The first big wrestling legend passing of 2021 was the man known as Butch Reed. About a week before his passing, news broke that the wrestler-turned-rodeo star had suffered two massive heart attacks that left him in rough shape. Always known as a tough guy, fans hoped that he would pull through this most deadly opponent.
Everyone has a different version of Butch Reed that they prefer. In territories such as Mid-South and Florida, "Hacksaw" Butch Reed starred variously as a heel or a babyface. His feuds with Junkyard Dog and that "other" Hacksaw are legendary and very well-remembered. He came to the WWF as "The Natural," an obvious play on the looks of Hulk Hogan. It was indeed a great look but for various rumored reasons the run didn't last as long or go as far as it probably had the potential to. Appearances at WrestleMania III, in the main event at the inaugural Survivor Series and in the fabled WrestleMania IV Championship Tournament are definite highlights.
Still, others remember Butch Reed as one of the Doom boys. The "Team of Doom," as Gary Michael Cappetta famously announced them, were a top team in the early days of WCW once the promotion was slowly shedding its NWA connection. Along with Ron Simmons and managed by either Woman or Teddy Long, the team gelled perfectly and could produce top quality matches with virtually any opponents.
Following the on-screen break-up of the team, Reed floated in and out of the business but sadly made no more real impact on it. Being a fan of Reed no matter where or when he showed up, I still fondly remember his surprise return on the star-studded Clash of the Champions XX program. For those who feel that WCW couldn't make an event feel special, do yourself a favor and pull that one up on WWE Network. It's simply a fun show.
It was the run as one half of Doom that produced Reed's only action figure appearance, however there was a Bend-Em produced on the same look. Various trading cards and program cover appearances abound, but I do feel that Reed has always been underrepresented in the merchandising arena. It actually shocked me when putting in the "labels" for this entry that this is the first time that Reed has ever appeared on this blog in its nearly twelve year existence.
I often speak of superstars who I feel were a true "wrestler's wrestler." Butch Reed qualifies in every aspect. Godspeed, Hacksaw.