Monday, February 15, 2016

Johnny Weaver Posts Move to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Effective February 15 of 2016, all future posts regarding Johnny Weaver that would normally have been posted here on the "Johnny Weaver Blog" will be posted on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway website. This is no longer an active blogsite.

All previous posts to this blog will remain archived here. Some will be selected for re-posting in the future on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

To visit the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and filter only for posts related to Johnny Weaver, CLICK HERE.

To browse all previous posts on this blogsite, use the drop-down directory on the left hand side of this page under the "PREVIOUS POSTS" heading. This includes all posts going back to 2007.

For all of Capt. Mike Smith's annual notes on Johnny Weaver, CLICK HERE.

On This Day: My Annual Note from Capt. Smith

PLEASE NOTE: This is the final official post to the Johnny Weaver Blog. See the note above for information about the consolidation of this blog with the Mid-Atlantic Gateway website.

It is fitting that the final post here should be the note I receive from Capt. Michael Smith each year around the anniversary of Johnny's death. Capt. Smith was Johnny's Captain and immediate supervisor at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office where Johnny continued to work up until the day he died.

I have only met Capt. Smith in person on one occasion, but we have shared a friendship over the years since Johnny's death via e-mail. His letters have always moved me, and his heartfelt words in Johnny's memory speak volumes about the man he is and of the man that Johnny was.

- Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

February 13, 2016

Hope all is well. I think about this guy all the time.

My plan is to retire this year for sure, just don’t know when yet.  My friend Johnny Weaver was working just a little longer so he could retire with medical benefits.

Well that time again has come February 15, 2008, I continue to think about this day, this time of year, and this person.  I never looked at Johnny as a celebrity, our relationship was not even based on that and I would probably bet Johnny never based any of his relationships on being a celebrity or being with a celebrity. I assume he did it on pure friendship that was the way he did it.  I wish everybody could have the honor and privilege that I had to work with this individual.  The loyalty, ethics, moral, and commitment he had it was unprecedented.   The stories he would tell, I do not know if they were true but they sure were good to hear.  I guess that is why they call them stories.  They must have had fun back in those days and I am sure everything they did was incredible.  He did say they all got mad one time because Andre the Giant was riding with them and so he could he ride they had to take the seats out of the car and everybody was mad but nobody could do anything about it.  He said sometimes they partied like there was no tomorrow or until they got to the next match.  I did ask him one time how much Andre could drink and he said one time he drank 2 cases of beer and a whole bottle of Jack Daniels.  I asked Johnny how they got him out of the car.  He said that did nothing to Andre.

Some of the information Johnny shared I will keep with me because some are still alive.  It is not as much as what Johnny did, it was just how he did it and how he built friendships and what they meant to him.  It’s just not like that anymore in the world we live in.

I don’t really think it is fair to say Johnny worked for me in his career.  I wish and think we all worked for him I only hope he thinks that.  He was only going to work a little longer and then retire.

The day when all this unfolded and the days to come will remain in my mind as long as I have one.  When I went back to his house after all the events took place there it was the world famous traveling Cadillac sitting right there in plain sight up close and personal.  Only if that car could talk.  When we arrived I can remember walking up those steps and into the back door.  Looking out seeing were Johnny worked in his garden cultivating the fruit and vegetables he wanted.  When we walked in it was Johnny all the way, neat, orderly, a notebook with daily entries and what was in it is between us, but I will say Johnny Weaver was a very smart, intelligent, particular, planning, and attentive man.

He was still dedicated to exercising and working hard.  When we went into his house and to the right at the end of the hallway was a closet.  There was something different but it was kind of dark and as we got closer you could see a bar across the bottom of it.  When you looked on the floor in front of this door where there was supposed to be carpet there was a big hole, well a hole were the carpet was worn and gone.  It was like this because that is where Johnny did his sit-ups everyday still staying in shape and hanging maintaining his health so he could hang with the young guys.  There was other clues exhibited to tell us he must have recently come back from his morning exercise routine when it all happened.  Many don’t realize at his age he was in extremely abundant shape.  We believe by the things we observed and found that he was up and out early that morning and exercising real hard I would bet the farm on it.

