Gordy started wrestling in 1975 at the age of 14 as Terry Mecca for the I.W.A. In early 1979, he began wrestling under his real name and formed the Fabulous Freebirds with Michael Hayes. Buddy Roberts was later added to the group. In 1982, the Freebirds went to World Class Championship Wrestling and had a heated and memorable feud with the Von Erichs (David, Kevin, Kerry and Mike).
The Freebirds spent some time in the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions where they split to feud briefly, but later reunited. They also spent a very brief time in the WWF, but left after management suggested splitting them up.
In 1986, when the Freebirds were in the Universal Wrestling Federation, Gordy won the UWF Heavyweight title and held it for 6 months, before losing it via forfeit to The One Man Gang, after an angle the same night which saw Gordy injured at the hands of "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. During this time, Gordy and the Freebirds had an ongoing feud with UWF fan favorite Hacksaw Jim Duggan, which saw Duggan and Gordy frequently squaring off, usually ending in a disqualification due to outside interference.
After leaving JCP, Gordy teamed with Steve Williams as the "The Miracle Violence Connection" in All Japan Pro Wrestling. During his time there, he also held the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship on two occasions.
Gordy and Williams came to WCW in 1992 and won the WCW World Tag Team Titles. They would also win the NWA World Tag Team titles in a tournament at the Great American Bash card in Albany, Georgia one week later, and unified the titles. They feuded with Rick and Scott Steiner, which, in Japan, was hyped as a feud between the best foreign teams of the two top Japanese promotions (the Steiners were competing for rival New Japan Pro Wrestling at the time). Despite advances by New Japan, Gordy and Williams, out of loyalty to AJPW founder and promoter, Giant Baba, refused to compete for the promotion (which had business ties with WCW at the time), leading to Gordy's departure from WCW before Halloween Havoc and Williams' departure after Starrcade.
In 1993 Gordy, while traveling from the United States to Japan for a tour, overdosed on pain medication and slipped into a coma, ultimately suffering permanent brain damage. He returned to action later that year, but never received a shot at the Triple Crown again. In 1994, Gordy had a small reunion with Hayes and Garvin as the Freebirds in the Global Wrestling Federation where he won the GWF Tag Team Titles with Garvin.
In 1996, Gordy showed up in Extreme Championship Wrestling to challenge Raven for the ECW World Heavyweight Title, as the "internationally recognized #1 contender." He had been working for the IWA promotion in Japan, wrestling deathmatches. He lost, but went on to team with Tommy Dreamer and later reunite with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to wrestle The Eliminators. He also wrestled Bam Bam Bigelow in what was billed as the first ever "Battle Of The Bam Bams." Gordy lost the match due to outside interference from The Eliminators.
He had a brief run in the WWF as The Executioner in 1996. He teamed with Mankind, both managed by Paul Bearer, and feuded with The Undertaker. The Executioner would come to the ring under a mask and carry a plastic axe. The Executioner made his TV debut at the In Your House pay-per-view, Buried Alive, where he interfered in The Undertaker's Buried Alive match with Mankind, hitting him with a shovel and burying him with the help of several other wrestlers. However, at In Your House 12: It's Time, The Undertaker made short work of The Executioner in an Armageddon Rules match, and Gordy left the promotion shortly afterwards.
Gordy died of a heart attack, caused by a blood clot on July 16, 2001. He was 40 years old.
His son Terry Ray Gordy Jr. has wrestled for WWE on the SmackDown! brand as Jesse and Slam Master J before being released in 2010. His nephew is Richard Acelinger, who competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling as Richard Slinger.
- Signature moves
- "Bam Bam"
- "Ningen Gyorai" (Japanese for "Human Torpedo")
- "Original Powerbomb"
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Georgia Championship Wrestling
- Global Wrestling Federation
- Mid-South Wrestling Association | Universal Wrestling Federation
- NWA Mid-America
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (1986)
- PWI Tag Team of the Year award in 1981 - with Michael Hayes
- PWI Tag Team of the Year award in 1992 - with Steve Williams
- PWI ranked him #36 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship (Northern Division) (1 time)
- Smoky Mountain Wrestling
- Texas Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2014
- World Championship Wrestling
- World Class Championship Wrestling | World Class Wrestling Association
- NWA American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA American Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Michael Hayes
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Texas version) (1 time)
- NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship (Texas version) (6 times) - with Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts (5) and Iceman Parsons & Buddy Roberts (1)
- WCWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts 2
- WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2016)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- 5 Star Match (1989) with Stan Hansen vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada on December 16
- Best Brawler (1986)
- Match of the Year (1984) with Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes vs. the Von Erichs (Kerry, Kevin, and Mike) in an Anything Goes match on July 4
- Tag Team of the Year (1980) with Buddy Roberts as The Fabulous Freebirds
- Tag Team of the Year (1981) with Jimmy Snuka
- Tag Team of the Year (1992) with Steve Williams as The Miracle Violence Connection
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2005) – as part of The Fabulous Freebirds
- 1Won while WCW was still affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance and prior to the NWA and WCW World Tag Team Championships being briefly unified.
- 2The Freebirds' 5th reign carried over after the title's name was changed to the WCWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship since they were the champions at the time the title was renamed.