The wrestling community mourns the loss over another brother as word has gotten out that former WCW wrestler Maxx Muscle has passed away at the age of 56. Muscle – real name John Czawlytko, passed away on Thursday, June 27. The news was announced by former WWE Superstar Marc Mero.
My condolences to the family and friends of John Czawlytko. John passed on Thursday June 27, 2019. He was best known in wrestling as Max Muscle, Bodyguard of @RealDDP. He was very instrumental in many of our matches. Nothing but good memories. pic.twitter.com/ZKi5McmC53
— Marc Mero (@MarcMero) July 1, 2019
A bodybuilder in the late 1980s and early 1990s, John Czawlytko first started his career in Dallas, Texas’ Global Wrestling Federation (GWF) in 1992 as Big Bad John. GWF had hoped to pick up from the demise of World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) and was an early grooming promotion for the likes of Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray), X-Pac, Jerry Lynn, Raven, JBL, Buff Bagwell, and Eddie Gilbert. A year later, he headed to the WCW Power Plant to continue his training. At 6’4″ and 330 lbs., the monstrous specimen had high hopes within WCW management. He spent his WCW time in 1993 working various WCW house shows in enhancement roles, still under his Big Bad John moniker.
He made his WCW TV debut in July of 1994, still as Big Bad John, in a losing effort against Ricky Steamboat on WCW Pro. That September, Big Bad John got his first title match, losing to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in a WCW United States Championship title defense on WCW Pro.
In 1995, he was repackaged as Maxx Muscle, becoming the bodyguard for Diamond Dallas Page. DDP had recently returned from injury and prior to that hiatus, ran The Diamond Mine, a faction that saw DDP largely in a managerial role with a squad that previously featured Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash), The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall), Johnny Flamingo (Raven) and others. By the time DDP returned from his torn ACL, Nash and Hall had left for WWE (to become Diesel and Razor Ramon respectively). DDP returned as a singles wrestler, accompanied by his wife Kimberly Page (The Diamond Doll) and Maxx Muscle as his bodyguard, effectively launching DDP’s singles career in WCW.
By the end of 1995, he finally turned on DDP, in a story similar to that of Virgil and “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, but Maxx Muscle’s face run was short-lived. In early 1996, he joined Kevin Sullivan‘s Dungeon of Doom (where his name was shortened to simply Maxx). He frequently tagged with Hugh Morrus (Bill DeMott) and The Shark (WWE’s Earthquake), as well as regular singles matches, including a WCW Television title match against champion Lex Luger in his Monday Nitro debut on May 27, 1996.
He would briefly reunite his feud with a now face DDP in 1997 (while still a Dungeon member), and he would make his second Nitro appearance in a loss to DDP on March 17, 1997. But WCW was no firmly entrenched in the Monday Night Wars against WWE, and Maxx became a casualty of war. His final WCW match was a tag team match with Rick Fuller in a loss to the Steiner Brothers on WCW Worldwide in May of 1997.
Following his WCW departure, he took a hiatus from pro wrestling, before returning to the indies in 1999 with his local indie promotion, Maryland Championship Wrestling (now MCW Pro). In 2000, he briefly worked for a new short-lived ECW rival, Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW) before retiring from pro wrestling. He would make a brief comeback in 2008 and 2009 for special events for Fort Worth, Texas’ Insane Hardcore Wrestling Entertainment (IHWE), before retiring for good in 2009.
Last Word on Pro Wrestling sends its condolences to the family, friends, and peers of John Czawlytko in this rough time.
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