Sunday, September 30, 2007

Johnny Weaver Must Not Be Sold!

Carroll Hall at WrestlingMemories.com recently received a letter from long time wrestling fan Norman Harris of Wilkesboro NC. Mr. Harris had been kind enough to mail Carroll one of the rarest pieces of memorabilia I've ever seen. It is an "advertising pass" that gave the bearer a discount on the price of admission for a card at the Lexington YMCA in Lexington NC on July 6, 1968.



The pass features a photo of Johnny with the sleeper hold on George "Two Ton" Harris. I also love the references to the TV shows that aired on WBTV in Charlotte and WGHP in High Point NC. During those days. both stations aired unique programs taped at their local studios. The WBTV program was hosted by Big Bill Ward; the High Point show was hosted by NC Broadcast Hall of Famer Charlie Harville. (For more, check out Studio Wrestling.)

Norman had Johnny autograph the pass at the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte in February of 2004. - D. Bourne

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Here is the card from that night in Lexington, courtesy of Mike Cline:

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
July 6, 1968


Rival tag teams of long standing and teams absent for sometime will clash in tonight's professional wrestling feature at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The headlining contest will be GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, THE FLYING SCOTTS, against ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH, now being managed by MR. GEORGE HARRIS, formerly known as "Two Ton". These four wrestlers have a bitter rivalry going back several years in the Carolinas, and one can only imagine what influence HARRIS will have, now that he's in the mix.

Another tag match this week sends the popular duet of North Carolina's own LUTHER LINDSAY and New Zealand's ABE JACOBS against the Spanish-Mexican rowdies PANCHO VALDEZ and THE MATADOR.

Both tag matches are set for two-out-of-three falls.

Single bouts on tonight's card will pit LES WOLFE against FRANK HICKEY and BOB NANDER taking on PEPPY GOMEZ.

Belltime, as always, is 8:15.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Loaded Boot

One of the memorable angles of the late 1960s was the loaded boot, a weapon of the masked Infernos and their manager the infamous J. C. Dykes. Weaver Blog contributor Carroll Hall (WrestlingMemoreis.com) remembers this angle so well, and did research on a show he attended in Winston-Salem on July 1, 1967, finding the newspaper clipping and photos related to the event. He presented his story and the related print material in his article on Wrestling Memories in April of 2005. I asked his permission to reprint the article here, so we might relive the night Johnny Weaver and George Becker turned the tables on the Infernos in a loaded card at the Coliseum. -D. Bourne

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The Loaded Boot
by Carroll Hall

My two brothers and I were really wanting to go to the wrestling matches on that Saturday night in Winston-Salem. It didn't look too promising early in the week leading up to the card because Dad wouldn't be getting off work until 10:00 p.m. that night and I was not quite old enough to drive yet.

By mid-week we got lucky and worked out a deal with Jimmy, a close friend of the family. My brothers and I would help Jimmy chop the weeds out of his tobacco field in exchange for him driving us down to the Coliseum. He loved wrestling too.

My mom had never learned to drive at this point but she had made up her mind to do so. She had just bought a 1957 Dodge with the big fins on the back for $200. She let Jimmy drive that old Dodge to wrestling because the only thing that would run on his farm that day was his tractor. Well, Jimmy must never have driven anything so powerful as that old Dodge. He flew past every vehicle we came upon that night between Mt. Airy and Winston-Salem. Just imagine if you will three kids and one nut (just kidding Jimmy) flying down U.S. 52 in a "Batmobile" going to wrestling!

The old Coliseum was hot that night as it was nearly a full house and I don't believe that grand old building ever had air conditioning.

George Becker had made a promise on "Championship Wrestling" the previous week that he and Johnny Weaver had a big surprise for the Infernos and J.C. Dykes. The Infernos managed by J.C. Dykes had been wreaking havoc all over Virginia and the Carolina's during the Spring of 1967 with the Loaded Boot. Mr. Dykes explained in T.V. interviews that one of his Infernos was born with one leg shorter than the other. That was the reason he had to wear a built up boot. They won match after match when that Inferno would tap the toe of that boot to load it and kick his opponent in the stomach, then tap the heel to unload it.



