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 - Rick Fields

This month we look back at the career of a Georgia mainstay, ten time Georgia heavyweight champion Mr. Wrestling II. Johnnie Walker was wrestling in Tennessee in 1972. Georgia has just been gutted of all but two wrestlers-Bob Armstrong and Robert Fuller. They needed top notch talent to compete with the All-South Wrestling Alliance, who took all of the past Georgia talent, including Mr. Wrestling. The promoters wanted Walker to come to Georgia under a mask, by the name of Mr. Wrestling II. Since Georgia was given NWA affiliation, top performers would be coming in to give the area a boost.

In January 1973, a tournament was held to decide the new Georgia champion. II defeated former Georgia champ Sputnik Monroe to become the champion. II would hold on to the belt until May, when he lost the belt to "Cowboy" Bill Watts. II's emphasis then switched to another division, the tag team ranks.

II and a rising star by the name of Bob Orton Jr. defeated The Super Infernos in May of 1973 to win the Georgia tag team titles, belts that they would lose back to them in August. After the loss of the tag titles, II refocused on the Georgia title. Later in the month of August, II would defeat Bill Watts and regain the Georgia title. He would lose the title in November again to Watts, but II had made a point clear, he was a perennial threat to any title in the state of Georgia.

1974 started about the same way the previous year did, with Walker winning the Georgia strap, this time from Ron Fuller. This would be II's longest reign as Georgia champion, holding on to the belt until July, when he lost the belt to Buddy Colt. One of Georia's hottest feuds was beginning to take form about this time, as Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods and II started teaming together against Ole and Gene Anderson for the Georgia tag team titles, which they won shortly after II's loss to Colt. II became a double title holder in August by defeating Colt, and couldn't defend the tag titles in a return match with the Anderson's.

II paid former NWA champ Harley Race $10,000 to defend his half of the belts against the Andersons, a match that saw Ole and Gene regain the belts. I don't know if Race turned his back on Woods or what, but in September Race became the Georgia champion, defeating II. What it comes down to is Race took II's money, and basically took his belts away as well. Their paths would cross again a few years later.  More...

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