Randy Myers On Training In The Hart Dungeon & Eric Bischoff’s Involvement In “MatRats”

Randy Myers has rubbed elbows with some of wrestling's biggest names in his two-decade career.
The current DEFY wrestling world champion is “The Weirdo Hero” Randy Myers. A native of Canada, Myers has a history with the Hart family and a short-lived promotion from the early 2000s called “MatRats” which featured names like Teddy Hart and Harry Smith. 
Recently, Myers joined Spencer Love of the Conversations With Spencer Love and discussed a multitude of topics including his early days of training at the Hart Family Dungeon and how former WCW President Eric Bischoff was involved with the brief MatRats promotion.
Credit to Spencer Love for passing along the following quotes
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.”
A brief background on the short-lived Matrats promotion:
“Basically what Matrats was, was it was a promotion for people under the age of 25. The idea was it was going to be a kids wrestling promotion. Basically, more athletic, kind of more the style you’re seeing in PWG today or any of the independents, even DEFY in the States or across the world. Kind of like a higher-impact, faster style, more athleticism, (and a) heavy emphasis on creativity within the moveset. There was just these incredible talents, so there was like TJ Wilson, Teddy Hart, Jack Evans was there, Rene Dupree was there at the time. Even like there (were) two boys by the name of Nick Nogg and Pete Wilson who were incredible (at) inventing moves, like three or four moves a day that you see now popping up and people are like ‘oh my god, I can’t believe that happened,’ and I’ve seen them forever ago. I was there the day the 630 was invented. Here we were, just like a bunch of rag-tag kids that Teddy had put together.”
“There was a person named Graham Owens who had invested, because he had seen Teddy Hart at Stampede Wrestling, and was a cameraman I believe. He saw that the kids matches were just this different level and different style that could maybe really be harnessed and sold. So, he propositioned this show, and it was called Matrats. It was short-lived, but it was very almost like Wrestling Society X ended up being on MTV. It was like that youth, high-energy, MTV-kind-of-audience style wrestling show. It was really fun.”
Eric Bischoff’s involvement with Matrats:
“Eric Bischoff was involved. He was at the Palace show, which was my first live wrestling match, and he was also at another show that was actually the first time I ever took a bump on a show. So, yeah, Eric Bischoff was involved, and Jason Hervey, who was the brother Wayne on the Wonder Years, was there as well. At the Palace show, we had Don Callis (and) Mauro as the commentators, so it was phenomenal. Joey Styles was there. It was crazy.”
Why the promotion fell through:
“I think the idea of selling a children’s wrestling program, especially when you think of wrestling, especially at that time in the early 2000’s, it was kind of a dark spot within entertainment. There was a lot of deaths and there was a lot of negativity around it, so the idea of having children involved in that, I think, was kind of a harder sell than you would think. Especially with injuries and stuff like that, the idea of seeing grown adults hitting each other and stuff like that, consenting adults hitting each other, that’s okay, but the idea of children, it’s kind of blurry. I’m not exactly sure, but that would be my guess as to why things fell through.”
You can check out the full interview at this link.

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