In this match with Becker and Weaver the Infernos won the first fall with the loaded boot over Johnny Weaver. In the second fall Johnny Weaver used his rollup on Inferno1 and Inferno 2 came in and started tapping the toe of his boot to the mat. Of course the referee had his back turned while pushing George Becker back to his corner. Just as Inferno 2 went to kick Johnny, Weaver caught his foot and took him down. Becker then knocked the referee down so he could join Johnny.

Of course George and Johnny got disqualified which resulted in them losing two straight falls to the Infernos. No matter, they were going to remove that loaded boot at all costs. After they got the boot off, Johnny loaded it and started swinging it, clearing the ring of J.C. Dykes and the Infernos. Johnny then sat down in the middle of the ring and removed his own boot so he could try the loaded boot on. It would not fit Johnny, so in future matches with the Infernos, George Becker wore the boot. George would later loan the boot to the Scott Brothers (Sandy wore the boot) and Tex McKenzie and Nelson Royal (Nelson wore the boot).

Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson got disqualified in the semi-main event against the Kentuckians.

Was chopping weeds all day worth getting to see all this? You bet!
Link To Original Article on WrestlingMemories.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One of Many Great Park Center Nights

by Mike Cline

One summer Monday night in 1968 0r 1969, I journeyed down to Charlotte's Park Center after seeing the Saturday build-up on WBTV's Championship Wrestling for a big feud match between the Southern Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson versus crowd favorites George Becker and Johnny Weaver. Both teams were heavily pushed on TV that week, with Becker & Weaver promising to regain the belts from "The Minnesota Wrecking Crew".

The two-out-three-fall match began (all tag matches in Crockett land back then were of this nature). Well, after two falls, all was even (this was usually the case). The winner of the third fall would get the Tag Team Belts. I recall vividly the point of the match in which Johnny Weaver ended up on the Park Center floor, and before he knew what was happening, Ole Anderson posted Johnny's noggin' against the solid steel ring post. Johnny disappeared from our site. The crowd is going crazy. Finally, Johnny staggered to his feet, his face the proverbial Gordon Solie "crimson mask", and I mean big-time. Johnny is delirious, swinging and attacking anything close to him. He gets back into the ring, and he slugs Gene, he slugs Ole, he slugs George, and he slugs the referee. Oh no---slugging the ref means a DQ, and no belts.

The show is over. Johnny is dragged to the dressing room seeking medical attention. Everyone goes home. I'm disappointed, because George & Johnny remain beltless. But they were still champions in my eyes.

Taken from "The Road To Statesville", as originally appeared on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway in July, 2003.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thesz vs. Weaver

by Dick Bourne



In the spring of 1965, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Lou Thesz made a string of title defenses for Jim Crockett Promotions. Two of those defenses were back to back shows in Greensboro NC against Johnny Weaver, who had worked his way into title contention over his first three years in the "All Star Wrestling" area.

On Thursday April 8, Thesz met Weaver for the title on a loaded card that also featured two tag matches between four of the top teams in the area at that time. In "The Battle of the Bullies", Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson squared off against Bronco Lubich and Aldo Bogni managed by Mr. Homer O'Dell. The two teams were both disqualified. Another tag match (and remember, the Mid-Atlantic territory was primarily a tag team territory at this time) featured the brother combination of George and Sandy Scott defeating Nelson Royal and the Viking in three falls.

But the main event that night was the NWA title tilt between the venerable Thesz and his challenger Johnny Weaver, who by this time had arguably become the most popular wrestler in the territory.

The Greensboro newspaper reported the outcome:

Lou Thesz, on the verge of being pinned in the third fall, came off the ropes to defeat challenger Johnny Weaver in the feature match on the wrestling program at the Coliseum Thursday night.

