to his sheer weight advantage, and pushes Gordy off, the Freebird stumbling a bit, but quickly regains his bearings. Its no use however, as Bundy is on him in seconds, careening into him like a freight train with a tackle, this time knocking Gordy off his feet. Bundy attempts to end the match quickly with a splash, but Gordy rolls out of the way, gets back up, and manages to land a kneedrop on Bundy. Bundy gets back up, and both men have now gotten some initial offense in. Gordy manages to momentarily stun Bundy with a right hook, and seizes the advantage, nailing the behemoth with a running clothesline that almost takes him down. He follows with an elbow to Bundys back knee, hoping to take him down to the mat again, but Bundy recovers, and retaliates with a massive clothesline of his own. This sets the tone of the rest of the match, a brutal back-and-forth brawl, with neither man being able to get an edge in on the other. However, late in the match, Bundy manages to catch an attempted running clothesline from Gordy into a belly-to-belly suplex. Gordy lands hard, and gets Bundys full weight on him as the move connects. Stunned, he cant get his shoulders up in time, and, with Bundy foregoing his trademark 5-count demand, the match is over.
So far, it has been an unsatisfying evening for the Atlanta audience, with the Legion having put one over twice in one night. And it doesnt get better, as The Roadwarriors has no problem retaining against the Armstrongs, who put up quite a fight, but not enough to take down the brutal champions. Not only does it seem like the Legion Of Doom was right about their plans for the territory, it doesnt seem like there is anyone who can stop them. Backstage, Ellering smugly relishes Gordys loss against Bundy, not to mention the Tag Titles still being in their possesion. Meanwhile, the match for the National Heavyweight championship is about to begin
Larry Zbyszko is met with jeers and disdain, his recent rivarly with the Legion hasnt been nearly enough to erase his cruel and traitorous past, and especially not against former World Heavyweight Champion Tommy Rich. The match is a technical affair, a cleaner bout compared to the earlier brawls of the evening, but Zbyszko still tries to grab ahold of any advantage he can. He was trained by the Living Legend, Bruno Sammartino, and knows how to combine power and technique. However, Rich defeated the great Harley Race for a reason, and is able to meet Zbyzsko hold for hold. The match is incredibly even, until an attempted run in by The Spoiler is barely thwarted by Buzz Sawyer, but Zbyszko seizes the opportunity, and rolls up a distracted Rich for the pin. It seems that the Legion intends to keep the title on Zbyszko until Bundy takes it off him, in revenge for his derisive taunts. At any rate, the match is over, and the audience is left disappointed. The Legion stands tall, and the Freebirds have lost the battle, but, hopefully, not the war.
As July turns into August, the rivalry between The Legion of Doom and the rest of GCW shows no end in sight. Buzz Sawyer seems to have developed a personal animosity towards The Spoiler after the masked mans assault against him in the Garvin/Sawyer TV Title match, and puts out a challenge in hopes of revenge. His manager, Ole Anderson, is no fan of Paul Ellering, and supports his client fully in his war against the Legion. In fact, The Legions actions have had an unpleasant, if not entirerly unforeseen consequence, with the various anti-Legion forces forming their own loose-knit group. In an interview, the studio finds Ole, the Sawyers, Garvin, and the Freebirds all together.
“Its like this, Solie” says Ole, surrounded by both clients and newly won allies “Ive never been a saint, and neither have most of us here. Hell, most of the people in the room right now arent that fond of eachother in the first place, but the enemy of my enemy, is my friend!”
Michael Hayes is the next to step up “Thats right Ole. We might not get along great, hell, the Freebirds usually run their own game, but me and my brothers are PISSED about how Ellering and his painted up psychopaths are running roughshod over everyone, like they own the place! We’ve talked it over, and I speak for all of us when I say, we ride with anyone who can run these jerks out of Georgia!”
There’s a murmur of agreement among the assembled fighters. Garvin, title belt hanging over his shoulder, takes the mike “Im not affiliated with either the Freebirds or Ole Andersons group, but I agree, the Legion of Doom has stepped over the line. Jake Roberts thinks he deserves a title shot, so he decides to ruin my matches? Thats not how it works, creep, you have to WIN matches if you want to earn a shot at my title. And next time you try to put yourself into a match you dont belong in, you’ll get a taste of these!” At that, Garvin smacks his fists together.
As the interview ends, the Legion is now faced with something unfamiliar, a joint force that outnumbers them, and its not a turn of events Ellering is happy with. As August progresses, the two factions clash again and again, in singles and tag matches, usually ending in either DQ’s or thrown out matches, with the occasional victory on both sides, tainted or otherwise. Most noteably is a non-title win for Jake Roberts over Garvin finally catapults the Snake into the TV Title contention, and a future official title bout between the two is all but guaranteed. Bundy splits his attention between taking on Terry Gordy, and campaigning for Zbyzskos National Heavyweight belt, and The Roadwarriors have the unpleasant task of being challenged by both Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts and The Sawyers vying for their belts, with Buzz also going after The Spoiler for personal reasons. On a side note, Ellering and Ole Anderson take their manegerial duties for both groups very seriously, and have to be separated on several occasions when promos devolve into fistfights. On top of all this, its announced that NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race will be making a title defense in Atlanta in September, against a to-be-decided opponent, driving the entire promotion into a further frenzy over who will claim the coveted spot. The NWA Board Of Directors have instructed the GCW to hold a 20-Man Battle Royal toward the end of the month to decide who will recieve the title shot, and the date of August 28th is chosen. On top of that, its also decided that another tag team title defence will be held, with a No 1 contenders match between the Freebirds and The Sawyers to be held the coming week.
The announcement is cause of some worry for the Georgia fans, as egos could easily tear apart the fragile alliance that seems to be the only thing that stands between the Legion and domination of the GCW. However, in a pre-match interview the following week, both teams agree to a clean fought match in the spirit of competition and friendship, though coming from The Freebirds that may be taken with a grain of salt. However, the match is indeed fought cleanly, with The Freebirds squeezing by on a surprise small package, and both teams shake hands in the ring to the applauce of the crowd. The Roadwarriors arent pleased about their new opponents and makes their displeasure known by taking apart the makeshift team of Jimmy Valentine and Pat Rose, with neither veteran being able to put up a decent defense against the angry champions. Meanwhile, Ellering recieves word that Jake Roberts will finally get his TV Title match, if he can take down the second top contender, The Great Kabuki, in a TV Title Rules match, in other words, 10 Minute Time Limit. The match is set for the final GCW broadcast before August 28th, alongside a mini-Battle Royal of 10 contenders, to decide a challenger for the National Heavyweight Title.
Jake Roberts faces down his painted adversery, the Great Kabuki being an incredibly dangerous opponent, on par with The Snake himself, and Roberts knows he will have to use everything hes got to take him down. Ellering is at ringside, but the question is, will even his skill be enough to take down Kabuki? The japanese wrestler has been in the United States for some time, and has learned to adapt to the different style used there, and Roberts seem to have difficulty gaining an edge against Kabukis speed and martial arts inspired holds. However, a brief escape to the outside gives Roberts a chance to get some advice to Ellering, which, while unheard by the audience, seems to give The Snake a renewed courage. What the advice was soon becomes apparent, as Roberts begins to focus on Kabukis legs, hoping to remove his speed from the equation. When it seems like Kabuki is preparing to use his signature Mist with the referee currently trying to admonish Ellering from interfering, Roberts seizes the opportunity, and uses a throat thrust, making Kabuki choke on his own mist. Roberts spins him into a DDT, and the referee turns around in time to make a 3-count, and givning Roberts a TV Title match at last.
The rest of the evening continues with no particular surprises, with the main highlight being a successfull title defence by Ron Garvin against the masked Super Destroyer. Finally, the 10-Man Battle Royal main event has a surprising outcome, as, even though The Legions attempts to stack the favor for a victory for King Kong Bundy, he doesnt even make it into the final four, as a joint effort by Killer Karl Kox, Ron Bass, Brad Armstrong, and eventual winner Paul Orndorff manages to topple the giant. Paul Ellering screams bloody murder at ringside, but whats done is done, and August 28th will not be an all-Legion show. The show rounds off with Gordon Solie reminding the viewers at home of what has been dubbed “The War Of 83″.
August 28 – The War Of 83
The Georgia summer is on its last legs as the payoff of the previous months comes to a head, the members of the Legion Of Doom clashes across the board with their rivals of Ole Andersons group, along with the No 1 Contenders Battle Royal. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race is in the audience as well, ready to observe what may lie in store for him come September. To fire up the crowd, GCW presents a grudge tag match between Buzz Sawyer and Terry Gordy against The Spoiler and King Kong Bundy, though the match barely lasts 5 minutes before the referee is forced to declare a No Contest due to both sides refusal to respond to his calls, and the four have to be separated by officials. This only serves as mere foreshadowing for the rest of the card, as The Roadwarriors vow to cripple Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts in the title match, not to mention that several of the rivals who have already competed, or set to compete, have still demanded to take part in the Battle Royal. As the card progresses, Larry Zbyzsko manages to retain his championship against Paul Orndorff, to the crowds displeasure, but is met in the aisle by Bundy and Ellering, who, while not laying a hand on the already exhausted champion under orders from GCW officials, makes it clear that he is still in their sight, and it seems inevitable that he will have to face Bundy sooner or later.
