|Birth name||Ronald Heard|
|Born||December 21, 1948|
|Died||March 7, 2017 (aged 68)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Billed weight||289 lb (131 kg)|
|Billed from||Pampa, Texas|
Houston, Texas (WWF)
Ronald Heard (December 21, 1948 - March 7, 2017) was an American professional wrestler, best known under the name "The Outlaw" Ron Bass. His gimmick was a Texan cowboy who entered World Wrestling Federation (WWF) rings to the sound of a bullwhip.
Heard started wrestling as Ron Bass in 1971 in the Gulf Coast territory. Throughout the 1970s, he performed primarily in National Wrestling Alliance territories. He was known as "Cowboy" Ron Bass, Sam Oliver Bass, and "Outlaw" Ron Bass, depending on which territory he was working at the time.
In the early 1980s, he wrestled in Championship Wrestling from Florida and Jim Crockett Promotions, frequently teaming with Black Bart as The Long Riders in both promotions. He also teamed and feuded with Barry Windham in Florida. As a face he would feud with Angelo Mosca and Kendo Nagasaki. Bass would later turn heel after turning on Dusty Rhodes during a match where Bass was a special referee in a match against Harley Race, costing Rhodes the NWA title. Bass' feud with Barry Windham (over a saddle given to Bass by Dusty Rhodes) led to Windham losing a "loser-leaves-town" match to Bass and coming back to wrestle as the masked "Dirty Yellow Dog. "
In 1987, Bass (using the "Outlaw" name) went to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he voiced challenges to the likes of WWF champion Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. A feud between Bass and Blackjack Mulligan appeared to be in the works over which one was the toughest wrestler to come out of Texas. But Mulligan abruptly left the WWF before any matches could take place between the two. Bass would then settle into a role in the midcard position, wrestling against Hillbilly Jim, Lanny Poffo and Sam Houston. Later on he was part of the five-man team captained by The Honky Tonk Man at the inaugural Survivor Series pay-per-view on Thanksgiving Day 1987. He also participated in the very first Royal Rumble and the 20-man battle royal at WrestleMania IV. He was eliminated at the latter event by the Junkyard Dog; a feud between the two began in the months after WrestleMania after Bass choked and dragged the Dog with his bullwhip, "Miss Betsy," in a sneak attack on Wrestling Challenge. He also joined Gorilla Monsoon at the broadcast table one week on Wrestling Challenge to cover for Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, who was recovering from his storyline injury from Ken Patera.
At the 1988 King of the Ring tournament, Bass qualified for the final after beating a young Shawn Michaels but was paid by Ted DiBiase to fake an injury. Bass began a feud with Beefcake in August 1988, gouging Beefcake's head open with his spurs ("Bret" and "Bart") on an episode of Superstars of Wrestling; the attack caused Beefcake to miss his scheduled Intercontinental championship match against the Honky Tonk Man at the first SummerSlam event on August 29. Bass and Honky co-captained a five-man contingent against a team captained by Beefcake and the Ultimate Warrior at the second Survivor Series in November. Bass and teammate Greg Valentine were eliminated by Warrior in succession in the final minute of the match. On the January 7, 1989 Saturday Night's Main Event XIX, Bass lost to Beefcake via sleeperhold in a hair vs. hair match. He competed in the 1989 Royal Rumble (sans hair), Bass' feud with Beefcake was scrapped, and he was used mainly as a preliminary wrestler and left the WWF shortly thereafter.
Bass wrestled in the independents before retiring in 1991 due to the injuries sustained over his career. In 2005, he made an appearance at WrestleReunion on January 29 and teamed with Larry Zbyszko to defeat Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda.
Bass and Brian Blair both starred in the film Silent Times directed by Geoff Blanchette and Christopher Annino, which was released in 2018. Bass plays a 1920s professional football coach named Coach Joseph Arcarese.
After retiring, Heard returned to Tampa, Florida, where he golfed, became religious, and earned his bachelor's degree from Arkansas State University. Subsequently, he worked in sales in Florida's construction market. He also became an Amway salesman in the Tampa area. He had one son.
In July 2016, Heard was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and that the company concealed the risks of injury. The suit was litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE. Following his death, in December 2018, Kyros' law firm received a postmortem report from the Heard family stating he had suffered from Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which has become common among professional wrestlers. Over a year after his death, US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant dismissed the lawsuit in September 2018.