Thesz won the first with a flying body press after 19 minutes. Weaver took the second with a sleeper hold in five minutes, and he had Thesz down for what appeared to be the clincher. But the champ had his foot over the rope, and the referee forced Weaver to get up.

Thesz then grabbed Weaver from behind for the clincher.

Weaver's excellent showing in this match earned him a return shot at Thesz on the next Greensboro Coliseum card on May 27. Not only that, villains Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson enlisted the aide of longtime fan favorite George Becker to continue their brutal "battle of the bullies" in a six-man tag match against Bogni, Lubich and manager Homer O'Dell. We'll report on that big card soon right here on the Johnny Weaver blog.

Clipping from the collection of Mark Eastridge. The clipping also appears in a print collection of newspaper wrestling clippings "Classic Clips #32" compiled by Scott Teal and Mark Eastridge and published by Crowbar Press.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Becker & Weaver Fan Club

Back in the late 1960s, Pam Daniels ran the official George Becker and Johnny Weaver Fan Club. Members received, along with other material (much of which we hope to post here later) an offical membership card signed by both Mr. Becker and Mr. Weaver!

There likely aren't too many of these left to be found. Weaver Blog contributor Don Holbrook is working on locating other mateirals from the fan club, materials that are over 37 years old!



Pam also ran a fan club for the Minnesota Wrecking Crew in the 60s. Some material from that news letter can be found on the On The Road feature on the Anderson Brothers Classic website.

Membership card provided by Don Holbrook.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Victory Ride

by Don Holbrook

I have vivid memories of George Becker and Johnny Weaver from here in Greenville. I began following wrestling in 1962, at 8 years old, when my dad took me and my best friend to the matches in Greenville. The feuds Becker and Weaver had in Greenville over the years, especially with Hawk and Hansen, remain in my mind until this day.

I can recall a deal once where the NWA President, Sam Muchnick, came to Greenville to sit at ringside and monitor the match and to award the tag title belts to the winner of a match between these two teams. They had a standing room only crowd and they turned hundreds of people away that night. George and Johnny won and the crowd actually carried them out on their shoulders. It was amazing. I will never forget that. Talk about living legends and household names, these two guys were all that and more around here in those days.

- Don Holbrook, Greenville SC

Photograph by Gene Gordon © Ditchcat Photogrpahy. Used with permission.
Photo from the collection of Carroll Hall, WrestlingMemories.com

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Stretch him, Johnny!"

By Carroll Hall

I wish that I could have talked to George Becker and Johnny Weaver when I was growing up and going to the matches, but we always got our tickets at the door on the night of the shows, so most of the time we sat in the general admission sections. There was one time in Greensboro during early March 1968 that we got close to Johnny Weaver and my youngest brother yelled out "there's Johnny!" and Johnny turned around and said something like "hey guys." Johnny beat World Champ Gene Kiniski by DQ that night.

That was the first time, and one of the rare times, we ever sat in the ringside area. We went that night with my cousin and her fiancee before they moved to Wisconsin. When she came home for a visit last year she brought this up (36 years later) and said, "I still remember George Becker and Johnny Weaver."

In the third fall of that match, Kiniski had escaped the sleeper and the roll up. I told my brothers that I wish Johnny would surprise Kiniski by using Becker's abdominal stretch. So all three of us yelled at the same time "stretch him, Johnny!" Then the crowd at ringside joined in with a chant of "stretch him, stretch him!"

Lo and behold Johnny Weaver whipped Kiniski in to the ropes and locked him in the abdominal stretch. Kiniski could not escape so the whole crowd was on it's feet. We just knew in a few more seconds that Johnny Weaver was going to be the new "Woilds Champeen" as George Becker had predicted. Then Kiniski reached up and grabbed the referee with his free hand and pulled him in to Weaver knocking all three down thus causing the immediate DQ.

Though we were sad that Johnny did not get the belt, we went home happy thinking that Kiniski knew Johnny Weaver had him beat.

Oh how I wish I could go back to that time.