Finally, the moment Jake Roberts have waited for, the Television Title match, has arrived, and, accompanied by Ellering, The Snake makes his way to the ring, to the angry boos and jeers of the audience. The pair are the picture of serene fury, as almost two months of planning and strategy has finally paid off. However, when Ron Garvin enters the arena, belt around his waist, he has backup, as not only Ole Anderson, but also Brett Sawyer accompanies him! It seems that Ole has no intention of letting Legion interference change the outcome in the least, and Roberts will have to rely on his own skill if he wishes to win. The Legion representatives dont look pleased, but they have spent far too much time getting this match to quit now, and the match begins. As the bell rings, Roberts and Garvin are upon eachother, starting out with grapples and holds, but quickly resort to brawling. However, Garvin has Roberts beat in this aspect, and the Snake is forced to rely more on his speed and guile, using feints and sneak attacks to attempt to gain an edge. Garvin almost gains an early fall with a Sunset Flip, but Roberts counters with his legs, and attempts to lock in a Single Leg Boston Crab, though too close to the ropes, and Garvin reaches safety. Taking a moment to regain their breaths, the two separate, but Roberts comes back strong, attempting a throat jab when the referee turns his back, followed by a Russian Leg Sweep. With Garvin down, Roberts is on top of him, slapping on a headlock, but Garvin manages to regain his wits just in time, and slugs Roberts with a quick KO Punch. Robert falls off in a daze, and Ellering is up on the apron, desperate to prevent a 3-count. However, Ole is on him in a second, pulling him down and slugging him to the ground. With Brett watching out for further interference, Garvin gets the win, and Roberts dreams of championship are dashed once again. Ellering and The Snake flee up the aisle, swearing revenge as Ole, Brett and Garvin celebrate in the ring.
The final match before the Main Event is the National Tag Team Title Match, and the tunes to Freebird begin to light up the crowd. Down the aisle comes Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes, and tonight, decorated with face paint in the style of the Georgia flag, to mimic their brutal foes. The Freebirds are all smiles, preening and joking with the audience, but the tunes of “Iron Man” soon replace their own theme, and Animal and Hawk come down, all business. Not taking too kindly to being mocked, and eager to avenge the Legions earlier loss, the Warriors barely wait for the bell to ring before pouncing on the Freebirds, with Hawk and Roberts starting out. Robert immediatly runs into trouble, as he has trouble countering the sheer strength of Hawk, and has to make a quick tag to Hayes, who, while faring little better, does stand a little better against Hawk power wise. Still, he has no way of countering either Warriors strength, and is forced to rely on the patended Freebird psychology. An attempted suplex by Hawk becomes a modifed elbow drop of sorts, as a hidden eye poke causes Hawk to drop Hayes, with Hayes elbow still around his throat. With Hawk down, Hayes gains an advantage, and stomps on his downed foe, before tagging in Roberts, who performs a flying knee drop from the top rope, tags back, Hayes hits a running elbow, before he gets clocked by Animal, and Hawk manages to tag in. This time, Hayes cant seem to gain an edge, and before he can regain his bearings, Animal connects with a clothesline. However, Hayes is downed, but not out. As Animal attempts another charged clothesline, Hayes lashes out in pure instinct, and nails Animal with a headbutt to the stomach. Stunned, the Roadwarrior cant stop Hayes from making a tag to Roberts, who does a running axe handle right into the back of Animals head, dropping him to the ground. With Animal down, Roberts locks the prone Warrior into a DDT, but with his back turned, cant see Hawk behind him, who slams him in the back with an elbow, causing him to drop Animal. With Roberts distracted, Animal clocks him with a right hook, hoists him up for a Gorilla Press, and slams him down. When Hayes tries to save his partner, Hawk is already on the outside, and pulls him down, and the pin is superflous, the Roadwarriors retain the tag titles once again. As The Freebirds are left to lick their wounds, covered in the smudged colors of their home state, the Warriors hold their belts high, to the anger and disgust of the crowd.
Finally, the stage is set for the big Battle Royal. Gordon Solie introduces Harley Race at ringside, who is greeted by a mix of cheers and boos, before the contestants enter the ring. Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy have both been given invitations, along with King Kong Bundy and The Spoiler. Among the other fighters can be noted Mr Wrestling II, Ted DiBiase, Wahoo McDaniel, Stan Hansen, and even former world champion Dusty Rhodes, invited specially for this event. Both The Legion and Ole Andersons representatives have their work cut out for them with stiff competition, and with a world title shot on the line, even alliances and friendships must take a backseat, as shown when neither Freebird has any trouble wailing on the other. If Ellering had hoped that The Spoiler and Bundy could atleast work together long enough eliminate their rivals, he is sorely mistaken, as both men are far too interested in the prize. The competition trickles down bit by bit, with Bundy using his body size to great effect, racking up a full 7 eliminations by the time its down to 6. Hayes manages to eliminate The Spoiler, but is dragged out himself, leaving the number at four, Bundy, Gordy, Rhodes, and surprising wildcard Steve Keirn from The Fabulous Ones. Bundy manages to momentarely incapacitate Gordy by ramming him headfirst into the turnbuckle and, seeing Rhodes locked up with Keirn, both trying to knock the other over the rope, he seizes his chance, and manages to dump both men over the side, and the audience makes it frustration known. However, Bundy takes a moment too long to taunt the defeated men on the outside, and Gordy has a hard head. As Gordy makes his way to his feet, he sees Bundy leaned against the ropes, and pounces on his chance. He stuns Bundy with an axhandle to the back of the head, and somehow manages to dump the gargantuan man over the rope, and the crowd erupts! Ole, The Sawyers, Garvin, Roberts and Hayes hit the ring to celebrate with their friend, and even though the Tag Team titles remain with the Legion, the night has certainly belonged to the Freebirds and their allies.
The fallout from the No 1 Contenders battle royal has set the GCW in motion. With a future World Heavyweight Title Match coming up in this month, as well as the escalating war between the Legion of Doom, and Ole Andersons camp, who have now dubbed themselves with an official name: “The Crew”, in homage to Andersons past with his brothers Lars and Gene in the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Now with a chance at World Title gold, and with the TV Title already in their grasp, The Crew seems set for success. In an interview to report the aftermath of The War Of 83, The Crew adresses their future challenges.
“You know Gordie” says Ole “Paul Ellering and I go way back, and he is a vicious little bastard, but so far, hes been bad at backing up what hes been blabbing. Yeah, the Birds may have missed out on the tag belts, but trust me, thats temporary! Not to mention, The Snake thought he could take down Ronnie Garvin, but just like his loudmouth manager, he failed to deliver. And now? Now we’re getting the NWA World title! The richest prize in the business!”
Hayes steps up “Damn right, Ole! Now, Im not gonna lie, I would have loved to get that shot myself, but my man Bam Bam rightfully won it, and Im proud of him. If anyone can take down Harley Race, its him! Yeah, it stings that the Roadwarriors managed to keep their belts for a little while longer, but what the hell, The Freebirds are generous, you steroid popping lunkheads enjoy them while you can.”
“And Snake, you thought you could take my title?” Garvin smirks and holds up the TV belt for the camera “You got the shot you had been nagging for for so long, and you came up short, just like I knew you would. Well, thems the breaks buddy, just get back in line.”
Finally, the man of the hour, Terry Gordy, takes the mike “This, this is truly a great feeling. Me, Terry Gordy, the new No 1 Contender for the NWA World title. Well Harley Race, you may be a 7 time champion, you may be tied with the great Lou Thez, you took down Ric Flair for the belt, but your luck is up, old man. Should the world champ really be a man who once drove around Happy Humphrey for a living? Bam Bam is going to take that pretty belt of yours, and thats a Freebird promise!”
The Legion meanwhile, are in an uproar. Roberts sees the TV Title slip from his grasp once more, and finds himself in the unenviable position of clawing himself back into the rankings, while Bundy not only lost out on the contendership, but the loss certainly hasnt improved his chances for the National Heavyweight belt. On top of that, The Spoiler has gotten vocal about getting a match against Buzz Sawyer, whos animosity is completely mutual. About the only happy members are the tag champs, and even they still have to guard their backs against the next set of challengers, as they are set to defend on the World Title event. The Freebirds are vying for a rematch, and the Armstrongs, The Sawyers and new challengers like The Fabulous Ones and The Midnight Express crawling out of the woodwork. On top of that, in early September, tag team legend Mr Saito arrives in Georgia, and immediatly allies himself with his old partner The Greak Kabuki, dubbing themselves The Rising Suns. The recent events have also attracted the attention of former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco and his brother Gerald, who arrive in September, with their sights on the tag belts, titles that they have held themselves before. The tag team division is really heating up, and the NWA board orders a mini tournament to be held before the World Title event to choose contenders.
