Inside the Ropes is saddened to report that ‘The Natural’ Butch Reed has passed away at 66 years of age.
According to the late star’s official Instagram page, his cause of death was down to heart complications after it was reported on February 2 that he had suffered two massive heart attacks since the turn of the year:
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”
A stand-out star of NWA Central States, Mid-South Wrestling and Championship Wrestling from Florida in the early to mid-eighties, Butch Reed was famous for his impressive power and ‘real’ style of wrestling.
While Feuds with Nikolai Volkoff, Jim Neidhart, Jim Duggan, Dick Murdoch and Terry Taylor put him on the map and reigns as NWA International Heavyweight Champion, GWF North American Champion and Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion legitimised him as one of the greatest up and comers in the industry, it was his series with Ric Flair over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship – that included a stunning one-hour time limit draw – that made him a bona-fide star.
A switch to the then World Wrestling Federation in 1986 was mean to have yielded a WWF Intercontinental Championship victory over Ricky Steamboat, but when plans changed – he was rumoured to have no-showed a live event where he would have captured the gold – he dyed his hair blonde and competed as an updated version of Sweet Daddy Siki under the guidance of Slick.
While rivalries with Tito Santana and Don Muraco – a replacement for Billy Graham – kept him busy, it was clear that he wasn’t destined to reach the heady heights he was capable of and Reed departed the company for the NWA in 1988.
No longer seen or considered a singles draw, after a year Reed was partnered with Ron Simmons in the team Doom and went on to capture the WCW Tag Team Championships from rivals The Steiner Brothers at NWA Capital Combat 1990 on May 19. Sadly, the team were badly mishandled by the company big-wigs – despite the best efforts of creative – and the team split in 1992 when Reed turned on Simmons.
Inside the Ropes sends its heartfelt condolences to Butch Reed’s family and friends at this trying time.