Johnny had a story to tell but he never wrote it in his words but told it the way he wanted to tell it.  Some got it and maybe some didn’t.  I think I got the best part of it.  I understand it, some of it I can’t do and will never be able to.  He told a fantastic story and if you missed his clues then you missed his story.  I got it, I believe it and I am thankful he shared it with me and I hope so many others got it.  It was a word to the wise.  However he lived his life before we met is his business, what he did is his business, but from what I witnessed and learned I couldn’t do nothing for him.  He did a lot for me and I can only hope for so many others what they received from Johnny in the lesson and friendship I so graciously witnessed. 

I will cherish his friendship the remainder of my life and I am gracious for having the greatest employee and friend one could have had for the rest of my life.

How lucky I have been. I miss you, Sleeper Man. 

Captain Michael Smith
Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hell Hath No Fury...

... like a woman willing to be her husband's tag team partner!

Or so says the advertisement of this classic 1963 card in Houston, TX.  Thanks to Mark Eastridge who sent this to us at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Jim Crockett's Royal Couple

by Mike Cline
Mid-Atlantic Grapplin' Greats

Had Jim Crockett Promotions held an American Idol-type contest voted on by the fans to determine the company's top male and female personality, I (and, I'm sure most other Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fans) would have cast my ballot for Penny Banner and Johnny Weaver.

And, what many fans at the time did not know, Penny and Johnny were in everyday life, married to one another.........

>>>> Read the entire article Jim Crockett's "Royal Couple" with many more photos on Mike Cline's "Mid-Atlantic Grapplin' Greats" website, August 30, 2015.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Roy Wilkins Wins the 2015 Weaver Cup

Weaver Cup Champion Roy Wilkins
(John Moses Photography)
The All-Stars' Roy Wilkins defeated Chet Sterling in the finals of the 2015 Johnny Weaver Memorial Cup tournament at the Mid Atlantic Sportatorium in Gibsonville, NC this past Saturday, August 29. The annual summer-long event, which is in it's 12th year, featured some of the best independent talent in North Carolina.

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling legend Don Kernodle was on hand to present the trophy to Wilkins. Kernodle was a protege of Johnny Weaver's in the 1970s and 1980s. He was most famously one-half of the NWA world tag team champions with partner (and WWE Hall of Famer) Sgt. Slaughter in 1982-1983. Their epic match with Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood in March of 1983 in Greensboro resulted in a huge sell-out turn away crowd that led to the idea of Jim Crockett Promotions doing their first ever closed-circuit mega-event Starrcade '83.

Weaver himself was involved in the early years of the tournament and annually presented the trophy to the winner until his death in 2008.

The Weaver Cup "final-four" took place on the final night of the tournament this past weekend which began back in June. The semi-finals saw Chet Sterling advance by defeating 2014 champion Brad Attitude, while Wilkins topped Marcellus King.

Wilkins is managed by Coach Gemini (the Gemini Kid), himself a former Weaver Cup champion in 2006.

For a look at the history of the Johnny Weaver Cup, visit our Weaver Cup page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives.

Congratulations to all the folks at CWF on their 12 year promoting the Johnny Weaver Cup! (Special thanks to Randy Hedrick.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weaver Cup Final Four set for 2015

CWF Mid-Atlantic is back in action THIS Saturday night August 29th with the 2015 Johnny Weaver Cup Finals Night!

The 16-man summer long Johnny Weaver Memorial Cup Tournament is down to our final 4! They’ll meet in semi-final round matches early in the night and the 2 finalists come back in the main event for their chance at being immortalized on the Weaver Cup trophy and a guaranteed shot at the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship . . . unless the NEW champion makes good on his vow to be the first reigning champ to ever win the tournament!

Visit the WEAVER CUP EVENT PAGE on the CWF website for more information.

Monday, August 24, 2015

No Gimmicks Here

"Sunday Notes" by Steve Mann
Hillsborough NC newspaper
March 30, 1982

Professional rassler Johnny Weaver has his answers down pat after 19 years in the business.

Weaver, who admitted to being "over 40" but would agree to no more, was in Hillsborough earlier this week as part of a pro rasslin' card at Orange High School.

And when asked about some of the gimmicks fellow grapplers employed during his sterling career that has included tag-team championships with partner George Becker, Weaver said he couldn't think of any.

"That's not true" (that pro rasslers have gimmicks), said Weaver, who became known for his sleeper hold and figure-four toehold. "The only one I could think of would be Gorgeous George," who was pro rasslin's original prima donna.