Meanwhile, Ellering and Roberts have made a plan for getting another TV Title shot, and during a World Championship Wrestling broadcast, the same that is to host the first half of the Tag Team Title contendership tournament, lays down an offer for Ronnie Garvin – 10.000$ out of Ellerings own pocket, to be given to the winner of a TV Title rematch. While Ole advices Garvin to think on it, that amount of money is difficult for any man to turn down, even a man like Garvin, and after talking it out with officials, accepts Ellerings and Roberts offer. After the interview is done, the first half of the tag team tournament takes place, with The Briscoes, The Sawyers, The Armstrongs and The Fabulous Ones taking eachother on. The Briscoes experience and tag team savy wins their match against The Armstrongs, but when The Sawyers are about to pick up the victory against The Fabulous Ones, The Spoiler ruins their chances when he sneaks out from under the ring and brains Buzz with a bat when the referees back is turned. The Fabulous Ones pick up a tainted victory, and officials have to separate The Spoiler and Buzz. At the end of the night, The Briscoes puts down The Fabulous Ones to advance to the finals in two weeks.
At the start of the next broadcast, its announced that Buzz Sawyer has demanded a grudge match against The Spoiler, and both camps have agreed for a No Holds Barred Match to be held at the World Title Event, which has now been set for September 25th, as well as Wahoo McDaniel being named the next contender for Zbyzskos National Heavyweight belt, much to the frustration of King Kong Bundy who is passed over once again. The second part of the Tag Team Tournament is held, where The Freebirds, The Rising Suns, The Midnight Express and, in a surprising turn of events, the legendary Assassins face off against eachother. The Assassins, a legend on the Georgia circuit, dating back to 1961, are a surprise entrant into the tournament, and the GCW promotors earn some ire from the other competitors about this sudden unproven wildcard. However, the masked duo are set, and make a stellar showing, taking out The Midnight Express in their first match, while The Rising Suns, much to the ire of the crowd, manages to slip by the Freebirds, due to interference from Animal and Hawk, who pounce on the chance to rob their hated rivals of a title shot. Officials have to pry apart the two teams, but the decision stands, The Rising Suns are in the semi finals later that night. In the interview studio, Ole Anderson angrily confronts Ellering over The Legions constant interference, and the two managers end up coming to blows with eachother, and has to be pulled apart by Jimmy Valiant and Mr Wrestling. In a revenge move, The Spoiler is on the recieving end of an attack by The Sawyers during his match against Ted DiBiase, and is beaten senseless before Jake Roberts and Bundy can make the save. The night is topped off by The Rising Suns picking up a semi final win over The Assassins, but its becoming increasingly apparent that the bad blood between The Legion and The Crew is going to cause serious disruptions to GCW unless something is done.
With just one week left to the world title event, GCW officials declare that both The Legion of Doom and The Crew are on probation, with the threat of being stripped of all currently held titles and title shots if the constant violent interference and attacks dont stop. Both camps grudgingly accept this, both sides have too much to lose, but its a fragile cease fire at best, and in the broadcast for the final match in the Tag Title shot tournament, the tension in the building is thick enough to cut with a knife. Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts get some measure of momentum back after defeating The Fabulous Ones in a warm up match for the tournament final, and Ron Garvin defends his TV title against Pat Rose, but the Legion is mostly absent from the arena that night, the only representative seems to be The Spoiler, who takes down Ted DiBiase in a rematch for last week. Finally, the main event is underway, and The Briscoes and The Rising Suns square off. The Briscoes are veterans in the tag team game, but neither Mr Saito nor Great Kabuki are strangers to eachother, and the match is a close one. Some ten minutes into the match, Kabuki has a stunned Jack Briscoe set up for the Mist while Saito distracts the referee, However, Jerry Briscoe is not one to simply let his brother get beaten, and leaps over the ropes in time to take a Mist hit for his brother. Jerry is blinded and tumbles over the ropes out of the ring, but his sacrifice gives Jack enough time to recover, and manages to roll up Kabuki in time for the referee to turn around, and a three count later, the Briscoe Brothers are the next in line for the Roadwarriors title belts, much to the delight of the crowd. Jack helps his brother up from the floor, and the brothers make their way backstage as the broadcast comes to a close. With that, the final event before the big world title match is over, and the viewers are left to ponder wether or not a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion is about to be crowned.
September 25th – The 10.000$ Challenge
The fans are hanging from the rafters in the Atlanta Dome, as one of the biggest events in GCW history is about to kick off. Aside from the highly anticipated main event, where Terry Gordy will finally challenge reigning NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race, a slew of title matches and grudge fights are lined up. First, theres the No Holds Barred match between The Spoiler and Buzz Sawyer, the 10.000$ challenge between Jake Roberts and Television champion Ron Garvin, The National Tag Team Title match between The Roadwarriors and the Briscoe Brothers, and the National Heavyweight Title match between Larry Zbyzsko and Wahoo McDaniel.
The Spoiler is the first into the ring, alone, as neither Ole nor Ellering are allowed to be in the arena during the match, in case they decide to try and assist their clients. Buzz is next, but he doesnt even have time to get through the ropes before The Spoiler is on top of him with punches and kicks, before tossing him back down to the floor, and continuing his assault. Buzz has trouble mounting any sort of offense, as The Spoiler doesnt let up for a minute, before grabbing him and slamming him into the side railing. Buzz is on his knees as Spoiler goes for a chair, and smacks it across Buzz’s back. The early parts of the match are completely dominated by Spoiler, who pauses the beating to grab some wires from the arena floor that he proceeds to choke out Sawyer with, but thats when his luck runs out. Buzz somehow regains a measure of composure, and manages to grab ahold of the ring bell from the announcers table, and clocks The Spoiler behind him, making him drop the wires and let Sawyer breathe. Spoiler is momentarely dazed, but Sawyer is already in a bad state, and it looks like he’ll need this breather just to get back on his feet. However, he somehow manages to launch himself at The Spoiler, knocking the masked man headfirst into the ringpost, and crashing to the floor, where Sawyer is on top of him in moments, delivering several nasty looking right hooks that end up busting The Spoilers lip open, making blood drip down his mask. Spoiler retaliates with a left elbow to the face, before grabbing Sawyer by the head and slamming him into the side of the ring repeatedly, busting his forehead open. Both men are now a bleeding mess, but neither is about to give up, with The Spoiler raking his nails across the gash in Sawyers forehead. Sawyer suddenly yanks on Spoilers mask, pulling it around enough that the eyeholes are no longer in front of his eyes. Blinded, Spoiler pauses to correct it, but Sawyer is on him in a second, knocking him back into the railing, before setting upon him with a chair that ends up shattering over the masked mans head. Spoiler collapses to the floor like a sack of potatoes, and Sawyer is on top of him, trying to choke him into uncosciousness with his bare hands. Spoiler manages to toss him off with a knee to the gut, and struggles up on one knee, but Sawyer manages to get ahold of a new weapon, a microphone, and smacks it right into the Spoilers forehead. Its not enough to drop The Spoiler again however, and he makes it to his feet, throwing a hard punch against Sawyer, who doesnt dodge in time. The brawl is now moving back toward the ring, and the two climb back in to finish the fight. However, Spoiler has been saving a trick up his sleeve, and while Sawyer is struggling back in through the ropes, he pulls out a pair of brass knuckles from his tights, puts them on, and when Sawyer finally looks up, he is met with a fistfull of brass, and goes down hard. Spoiler collapses across him, and the referee counts to three, giving The Spoiler a hard fought, bloody victory.
