RF Video Shoot Interview with Butch Reed

This was filmed on October 22, 2004

The Interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It runs at one hour and fifty-four minutes long


Reed said he started off after he went to a bar in Kansas City, where the wrestlers went after the show on Thursday’s and was found by Ron Etchison. Reed puts over Etchison for teaching him everything about wrestling.


He was not a wrestling fan growing up as he talked about growing up in Mississippi where he was working on his dad’s farm, castrating pigs and driving a tractor, starting when he was eight years old.


He played pro football for the Kansas City Chiefs for one year and was on special teams.


Reed considers Kansas City promoter Bob Geigel a friend. He also puts over Sam Muchnick for loving the wrestling business.


Rob asks Reed about several guys. He puts over Jesse Ventura for being a professional and having the gift of gab. Reed considers Harley Race another teacher of his and how he carried him to some one-hour broadways and looks to him as a big brother figure. He said Bob Sweetan would hurt young guys in the ring and you would have to deal with guys like him in the wrestling business. Reed also liked his matches against Hacksaw Jim Duggan and how they both have a football background. He talks about Bruiser Brody and how he played his character perfectly in the ring and considers him one of the nicest guys you will ever want to meet as he recalls drinking with him after the shows and talking about life.


He went to work for Fritz Von Erich in World Class. Reed says David was the best worker of the Von Erich boys but denied ever seeing them partying with hard drugs or being completely inebriated while calling them respectful and prideful. Reed said Kerry was a character and a harmless guy but could be really stiff in the ring as he stresses how you have to “shake him up” to get his attention. He then said that Kevin was a loose cannon and would walk barefoot across a cactus or across hot rocks in the desert. Reed thought Fritz was alright as a booker but relied way too much on his kids.


On other guys he worked with in World Class, Reed calls Iceman King Parsons a character and a “good hand” as he wants to reconnect with him as they were friends at this time. He puts over Jake Roberts for having a great wrestling mind but partied too hard and had some other personal issues that built up. Reed credits the Fabulous Freebirds for putting him over while on Georgia Championship Wrestling on TBS right when he was starting out. Reed also credits Gordon Solie during that match for his performance on commentary. He also credits Skip Young (Sweet Brown Sugar) for helping him out in their tag team.


He talks about wrestling in Florida and said that Ric Flair, calling him “Tricky Ricky” and how he was a party animals. Reed also likes Flair a lot. He talks about Dusty Rhodes and how athletic he was as he tells a story of when they were playing softball and Dusty played shortstop and played great defense as Reed calls him “agile for a fat boy.” Reed credits Eddie Graham for giving him a push. He calls Angelo Mosca a “class act” and how he did things his way.


Reed left and went to Georgia to work for Ole Anderson. He took the spot of Tony Atlas, who went to work for Vince McMahon Sr. in the WWF.


One funny moment was when Rob asked Butch Reed about his matches against Randy Savage and Reed said he never wrestled him.


On working for Bill Watts in Mid-South, Reed said that Watts was a disciple of Eddie Graham. When asked if he encountered any racism from Watts or anyone else, Reed said that everyone is a little racist and that Watts was just himself, a “miserable old bastard.” Reed said they both liked each other and that Watts wanted all of his wrestlers to be hard-nosed. Reed starts laughing when asked about Watts firing his wrestlers if they lost a fight in a bar or to fans as he said Watts once fired “champions” but did not mention there names as they lost a fight and Reed agrees with what Watts did as you cannot have fans being able to beat up a wrestler, let alone a champion and how it does not sound good to the public. Reed said Watts would bully you if you let him do that but that he was a tyrant.


