Bruce Woyan [1959 - 1992]
Known throughout his wrestling career as "Mad Dog" for his wild antics in and out of the ring, Buzz Sawyer grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, and was an accomplished amateur wrestler before embarking on his professional wrestling career in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in 1979. In 1982, Sawyer defeated Tommy Rich to win the NWA National Heavyweight Championship. Rich and Sawyer would face each other again in 1983 during the legendary "Last Battle of Atlanta," a bloody closed steel cage match from which Rich emerged victorious. Sawyer and his brother, Brett, captured the NWA National Tag Team Championship twice, both times defeating The Road Warriors. Sawyer died from heart failure due to a drug overdose on February 7, 1992.
Ironically I met Sawyer twice in my life. First time was in 1981 in Georgia, at the beginning of his career. He was with his family (mom and dad), his mom was a tall woman and his dad was kind a skinny fella. He came into shakey's pizza wearing a t-shirt that said "the nature boy" which is ironic in the fact his first promos somewhat should an arrogant pretty boy heel. I did not recognize him at all and just went about my business. The second time I met him, he was on the backside of his career. He had finished in Texas, after failing to take a drug test, and he and his brother working operating a "training school" (which basically amounted to finding people, stretching them, and then making them not come back all under the guise of "protecting the business") in Sacramento. His demons were getting a hold of him and gradually eroding his prowess. He would work Japan about twice or three times a year and always fall back into the same routine. Basically, he and his brother, who in my opinion, rode on his coattails, were not good ambassadors for the business. When you are twenty something years old, the simple truth is you are not schooled to the world and they pretty much knew this. Working a mark was just basically that. I left at gunpoint later that year, in need of a bankruptcy and with the clothes on my back. With hat in hand, I returned to the East Coast with the help of family. I ran into several wrestlers in my life, Tommy Fulton of the Fantasticks, Diamond Dallas Page and basically we talked about the Sawyers. They kind of said "they were rough customers" or were vague about how they felt because of protecting the business. Simple truth, there is good and bad in the world. I don't blame anyone about this other than myself, because ultimately it's my choice. But with those two, I can safely say that the would push Humpty off the wall for their own means to an end.
Turned an ordinary move into something special same as roberts. Guys like that had the crowd in there hands. Fans went crazy for the ddt unlike hogan when he hit the leg drop it was nothing exciting. Only certain guys have that ring psychologyto turn something ordinary into something special. Thats why you see todays guys using basic old school moves to get a pop. Cesaro swing, reigns heart punch, and yet even today get a huge pop, never see the rake to the eyes anymore tho. Old school so much better but so predictable, as wrestling fans we will never be satisfied. Each to there own i guess...
wrestled him in high school, he had a 17 pins in a row streak going before we met. He outpointed me but there was no pin. Knew him off the matt from around town. Extremely strong, not very bright, survived by intimidation of other people. For some reason I had no problems with him , but he tortured a lot of people. Especialy weaker people for cash and drugs. His persona in the ring was his REAL personality , that was who and what he was. He was extremely powerful and strong.
First time I met Buzz he was sitting on a toilet! We became friends when he was in Atlanta working for NWA/WCW. He got in some trouble with some drugs and got out by setting up another friend of mine! He left town soon after! I know he and Tommy Rich really didn't like each other because Tommy tried me in a bar one night just because he saw me with Buzz! RIP BUZZ drugs whipped your ass!
I met the fool in a gym in Florida, we both lived in St.Pete. He was arrogant, stupid and destined to die young. Too bad,he earned what he got.
Nick. Actually they lived in Gallipolis Ohio for years they didn't move to Florida till he was in Jr high
Buzz Sawyer what a jerk and probably deserved what he got in the end. I was also initially trained by Buzz with my friend Mark a/k/a the Undertaker. Mark and I, along with a few other guys, paid for wrestling training that was held at Buzz's house outside of Dallas. One day Mark and I showed up at Buzz's house for training and rang the doorbell. And Buzz answered the door butt naked and was either drunk and/or high on something, at which point he asked us if we had the rest of the money for wrestling training while he laughed. After he skipped town a week or so later, we went by his house and saw bullet holes all over the front of the house. As much as we were pissed at him for taking our money, we were only in our late teens/early twenties and couldn't believe that someone would do such a thing. The happy ending was that Mark went on to become one of the biggest names in wrestling, and I found my success in luxury real estate. To this day, we still laugh about it.
The Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer. A great talent, but the thing that gets me is his interviews. Simply magic. There are some guys in this business who get it, but are doomed by the business and its travels. Eddie Gilbert and The Mad Dog would be two of them for sure.
Hey Joe Davis, I was there too. Bruce used to bait the black athletes, and I remember when he went against a dude during PE that was about six inches taller and built. Bruce did the chest bump thing, and the black guy did a perfect leg-sweep on Bruce which sent him sprawling. Bruce bounced up and they did more of the chest bump, but neither really wanted to mix it up. Great stuff. Bruce also "asked" me to help him in sophomore science. Of course I agreed. Next year I was working at a gas station and a long limo pulled up late at night and in the back was Bruce and a bunch of wrestlers. He remembered me and was very nice (and also very drunk).
Love the Mad Dog! One of the most underated wrestlers of all times!
I knew Bruce when he was a freshman at Dixie Hollins High School.At the first assembly for all students, Bruce picked one of the biggest black guys at the school, and told him to hit him in the forehead with his best shot.Philip hit Bruce square in the forehead, and blood flowed. But Bruce did not move his head or even blink, he just smiled. Bruce would spend about 3-4 minutes between classes hitting his head on the steal poles in the hallways. Even at 15 years old Bruce(Madd Dog Buzz Sawyer),was one scary dude.
One of the toughest I ever knew...in and out of the ring. RIP Buzz.....much love.
Buzz Sawyer was one of the best showman in wrestling in the early 80s,and he still one if not the best after all these years.
Perhaps the wildest and most entertaining (funny) wrestling match and interview that I have ever seen involved Buzz Sawyer during his "Sullivan's Slaughterhouse" days in the early 1990s. He was teaming with Sullivan against jobbers Zan Panzer and Robbie Idol. That match is on YouTube. It was so over the top, the Superstation had to bleep out some of the audio, and Jim Ross actually appeared genuinely concerned about even conducting the interview following the match. The Buzz Sawyer from that period was one of the most entertaining wrestlers that I have ever seen (although he may well have been high during many or all of those appearances).
First saw buzz emerge in Portland for Don Owens as Buzz Saw Kane. He was very young and a hell of a worker, teaming with hometown hero Matt Bourne, as many wrestlers did when they entered the area. In the late 70's Portland saw the emergence of Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, Dynamite Kid, Adrian Adonis, Ed Leslie claiming to be Hulks brother Dizzy Hogan, The Bushwhackers, then called the New Zealand Sheepherders, Sgt. Slaughter known as bruiser bobby remus, Jay youngblood, Steve Doll, Steve Regal(not the british Stevan Regal, Brian Adidas, Jesse Ventura. So many superstars emerged from the Portland territory, most, now sadly dead at very young ages. Buddy Rose lasted years, well into his 50's and teamed with many villians, including Rip Oliver and Easy Ed Wiskowski who became Col. DeBeers. They were great times.
VERY bizarre individual who suffered badly from battles with the proverbial "personal demons". Very capable in the ring; spent most of his career as a heel. Buzz is best remembered for the match on WCW TV where was teamed up with Kevin Sullivan and dove off the top rope at the end of the match, landing awkwardly and breaking his own arm (the footage is on YouTube). Allegedly, Buzz was supposed to be training the Undertaker but skipped town after 'Taker paid him a deposit for the training. When 'Taker showed up at Buzz's place for another training session, he found that Buzz left town after buying drugs with the money. According to Gary Michael Cappetta, Sawyer and 'Taker had a confrontation in the locker room a few years later at a WCW house show, but they never came to blows - Buzz just sat there laughing at the story and rambled on about other stuff. Undertaker left the locker room in disgust and it's unclear whether he ever saw Sawyer again after that.