The Television Title match is up next, with the 10.000 dollar prize on the line for Garvin, even for a champion thats a substantial sum of money. Garvin makes his way to the ring, accompanied by Ole Anderson, while Roberts and Ellering, already in the ring, are going over some last minute strategy. The referee checks both competitors for illegal objects, before signaling for the bell, and the match is on. Roberts attempts to go for first blood with a right hook, but Garvin blocks it, and knocks Roberts back with a kidney punch, followed by both men locking onto eachother, struggling for dominance. Roberts manages to gain the upper hand, and straps on a headlock, but Garvin struggles out, and pushes Roberts into the ring corner, where he proceeds to wail on him with punches, before the referee separates them. Roberts shakes off the cobwebs, and gets back into the fray quickly, countering one of Garvins punches with a knee to the gut, followed by a surprise quick suplex. While Garvin is winded, Roberts is on him, putting the boots to the downed champion, before following up with a standing elbow drop. Roberts attempts to pin Garvin, but doesnt even get a two count. Garvin reverses the pin attempt into a rollup, but Roberts kicks out, and the two make it back to their feet. The two brawl wildly in the ring now, attempting to wear eachother down enough to land a finishing maneuver, but neither seems to be able to make a dent. An Irish whip into the ropes, and Roberts bounces back, just in time to eat a clothesline from Garvin, and goes down hard. As Roberts tries to struggle to his feet, Garvin is loading up for a running KO punch, but hes standing too close to the ringside, and Ellering sees his chance, and yanks on Garvins foot from the floor just as the champion makes a running start, sending him to the apron. Hes on his feet in moments, yelling angrily at the manager, and Ole is running around the ring from his own side to deal with Ellering. However, Garvin is so distracted by Ole and Ellerings fight outside that he doesnt notice that Roberts has regained his senses, and just as he turns around, is met with a savage kick to the gut, and, as he keels over, Roberts locks him into a DDT and smacks him against the ring. Garvins head bounces off the apron, and before Ole has noticed whats going on, the referee has made a three count. To the nearly riotous anger of the crowd, Jake The Snake Roberts has become the new National Television Champion, and Ron Garvin has missed out on ten grand. Ellering grabs the TV belt from the timekeeper, and him and The Snake make their way back to the locker room, the belt now over Roberts shoulder, as Ole is left to help his own client backstage.
This has not been a good evening for The Crew so far, with Buzz Sawyers loss to The Spoiler, and Garvins loss of the TV championship. However, still ahead is Terry Gordys match for the World Heavyweight title, and a win here would send a message to The Legion. First however, are the National Heavyweight and Tag Title matches, with the Roadwarriors/Briscoe Brothers match up next.
The night takes an immediate turn for the worse, however, as before the match can even start, the Briscoes are found brutally beaten in the backstage area, in no condition to fight, and it seems like the Legion has decided to eliminate the competition. However, The Roadwarriors and Ellering look just as confused as everyone else, and some quick deliberation between officials reveal that The Legion has alibi for the entire time of the event so far, either being in matches, or together as a group in the back. Regardless, the match is cancelled for the time being, and postponed indefinetly, while the Briscoes are recieving medical attention, the announcing team recieve information that a replacement match between Stan Hansen and Jimmy Valiant will take place instead, but the crowd is almost completely dead, and Hansen picks up the win with little fanfare of neither cheers or boos. The National Heavyweight Title match recieves more of a reaction, though the crowd is still visibly upset about the strange turn of events, but put all their cheers behind Wahoo McDaniel in the hopes that he will be the one to dethrone the hated Zbyzsko. However, Wahoo puts up an impressive fight ,but Zbyzsko whips out a desperation move late in the match and dumps Wahoo over the top rope, incurring a DQ and saving his title once again. With only the World Title match left, it stands to see if the crowd will walk home happy about any match result tonight.
Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting almost a month for is finally here. Decked out in the Georgia robe, accompanied by both Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes, the challenger walks down to the ring, swaggering with Freebird confidence. Bam Bam looks more focused than ever, with his eyes firmly on the NWA World belt, the most prestigious prize in the wrestling business. The champion Harley Race is out next, with the famous 10 Pounds Of Gold around his waist, to a solid wall of boos. Race, already not exactly the most popular man in wrestling due to his actions in dodging the former champion Ric Flair, is positively hated now as he is facing a hometown hero. The two combatants disrobe, before having the ring announcer introduce them, and present the title belt to them both. Finally, the bell rings, and the match is underway.
Immediatly, Terry Gordy tries to get on the offensive, lashing out with a quick hook, making Rce stagger backwards. Race is no slouch, but Gordys sheer size and strength advantage leaves the champ to wrestle defensively. However, what Race lacks in size, he makes up in wrestling skill, and manages to get Gordy to the mat with a leg hook, putting the challenger in unpleasant territory. With both Freebirds yelling support at ringside, the two are locked in a war of reversals and limb locks, with Gordy attempting to get back to his feet where his brawling style will be of more use. Finally, he manages to flip Race over, and nails him with a right hook, giving him enough time to get back up. When Race struggles to his feet, he’s met with a resounding clothesline from Gordy, followed by a brutal leg drop. Gordy goes for the pin, but only manages a 2 count, and the match continues in this back and forth manner. Around the ten minute mark, Race manages to lay Gordy flat on his back, and to the anger of the Freebirds, ascends the top rope to pull off his patented diving headbutt attack. However, he’s misjudged just how out of it Gordy is, and just as Race leaves the top rope, Gordy rolls out of the way, leaving Race to smack facefirst into the apron. Seeing an opportunity, Gordy drags the groggy champion to his feet, and hoists him up for a powerslam, and Race smacks back down again, but kicks out at 2 when Gordy attempts a pin. Trying to wear the champ down, Gordy locks him in a lying headlock, and Race is still weakened from the powerslam. However, hes not the world champion for nothing, and manages to elbow Gordy in the jaw, making him release his neck. Before Gordy can regain his bearings, he’s met with a running knee to the back of the head, sending him tumbling over, and now Race really begins to go to work. He locks Gordys legs into a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring, and despite the challengers best attempts, he cant seem to struggle out of the submission hold. When almost 5 minutes have lapsed, and Gordy refuses to give in, Race releases the grip, and instead goes to work on his opponents lower back, attempting to weaken him enough to make the submission hold more effective. However, Gordy is tough as nails, and Race begins to realize that making him submit may be a lost cause, a pinfall is his only recourse. While Gordy tries to get to his knees, Race begins to lay into him with punches to the head, before dragging the Freebird to his feet, and tossing him facefirst into the turnbuckle, busting his forehead open. With blood dripping down his face, it looks like Gordys world title dreams are fading fast, and Race sets him up for a piledriver. However, just as Gordys head is locked between his knees, Gordy suddenly gets an unexpected second win, and reverses into a back body drop, with Race dropping like a leadweight. Gordy seizes the opportunity, and delivers a nasty looking knee drop right into the champs head, opening a small gash. Smelling blood in the water, Gordy pulls Race up by his neck, drags him over to the ropes, and begins to grind his forehead open, making Race scream as blood gushes down his face, covering him in a crimson mask. The referee yells angrily and tries to separate te two, with only the threat of disqualification making Gordy release his target, and Race struggles to his feet. Both men are a bloody mess by now, both wobbling a bit on their feet, but the match isnt over yet. The champion has abandoned all thoughts of a clean fight by now, and launches himself at Gordy, knocking him into the corner, where he attacks him with punches and kicks, Gordy attempting to block him, but failing miserably. Half blinded by his own blood, Gordy lashes out and manages to catch Race with a right hook that sends him reeling and the champ stumbles backwards. Gordy suddenly grabs him in a surprise DDT and Race’s head smacks against the apron with a wet thud, but Gordy doesnt go for the pin. Instead, he drags Race to his knees, and sets him up for the powerbomb. To the crowds hysterical cheers, and egged on by Hayes and Roberts outside, Gordy hoists up the champion on his shoulders, and with the last of his strength, slams him down, and covers him. The referee counts one, two, and…THREE!
The noise of the fans is deafening as officials and Freebirds pour into the ring, both to tend to the fallen champion ,and to congratulate the winner. Ole Anderson, Ron Garvin, and The Sawyers come running from backstage as well, and as they hoist up Gordy on their shoulders, the referee presents him with the World Title Belt, and the ring announcer officially declares Bam Bam Terry Gordy to be the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Terry Gordy, his face a mix of tears and blood, holds the title belt high for the fans, and history is made as the broadcast ends.
To say that the last week had been eventful would have been an understatement. With Terry Gordy having won the NWA World title, bringing a huge boost of presitge, not just to himself and The Crew, but to GCW as a whole, Ole Andersons men are riding high, despite the loss of the TV title to Jake Roberts. Meanwhile, the Legion are lamenting the fact that despite their overall success last week, they have been completely outshined by Gordy, something Ellering bitterly complains about on the first TV broadcast after the World Title Event.
“Its a damn travesty, Solie! Did Terry Gordy win it big last week? Oh sure, the world belt is the richest prize in the business, but that fat oaf won ONE match! ONE! Meanwhile, no one cares that The Snake beat that punk Garvin for the Television belt, not to mention saved MY hard earned money from that grubby idiots paws? And The Spoiler whipped Buzz Sawyer good, but no one is talking about that either! Hell, my Roadwarriors would have schooled those Briscoe Brothers too if someone elsehadnt beat us to it!”
Jake Roberts holds up his newly won TV belt “Damn right, Paul. Look at this, the TV title is finally, FINALLY mine, they tried to keep it away from me since June, but its around my waist where it belongs. But does anyone care? NO! Where’s my audulations? Where’s my interviews and endorsement offers?”
