Former pro-wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is grieving the loss of his partner, who has died at the age of 57.
Before he became a household name synonymous with blockbuster films and exciting roles in Disney movies, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a pro-wrestler and a wrestling champion. And his wrestling career goes back many, many years.
It’s been quite a year for the former WWE superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the professional wrestler who hung up his belt to become one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. In late April, news outlets were abuzz about a lawsuit against Johnson that alleged he had played the part of the mastermind in a wild kidnapping conspiracy against a former female wrestler.
News of the allegations was shocking and a bit strange–so strange that fans and news outlets began to dig deeper into related court documents and discovered that the entire lawsuit was strange. Court documents told a crazy tale of a failed marriage, a bitter divorce steeped in anger, child custody violations, and retail chains like Home Depot, Victoria’s Secret, and Starbucks–none of which had any ties to Dwayne Johnson, though he was named as one of the defendants in the suit.
His NBC sitcom, Young Rock, was canceled, and rumors of Disney cutting ties with him circulated for weeks. Earlier this month, Universal canceled its contract with Johnson and his production house, Seven Bucks Productions.
Now he’s grieving the death of his former tag team championship partner, Steven Stewart, known in the ring as “Smart” Bart Sawyer.
News of Sawyer’s passing was shared via a tweet from Roddy Piper’s Twitter account. Piper passed away in 2015, and his family has since taken over the responsibility of keeping his X, formerly Twitter, account updated and accurate.
Our condolences and love to the family and friends of Steve Stewart, aka Smart Bart Sawyer. The Toombs Clan is sad to hear of his passing. Rest in Peace Steve. #ripbartsawyer pic.twitter.com/hlfOhWZfww
— Rowdy Roddy Piper (@R_Roddy_Piper) September 21, 2023
Per Essentially Sports:
Stewart entered the world of pro wrestling under the tutelage of Bob Geigel, a promoter and pro wrestler based in Kansas City. He would go on to be a part of numerous wrestling promotions from 1988 to 2004. However, he became known for his iconic persona of Bart Sawyer, based on a beloved character from a popular animated series.
Bart Sawyer, renowned for his Bart Simpson-inspired wrestling persona, graced WWF and WCW with his presence until his retirement in late 2004 due to health concerns following a minor stroke. The Bart Sawyer persona cleverly played off the animated character Bart Simpson from “The Simpsons,” capitalizing on the show’s immense popularity at the time.
His distinctive character, known as “The Bartman,” featured spiky hair that evoked the animated character. Despite not achieving the widespread fame of his peers, Sawyer made a lasting impact on wrestling.
— PWInsider.com (@PWInsidercom) September 22, 2023
The report from Essentially Sports continued, stating that “Sawyer’s historical connection to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has to do with their partnership with the United States Wrestling Association (USWA). At the time, Johnson went by the ring name Flex Kavana. Together, they held the USWA Tag Team Championship after defeating Reggie B. Fine and Brickhouse Brown. This victory marked Dwayne Johnson’s first tag team championship win.”