Ron Bass (wrestler)
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Ron Bass Wrestler
Ron Bass
Birth nameRonald Heard
Born(1948-12-21)December 21, 1948[1]
Harrisburg, Arkansas[1]
DiedMarch 7, 2017(2017-03-07) (aged 68)[2]
Tampa, Florida
Professional wrestling career
Ron Bass
Billed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[3][2]
Billed weight289 lb (131 kg)[3]
Billed fromPampa, 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.[4]

Professional wrestling career

National Wrestling Alliance (1971-1987)

Heard started wrestling as Ron Bass in 1971 in the Gulf Coast territory.[2] Throughout the 1970s, he performed primarily in National Wrestling Alliance territories.[5] He was known as "Cowboy" Ron Bass,[6] Sam Oliver Bass, and "Outlaw" Ron Bass, depending on which territory he was working at the time.[7]

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.[2] 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. "[8]

World Wrestling Federation (1987-1989)

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.[2] 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.[9] He also participated in the very first Royal Rumble[9] and the 20-man battle royal at WrestleMania IV.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] On the January 7, 1989 Saturday Night's Main Event XIX, Bass lost to Beefcake via sleeperhold in a hair vs. hair match.[4][16] He competed in the 1989 Royal Rumble (sans hair),[1] Bass' feud with Beefcake was scrapped, and he was used mainly as a preliminary wrestler and left the WWF shortly thereafter.[12]


Bass wrestled in the independents before retiring in 1991 due to the injuries sustained over his career.[4] In 2005, he made an appearance at WrestleReunion on January 29 and teamed with Larry Zbyszko to defeat Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda.[17]

Bass and Brian Blair both starred in the film Silent Times directed by Geoff Blanchette and Christopher Annino,[18] which was released in 2018. Bass plays a 1920s professional football coach named Coach Joseph Arcarese.[2]

Personal life and death

After retiring, Heard returned to Tampa, Florida, where he golfed, became religious, and earned his bachelor's degree from Arkansas State University.[2][4] Subsequently, he worked in sales in Florida's construction market.[4] He also became an Amway salesman in the Tampa area. He had one son.[4]

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.[19] 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.[20]

In March 2017, Heard was hospitalized due to a burst appendix.[2] He died on March 7 at the age of 68 due to complications following surgery.[21][2]

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b c "Ron Bass profile". Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Oliver, Greg (March 7, 2017). "'Outlaw' Ron Bass dead at 68". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Brett Hoffman (January 29, 2007). "Catching up with The Outlaw". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Glasspiegel, Ryan (8 March 2017). "Pro Wrestlers Pay Tribute to "The Outlaw" Ron Bass". The Big Lead. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Former professional wrestler 'Cowboy' Ron Bass dies at TGH". 7 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ Gnetz, Brandon (7 March 2017). "Former WWE Star "Outlaw" Ron Bass Passes Away". ComicBook. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "'The Outlaw' Ron Bass passes away at 68". Cageside Seats. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ a b Holroyd, Caitlyn (8 March 2017). "Former WWE star 'The Outlaw' Ron Bass dies at 68". Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ Undelson, Ben (2013). Fiction. A Nostalgic Guide to Growing up with the WWF. p. 90. ISBN 9781304101907.
  11. ^ "WWE wrestler DIES from burst appendix". 8 March 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ a b Thomas, Jeremy (8 March 2017). "UPDATED: WWE Issues Statement on "Outlaw" Ron Bass' Passing". 411 Mania. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man, p.162, Ted DiBiase with Tom Caiazzo, Pocket Books, New York, NY, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4165-5890-3
  14. ^ "World Wrestling Entertainment Substitutions". Softwolves. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Survivor Series 1988". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Saturday Night's Main Event #19". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "WrestleReunion Wrestling Card: January 29, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Annino, Christopher (2019-01-29), Silent Times, Geoff Blanchette, Saschia Johnson, Olga Kurkulina, retrieved
  19. ^ "WWE sued in wrestler class action lawsuit featuring Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, Paul 'Mr Wonderful' Orndorff". Fox Entertainment Group (21st Century Fox). July 18, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ Robinson, Byron (September 22, 2018). "Piledriver: WWE uses 'Hell in a Cell' as springboard to future shows". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ "Former professional wrestler 'Cowboy' Ron Bass dies at Tampa General Hospital", by WFLA Web Staff
  22. ^ "NWA International Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "NWA World Tag Team Title (Central States)". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "NWA Bahamas Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "NWA Global Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Florida Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Florida)". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "NWA United States Tag Team Title (Florida)". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "NWA National Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  30. ^ "NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  31. ^ "Gulf Coast Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  32. ^ "NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  33. ^ "NWA Southeastern Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  34. ^ "NWA Tennessee Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  35. ^ "Bass Knuckles Title (Mid-Atlantic)". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  36. ^ Hoops, Brian (January 17, 2019). "Pro wrestling history (01/17): Vader wins IWGP heavyweight title". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved 2019.
  37. ^ "NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  38. ^ "NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "NWA Television Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  40. ^ "NWA Americas Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  41. ^ "NWA/AWA Southern Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  42. ^ Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2006) [2000.]. "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: Southern Tag Team Title [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling title histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Waterloo, Ontario: Archeus Communications. pp. 185-189. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  43. ^ "Southern Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ "NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  45. ^ Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2000). "Tennessee: U.S. Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 194. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  46. ^ "NWA United States Tag Team Title (Mid-America)". Retrieved 2015.
  47. ^ "NWA Arkansas Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  48. ^ "NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  49. ^ "NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved .
  50. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved .
  51. ^ Rodgers, Mike (2004). "Regional Territories: PNW #16".

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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