“Gordy thinks he’s something?” King Kong Bundy interjects “I beat his redneck ass black and blue just a few months ago, and now he struts around like he is something? You call yourself a champion? You’re nothing but a fraud!”
“Gentlemen, please, one at a time” Solie holds the mike out to Ellering “Certainly you can agree that this is a huge accomplishment, Paul Ellering? The NWA World Title is the biggest prize in the business, and Gordy won it fair and square”
“So what, Solie? My man Bundy, as he pointed out, has beat him before, by that logic, he should be getting a world title shot! That Badstreet buffoon doesnt deserve to be the world champ, and The Crew is nothing but a bunch of losers, as we so handily showed them!”
The Legion laughs cruelly, before taking off, with the parting statement that Bundy has challenged any comers to prove himself for a shot at the National Heavyweight title. Meanwhile, the exact circumstances about the attack on the Briscoe Brothers last week are being discussed, with the most obvious suspects, the Legion, having a solid alibi, leaving the identity of the attackers unknown. A prime suspect are The Rising Suns, who, as the second placers for the Tag Title Contender tournament, would have had the biggest motive for the attack, but GCW officials have been unable to get into contact with them for questioning. However, any of the snubbed tag contenders could be the culprits, and it doesnt look like this question will be answered any time soon. The Briscoes themselves are out in the studio, bandaged and bruised, but otherwise fine, challenging their attackers to come out and face them like men, and take some of their frustrations out on The Midnight Express in a close fought fight later that night. Meanwhile, The Freebirds are riding high, and in that nights main event, are booked in a six man tag team match against The Assassins and Super Destroyer. However, just when Michael Hayes has Assassin #1 on the ropes, hes blindsided by a surprise attack from Jake Roberts. Before the other Freebirds can react, King Kong Bundy and The Spoiler pull them to the floor and starts beating them bloody. The rest of the Crew comes rushing out of the locker room, but The Roadwarriors and Ellering soon join the fray as well, and its complete pandemonium in the ring, with officials requiring help from the other wrestlers to separate the angry fighters. Both the Crew and The Legion have to be escorted from the arena, bloodied and battered, and it seems like last weeks events havent cooled the war down at all.
On the second October broadcast, Gordon Solie accounces several important messages from the NWA board. First of all, he adresses that Harley Race has demanded, and will recieve, his title rematch in three weeks. However, Terry Gordy has also been scheduled for another title defence before this, against an old rival from his time in Texas, David Von Erich, generally considered to be the jewel of the Von Erich wrestling family, who was next in line for a title shot before Gordy won the Battle Royal at The Was of 83. Thus, Terry Gordy is going to be heading south in a week, leaving The Crew short of their head brawler for the duration. On top of that, both The Crew and The Legion have been heavily fined for the massive brawl last week, with Ole being fined 3000$ and Ellering 5000$. Finally, investigation is ongoing about the assault on The Briscoe Brothers, with main suspects, The Rising Suns, still unaccounted for. GCW has issued an ultimatum that if the team has not responded to their inquiries by next week, they will be blacklisted from the territory. As the night progresses, Paul Ellering and Ole Anderson confront eachother during an interview in the studio.
“You know what, you washed up old has-been, I am SICK of you and your little troupe of inbred rednecks getting in the way of my boys” Ellering, never one for mincing words, is immediatly on the offensive “The Spoiler took down Buzz Sawyer, The Snake beat Ron Garvin, and you think that Terry Gordy is something special just because he managed a fluke win over a champion thats past his prime by a good five years? Youre NOTHING Ole, you were nothing when we were wrestlers, and youre nothing now!”
“Listen to me you stuck up, overeducated piece of dung! Youve done nothing except doing run ins and cheating your way ahead since you formed that band of lunatics! Well I am tired of dealing with you, and I am tired of having to look over my shoulder while supporting my clients. Georgia isnt big enough for the both of us, so Im laying down a challenge – I want a match, between the two of us. No Crew, no Legion, just us”
Ellering looks visibly shocked “What are you babbling about, you old fool? Both of us are retired, Im done with the ring. Why should I accept?”
“Because, whoever wins, their group stays. The loser, is out of here, and their group has to disband. Im laying down a Loser Leaves Town match, what do you say, “Precious” Paul?”
Ellering looks indecisive, the idea of that match obviously doesnt appeal to him, but backing down will make him look like a coward in the face of his men, and cowardice has never been his style. A determined expression slips over his face “You got a deal, Ole! And when I pound your face into hamburger meat, I better not see your ugly self around here again!”
The two glare at eachother, and stalks off in a huff, leaving Gordon Solie to summarize “Well, you heard it here first folks, it looks like this war is finally coming to a climax, right here in Atlanta. We can only speculate whats going to happen between then and now”
The sudden turn of events set both camps in a bit of flux, neither side want their successfull alliance to fall apart. The Roadwarriors decree that they will help their manager train for his coming fight, while Roberts intends to focus his energy on defending his TV title, which he does in the main event that night, fighting the One Man Gang to a time limit draw, as the mammoth of a man proves almost impossible to get off his feet, forcing Roberts to run out the clock. King Kong Bundy meanwhile, is offered the opportunity he’s been wanting since June, a shot at Larry Zbyzsko and the National Heavyweight Title. However, to get it, he has to first take on the champion in a non-title match, something Bundy is all too happy to do, as Zbyzsko has been dodging him for far too long. The match is set for next weeks main event, which will be the headline while Gordy is in Texas defending his championship. Meanwhile, the remaining Freebirds campaign to recieve another title shot against The Roadwarriors, but their claim is challenged by The Sawyers, who demand their own shot against the champions, pointing out the Freebirds failure in August. The argument quickly becomes heated, and Ole has to step between his clients, and tell them to keep their egos in check. Hayes and Brett grudgingly make peace for now, but it appears like competition may finally be causing cracks in The Crew. Georgia is once again becoming a battleground, and it doesnt seem like its about to settle anytime soon.
The following week is an eventful one. Gordon Solie announces that the GCW officials have decided to place the Ellering/Anderson Loser Leaves Town Match, and the Terry Gordy/Harley Race rematch on the same date, October 23d. Paul Ellering has taken time off from television to get back into fighting shape, Ellering helped along by the tag champs, and Ole training along with his nephew, Arn Anderson, a quickly rising star who’s most known for his fights in the Mid South territory. A video clip of the two sparring in a seedy gym back home in Minneapolis is shown to the audience, and with The Crew missing their leader along with Terry Gordy who’s currently down in Texas to defend the NWA World title, and the Legion missing Ellering and the tag champs who are training in Chicago, the reigns of the respective groups have fallen to Michael Hayes and Jake Roberts. Hayes is on an immediate offensive, haranguing The Roadwarriors for having disappeared from Georgia television, despite being reigning champions, as well as lamenting that they couldnt accompany their Freebird brother to Texas, as the Von Erichs were vary of any Freebird interference in Davids title match, and had banned Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes from the promotion for the time being. Jake Roberts is quick to respond, mocking Ron Garvin about his loss, and challenging him and a Crew partner of his choice to a tag team match later that night, before the main event with Bundy and Zbyszko. Garvin accepts, and chooses Buddy Roberts as his partner, who despises The Snake almost as much as Garvin does. The match isnt so much a tag match as a free for all, as Garvin and Roberts are too busy slugging it out to consider things like strategy or rules, leaving their partners Buddy Roberts and The Spoiler to try to keep them from getting DQ’d. The match quickly gets out of hand, however, and is declared a double disqualification for refusal to obey the referee, leaving both sides still smoldering with anger. Finally, King Kong Bundy gets his contender shot against the National Heavyweight champion, and Zbyzsko immediatly runs into trouble as he has difficulty shifting the massive man, and his normal rule breaking attempts are to no use, as Bundy is intent on winning his title shot and blocks any attempts of escape. After a good ten minutes, he hasnt seemed to be able to make a dent, and falls prey to a scoop slam followed by a big splash, and Bundy has his title shot. However, just as the broadcast is ending, Gordon Solie appears, followed down by The Briscoe Brothers and, to the surprise of the crowd, The Great Kabuki and Mr Saito.
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please? We’ve just recieved word on exactly who it was that attacked the Briscoes at the World Title Event, and, as we have just found out, bribed the only witnesses, the Rising Suns.”
Jack Briscoe grabs the mike, and holds it up to Mr Saito “Now you tell them, Saito! You tell everyone here exactly what happened, tell them what you told us!”
Mr Saito, obviously displeased by being forced to confess in public like this, answers “We got to the arena to wish the Briscoes luck, on our honor we promise this, but when we got to the locker rooms, we found them already beaten on the floor, with the attackers still in there. They paid us off so we’d keep quiet about it, and to stay away for a while so no one would suspect them, but… we realized we acted wrong. We acted out of greed and spite…”
“And who was it? Tell all these people who the rat bastards were who jumped me and Jerry!”
Saito takes a deep breath “It was… Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts!”
