For over 20 years now, Randy Myers has been regarded as one of the premier Canadian professional wrestlers in the world. Since beginning his training at BJ’s Gym, Myers has earned championship gold and accolades aplenty throughout the duration of his career. One of those championships is the famed Stampede Wrestling Championship, with Myers representing the final champion in the title’s esteemed history.
Recently, Myers joined me to discuss his feelings on being the final Stampede Wrestling Champion, as well as his time starting his career at BJ’s Gym and the famed Hart Dungeon.
Starting out at BJ’s Gym:
“My first independent wrestling show was the resurgence of Stampede Wrestling that they did at the Pavillion in 1999. I went to that first show. I was a fan of professional wrestling before that, but that was when it seemed doable. It seemed realistic as something I could actually achieve. I had so many wild dreams as a child, but they were all sort of things that felt out of my grasp. Here, it was these people that were trained in Calgary, it was these prairie boys just like me that were performing in these rings. There was young people, too, like TJ Wilson and Teddy Hart and Harry Smith, and they were all just phenomenal. Then, I started watching Stampede Wrestling on TV, and BJ’s Gym had a commercial during the commercial breaks at noon on Stampede Wrestling Saturday mornings. They would say ‘come down to BJ’s Gym, I’m training all the young guys and they’re going to be the future of professional wrestling. I can teach them anything from moonsaults off the top rope to DDT’s,’ and as soon as I saw that, I was like ‘this is something I’m very interested in doing,’ so I went down there and checked it out.”
“The first time I went there, it was beyond what I thought. I had never done anything athletic in my entire life before; in fact, I’d weaselled my way out of gym class by writing essays about sports. I’d go to the library and study on sports and write the essays on them. The idea of competition was always really hard on me when I was young. I was really, really into it, and then I would be either the sore loser or the crappy winner. I never saw the good side in it. From a young, young age, probably seven or eight, I decided the competitiveness wasn’t necessarily my bag. It wasn’t healthy for me. So, not being an athletic kid, when I went to BJ’s Gym, first time I hit those ropes I think I made it one-and-a-half times across the ring before I was entirely gassed. 130 pounds and I was not built to be a professional wrestler athletically or physically, but mentally I was stubborn. I had so much fun there.”
“At the same time, I was taking my first improv class. I had gone to improv class because I was like ‘either I want to do improv, or I want to do wrestling.’ I went to improv class, and everyone was, like 35+. I went to wrestling class and everyone was like 15, they were all younger than me. So, I was like ‘oh, if I’m going to do this, if I want to do both, I’m going to have to do wrestling first, because I can still do improv when I’m 35, but I can’t do improv until I’m 35 and then start wrestling.’ That’s going to be a lot.”
“Like I said, I was heartbroken at that time, and I deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder so this was a place where I could focus my obsession on something that was kind of healthy, and just continue to be learning and physically made me better. I also needed to get in to shape and wanted to clean my act up as far as being a person. I wanted to be a role model, and I realized this was an avenue for me to do that.”
Beginning his training at the Hart Dungeon:
“When I first started at BJ’s, I did that for about a year, and then there was the short-lived Matrats promotion that came through. Basically, Stampede Wrestling had run low, their talent pool had run low, so they didn’t have a lot of people on their shows. I was always going and supporting their shows. I went to one where there were only three matches on the card or something like that, so I started to bring my gear to the shows. I started asking Bruce – Bruce Hart, I started asking him, he was the promoter at the time – if they needed anyone, ever, I’ve always got my stuff with me. Like they say, bring your gear to every show, so I started bringing it. Then, one day, he was like ‘hey, we’re going to use you tonight,’ and he threw me in the ring against Hannibal, who was my very first match.”
“I didn’t know I was welcomed in the Dungeon yet. So, I started doing the Stampede Wrestling shows and sheepishly being at these shows, tentatively going and doing my best. One day, TJ came up to me and said ‘Bruce is upset that you’re not coming to the Dungeon practices.’ And the whole time, I wasn’t going was because I thought either I wasn’t invited, and I’d spent all my money on Teddy Hart’s pro wrestling camp. My grandmother had given me a little bit of money for when I graduated high school, and I spent all that money for a lifetime membership with Teddy’s school. So, at that point, I had nothing left in my bank account, and I didn’t have the price for the Dungeon. So, I was like ‘I can’t do that,’ and then Bruce was kind enough to waive the fee and invited me into the Dungeon.”
“I had to pay for it with my skin, whether that be chops or whether that be taking bumps or whether – they used to have a lot of people come through the Dungeon that were tourists that would be from wherever in the world that wanted to come see the famous Hart Family Dungeon. They would come to practice some times and then Bruce would get them on the mat to maybe throw some chops or maybe do some kicks to the groin. There was always one person who was volunteered for those, and it was me. I paid for the Dungeon, but in a different way.”
Being the last-ever Stampede Wrestling Champion:
“It’s pretty wild that I watched that promotion go through – and it’s gone through so many incarnations over the years – but I’ve watched it even myself go through two or three different bookers or stuff like that over the years. Being the Champion when it closed down means a lot, but it also means that I was the Champion when the promotion closed, which isn’t necessarily the greatest thing either!”
“I had a realization when I won the DEFY belt, and I had been so excited about that. Then, this whole where we’re at right now came down, and I’m like ‘so, I become the Stampede Wrestling Champion and it closes down, and then I become the DEFY Worldwide Champion and the world closes down. Like, what is going on?!’”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.