Congratulations to The #FabulousFreebirds on entering the #WWEHOF Class of 2016! #BadStreetUSA #RAWPreShow pic.twitter.com/klmHjcywiG— WWE (@WWE) March 1, 2016
The wait is finally over as the Fabulous Freebirds have been announced as 2016 WWE Hall of Fame inductees. This is phenomenal news for me as a huge Freebirds fan. To that point, I actually post on A1 as FreebirdSTF and the original URL for this blog was freebirdstf.blogspot.com.
Most every inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame brings some sort of controversy or at least discussion with it. The Fabulous Freebirds are no exception in that regard. The first discussion centered on the lineup being inducted. The top image in WWE's article illustrates it perfectly as you get Michael PS Hayes, Buddy "Jack" Roberts, and Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy. None of that is controversial, but the inclusion of Jimmy "Jam" Garvin turned a few heads.
Me personally? I have no issue with Garvin's inclusion. I agree with those who criticize his inclusion in that the "glam" Freebirds were a bad look for him and Hayes. Fortunately, they didn't use that look for the entirety of their run together. Garvin was also kind of an unofficial member or a better term might be associate when the 'Birds were in Dallas so there's more a of a tie there than just the WCW run of Hayes and Garvin. Besides all that, and I hate to be this blunt, but it will be nice to have a second living member there for the induction with the passing of Roberts and Gordy.
The other primary issue has to do with Michael PS Hayes and his behind-the-scenes issues including his racial comment directed towards Mark Henry, and offering Rosa Mendes a drink as she had just gotten out of rehab.
While I support their induction I do believe these are valid concerns. I came out strongly against Hayes in the aftermath of the Henry incident including openly criticizing a message board poster who felt the punishment was excessive. There is no excusing a good bit of Michael PS Hayes' behavior. I fully acknowledge that.
In this case though, I am willing to look past it to a degree. I don't believe his behavior is severe enough that the Fabulous Freebirds should be barred from the WWE Hall of Fame. Where is the line? I do not know. We all have to grapple with that on our own. I think you can be bothered by this behavior, call Hayes out on this behavior, and still say it is fine to induct them into the WWE Hall of Fame. Your mileage may vary on that issue and I respect that.
Enough about the controversy surrounding this induction though, the Fabulous Freebirds were flat out cool. Their feud with the Von Erichs was incredible. They absolutely lit that territory on fire. Great babyface allies who became despised faces from Georgia? It was fantastic. Michael Hayes threatening to run the Von Erichs out of Texas? That's a pure heel right there.
While they may not have actually invented entrance music as many make it sound, but their contributions towards the whole rock & wrestling thing are undeniable. If none of the rest of this convinced you to get behind the Freebirds for the WWE Hall of Fame, please take a look at the Badstreet USA video. If that's not Hall of Fame worthy, I don't know what is, folks.
Another innovation was the Freebird Rule. If you're reading this I assume you know what it is, but for anyone who happens upon this and needs an explanation here you go straight from WWE, "The "Freebird Rule" is a stipulation that allows any two members of a larger team to defend a specific championship." What makes this interesting? The premise that the challengers would not know exactly which duo to prepare for which gave the champions another advantage. That's solid psychology in my mind. I dig it.
Anyhow, I am excited to see the Fabulous Freebirds take their place in the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania. I also hope that Michael PS Hayes and Jimmy Garvin get a warm reception from the folks in Dallas at WrestleMania itself.