At this, the crowd explodes in confusion and anger, the accusations towards the wildly popular Freebirds is not recieved well. On the orders of Solie, Michael Hayes and Roberts make their way down to the ring to respond to the accusations.
“You really gonna listen to these two, Jack? Have you lost your senses? Theyre just trying to pin the blame on someone else, they are the ones with the real motives against you! We were with Terry the whole time, prepping him for his match!”
“Yeah, and isnt it convenient that they wait until the only man who can back up our story is out of the state? I tell ya Briscoe, I expected more from you”
Jerrys face takes on a dark look “You know Buddy, thats what I thought at first. I mean, who would have more of a reason to jump us than the people we edged out for the title shot? Hell, I probably wouldnt have belived them… if there hadnt been a third witness you didnt notice!”
The Freebirds looks visibly shaken at this, and the crowd murmurs in suscpicion.
“What are you talking about, Jerry? What third witness?”
“Me!” All eyes turn to the new arrival at the arena doors, and the roar of the crowd becomes deafening. Through the doors come none other than the former World champion, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, dressed in an expensive suit, and swaggering with his patented Nature Boy style, greeting the surprised crowd. Hayes is livid.
“What the hell are you doing here, Nature Boy? This aint the Carolinas, you are not welcome in Georgia!”
“Well, see, here’s the thing “Pure Sexy”, I WAS at the Dome during the World Title event, I was intending to try and get into Harley’s head for when I inevitably get my hands on him, but I decided to take a look backstage first, incognito. Im guessing you didnt spot a guy in a hoodie and baseball cap?”
Hayes and Roberts seem to pale at this “I saw you pay off the Rising Suns, and at the time I thought nothing of it, I didnt stick around to investigate further, and I never got a chance to reveal myself since your pal Terry beat Race for the title, but then I start hearing about The Briscoes getting jumped, and how the Suns had seemingly gone underground, so I contact Jack and Jerry here and explain what I saw, and we finally managed to hunt down Saito and Kabuki to get their side, and… well, here we are.”
Roberts grabs a hold of the mike “This doesnt mean anything, of course Flair would try to pin the Freebirds, Terry won a title he considers to be his! He’s lying, thats what he does!”
Gordon Solie finally steps in “Well, the GCW belives him, and so does the NWA board of directors! Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts, on the orders of my superiors, I hereby fine you 5000$ for your heinous attack, and on the request of The Briscoe Brothers, you are hereby scheduled in a Grudge Match on October 23d against them!”
The Freebirds protest wildly, but the decision is final, and backstage, they are met with the rest of The Crew. Garvin is the first to confront them.
“So this is how it is, huh? I thought you had changed, but it seems like a Freebird can never change its colors.”
“Dont you dare judge us, Garvin! Even if we had jumped the Briscoes, who cares? No one gets in the way of the Freebirds, NOBODY! You know, why do we even need you? Terry already has the World Title, and we’re going to take the National Tag belts as well!”
“Well glad you think so Hayes, cause I just got off the phone with Ole, and he’s none too happy with what you did. You’re out of the Crew!” With that, Garvin and the Sawyers stalk off, leaving The Freebirds behind, as another GCW event comes to a close. With just one broadcast left before the, fittingly dubbed, “Battle For Atlanta” on the 23d, it looks like The Crew may be dissolving from within, before Ole even has a chance to fight for it.
The next week, clips are shown of Terry Gordys successfull defence against David Von Erich in Texas, with Gordys natural size and strength giving him the edge needed to take out the Von Erich prodigy, gaining the pin with a powerbomb after a 25 minute slugfest. However, it is a subdued Bam Bam who walks into the ring tonight, world title over the shoulder, and dressed in street clothes to adress last nights revelations.
“You know, I actually had no idea that my friends, men I call brothers, what they were up to on what I consider to be one of the happiest days of my life. Now, now Im being forced to choose between the Freebirds, and other friends whom I feel I have bonded with over these past months. But… Im sorry Ole, but Michael and Buddy are my brothers, the Freebirds is where I belong. I hereby resign from The Crew, and while I dont agree with what my friends did, its with them that I belong.” With that, the world champion drops the mic and leaves the arena, to the resounding boos of his former fans.
Terry Gordys decision is met with joy by his Freebird compatriots, and bitter silence by The Crew. Ole returns from his training in Minneapolis to help hold his suddenly shrunken group together. With the loss of the Freebirds, The Legion has the size advantage once again, and Ellering is looking mighty pleased when he gives the last interview before The Battle For Atlanta.
“I should have known that Andersons little group of rednecks wouldnt be able to hold up in the face of real competition. Why not just give up and leave town right away, Rock? It’ll spare you the humiliation for when I beat your ass in the ring and force you out.” Ellering is all cruel smiles.
“Thats right, Paul” says Hawk. “We’ve been together longer than The Crew, and you dont see us tearing eachother apart. We’re the tag team champions, Roberts is the TV champion, and our big man Bundy is about to become the National champion, and there’s nothing you can do about it!”
“Well gentlemen, let me just interject here, Ive gotten word that more title matches have been announced for the 23d” All eyes are suddenly on Gordon Solie
“What are you talking about, Solie? They havent even had any contenders matches yet!”
“Be that as it may, the GCW officials feel that this coming event is a perfect opportunity for a Tag Title defense, since the last one was cancelled, and with the No1 contenders busy, they have decided to give The Sawyers a shot at your titles”
The Roadwarriors do not appreciate this announcement “Are you KIDDING me, Solie?! We’ve beat those punks before! Hell, Spoiler beat Buzz Sawyer less than a month ago! You telling us that they somehow deserve another shot?”
“Thats exactly what Im saying, gentlemen. On top of that, the board has chosen Stan Hansen as the new TV title contender, but we have recieved a request from Ron Garvin as well-“
“Garvin?” Roberts drolls “That pathetic hillbilly had his shot, he blew it, not to mention ten grand. Why would I give him another shot?”
“Because, Mr Roberts, Garvin is offering this to be a retirement match.”
The Legion seems to pause at this.
“So you mean, when I beat him, he’s out of wrestling for good?” The Snake cant help but grin at the thought of ridding himself of his hated enemy.
“Thats right, Mr Roberts. The board is willing to let you choose this time, Garvin or Hansen? What say you?”
Roberts turns to Ellering, who gives him a sinister look and a small nod. Roberts grins like a chesire cat.
“Garvin, I know you can hear this. Next week, you and me, we’re facing off one last time. Kiss those wrestling boots goodbye, because I am sending you on a permanent vacation!”
The matches are set for next week, and the existance of both The Crew and The Legion is hanging in the balance. Not to mention the Grudge Match between The Freebirds and The Briscoes which is sure to become a regular bloodbath if the combatants have anything to say about it. The evening closes with a non title match between The Roadwarriors and The Asssassins, where the young champions quickly show what they intend to do to their opponents the coming week, assaulting the veterans to the point where they are disqualified for excessive brutality, while Paul Ellering watches silently from ringside.