- Carroll Hall, Mount Airy NC

Friday, September 14, 2007

Classic Rivalry

By Carroll Hall



Johnny Weaver and George Becker wrestled Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson in the main event at the Greensboro Coliseum on Thanksgiving night Nov.26,1964. Their match there on Jan. 28,1965 (as featured on Wayne Brower's old poster) had more to do with what we were seeing or maybe I should say hearing in TV interviews with Charlie Harville. George Becker and Rip Hawk had been at each others throats for three years. They had wrestled each other in a singles match on the TV show which Rip won when he used the neckbreaker and maintained the hold into a bridge. When the referee started his count, Rip placed his feet on the bottom turnbuckle thus scoring the pin on George Becker.

George Becker and Doug Gilbert had a program with Hawk and Hanson in the fall of 1964 while Johnny Weaver and Haystack Calhoun were winding down their program with the Bolos.

George Becker and Doug Gilbert got into a scuffle with Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson on the High Point show during this time. Becker and Gilbert had their coats and ties on when they came out. In one of Wayne Brower's channel 8 photos where Rip Hawk looks very angry, I am almost positive that is George Beckers' coat we see in the photo after this altercation. Becker and Gilbert's shirts were ripped to shreds but they got the best of Rip and Swede.

When Johnny Weaver teamed up with George Becker as his permanent partner, the feud with Hawk and Hanson continued and just got better. They would wrestle each other hundreds of times over the next seven years.

- Carroll Hall, Mount Airy NC

Poster from the collection of Wayne Brower. Photo of poster by Steve Hall. One of the highlights of our weekend at Fanfest in Charlotte was when Wayne brought out all his old wrestling posters! -D. Bourne

Weaver Wins the NWA TV Title


The photo I posted earlier of Johnny Weaver with the NWA TV title prodded me to follow-up with this posting of the newspaper result form the 3/5/78 card in Charlotte. Johnny defeated Baron Von Raschke for the NWA TV title that night in the Charlotte Coliseum. He became only the 2nd NWA TV champion.

Baron Von Raschke had held the Mid-Atlantic TV title since 6/15/78, when he defeated Ricky Steamboat for the belt in the WRAL television studios. Baron then won a (ficticious) tournament comprised of all regional TV champs, the winner to be crowned the new NWA TV champion and presented with the new NWA TV title belt. -D. Bourne

Clipping from the collection of Mark Eastridge.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Champions in The Ring



This photograph was taken by the late, long time wrestling photographer Gene Gordon in Spartanburg SC on 3/25/78. Johnny Weaver is wearing the NWA TV title and "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods is wearing the U.S. title (a rare photo of both with those belts.) On the floor at ringside, behind Johnny, is ring annoncer/former wrestler/long time Crockett veteran George Harbin.

Johnny won the NWA TV title from Baron Von Raschke on 3/5 in Charlotte, and Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods had just won the US title a week earlier on 3/19 in Greensboro.



The two were wrestling against the former champions Raschke and Mulligan in a Texas Tornado rules tag team match in the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. All four contestants would be in the ring at the same time. The newspaper reported that Raschke and Mulligan won the tag match, which drove interest in the rematches for the respective singles titles. - Dick Bourne

Photo by Gene Gordon © Ditchcat Photography. Used with permission.
Nwspaper clipping from the collection of Mark Eastridge.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Legend Comes Home

by Dick Bourne

When I first regularly started watching wrestling in 1975, a legend in the Mid-Atlantic area had just returned to action there: Johnny Weaver. For a kid who had only recently gotten hooked on professional wrestling, this was big. It was like Bart Starr had just returned to the Green Bay Packers or Johnny Unitas had returned to the Baltimore Colts.

