by Jack Hunter
I just recieved word from my buddy Mike Mooneyham that pro wrestling legend Johnny Weaver passed away today.
Before Ric Flair there was Johnny Weaver (Mike's description), who in the 1960's through the early 80's was a top star for Mid-Atlantic Championship wrestling (NWA). While Weaver had retired from the ring by the time I was old enough to go to matches, I always remembered seeing Weaver working at St. Andrews high school, where they used to run wrestling once a month in Charleston in the mid-80's. Weaver was either working the merchandise table or doing the announcing. My friend's father would always point to Weaver and say "boys, now that is the man right there." I still have my Johnny Weaver autograph from those days.
No old-time local wrestling fan could ever forget Weaver, who headlined cards at the old Charleston County Hall (later the King Street Palace) with the likes of Wahoo McDaniel, Ole and Gene Anderson, George and Sandy Scott and Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen every Friday night for years.
It's funny, just a few weeks ago, I was having drinks at Upper Deck Tavern and a good friend with a loud mouth started talking about wrestling. An older black man, probably mid 40's to early 50's overheard us, and immediately brought up two names - Wahoo McDaniel and Johnny Weaver. He then proceeded to school us youngins' about "real rasslin" and the old days at County Hall.
Weaver was a deputy sheriff in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was 72.