‘The Australian Freebird’ Hunter P.S Hayes made an extremely rare appearance on Pier Austin’s ‘Shooting The Sh*t Uncensored’ podcast on 20 July 2023, with the 16 year wrestling veteran speaking to Piers and co-host Robbie Zucco on a number of topics, including training with the Dudley Boyz at the ‘Harvard of Pro Wrestling training’, His connection with Diamond Dallas Page and how that led to bookings during a United States tour, Promoting Rock N Roll Wrestling and the attached training school and the culture he tries to instil in his talented students, along with much more.
One particularly interesting portion of the podcast was the connection he made with Jimmy Papa, one of the people who helped WWE Half of Fame Inductee Michael P.S Hayes write and record Badstreet USA, which led to him being able to attend the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016 – when Hayes (Michael that is), was inducted alongside the Fabulous Freebirds. Following getting into contact with Papa, Hunter did a skit on the bonus features portion of the DVD for a documentary about the song Badstreet USA titled ‘Back on Badstreet’. The song written by Jimmy Papa, Larry Velez and Michael Hayes was something of a pioneering act, as previously wrestlers would enter to licensed music for which artists understandably would want royalties – see Bryan Danielson and Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’. The song would become somewhat of a sleeper hit and would encourage other wrestlers to take the same path. Jimmy Papa looked after Hunter Hayes during a tour to the states during WrestleMania weekend, even allowing him to see his collection of Michael Hayes artefacts “He picked me up , looked after me, we went back, and I tried on all of Michael’s jackets. Like he has all of this stuff in pristine condition”, he told Austin and Zucco. Their bonding over Michael led to a special gift for ‘The Australian Freebird’ – “He gave me permission to use the Badstreet song, so he lets me use it wherever I go”.
But this amazing experience would then develop into the opportunity of a lifetime with the chance to attend the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame – “So he said he was going there because obviously how close he is with Michael. He just told Michael he was bringing me, I was a plus one”. Hunter sat with the family, was treated like family and was mistaken for family – “I sat next to Michael’s Brother and his family who treated me great and then Connie Gordy was there, Terry Gordy’s wife and she is the biggest sweetheart as well”. His resemblance to the HOF inductee had heads turning, “Has Michael had a kid or something? Who is this guy sitting there? Yeah that’s me, I’m the Bastard Son” joked Hayes. “Everyone started taking photos with me in the middle of it”, “Brooklyn Brawler was looking at me because he was seating people and he’s like going, What’s going on here?”