As a young child, really up until I was around 10 years old, I was only a casual sports fan. But I had grown up hearing the names George Becker and Johnny Weaver. Just as I knew the names of Starr and Unitas in football, Pete Rose in baseball, or Wilt Chamberlain in basketball, I knew the names Becker and Weaver and I knew they were wrestling’s greatest tag team. For long time fans in the Carolinas and Virginia, there were no bigger names, and no bigger stars. In grade school, my friends would talk each Monday about the home run Pete Rose had hit, the touchdown pass Johnny Unitas had thrown, and right in there with all that discussion was how Weaver and Becker had just won the tag team titles. All of these guys were heroes.

So in 1975, as a young teenager now hooked on the weekly exploits of the Anderson Brothers, Wahoo McDaniel and Paul Jones, Blackjack Mulligan and a new kid on the block named Ric Flair, I was delighted to learn that one of the biggest names of them all was coming back to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling.

What I didn’t know then was that Johnny Weaver had been away on conquests in other territories, most notably the state of Florida where he held titles there. Johnny Weaver was wrestling royalty, and he was treated as such on his return by TV hosts Bob Caudle and Les Thatcher. It was as if Vince Lombardi had just sent Bart Starr back in the game to step under center once again.

And just as Unitas had that great arm, and Pete Rose had that famous head first slide into base, Johnny Weaver had the famous sleeper hold. And while there was always a big pop from the crowd when Wahoo went into the war dance or when Rufus R. Jones wound up the freight-train, there was no bigger reaction from the fans than when Johnny Weaver shot his opponent in to the ropes and then locked on the sleeper hold. It was something I looked forward to on television every week.

Yes, Mid-Atlantic wrestling’s biggest star was back. And as the old saying goes, business was about to pick up.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Weaver/Landrum Reunion

by Rich Landrum

FLASHBACK

I first met Johnny Weaver in the early 70’s when I started doing the ring announcing for the Richmond shows. This was a time when tag team matches were the stalwart main event and Johnny was teamed with the ever popular George Becker. They made a good combination back then … George the older wiser wrestler and Johnny the young, take it to them, youngster. Facing such villain tags teams as Aldo Bogni and Bronco Lubich with their manager, Homer O’Dell, Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson, Brute Bernard and Skull Murphy just to name a few, helped fill the seats each and every Friday night.

As years went on and we moved from the Fair Grounds to the Richmond Coliseum, I got to know Johnny a little better and came to realize that he was more than just a wrestler to JCP and as I transitioned into doing the TV announcing I realized that Johnny was the glue that held JCP together. Both as a mentor to the young up and coming wrestlers, as well advisor to the office.

Once Johnny was brought on board as my co-host to World Wide Wrestling, his longevity and knowledge of the wrestling business became more apparent to me and I gave him the moniker “The Dean of Professional Wrestling”. Those were exciting, fun times for me and I looked forward to going to work every week despite the sometimes, long hours and travel.


FLASH FORWARD

All though I hadn’t seen Johnny in 25 years, we only stayed in touch by phone and email … that is until recently, when the idea of a surprise reunion came up for the 2007 Weaver Cup Finals in Burlington, NC. With the help of Peggy Lathan, Don Kernodle and Dick Bourne the whole thing was put together and the secret was well kept. I later learned that Sandy Scott and Jim Nelson would also be making a surprise visit, which made it equally exciting for me.

After my wife and I carefully checked into the same hotel that Johnny was staying that afternoon, I got his room number from Peggy and quietly approached his door and knocked. When he opened the door I announced, “The Dean and The Voice together again!” The surprised look on Johnny’s face was worth a million dollars and the feeling of camaraderie instantly returned as Don & Rocky Kernodle, who had been patiently awaiting my surprise arrival in Johnny’s room, as was Peggy Lathan, greeted me. I never will forget what Johnny said shortly after my arrival, “How’d you do this? I just sent you and email at 2:00.” It was then 5:30.

Later that evening, Johnny received another surprise by Sandy Scott and Jim Nelson when they walked out from behind a tent, while we were waiting for the Weaver Cup Tournament to start. Johnny seemed to have a constant smile on his face that night and it got even bigger when the promoter of the tournament, who tapes the show for TV, asked if we would open it just as we did for the old JCP World Wide Wrestling TV show. With little or no planning I walked on to set and welcomed everyone “to another exciting evening of World Wide Wrestling” and brought in my co-host, the “Dean of Professional Wrestling, Johnny Weaver.” The fans erupted into applause when he came on to the set and John’s smile got even broader. The evening at that point was a total success.

