KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Former NWA, WCW, and WWE pro wrestler Butch Reed has died. His family announced this news this morning in an Instagram post. According to that post, Reed died of heart complications. He was 66 years old.

Reed began his wrestling career in 1978 after a standout college football career and a stint with the Kansas City Chiefs. Within just a few years of entering the business, Reed had captured numerous titles in various National Wrestling Alliance territories, including the Central States Tag Team Championship and the Florida version of the International Heavyweight Championship. Reed gained greater fame during his time in Bill Watts's Mid-South Wrestling promotion. There, he won the North American Heavyweight Championship, the Mid-South Tag Team Championship, and the Mid-South Television Championship. As a heel, he was a member of Ted Dibiase's "Rat Pack" and played a major role in Jim Duggan turning face. During that storyline, Reed and Dibiase feuded over the "Hacksaw" nickname. Later, Reed turned face during an angle in which he smashed a gold Rolex given to him by "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel in an attempt to sway him towards Skandar Akbar's stable.

After leaving Mid-South, Reed jumped to what was then the World Wrestling Federation. There, he died his hair bleach blonde and called himself "The Natural." A few years later, he landed in World Championship Wrestling. There, he formed a tag team with fellow former football player Ron Simmons. That team, Doom, captured the NWA World Tag Team Championship in 1990 and held the title for nine months. Although their run as a tag team lasted a little more than two years, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked Doom at 91 on its list of the Top 100 tag teams since the magazine was founded in 1979.

Reed received one final run with a major championship when he won the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship in 1992. After that, he wrestled primarily on the independent circuit. During that run in the independents, Reed wrestled for the Lafayette-based All Access Wrestling in the early 2000s. Joe Kane, a Chalmette native who also wrestled for that promotion, posted his memories of working with Reed, whom he considered a boyhood idol.  

 

Elsewhere on social media, wrestling fans are paying tribute to Reed and his legacy.