Reed talks about several guys he worked with in Mid-South. He teamed with Buddy Landel and said that their best angle was when they jumped the Junkyard Dog and painted him yellow and that got a ton of heat. He said that JYD did things his own way and was not a technical wrestler whatsoever and how his Thump wasnt much of a move but he could work with that and the fans went nuts, like they did for Hulk Hogan’s leg drop and Dusty’s bionic elbow. On working with Andre the Giant, Reed said he was stiff and even fart on you in the corner. Reed calls Ted DiBiase a great technical wrestler who could “work with a broomstick” and considers him a friend. He said Steve Williams was incredibly stiff but turned into a great worker. He also talks about having a great feud against Magnum TA and calls him a hell of a talent and said there feuds were great as he was a “mean, rugged black guy” and Magnum was a “young white boy” as Reed said the feud revolved around him roughing up Magnum.


On the crowds, Reed said he was never stabbed like others were but one time in Greenwood, MS he was with Landel and stomped Magnum after the show. He went back in the ring and noticed that Landel already bailed. Reed said there were some fans that got in his way as he went to the locker room that he told to move away. As he was backstage, a fan managed to sneak into the dressing room as Reed told him to leave. The fan handed him a business card that said he was part of the KKK so Reed told him to get the hell out. The fan managed to get in again as Reed joked how he introduced him to the wall, lockers, and the doors. After throwing the fan out again, Reed said the cops knocked on the door and they escorted him to the county line.


Reed talked about how it hurt Mid-South when JYD left for the WWF as they all called him “The Franchise” while he was there.


He said that Vince McMahon came up with the idea to dye his hair blond as he got the inspiration from Sweet Daddy Siki. Reed said that Vince never did anything wrong to him and would give a lot of compliments. Reed said he didnt want to be blond anymore though and that the travel wore him out.


Reed said Hogan would always help guys if he could and that he is “good people.” On why they never had a problem, Reed said it was that he “didn’t give a shit” as he was doing good in feuds he was in and became complacent with that.


On the rumor that he was supposed to get the Intercontinental Title, Reed said he forgets most of what happened but that his plane got delayed due to the “winter weather” (The TV taping was held on 6/2/87) and he missed the TV taping. He then adds if he knew in advance he was getting the belt he’d have shown up a day before the taping to make sure he was there.


His favorite WWF match he had was a cage match against Tito Santana in Lincoln, NE.


Reed claimed he was not much into the party scene.


He got into WCW due to Jim Barnett. Reed said that the booking committee came up with the Doom team. He said it was hard to adjust wearing a mask at first and that they were not fooling anyone but knew it would result in a push.


Reed loved wrestling the Steiners as they all wanted to be stiff with each other and slams and suplexes. He also said the Steiners were crazy.


On Sting, Reed said he was a really bad worker at first as he had no skills or psychology and should have been trained more before his big push.


When Bill Watts came into WCW, Reed said he left Mid-South on bad terms and they even threatened each other over the phone as Reed said he’d come to the studio and kick his ass while Watts said he would have him put in jail.


He is asked about working in Memphis and says that Jerry Lawler owes him money and that he will remind him of this if they meet again.


Reed quit Global Wrestling as he was tired of being on the road.


On the rumors of the WWF wanting him to be part of “Nation of Domination,” Reed said that Ron Simmons contacted him but Reed said his heart was not into it and did not want to go back to the WWF.


His only regrets in wrestling is how he cut his own career short but he says the business ended up turning into a “cartoon” and a “soap opera” so he is not that mad about leaving when he did.


He closes by thanking the fans for his success because without him he would have never amounted to anything in wrestling.


Final Thoughts: I thought parts of this interview were good and informative but it was clear Reed had selective memory at times. He was known as being difficult to deal with and partaking in the party scene but skated over that and how he did not get the Intercontinental Title among other things. He seemed like he was angling to get a job with the WWE. Reed at least had a good mind for the business. He also seemed exhausted but these things can be filmed at 3am so I cannot blame him for that.

I liked when he talked about Mid-South and that was the best part of the interview. The first half of this was solid but it was a chore to get through the last half-hour. Reed did a “Reflections” shoot with RF Video several months ago that was a lot more explosive and lively than this shoot.

Overall, unless you are a Mid-South fan, I would not recommend this interview.

You can purchase the DVD for $20, the digital download for $14.99, or you can watch it if subscribed to the Highspots Network