Early on he wrestled as Bruce Reed adopting the “Hacksaw” nickname over time.
Reed and Jerry Roberts beat Mike George and Bob Sweetan for the NWA Central States Tag Team titles in late 1980 and lost them to The Kelly Twins in January 1981; this is believed to be Butch Reed’s first major title in wrestling.
Back in 1983, Duggan was part of the heel group the “Rat Pack” along with Ted DiBiase and Matt Borne and used every dirty move he could think of to beat Butch Reed. Reed and Duggan would feud over the “Hacksaw” name until Jim Duggan turned face. Duggan’s face turn resulted in Butch Reed’s heel turn when Duggan was picked to be the Junkyard Dog’s tag team partner over Reed.
In October 1983, Reed’s arrogance made him agree to let the Mid-South fans pick a challenger for the North American title; he let them pick from the JYD, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, newcomer Krusher Khruschev, and Magnum T.A.. The fans picked JYD but Reed dismissed the choice; he also said Duggan and Khruschev did not deserve a shot and instead gave the title shot to a very young and inexperienced T.A. As fate would have it, T.A. beat Reed to win the title, then lost it 12 days later to Nikolai Volkoff.
After a few weeks the North American title was returned to Reed, claiming that the title match with T.A. was not legal since the fans chose JYD. Reed’s run as a double champion did not last long as JYD got his title shot with Dusty Rhodes as the special guest referee.
After losing the North American title, Reed and Neidhart focused on the tag team titles and defended them against all comers. When Magnum and Mr. Wrestling II challenged for the titles, they felt that the challengers had to put up something of their own: Mr. Wrestling II’s mask.
Mr. Wrestling did not unmask that night as they took the gold from Reed and Neidhart in a Steel cage match on Christmas of 1983.
Neidhart and Reed started to blame each other and had a short, brutal feud.
The Neidhart feud was soon replaced with one with Terry Taylor who came out to save Neidhart from being beaten down with a football helmet after a match. The Reed/Taylor feud raged all through the spring of 1984 and was instrumental in establishing Terry Taylor as a star in Mid-South.
The feud soon expanded to include “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel as Reed’s tag team partner and saw Reed attack Taylor with a “Coalminer’s Glove” on several occasions.
After fighting with Terry Taylor for months on end, Reed’s attention turned from Taylor back to his old enemy the Junkyard Dog. During a match, Reed and Landel attacked JYD as he performed under a mask as “Stagger Lee” and painted him yellow.
Just as the feud was about to reach its heated highlight, the Junkyard Dog left Mid-South and signed with the World Wrestling Federation without informing booker Bill Watts of his decision. This meant that the federation was without their biggest face and the shows had to be hastily rebooked. Watts brought in “Master G” to take JYD’s place but the feud between Reed and “Master G” never took off forcing Watts to rethink his options.
When “General” Skandor Akbar entered the Mid-South and started to build a stable of heels, he presented Buddy Landel with a golden Rolex watch with the understanding that it wasn’t actually for Landel but for someone else Akbar was trying to recruit. When Landel tried to give the watch to Reed, he became incensed, in the storyline, stomped on the watch, and started to brawl with his former partner. Akbar and his cronies came to ringside, which prompted Reed to rant on them getting the crowd behind him as he told them he didn’t need back-up.
When “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan came to his rescue from a 3 on 1 attack, Reed’s face status was cemented. The two Hacksaws feuded with Akbar’s army of Landel, Ted Dibiase, Steve Williams, and Hercules.
The two Hacksaws were successful at first, until Reed came up against Kamala. He proved to be too much for Reed, beating him all over the Mid-South territory before Reed quietly left.
In October 1985, Butch Reed beat Dick Murdoch for the North American title. Around this time, he had a famous one-hour time-limit draw with NWA Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and feuded with Dick Slater when Slater helped Ric Flair keep the world title.
In January 1986, Slater won the North American title from Butch Reed through underhanded means.
Central States – Kansas City:
1986: Butch was working for the Central States, a minor NWA territory out of Kansas city promoted by Bob Geigel.
Butch was managed by Slick in Central States.
Summer 1986: Butch and Slick were defeated by Bruiser Brody in a “Loser Leaves Town” match, and were sent packing.
The World Wrestling Federation:
Butch Reed and Slick joined the WWF, where Reed became known as “the Natural”, dispite his bleech blonde hair.
Wrestlemania III: Butch Reed defeats Koko B. Ware.