Sunday, July 5, 2015
"The Loaded Boot"
July 1, 1967 in Winston-Salem, NC
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 his 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.
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!