October 23d – The Battle For Atlanta
Its a grey and dreary Atlanta sunday as the events of five long months are finally coming to a head. Tonight, the fate of two wrestling stables that have proven to be formidable forces will be decided, as well as the rematch for the NWA World Heavyweight title, Harley Race still intent on recapturing the gold, for a record 8 times. Of course, the National TV, Tag Team, and Heavyweight Titles are also on the line, and the main event, a feud that has been brewing for months, the Ole Anderson/Paul Ellering Loser Leaves Town Match. The fans are packed together in the Omni Dome, eager to see these two forces clash for the final time. In the backstage area, Ellering and Ole are giving their respective groups some last minute advice before the matches are set to begin. After a warm up match between Paul Orndorff and Joe Lightfoot that sees “Mr Wonderful” as the winner,the first of tonights Crew/Legion bouts is up – The Tag Team Title match. Neither Paul Ellering, nor Ole Anderson are accompanying their men down, as both have been ordered to remain backstage, to prevent them from mucking up the main event by getting injured. However, The Roadwarriors are instead accompanied down by The Spoiler, while Ron Garvin accompanies The Sawyers, despite his TV title match later in the night. Hawk and Animal hands their title belts to the referee, before turning to The Spoiler, who gives some last minute orders from Ellering, to keep the belts by any means necessary. Buzz and Brett get into position, with Brett starting, and as soon as the bell rings, he pounces across the apron towards starting man Hawk, who is blindsided, and finds himself on the wrong end of a jumping tackle, and falls backwards with Brett on top of him, falling prey to several vicious punches before Animal steps in and pulls Brett off his partner. The referee tries to get the Roadwarrior back outside, but Animal is fired up, and shoves him aside before going for Brett, but Garvin is up on the apron in a second, pulling him outside to prevent a DQ victory that would let the Warriors keep their titles. While Garvin and Animal brawls on the outside, the two legal men go at eachother with vicious blows, before Hawk catches a knee to the gut, and finds himself in a surprise suplex from Brett. With Hawk down, Brett quickly tags in Buzz, who gives Hawk a jumping knee, followed by an elbow. However, outside the ring, The Spoiler has managed to pull Garvin away from Animal, and drags him over to the nearby barricades, slamming him headfirst into the metal, and leaving him struggling to get back up and help keep his teammates backs. Animal takes this chance, and interrupts an attempted pin by Buzz, while the referee tries to get the match back in order. Finally, he gets Animal back in his own corner, and turns to get the men outside to quit their brawling. However, with his back turned, he doesnt see Hawks sudden low blow to Buzz, and while Sawyer drops to his knees in pain, Hawk is up on his feet again, bounces against the ropes, and nails him in the face with a running big boot. With Buzz stunned, Hawk pulls him to his feet, whips him into the Warriors corner, where Animal grabs him, and lets Hawk deliver several punches to his midsection. Finally, the referee turns back around, and Animal is forced to release Buzz, but Buzz is already in a sorry state from the beating, a particularly hard hit from Hawk having busted open a healing cut on his forehead, leaving blood dripping down his face, while Brett tries desperatly to get his brother to reach their corner for a tag. Suddenly, Animal attempts to land an elbow to the back of Buzz’s head from his corner, but due to a sudden stumble by Buzz, only succeeds in knocking him into Hawk, who, not expecting the sudden shove, falls flat on his back, with a woozy Buzz haphazardly crashes into his own corner, allowing Brett to tag himself back in! Before Hawk can get back to his feet, he’s met with a brutal running knee right into the face, busting his lip open, before being pulled up and finds himself on the wrong end of a powerslam! Brett drags Hawk over to the turnbuckle, and begings to slam his head into the ringpost over and over again, only stopping when the referee threatens a DQ. Instead, he begins to grind the Warriors head against the ropes, tearing open his forehead, and covering him in a crimson mask to match his brothers. The match has turned even uglier than it started, if such a thing was possible, and Hawk seems to have trouble gaining an offense against the furious Brett. Finally, he lashes out, and manages to land a lucky blow to the skull, knocking Brett backwards, enough to give Hawk a chance to reach Animal, and tag in. He does, and Animal storms the ring, but Brett has recovered quickly, and meets him in the middle, where both brawlers lash out on eachother, no attempts at wrestling holds, just pure streetfighting. Sensing trouble, The Spoiler attempts to cause a disqualification to save the belts, but Garvin doesnt even let him get into the ring this time, dragging him from the apron, and brawls with him on the mat, and as the referee turns to get the two apart, Hawk seizes the chance to give Animal an edge, and tosses a chair to him. Just as Animal has picked it up, and turns around to use it, however, he is met with a desperate axe handle by Brett, who by now is a bloodied, exhausted mess like his brother. By sheer luck, he slams the chair back into Animal face first, and the fearsome Roadwarrior is out could! But, thats as far as luck takes him, because just when it looks like Brett has the match won, the referee turns around at just the wrong moment. He sees Brett standing, Animal on the floor, and the bloody chair next to him, and immediatly calls for the bell. The fans scream their disapproval, but its too late, The Roadwarriors have won by DQ, and are still the National Tag Team champions. The four blooded men are helped backsatge by their respective partners, though it seems a phyrric victory for The Roadwarriors, who need help walking backstage, bloodied and beaten, with their belts hanging haphazardly from their shoulders.
The National Heavyweight title is next, and King Kong Bundy is all business tonight, the moment he has been working for for so long is finally here. Larry Zbyzsko walks down the aisle next, not looking forward to this one bit. Hes already tasted the power his challenger holds, and tonight, he might finally lose the title hes defended for these past months. He has barely disrobed and handed the title to the official before Bundy is on him, and from that moment on, Zbyzsko is on the defence, trying desperatly to not get caught by his massive opponent, and tossing quick jabs andd kicks towards Bundys knees to get the big man down. However, tonight, wrestling skill and speed fails him, and just a short 7 minutes of defensive baiting and attempted locks is ended with a massive scoop slam/big splash combo, and Bundy yells at the referee for his signature 5-count to top the humilation. The bell rings, and King Kong Bundy is given the National Heavyweight belt to the resounding disapproval of the crowd. As he walks back towards the locker rooms, he is met with Paul Ellering, Jake Roberts and The Spoiler, who congratulate the big man. For now, atleast, the Legion Of Doom holds all the titles Georgia has to offer.
Before the TV Title match that may change that, however, is the highly anticipated grudge match between The Fabulous Freebirds and The Briscoe Brothers. The backlash against the formerly beloved Freebirds for their heinous actions has been huge, and it is an incredibly hostile crowd that meets Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes as they enter the arena, dressed in their signature Georgia robes. They pay no mind towards the crowd, still every inch the swaggering, cocky fighters they have always been. The Briscoes meanwhile, are met with a much more positive response, and as the teams congegrate in the ring, Jack and Roberts are the first men in. Roberts starts out strong, but soon finds himself having difficulty matching the technical skill of the former world champion, with Jack seemingly able to counter his every attempt at lockups or holds. Instead, Buddy relies on his brawling skill, but it doesnt seem to be enough to gain an edge, and the early minutes of the match is a back and forth between the different styles.. A sudden leg sweep knocks him to the floor, and Roberts suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of a single leg lock, but manages to reach the ropes before any serious damage can be done. Jack tags in Jerry, who, much like his brother, is a master of classic wrestling. Before Roberts can get back up, he is instead dragged away from the ropes, with Jerry locking him up in a painful ankle lock, leaving the Freebird to trash around in the middle of the ring. Hayes is on him in seconds, pulling Briscoe off his partner, but is met with a right hook that knocks him back into the ropes, and Jack is over the ropes too, knocking the long haired Freebird over the ropes and leaving Buddy helpless on his own. But the interference has been enough for Roberts to get some movement back, and when Jerry turns around, he’s met with a stomach-level headbutt, and a quick followup throat thrust! With Jerry stunned, Buddy gets back on his feet, and lays him out with a quick DDT, before rushing over to his corner and tagging in Michael Hayes. Hayes tries a pin, but Jerry has recovered enough to kick out, but now he’s trapped on the ground, and on the recieving end of several nasty looking punches, and is only saved by the referees warning count. Hes having trouble getting back up, though, and with Hayes continuing is assault, only breaking to avoid the 5-count, it looks like the Briscoes are in trouble. Finally, Hayes moves away to tag Roberts back in, and Jerry suddenly springs back to life, shoving Hayes into the ring corner headfirst, before shuffling over to Jack and tags him back in. Hayes stumbles on his feet, and that is enough for Jack, who grabs him into a rollup, and before Hayes or Roberts can react, the three count is finished, and The Briscoes have won and regained some measure of revenge against the Freebirds. Hayes is helped up by Roberts who stares daggers against their victorious rivals, but for now, the feud has been settled.
The time for the National Television Title match has arrived, and it is truly a moment of reckoning for Ron Garvin. Either he will recapture the TV title, or will be forced out of the business he has shed sweat, tears and blood for. Jake Roberts looks like the cat who ate the canary, TV title around his waist, the outcome already obvious in his mind. As the two face off for what might be the final time, the crowd is almost subdued. The bell rings, and the two men lock up, but neither man can gain an advantage. The struggle goes on for a few minutes before The Snake attempts to gain an upper hand with a quick knee to the gut, but is blocked by Garvins own leg, and loses his balance, which Garvin uses to his advantage. Sending Roberts bouncing against the ropes, Garvin catches him on the rebound, and nails him with a side slam. With Roberts down, Garvin gives him several brutal stomps on his chest, before pulling him back up for another slam. Instead, Roberts manages to slam his elbow into Garvins chest, and when Garvin keels over in pain, grabs the back of his neck and smacks him facefirst into the ground with a bulldog. Trapping Garvin in place with a headlock, Roberts begins to pummel him with punches, trying to wear his opponent down for a DDT, and Garvin is having serious trouble getting out. As Roberts readies another assault, the bruised Garvin somehow manages to squirm his way out of the lock, and before the Snake knows whats happened, he is met with a brutal KO punch just as he turns around! Its a desperation move however, and Garvin wasnt able to put his usual power behind it, but its just enough to let him get back on his feet before Roberts recovers. Both men are somewhat worse for wear now as they face eachother down, and the match continues into an all out slugfest, with both men trying to gain an advantage over the other. A quick left from Roberts has Garvin reeling, and he stumbles right into a DDT! The smack of the impact between Garvins head and the ring echoes through the arena, and the referee counts 1,2 and… at the very last second, Garvin somehow kicks out. The crowd screams in excitement as Ron Garvin somehow makes his way back up, despite Roberts desperate attempts to knock him back down. Robert is met with a punch to the gut, and just as he looks up, gets knocked flat on his back with a full force KO punch. However, Garvin isnt done yet, and drags the Snake back to his feet for a THIRD knockout punch, before pinning him. He gets the 3-count, and to the audolations of the Georgia crowd, is given back his Television belt, and the promise of a continued career in wrestling. The Sawyers and Ole meet him at ringside with a heroes welcome, and he is carried backstage on their shoulders. For atleast one match tonight, the Legions dominance has been broken, and it is a beaten Jake Roberts who stumbles back to the locker rooms.