Some things I learned that night that I had forgotten … True friendships had been forged 25 years ago in professional wrestling and they last a lifetime. You can’t catch up on 25 years in one evening. Sadly there are only about 25 of us left from that era of JCP. And finally, we can’t party like we used to, nor do we need to.

- Rich Landrum

For more photos of the reunion of Johnny Weaver and Rich Landrum in Burlington, including photos of Sandy Scott, Jim Nelson (Boris Zhukov), Don Kernodle, and Rocky Kernodle (Leith Larson), visit the Mid-Atlantic Gateway page on the 2007 Johnny Weaver Cup Tournament Finals.
2007 Weaver/Landrum photo by Randy Hedrick, IndyInsiders.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Most Popular Team Ever

Weaver and Becker were probably the most popular team ever in Greenville SC. Years after their run there were many others who were loved by the fans but overall I would have to say that they were tops. That does not mean others were not popular.

I think Weaver and Becker's success was mainly because of how the business was so well protected and believable back then. Plus a lot of hard work in the ring each and every night because back then, Crockett's area was known for the standard tag team main event and 2 out of 3 falls 60 minute time limit. So basically all their matches were long and hard fought. I recall them holding the Southern Tag Belts and Weaver held the Southern Heavyweight Belt at the same time, for what seemed to be years.

Truthfully, I don't remember the titles changing around all that much back then. Could it have been because it took several weeks for the angles to get over through television exposure? With no cable TV back then and in most markets around here, Crockett's All-Star Wrestling was about the only show that was seen throughout the territory. But it was a 1 hour tape and the local stations aired it each Saturday. I cannot even begin to imagine this formula for success ever working again, but it sure did back then!

- Don Holbrook, Greenville SC
from an ongong E-mail exchange with the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and Carroll Hall



To this day I have never seen another team get the response and fan support that Becker and Weaver had. In late 1964 after the feud between Weaver/Haystacks Calhoun vs. The Bolos ended, Calhoun and the Bolos left the area. That is when George and Johnny announced to Charlie Harville on the High Point show that they had decided to make their team permanent. They had teamed once in while since 1962 but most of the time they had teamed with other partners.

George Becker had been teaming with Doug Gilbert against Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson prior to this in the fall of 1964. Once Becker and Weaver teamed up for good their main foes were Aldo Bogni and Bronco Lubich with manager Homer O'Dell. After Bogni and Lubich won the the Southern Tag Team Championship from Eddie Graham and Sam Steamboat in Charlotte in May, 1965, it was on.

Becker and Weaver won the belts in Greensboro on Sept.9, 1965 while Haystacks Calhoun sat on Homer O'Dell outside the ring (I did not get to see this match. This is what Charlie Harville told on the channel 8 news.) Becker and Weaver held the Southern belts most of the time until 1969. The only teams that I know for sure beat them for the belts were Bogni and Lubich and Gene and Lars Anderson beat them for the belts on the High Point show but the belts were held up a week later. I have read that the Infernos and Missouri Mauler and Pampero Firpo had short reigns in 1967. If those title reigns happened they were in a part of the territory I was shut off from. Some title histories list the Infernos winning the belts on July 20,1967 in Greensboro but the newspaper clipping says Becker and Weaver won in two straight falls.

On May 1,1969 I saw Becker and Weaver win the Atlantic Coast Tag belts from Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson at the Winston-Salem Coliseum. For a while after George and Johnny would carry the Southern Tag belts over their shoulders and wear the Atlantic Coast belts or vice/versa depending on which belts they were defending on any given night. I don't really know what happened to the Southern belts. It is possible they decided to retire them on a TV show I might have missed.

