Outlaw Ron Bass Death – Burst Appendix, Surgery Complications

outlaw ron bass

Ronald Heard, known to wrestling fans as “Outlaw” Ron Bass, dies at age 68 after a burst appendix. photo: wwe.com

1948-2017 (Age 68)

“Outlaw” Ron Bass, real name Ronald Heard, died on March 7, 2017 at age 68.

In the days prior to his death, Heard suffered from a burst appendix, leaving him hospitalized.

Sadly, he did not make it out of Tampa General, passing away from surgery complications.

Remembering the Outlaw

With a burly physique, menacing handlebar moustache, cowboy hat, and signature bull whip, aptly named Miss Betsy, Bass was equipped with everything necessary to get him over as a heel in the 70s and 80s.

outlaw ron bass hacksaw jim duggan

Outlaw Ron Bass, assisted by his bull whip “Betsy”, chokes Hacksaw Jim Duggan who desperately reaches for his 2×4. Prime Time Wrestling, 1988. photo: wwe.com

Contrary to his heel gimmick, friends of Heard spoke highly of his character outside the ring. Lanny Poffo, brother of the late Macho Man Randy Savage told the Tampa Bay Times “he wasn’t really a bad guy, he was one of the good guys. He will be missed.”

Gerald Brisco added “he had a heart of gold.”

Outlaw Ron Bass Wrestling Career

Bass first worked the NWA territories throughout the early 70s, followed by a run in All Japan capturing tag team gold with Stan Hansen. He saw prominent runs in Georgia Championship Wrestling and Championship Wrestling from Florida. His run in Florida is most notable for his angles with Barry Windham.

[adinserter block=”1″]

Outlaw gained national notoriety in the late 80s after signing with the WWF in ’87.

Although he never stepped out of the WWF’s midcard, he did manage to take part in several PPVs including the 1987 Survivor Series, the first ever Royal Rumble, WrestleMania IV, and the ’88 King of the Ring. He feuded with babyfaces including “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and the late Junkyard Dog.

Heel heat: Outlaw Ron Bass attacks Brutus Beefcake, bloodying his face with the spurs from his boots. This was pretty heavy stuff for 1988!

Bass briefly wrestled on the independent circuit before retiring from the ring in 1991.

Class Action Lawsuit

outlaw ron bass death

Outlaw Ron Bass on a 1987 episode of WWF’s Prime Time Wrestling. photo: wwe.com

After retirement, Bass seemed to live a quiet life in Florida, occasionally popping up at conventions.

In 2016 he was named as one of over fifty wrestlers suing the WWE as part of a high profile class action lawsuit that involves concussion related symptoms.

Wrestler Deaths in 2017

2017 has been off to a particularly rough start for wrestling fans. We’ve already seen the losses of George “The Animal” Steele, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Ivan Koloff, Nicole Bass, among others.

The WWE paid tribute to Outlaw Ron Bass on social media:

Heard leaves behind a son, Joe Heard.

Our condolences to the friends and family of Ronald Heard.