The family of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has announced that Bart Sawyer (Steve Stewart), a staple of the Portland Wrestling scene, passed away on Thursday at the age of 57 years old.
Sawyer was a mainstay for Portland Wrestling during the early 1990s before joining the USWA. He got his start in the wrestling business training under Bob Giegel in the Kansas City area and wrestled his first match as a student against Curtis Hughes. He worked for the World Wrestling Alliance in Kansas City and then made some appearances for the USWA and WCCW before beginning to work for Pacific Northwest Wrestling.
Sawyer was forced to retire in November 2004 following a stroke that left him in a coma for several days and partially paralyzed his left side.
Although Sawyer eventually recovered, he never stepped in between the ropes again.
On a recent edition of Konnan’s “Keepin’ It 100” podcast, Hugo Savinovich stated that had Eddie Guerrero not passed away when he did (November 2005), he would’ve had an even greater impact on the professional wrestling industry.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On what Guerrero may have done in his career if he hadn’t passed: “Not only did we miss some great years ahead of him, but I think that the best was yet to come. Because I think creatively, would he have gone full-time creatively and maybe an analyst on the Spanish shows too, I think that he would have been so productive because he had that quality of a wrestling mind.”
On Gurrerro’s potential impact as a creative mind: “You know, people have good ideas, but good ideas don’t necessarily make good business. A good idea in our business works when it projects the right image at the right moment that it will draw your TV ratings and put asses on the seats. I think, Eddie, we missed out on a big, huge part. I think that an analyst like him on a Spanish show and somebody of a consultant type would have been fantastic for Vince [McMahon].”