Former WWE, WCW, Mid-South Star Butch Reed Passes Away

The man known as "Hacksaw" and "The Natural" was 66

Bruce "Butch" Reed, a longtime star of territories and national promotions throughout the eighties and early nineties, has passed away at the age of 66, according to a message posted on the Instagram account run in his name.

The post reads, "To everyone who reached out god bless you. Today we lost a great man. Due to heart complications Bruce 'Butch' Reed passed away. Butch is in heaven now with the wrestling god's. I am sure he is already booked for a Heavyweight Championship match. Once again thank you for all the prayers. We will keep this page going in his memory. For funeral arrangements send me a dm for information if you would like to attend. God bless everyone and god bless in heaven "Hacksaw Butch Reed""

It was reported this week that Reed had suffered multiple heart attacks earlier this year.

A football player in his youth, Reed briefly spent time with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs before turning to wrestling in the late seventies. His early days were spent in territories such as NWA Central States, Florida, and Georgia.

His biggest break came in 1983 for Mid South Wrestling, where he became partners with the popular Junkyard Dog. The two warred with The Rat Pack, and Reed in particular matched up with a heel Jim Duggan, over who the real "Hacksaw" truly was.

Reed later fell out with JYD, and defeated him for the Mid South North American title in July 1983. In his three years with the territory, Reed held the North American title three times, Television title once, and Tag Team titles once (with Jim Neidhart).

In 1986, Reed joined with the then-WWF, bringing with him his manager from his recent Central States run, Slick. Updating his aesthetic, Reed bleached his hair blonde and began calling himself "The Natural".

High-profile bouts in this time included a win over Koko B Ware at WrestleMania 3, a loss in the first round of the WWF World title tournament at WrestleMania 4 (to Macho Man Randy Savage), and participation in both the first televised Royal Rumble match, and the main event of the inaugural Survivor Series.

Reed was originally slated to defeat Ricky Steamboat for the Intercontinental title in 1987, but lost out on the opportunity after no-showing a number of events. By Reed's own admission, the travel grind had gotten to him, and he was burned out from being on the road so much. The Honky Tonk Man defeated Steamboat instead.

After leaving the WWF, Reed turned up in Jim Crockett Promotions/WCW. His strongest run with the company began in 1989, when he and Ron Simmons formed the tag team of Doom, initially managed by Woman. Together, they defeated The Steiner Brothers for the World Tag Team titles at Capitol Combat in 1990, and held them for nine months. The two feuded with The Four Horsemen across several pay-per-views while champions.

After losing the belts in 1991, Reed and Simmons split acrimoniously. Reed went on to lose to his former partner in a cage match at that year's SuperBrawl.

After finishing up with WCW for good in 1992, Reed wrestled in promotions close to home, including Jerry Lawler's USWA, Dallas' GWF, and Harley Race's WLW. His last match took place in May of 2013.

Cultaholic sends its condolences to Mr. Reed's family and friends.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.