Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Johnny Weaver's Big Angle in 1977: Greg Valentine (Part 2)

A Multi-Part Series
by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Series Introduction
1976 - Greg Valentine (Part One)


Johnny Weaver’s big angle of 1977 was a natural continuation of his being put out of wresting by Greg Valentine in the fall of 1976. After an extended absence, Johnny returned to action in the Mid-Atlantic area in late February of 1977 and he had but one thing on his mind…and that was to exact revenge on Valentine!

While being absent from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling during the autumn and winter of 1976 until mid-February of 1977, Johnny had a successful stint in the Amarillo territory winning the NWA International Title and even battling old Crockett foes Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson in tag team competition. When Johnny returned to the Carolina’s, his immediate goal was to get revenge on Valentine as Greg was on top of the mountain as one half of the NWA World Tag Team Champions.

The Johnny Weaver revenge tour began almost immediately upon Johnny’s return to the Crockett territory. Initially, it began with Weaver and Valentine being on opposing tag teams. On March 7, 1977 in Charlotte, Ric Flair and Valentine defeated Weaver and Paul Jones, and the following night in Columbia, South Carolina Johnny and Greg faced off as part of six-man tag team competition. 

The singles battles between Weaver and Valentine started soon thereafter, with the first such singles confrontation being in Gastonia, North Carolina on March 10th. The following night in Richmond, Virginia saw Johnny and Greg square off in their most brutal match to date!

The promos leading up the match at the Richmond Arena on March 11, 1977 showed the intensity of both combatants leading up to that Richmond encounter. Announcer Les Thatcher began, “In main event number two, Johnny Weaver returns to battle Greg Valentine.” 

Valentine began, “You know Lester, I’ve got to admit it to you and I’ve got to admit it to the fans…that Johnny Weaver has got a lot of guts. The man has been out for four or five months now, and the first thing he wants to do is get back in the ring with the man that put him out of action for over five months.” 

Greg continued, “Well look at me Johnny Weaver, I’m a World Champion now! I’m one-half of the World Tag Team Champions! And when I come to that Richmond Arena, Johnny Weaver, I’m gonna teach you some respect and I’m gonna teach all those fans some respect. I’m gonna use you as another example, Johnny Weaver. Don’t forget about the elbow, don’t forget about the man that jumped off the top rope on your throat! This time I’m not gonna do it just once Weaver, I’ll do it two, maybe three times, and then you’re gonna take a long, long vacation!”

On the same Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show that was taped on March 2, 1977, Weaver came out and confronted Valentine before Greg’s TV match with Danny Miller. Weaver called out Valentine, “We’re here in front of the television audience and I don’t want no excuses or hem hawing around about it, I want what’s left of you after this match and if you’re as man as you say you are you’ll put your name on that contract.”

Valentine’s tag team partner, Ric Flair, was with Greg and weighed into this situation. Flair yelled out, “Weaver, my partner right here has a $1000 match coming up, but I’m going to tell you something and I want everybody out there that thinks Johnny Weaver is a heck of a dude, a big man, to hear what I’ve got to say. When we think you’re worth 1000 bucks, then we’ll wrestle you! That’s me, him or anybody else.”

Flair finished up, “When we think you’re worth 1000 bucks. And let me tell you something else, the day we think you’re worth 1000 bucks you’ll be in a lot of trouble. You better get back in the mothballs where you belong, brother!”

Les Thatcher then returned for promos and spoke with Weaver saying, “In main event number two, Johnny Weaver returns to battle Greg Valentine. Johnny, welcome back and I know revenge is certainly on your mind.”

Weaver began, “It certainly is, and you know one thing about Greg Valentine…he put me out of wrestling for four or five months. People all know that, they witnessed how he did it. He got the job done, but it wasn’t too professional. But it’s not over, and I’m back!”

Johnny continued, “And I’ve been hurt before in wrestling, I’ve been hurt by guys…I’ve had every joint in my body hurt and dislocated. I’ve been busted in my head, you can see all the scars, I was even burnt once by fire! But not one of them guys that hurt me before is still around here to wrestle. Not one of them will come around and show their face Valentine, they’ve all been beaten, humiliated and gone, and you’re the last one.”

Weaver concluded, “And I’m not gonna let a half tough punk come in here and run Johnny Weaver over because the fans here have been behind me for a long time, and they know that I’m not gonna get on here and say anything that I don’t think I can do. I’m back, and I’m a 100 percent. You said something about using me, well if you think you’re gonna use me as a steppingstone, you’re gonna find out that it’s still a little slippery! And you talk about a fan’s Dream Match, well this is gonna be a Dream Match because you installed something in me that I had almost lost in this wrestling business…and that’s when I get you down not let you up. Just stomp and kick you when you’re down, because you’re gonna do it when I get up!”

The Richmond bout was a wild affair that saw Valentine completely lose control, giving Johnny the victory by disqualification. The same result occurred in Charlotte three days later. And on March 15th in Raleigh, North Carolina, Johnny teamed with Rufus R, Jones, losing to Greg and Ric Flair in a thrilling contest.

The end of the month of March 1977 had lots of action for Johnny as he battled Valentine tooth-and-nail as Weaver’s revenge tour continued to barrel ahead. On March 17th at the Augusta Expo in Fishersville, Virginia Weaver and Valentine met again in singles competition in a bloody contest. The Weaver/Valentine feud closed the month of March out as on March 21st in Greenville, South Carolina, Johnny and Rufus dropped a spirited challenge to Ric Flair and Greg Valentine. The last match for Johnny and Greg for the month of March was in Raleigh the next night where the two had a stellar bout with lots of blood that saw both participants disqualified for being totally uncontrollable!

Johnny’s main event revenge contests with Valentine continued to be competitive bouts, with Greg slowly gaining the upper hand as spring turned to summer. On April 3rd in Greensboro, Johnny was the one who couldn’t keep his composure, leading to Greg being declared the victor by DQ. The following evening in Greenville, South Carolina saw Greg get the dukes, while the night after in Columbia, South Carolina Johnny prevailed by disqualification when Greg ran afoul of the referee!

The following week in April saw Johnny team with Rufus R. Jones, Wahoo McDaniel and Thunderbolt Patterson against Valentine and Flair with the bad guys coming out on top on each occasion. In the middle of the month of April, Weaver and Valentine went back to singles matches in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Fayetteville, North Carolina, Anderson, South Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. While the bouts were competitive, Valentine was continuing to be more dominant.

May of 1977 saw the Weaver revenge tour essentially come to an end. On May 3rd Flair and Valentine prevailed against Weaver and Bobo Brazil in Columbia, South Carolina. The remainder of the month of May saw Greg defeat Johnny in Texas Death Matches in Columbia, Greensboro and Greenville. The final confrontation in this program occurred on June 24th back in Richmond, where Flair and Valentine defeated Weaver and Wahoo in dominant fashion. 

Johnny Weaver battled Greg Valentine for approximately three months in Johnny’s main event angle for 1977 in a spirited quest for revenge for Greg’s injuring him in 1976. After the program ran its course, Weaver settled into a solid mid-card role for the rest of 1977. But it didn’t take long when the calendar flipped over to 1978 for Johnny to rise back into the main event ranks against a world-renowned newcomer to the Mid-Atlantic area!

UP NEXT---Johnny Weaver’s 1978 main event angles with Baron von Raschke!