Bruce “Butch” Reed, a former professional football player who came up through the midwest territories before landing in the then-WWF for a stretch which saw him compete in the the main event of the first Survivor Series, the first Royal Rumble, and WrestleMania III & IV, has died. Reed was 66 years old.
Reed’s Instagram recently revealed he’d suffered two heart attacks already this year. The account shared the sad news this morning (Feb. 5):
After his career with the Kansas City Chiefs ended, Reed rose to prominence in Bill Watt’s Mid-South Wrestling in the early 1980s. He held singles gold on four different occasions, feuded with Ric Flair, and shared a tag title reign with Jim Neidhart before joining Rufus R. Jones and Jones’ son Slick in the NWA on the way to the WWF.
Slick and Reed came to Vince McMahon’s company together, but Butch left alone in 1988 to head to Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW. It was there Reed teamed with Ron Simmons as Doom, and the pair captured the tag titles from The Steiner Brothers in 1990. The Teddy Long-managed team would split with Simmons turning face shortly before Reed left WCW in 1992.
He continued to wrestle on the independents on and off until 2011, and made a cameo on SmackDown during Long’s tenure as that show’s kayfabe General Manager.
Several within the wrestling community have already shared their thoughts on his death via social media.
One of my favorite tag teams of all time. 100% bad ass. My first night in the wrestling business (almost 30 years ago) was spent with Butch Reed-I asked him about the story about him riding a horse into a bar, it’s true-what a good time. RIP Butch Reed. pic.twitter.com/S2RmoVMwuh— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) February 5, 2021
Butch Reed was like a big brother to me and @BookerT5x. We always had the best time whenever we saw each other and my fondest memory is when me, Booker, and Butch had a six man tag match. It was like a dream come true.— Stevie Ray (@RealStevieRay) February 5, 2021
RIP Hacksaw & my condolences to his family.#ButchReed #WCW pic.twitter.com/DVrSk4nkma
Our condolences to Reed’s family, friends, and everyone missing him today. R.I.P. Butch, and thanks for the memories.