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.