- Carroll Hall, Mount Airy NC
from an ongong E-mail exchange with the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and Don Holbrook


I don't think that people who were not from around this area ever knew or understood the popularity of George and Johnny. I was in grade school and I remember all the kids at school knew who they were and everybody talked about the TV wrestling all the time. But a lot of the kids never got to go see the matches live. Their families could not afford it or didn't like it or whatever, but it was amazing how things were in those days. I don't ever recall Becker teaming with Doug Gilbert, I missed that somehow. But I do remember Johnny and Calhoun because they did the very same thing you described in Greenville during that time. I do remember the old Southern Tag Belts. They had a silver plate on them with red around the edge. I could only guess that some of the Crockett family has them tucked away someplace now.

Here's a tid-bit for you about George and Johnny. Last week I was telling Dick about the Asheville TV show on WLOS. It was hosted by a guy named Muncey Milliway who sat there and talked on and on while the tape ran as they couldn't show High Points promos. So Muncey would talk. One show I remember he was talking about how it had been over a year and a half since Becker and Weaver were in Asheville. They were making such a huge deal of them coming in next week. For years I could not figure out why they never went into Asheville. It was many years later that I figured it out. It was because Asheville ran on Wednesday nights in the old city auditorium and Becker and Weaver were busy every Wednesday doing TV in Raleigh.

It is so strange to think how individualized each little section of the territory could do things and the other towns knew nothing about it. The good ol' days!

- Don Holbrook, Greenville SC
from an ongong E-mail exchange with the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and Carroll Hall

Becker/Harville/Weaver photo courtesy of Wayne Brower

Let's Get Together



This newspaper ad was in the Winston-Salem Journal in 1970. The photo is of Championship Wrestling host Charlie Harville at ringside with George Becker and Johnny Weaver.

Learn more about studio TV wrestling: Studio Wrestling: WGHP-8 in High Point NC

Clipping from the collection of Carroll Hall, Wrestling Memories.com

Monday, September 3, 2007

Johnny Weaver's Charlotte Debut

Charlotte Observer
February 5, 1962

HANS SCHMIDT, a brutal 240-pound German, will headline tonight's PARK CENTER wrestling card. SCHMIDT, noted as one of the roughest wrestlers now on the American circuit, will go against LENNY MONTANA. **

The bout, which will be a real test for the popular MONTANA, has been set for two of three falls, one hour time limit.

The rest of the card is dotted with new faces. The semi-final brings in newcomer BILL DROMO, a youngster with a big reputation, to meet rugged SWEDE HANSON. DROMO is from Detroit and specializes in the scientific approach to wrestling, unlike Mr. HANSON.

Another prelim unveils two newcomers to Charlotte, JOHNNY WEAVER,from Indianapolis, and EDDIE AUGER.

The 8:15 p.m. opener brings in still another new face, SIR ALLAN GARFIELD, who will team with TINKER TODD to meet STEVE BOLUS and KEN COOPER.

** MONTANA would later appear as Luca Brasi in the 1972 film THE GODFATHER. Remember the scene in which his hand is pinned to the bar with a knife and he is strangled with a wire.

Research by Mike Cline

TV Wrestling on Ch. 8



Clipping from the collection of Carroll Hall, Wrestling Memories

Jack Brisco on Johnny Weaver



Question for Jack Brisco:
I would like your take on Johnny Weaver as a wrestler and why he never went outside the Mid-Atlantic. One memory, watching Johnny go down to Florida to challenge you for the World title but he was under a hood as a "Mr Wrestling" and the "storyline" was he had come down to take you on in disguise because you were "ducking" him in the M-A.

Jack’s response:
I wrestled Johnny several times in the Carolinas. We sold out every time we wrestled. I have a very high opinion of Johnny. He is a good friend of mine. He made good money in the Carolinas and was always on top. He had no desire to leave there. He would have been a headliner anywhere he wrestled. - Jack Brisco

edited from the Jack Brisco Forum on the Wrestling Classics Board