Johnny Walker, best known to fans as the inimitable Mr. Wrestling II, has died at the age of 85. Bill Apter announced his passing on social media on Wednesday morning. At this time, the cause of death is unknown.
The original Johnny Wrestling was introduced as the tag team partner of the original Mr. Wrestling, Tim Woods, and was a popular star in Championship Wrestling from Florida and Georgia Championship Wrestling throughout the 1970s and ’80s. Under the persona he was able to win and hold the NWA World Tag Team, NWA United States Junior Heavyweight, NWA National Heavyweight, and NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championships during an incredible 35+ years in the sport. Walker made his debut in 1955 and retired in 1990, but came out of retirement in 2007 at the age of 73 to win the HCW Kekaulike World Tag Team Championship with his rotégé, Steve Corino, also known as “Mr. Wrestling 3.”
Walker was also President Jimmy Carter’s favorite wrestler, and reportedly made Secret Service agents mad by hanging out with Carter and the First Lady, Lillian, at the White House in his full wrestling mask. He was supposed to attend Carter’s inauguration, but passed because he didn’t want to unmask. You don’t become Mr. Wrestling by letting everyone know your civilian identity.
If you aren’t familiar with his work, we’ve included some videos below to help familiarize you. Rest in peace to another wrestling legend.