When reminded of such performers as the masked Bolos or Homer O'Dell, the infamous manager who cracked people over the head with his cane, or the Moondogs who howl and are reputed to know less English than a new-born babe in China, Weaver said those weren't gimmicks.

"That's just part of the rassler," said Weaver, raised in Indianapolis, but who now calls Charlotte home. "That's no gimmick. That's just them."

Wonder what Weaver would call the get-up of Ninja, who rassled the match previous to Weaver's?  Ninja wore Japanese flip-flops and a pillow case over his head and fooled around with those martial arts chopsticks called nunchaks.

The oriental's opponent refused to tango until the pillow case was removed. It was, only to reveal a white-painted face with red lines extending from his eyes, purple lips and purple tongue. Ninja then wowed the crowd by blowing a stream of green smoke.

Glad to hear it's not a gimmick. For a moment there, I started to think that stuff was fake.

Saying as much rankles Weaver, in fact.

"Anybody who thinks pro rassling is fake is showing their ignorance," he snarled. "If they look at my scars," he said, pointing to his forehead, "and think catsup comes out of there, then they are really ignorant."

By the way, Weaver's popularity doesn't seem to be on the wane at all. His appearance drew hundreds of youngsters to him, each clamoring for an autograph.

And the hero, who has a daughter graduating from N. C. State University next month, obliged them all.

* * * * *

Thanks to Mark Eastridge for the original newspaper clipping, and to Peggy Lathan for transcribing this article.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Johnny Weaver battles Jim Dillon in St. Petersburg

Johnny Weaver and Jim Dillon (James .J. Dillon) battled for the Florida TV title on this huge night of action at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, FL, on April 19, 1975.

Weaver was on one of his rare sojourns away from the Mid-Atlantic area during this time, although he would return later that year.

It is a great looking ad from "Championship Wrestling from Florida" featuring NWA Champion Jack Brisco and "the ten pounds of gold", the NWA world championship belt.

Others on this huge card included future and former world title holders Terry Funk, Dory Funk, Jr., Harley Race, Bob Backlund, and others.

The card was held at the beautiful Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. For my money on of the most beautiful arenas in the most perfect setting of any venue in Florida. Belltime 8:30!!

This ad was originally posted on our sister website The Domed Globe and later on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

* * * * * * * * * *

St. Petersburg Newspaper

ST. PETERSBURG—Wrestler Terry Funk. brother of former world champion Dory Funk Jr.. has won the right to meet current world champ Jack Brisco for the title and will tonight in the feature match at the Bayfront Center.

That will be the final match on a card that begins at 8:30 p.m.

In another big match, Dory Funk Jr. will meet the man who took his title away from him, Harley Race. Eddie Graham will take on the Mongolian Stomper and then Bearcat Wright in a special five minute match.

In other matches: Johnny Weaver will meet Jim Dillon in a Florida TV title match; Mike Graham and Tiger Conway will wrestle Doug Somers and Joe Soto: Bob Armstrong will wrestle against Roger Kirby: Danny Little Bear faces Dutch Mantel; Danny Hodge battles Jon Foley and in the opener Bob Backlund comes up against Pat Barrett.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Jack Brisco defeated Terry Funk
Dory Funk Jr. defeated Harley Race by DQ
Mike Graham and Tiger Conway defeated Joe Soto and Doug Somers
Dick Slater defeated Chris Markoff
Jim Dillon defeated Johnny Weaver
Eddie graham defeated the Stomper

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weaver Cup Events for 2015 Announced

From the CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling website: 
Dates of shows that feature matches in the 2015 Weaver Cup.

Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium
1001 Springwood Ave., Gibsonville, NC 27249

Saturday July 25 – 7:30 PM
CWF Mid-Atlantic presents “No Excuses 2015″
The Weaver Cup tournament rolls on!

Saturday August 8 – 7:30 PM
CWF Mid-Atlantic presents “Road to the Final Four”
Who will advance to Finals Night?!

Saturday August 22 – 7:30 PM
CWF Mid-Atlantic presents “Weaver Cup Finals Night 2015″
The summer-long culminates with 1 winner standing tall at the end!

The Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium is located just off Hwy 70 and easily accessible from I-40 exits 138 or 140, located on Springwood Ave. in between the Carolina Cheer Center and New Testament Baptist Church just BEFORE you reach the Cross Fit Training Valley.