Territorial performer Brett Sawyer dies at 63

Brett Sawyer (Brett Eugene Woyan), who was the younger of the late Buzz Sawyer, died on Friday at the age of 63.

He was trained by his older brother along with Ricky Steamboat and started wrestling in 1976. He wrestled throughout the country with major stints in Oregon, Mid-South, Mid-Atlantic, Texas & Florida, and toured with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

For Don Owen in Oregon, he won the Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship four times throughout 1982 including several title switches with Rip Oliver before losing it one last time to Ali Hassan with the two continuing to feud. He also held the territory’s tag titles five times with various partners including his brother Buzz, Tom Prichard, and Rocky Johnson.

On October 2, 1982, he challenged Ric Flair for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship at the Sports Arena in Portland.

In 1983, he went to Georgia Championship Wrestling and began wrestling as Brett Wayne with a variety of partners including Arn Anderson, Rick Rude, Ronnie Garvin, and Brian Blair, and worked against the Road Warriors a lot. In September of that year, he beat Larry Zbyszko for the NWA National Heavyweight Championship and held it for two months, losing the belt to Ted DiBiase in November. Buzz Sawyer joined the territory and teamed with his brother, beating the Road Warriors for the NWA tag titles on November 27 at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati but were stripped of the titles when Buzz was let go. Buzz would go to Kansas for a pair of matches and then pop up in WWF in May but didn’t last long and was gone after six weeks.

Brett returned to Oregon for six months where he worked solo and formed a team with Tom Prichard after his brother left Georgia.

Brett and Buzz began teaming in Mid-Atlantic in 1985 with Dusty Rhodes booking Jim Crockett Promotions and holding the Saturday night slot on TBS. Their main program was working against the Midnight Express, culminating with a Loser Leaves Town Steel Cage Match in Columbus, Georgia in September, which the Sawyers lost, although Brett finished up later that month with Brett heading to Mid-South to work for Bill Watts and worked there until the end of 1986.

With Buzz, the brothers were booked in NJPW at the beginning of 1987 on a tour that included Mike Von Erich, who died several months later at the age of 23.

The Sawyers teamed against Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi, Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido, and Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami with Brett working several singles matches including one with a young Masahiro Chono, but they never returned to New Japan.

Brett wrestled for the PWF in Florida, which was Dusty Rhodes’ group he was part of after JCP and before going to the WWF. In the early ‘90s, Brett did some enhancement work for WCW and winded down his career in 1993 working for W*NG in Japan.

He started running a wrestling school in Georgia in the ‘90s and was in the news in 2011 and 2013 for a series of DUI arrests.

Sawyer was living in West Virginia when he died. Sawyer leaves behind two children.

With notes from SLAM Wrestling and Cagematch.net  

About John Pollock 5574 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.