“The Bruiser” RJ Meyer Passes Away

Nov 16, 2020 - by James Walsh

Independent wrestler and trainer RJ Meyer, better known as ‘the Bruiser’, has passed away after a battle with leukemia. He had been diagnosed with the condition in March of last year.

He is best known for his time with MCW Pro Wrestling, where he is a 10-time MCW Champion, as well as a Tag Team and Rage TV champion. He was called the “Major of MCW” and had been training for their school. He helped develop wrestlers like Lio Rush and the Velveteen Dream. He made his debut in wrestling in 1997 after being trained by Axl Rotten and Corporal Punishment.

Co-Owner Dan McDevitt wrote on Facebook:

I could write for days on end about RJ Meyer. If you are in The Baltimore area, even if you are not a fan of Professional Wrestling you are probably going to see his face the next few days shared on social media because he touched a lot of people. I joked with him for years that he was the Mayor of MCW Pro Wrestling because he was always the first one out of the locker room to meet with fans, take pictures with kids and shake everyone’s hand. That was our joke, that every show he was running for mayor of that town. The truth is he just loved it, I mean really loved making people smile and being someone that they saw as larger then life, because The Bruiser was larger then life.
I had a terrible relationship with my father, he was an alcoholic and he never believed in any of my dreams to be a pro wrestler, truth is he mocked me for most of my teenage life when I would tell him what I wanted to do and He never believed in me. I went through a really tough time in 1998 when my father died suddenly without ever having an opportunity to address any of the wounds.

At the same time one of my closest friends in the wrestling business, Shane Shamrock was shot and killed. I went through a pretty shitty divorce that at times made me want to walk away from the wrestling business. When the guy that broke me into the wrestling business died of an over dose I struggled to understand why I could not shed a single tear for him. He had spent the better part of the previous decade and a half hurting everyone around him because of his addiction. For all of those things, for all of those life defining moments RJ was right bye my side helping me up when I would fall.

In 1997 I was 24 years old, Myself and Mark Shrader opened up a professional wrestling school because we wanted a place for people to be able to learn properly and chase their dreams. We had no credibility, no history, no reason for anyone in their right mind to pay us to teach them and give them confidence that we would be able to do what we said we would do. RJ was the very first person to sign up at Bone Breakers Pro Wrestling Training Center. He believed in us when he had no reason.

I poured my heart into everyone I was training for years running Bone Breakers & MCW but I would not be telling the truth if I said that I did not favor RJ a little bit. Maybe it was the personal connection that we had developed, maybe it was the fact that he was “My first student” in this business so that gave him a special place in my heart. It could have also been that I saw the same absolute and total love for this business that I had and maybe it was just a combination of all of those things.

I literally did everything I possibly could for him. Booked with with the best wrestlers, pushed him to promoters, Put him in the ring with the biggest names I could, Teamed him with the Road Warriors, Got him booked on Jerry Springer, Got him booked all over the place and even on a trip to Jamaica but the thing I used to love doing for him the most was booking him in matches with the shittiest wresters we would use 🤣😂 Anytime i did this I would be watching from the curtain and as he would be coming to the back after the match I could see his red face a mile away, I would run and hide from him and he would always say “Dan You Mother F$c!er” and I would laugh. The reality was that I always put the shittiest guys in with RJ back then cause I knew he had the potential to be great and part of being great in the wrestling ring is being able to to work down to peoples level and bring them up. He didn’t know that then but he eventually figured it out.

The Bruiser is the best all around professional Wrestler that never got national attention but what he did was so much more important. He became my right hand, my gatekeeper and he became the teacher. It has been blowing my mind the amount of people from literally all over the world reaching out and sending videos to him to try and pick his spirits up and many of them struggling to put the words together in messages for him. World Champions to WWE Hall Of famers that RJ influenced at one point in their careers. The last decade he has pretty much ran the school and the behind the scenes stuff at the shows for Dennis & Myself. Most of the students the last 7-8 years I have never stepped in the ring with but I know my roots are with them because of RJ

I have been reflecting a lot the last few weeks knowing this moment was approaching. Its pretty overwhelming and even though after spending some time with him Saturday I knew this was coming sooner rather then later, it does not make it any less soul crushing.
I love you RJ Meyer, You are the Heart and Soul of MCW Pro Wrestling and Dennis and I will honor your legacy and all of us will watch over your boys. See you on the other side


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