Sad news for the Detroit wrestling community this week as it was revealed that long-time wrestling personality — both a wrestler and manager — Royce Carney, known as Mr. JR in Championship Wrestling From Georgia in the 1980s, and Royce “The Bug” for decades in the Michigan indie scene, passed away from complications from diabetes on March 30. Royce Carney was 67 years old.
@BTSheetsPod Can you guys give this a share to help out the family of "Mr. JR" from Georgia Championship Wrestling (Royce "The Bug" Carney) who passed away on Tuesday. #RIPBug pic.twitter.com/iNjIuna3WA
— Jonathan Presley (@TheJonPresley) April 1, 2021
Trained by Michigan veteran Malcolm Monroe Sr. in the early 1980s, he was a manager with Championship Wrestling From Georgia (the short-lived promotion started by Ole Anderson after Georgia Championship Wrestling was purchased by Vince McMahon Jr. in 1984). Inspired by the Dallas television character JR Ewing, Mr. JR wore a big cowboy hat and during his short-lived tenure with GCW, he managed Ivan Koloff, Scott Irwin, and Kareem Muhammad. The promotion opened in 1984, running events in Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, before closing down in 1985. Several of its titles were later unified with Jim Crockett Promotions‘ Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the precursor for WCW.
Mr. JR returned to the Michigan independent circuit, now known as Royce The Bug, and began to manage Detroit icon, The Sheik. While he would wrestle sporadically over the years, his principal role remained as a manager, and he worked for his long-time mentor Monroe Sr. with Monroe’s Mid-West Championship Wrestling (MWCW) — later Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) until it closed its doors in 2000. In 2001, Monroe Sr. founded Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling (XICW) with his son DBA (Malcolm Monroe Jr.), with Royce joining them, now known simply as The Bug. He last worked in-ring in June of 2019, winning the Malcolm Monroe Memorial Battle Royal with XICW.
Last Word on Pro Wrestling sends our deepest condolences to the Carney family and Royce’s friends, peers, and friends during this time.
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