The NWA World Heavyweight Title is on the line next, and neither Harley Race nor Terry Gordy are met with much enthusiasm from the crowd, especially not as the champion is accompanied by the now reviled Freebirds. But Terry Gordy is the world champion for a reason, and it is the familar Bam Bam who faces down Harley Race, the same brutal fighter who took the title from him in September. Race is focused too, fully intent on regaining what he considers to be his title, that no upstarts have a claim to, be they Freebird or Nature Boy. He’s facing a daunting challenge though, as he is alone in his corner, and the Freebirds rarely fight alone. The odds for a clean match is minor at best, but as the match begins, there’s no foul play from the champion, who fights with an unusually technical style he rarely shows. Race is an expert though, and Gordy has to pull a lot of brawling moves from his bag of tricks to keep up with the challenger. But some ten minutes into the match, just when Race has gained an advantage, and is setting up a piledriver, Hayes reverts to form, and attempts an interference from outside the ring, but without warning, Buddy Roberts is sent careening into him, knocking him off the apron. As Hayes tries to get up, another attacker jumps him from behind, and knocks him headfirst into the ringpost. Its The Great Kabuki and Mr Saito, dressed in street clothes, who have arrived to spoil the Freebirds plans. Back in the ring, Terry Gordy has managed to turn things around in the comotion, but just as he’s setting up the powerbomb, he comes face to face with Kabuki, and while the referee is busy dealing with Saito on the outisde, Bam Bam gets a faceful of the japanese Mist! Blinded, Gordy releases Race, and stumbles toward the ropes, but Race quickly seizes his chance, and knocks Gordy flat with a clothesline, followed by a diving headbutt! The pin follows, and just like that, Harley Race is an 8 time World Heavyweight Champion. Saito and Kabuki meet him in the ring to congratulate him, and he is handed his title belt by the referee. As the announcer declares the new champion, The Freebirds are left to lick their wounds and curse their unlucky evening.
Its getting late into the night, and at long last, the final battle between The Crew and The Legion has arrived. Its been a long road to this point, with wins and losses on both sides. Its a subdued Ole Anderson who walks down to the ring, once again wearing wrestling gear, followed by The Sawyers and Ron Garvin. Paul Ellering and the entire Legion comes next, and the wear and tear of tonights matches is noteable on both teams, with bandages, cuts and brusies showing on almost everyone. The two teams give their managers some last minute pep talk and what may be parting words, before security escorts them all out, under orders from management. Even the door to the arena is under lock and key for this match, as no interference is wanted. The two men stare eachother down, both of them have put themselves through hell to get into fighting shape for this match, and its showing. The bell rings, and the fight is underway. Its an uneasy opener, as both men size eachother up, but it is Ellering who draws first blood with a quick right punch feint, followed by a left, though it barely seems to put a dent in “Rock”. From thereon, it is less a wrestling match and more a competition to see who can break the rules most without causing a DQ. Kicks, punches, chokes, heads rammed into the ringpost, everything goes. The referee seems unhappy, but is unwilling to anger the almost riotous crowd by ending this match in anything but a clear win. Ole has Ellering in a camel clutch in the middle of the ring when there is a commotion over the entrance, where the Roadwarriors and The Sawyers are involved in a brawl, with security desperatly trying to keep the groups apart, with the Warriors apparently having tried to force their way in to help Ellering, and the Sawyers had stopped them. However, with officials distracted, no one sees a street clothed Jake Roberts make a dash through the audience, clutching a bag of white powder, which he wastes no time in tossing in Oles face! Blinded, Ole is forced to release Ellering, who drags himself up with the ropes. Before Roberts has a chance to cause further damage, he is blindsided by Ron Garvin, who, egged on by the audience, drags The Snake away from ringside, and pummels him furiously on the floor. Ellering meanwhile, has seized his chance, and has Ole pressed against the ring corner, laying into him with vicious chops. Ole, his chest red, and his face a mix of powder and blood, looks to be on his last legs, but somehow manages to block a chop, and pushes Ellering off. Taking a moment to regain himself, the two quickly lock up again, but this time, Ole suddenly thumbs Ellering in the eye, making him release his hold. That is followed up by a brutal punch that knocks Ellering into the corner facefirst, and busts him open. Ole tosses his opponent to the mat, before ascending the top rope for a double diving kneedrop right into Ellerings chest. The referee catches the pinfall, and counts 1,2 and…3!
As the bell rings, The Crew takes to the ring to help their manager to his feet. Ole is a bloody mess, but a clear smile is on his face. The Crew has been through a lot, theyve lost men they thought were friends, theyve battled huge odds, but they are victorious. Paul Ellering is a beaten man, and has to be helped out by the Roadwarriors, his former clients now. Georgia is closed to him, and all his plans an schemes have come to mean nothing. For the former Legion of Doom, the future looks uncertain. The Warriors still have their titles, and Bundy has finally won the National Heavyweight title, but they no longer have a manager or a team to watch their backs, and for Animal and Hawk, there is still The Sawyers to contend with, it is only a matter of time before they meet again. For King Kong Bundy, he is now the man to beat in Georgia, and with no backup to hope for, even a man of his size will have a challenge ahead of him.
There will be new fights coming, Ole Anderson knows that, the bad blood between The Crew and The Freebirds have to be settled, and the members of the former Legion have to be dealt with, but for now, he is the man of the hour.
As we all know, the days of Georgia Championship Wrestling was numbered. In the summer of 84, Vince McMahon would buy up the territorys television timeslot on TBS after buying out the controlling interest in GCW from The Briscoes, leaving the territory without a TV deal and essentially defunct. In an ironic twist, the TV broadcast that the then WWF put in its place was a ratings disaster, mainly because it was only a highlights show, but also because the east coast style of wrestling didnt mesh at all with the southern audience of GCW, and McMahon eventually sold the slot to Jim Crockett Jr of JCP, the promotion that would eventually become the WWF’s main rival of the 1990s, World Championship Wrestling.
Paul Ellering, forced out of Georgia, ended up in Crocketts Mid Atlantic territory, where he was soon rejoined by his most famous clients Animal and Hawk. Together, they would dominate the tag team division for over a decade, winning the World Tag Team Titles of promotions all over the world, most notably the NWA, WWF and NJPW Tag Titles, along with their victory in the inagural Jim Crockett Sr Memorial Tag Team Tournament in 1986. The team would stick together until Hawks death in 2002 from the results of a lifetime of bodily abuse, after which Animal and Paul Ellering went their separate ways, Animal retiring back home to Chicago to run his own wrestling school, while Ellering would eventually join old rival Jim Cornette in running upstart promotion TNA.
Ole Anderson decided to permanently retire from wrestling following his brutal match with Ellering, and spent his remaining time in GCW managing The Crew, where he led The Sawyers to finally take the tag team titles from the Roadwarriors in November 83. After the WWF buyout, Ole would run its successor promotion, Championship Wrestling From Florida, until it was bought out by Jim Crockett Jr during his consolidation of the remaining NWA territories, and was brought in as a manager, where he was reunited with his former charge Ron Garvin, whom he guided to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title in 1987, as well as finding himself on the opposing sides of his nephew Arn, now in league with their distant cousin Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, James Dillon and the young Lex Luger, now known as The Four Horsemen In 1989, he retired permanently from wrestling, aside from a brief stint in managing his son Bryant Anderson, and has written several books on his experience with the business.
As for the remaining members of The Legion and The Crew? King Kong Bundy would hold the National Heavyweight title until losing it to Brett Sawyer in mid 1984, and leaving for the WWF after the buyout, where he would become one of the most dangerous and persistant foes of newly crowned WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, under the guidance of the infamous Bobby Heenan, as well as a tag partner of the equally massive Big John Studd, whom he would capture the tag team titles with on two occasions. The Sawyers did finally win the National Tag titles, but the team broke up after the buyout, with Buzz heading to the WWF for a brief stint, while Brett remained and won the National Heavyweight title from Bundy. After continuing his feud with Ron Garvin over the TV Title, winning it twice more, Jake Roberts followed Bundy to the WWF in 1986, where he would make a name for himself as one of the most insidious and cunning men in the business. As for The Spoiler, in reality the veteran wrestler Don Jardine, quietly retired from wrestling soon after the Legions fall, and returned to his native Canada, where he lived out the remainder of his life, leaving an unfinished memoir of his days in wrestling behind on his death in 2006.