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Still ‘Raging’ after all these years

They didn’t call Manny Fernandez “The Raging Bull” because it sounded like good marketing.
“The old-timers, they liked me, for some reason. OK, they liked me because I used to get into fights all the time in football,” said Fernandez, who will be wrestling Dylan Eaton on the card at Night of the Superstars VI at Waynesboro High School on Saturday night.

The card is a fundraiser for the UVa. Children’s Hospital. General-admission tickets are available for $10 and are on sale now at the WHS athletics office, at 7-Eleven in Fishersville and Stuarts Draft, and at Crossroads Music in Waynesboro and Staunton.

Belltime is 8 p.m.

The tie-in to the UVa. Children’s Hospital is what drew Fernandez to want to take part in Night of the Superstars. Fernandez said he has been working charitable events since his days in the NFL, “good causes from cancer to abused children to autism.”

“At my age and so many years in the business, for me to leave my little farm in Florida, it has to be for something worth it, and this cause is definitely worth it,” said Fernandez, a star in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling promotion that ran regular cards in the Greater Augusta area in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I had some great times up that way. I really loved Virginia,” said Fernandez, who runs a wrestling and MMA academy in Virginia Beach in addition to wrestling two to three shows a month.

Three of his students will be wrestling on the Night of the Superstars show Saturday night, giving Fernandez a chance to check in on their progress up close and personal.

“The bottom line, and I teach this to my kids, is that the marquee on the outside of the building always reads Wrestling. It doesn’t read Aerial Gymnastics. It just reads Wrestling. And so you’ve got to learn from the ground up,” Fernandez said.

“I’m learning how to use this other stuff, even at my age. If you stop learning in this profession, you lose. You might as well quit and go home and retire. My guys learn wrestling from the ground up. They learn it the way the old guys did it and got it over,” Fernandez said.

That was how Fernandez learned the mat game. “I hung out with the Dickie Murdochs and Blackjack Mulligans and Terry and Dory Funks of the world, and they wanted me to be a wrestler,” Fernandez said. “Back when I started, you were born into wrestling. Outsiders weren’t allowed into wrestling. You either had to be born into it, your father had to be a promoter, whatever, or you had to be asked.”


– Story by Chris Graham

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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