Buzz Sawyer Death – Drug Overdose

buzz sawyer death

“Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer – Dead at 32. photo:

1959-1992 (age 32)

Bruce Woyan, best known to wrestling fans as “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer, was a fixture in 1980s professional wrestling.

Buzz Sawyer spent time with various territories, including NWA, UWF, Mid-South, WCCW, WCW, among others. He spent a short stint with the WWF in 1984, managed by the late Captain Lou Albano.

Last Battle of Atlanta

In the early 80s, Buzz had a bloody feud with “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, including the legendary 1983 match inside an enclosed cage – the first match of its kind, dubbed the “Last Battle of Atlanta”.

Shawn Michaels notes the “Last Battle of Atlanta” as the inspiration for the WWE’s “Hell in a Cell” – a PPV that’s still prevalent today.

mad dog buzz sawyer matt borne

WCCW 1986: “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer and Matt Borne take on the U.S. Express. photo:

Arguably, Buzz Sawyer saw the most success while working for Fritz Von Erich‘s Texas-based WCCW.

In 1986, he won WCCW tag team gold alongside the late Matt Osborne (who would go on to become Doink the Clown with the WWF), as well as winning the Television Championship and on the fourth of July in 1986, the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship. The title would ultimately become vacated after Sawyer abruptly left the promotion in January of ’87.

Wrestling Scams

Apparently Sawyer’s mean streak inside the ring was not far off from his demeanor outside the ring. Sawyer was well known for his drug addiction, and there are many infamous stories surrounding his money scams.

Sawyer would jump from territory to territory, offering to “train” young aspiring wrestlers. He would take their money and skip town… or occasionally beat them senseless.

Buzz Sawyer rips off the Undertaker

buzz sawyer dead

Never trust a heel! Buzz Sawyer offers a handshake to Terry Taylor. Mid-South, 1986. photo:

One such encounter that’s been well documented is when Buzz Sawyer pulled one over on Mark Calaway aka The Undertaker. Calaway, a teenager at the time, paid for Sawyer’s training services but Sawyer skipped town the following day…

As luck would have it, Buzz Sawyer and Mark Calaway would both wind up in WCW in 1990.

Gary Michael Cappetta’s book Bodyslams!: Memoirs of a Wrestling Pitchman confirms the story, noting that Calaway borrowed two thousand dollars from his brother to pay for the training session from Sawyer. The Undertaker told Cappetta that he had “an old score to settle” and noted “I’m goin’ to beat the shit out of him.”

mad dog buzz sawyer

WCCW 1986: “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer and Matt Borne take on the U.S. Express. photo:

Apparently ‘Taker was talked out of it, supposedly to protect his reputation in the industry – one in which he was just beginning to wet his feet.

It appears to have been a wise decision for The Undertaker as he has had one of the longest running and most marketable wrestling careers in history.

Buzz Sawyer Death

On February 7, 1992, Buzz Sawyer died from heart failure due to a drug overdose. He was 32 years old and living in Sacramento at the time.