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Former WWE and WCW star “The Natural” Butch Reed passes away at 66

Photo: WWE

Bruce “Butch” Reed, known for his time in WWF, WCW, and Mid-South Wrestling, has passed away. He was 66 years old.

The news was confirmed on his official Instagram page. Reed had recently suffered a pair of heart attacks.

Reed, who was a member of the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs team, broke into the business in 1978 when his football career came to an end. He quickly became known as “Hacksaw” Butch Reed and found great success in Mid-South Wrestling. Often heralded as wrestling’s best kept secret, Reed engaged in feuds against Ric Flair (including a legendary one-hour draw against the NWA Champion) and the Junkyard Dog.

After JYD left the territory, Reed was pushed as the main star of the territory, though he was unable to replicate what JYD brought to the territory. He would depart the promotion in 1986.

Reed would sign with WWF in 1986 as “The Natural.” He would make his PPV debut at WrestleMania III in a winning effort against Koko B. Ware. His final PPV appearance would come a year later in 1988 at WrestleMania IV. Following that, Reed, who was burned out on WWF’s schedule, no showed some events and left the promotion.

Reed would move on to WCW and found success as the tag team partner of Ron Simmons. They were known as Doom. They would go on to capture the NWA Tag Team Championship and the WCW Tag Team Championship. Reed and Simmons engaged in a classic Cage Match against each other at SuperBrawl I.

Reed retired from wrestling in 2002, but made appearances through the years, including a cameo on a 2007 SmackDown episode. His final match would come in 2011.

On behalf of the staff of Wrestleview, we extend out sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Butch Reed as they deal with this terrible loss.

WWE’s statement on his passing is included below, as well as the Instagram post:

Butch Reed passes away

WWE is saddened to learn that Butch Reed passed away today at the age of 66.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Reed embraced the sport of wrestling after a professional football career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Reed quickly proved himself to be a force in the Mid-South Wrestling promotion in battles against legendary competitors such as Ric Flair, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Jim Neidhart and more.

“The Natural” Butch Reed crashed onto the WWE scene with brash blonde hair, and a statement win over Koko B. Ware at WrestleMania III. Reed found himself at the crossroads of history competing in the first-ever Survivor Series and Royal Rumble matches in WWE history.

After a match against “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania IV, Reed departed WWE and would go on to partner with Ron Simmons in WCW as the tag team Doom. Doom would defeat The Steiner Brothers at Capital Combat to claim the NWA Tag Team Titles. Following a highly successful run as WCW World Tag Team Champions, Reed & Simmons would eventually share the ring for a one-on-one Steel Cage Match showdown at SuperBrawl I.

WWE extends its condolences to Reed’s family and friends.