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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 01:33 pm
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srossi

 

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PWInsider:

The voice of Memphis Wrestling, Lance Russell has passed away at the age of 91.

Hey All, wanted to share the sad news that dad passed away this morning. You all have been a blessing in this difficult time. Thank You!!!
— Lance Russell (@MemphisLance) October 3, 2017

Lance was not only one of the best wrestling announcers and personalities of all time, but behind the scenes, was one of the finest and nicest people to ever grace professional wrestling.  I'll be writing more about him as soon as I can. 
Right now, I am completely saddened and broken-hearted for the Russell family, who also lost Lance's daughter several days ago.  In the wake of her passing, Russell fell and broke his hip and had been hospitalized the last several days. 
Lance posted the following photo on Twitter last month, alongsideh the Muhammad Ali to his Howard Cossell, Jerry Lawler

My first time eating at Jerry's new place!! I highly recommend it. Thank you King!! pic.twitter.com/V4znyvUcYJ
— Lance Russell (@MemphisLance) September 8, 2017

On behalf of everyone at PWInsider.com, we issue our deepest condolences to the Lance's family and friends as well as the generations of fans who grew up with Lance as the definitive voice of professional wrestling.  There will never be another like him.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 01:42 pm
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srossi

 

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Lance Russell was my favorite announcer of all-time, and I didn't even grow up with Memphis wrestling.  When I started tape trading in the early '90s, I came across a ton of Russell stuff and loved every aspect of his persona. 

He wasn't as technical in calling the moves as Gordon Solie, but he got across the storyline better than any announcer I've ever heard, including J.R. 

And the interviews with the heels, whether Lawler or Eddie Gilbert or Jimmy Hart, just all absolutely classic. 

I loved the little things he would say or do to get something over as legit, like during the empty arena match when he started smoking on camera and said "Funk isn't coming so this will never air anyway."  Just fucking brilliant.

R.I.P.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 01:55 pm
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bpickering
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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 02:34 pm
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khawk
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RIP.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 02:43 pm
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chrob61



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RIP- Lance was one of the great announcers.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 03:10 pm
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WongLee
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He looked fantastic in that video that bpick posted. I was very disappointed when the King went in the WWE HOF they asked him who he wanted to induct him and he said without any hesitation Lance Russell. I guess Lance wasn't edgy enough for Vince's TV show so it didn't happen. RIP Lance Russell.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 04:15 pm
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the squared circle



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chrob61 wrote: RIP- Lance was one of the great announcers.
RIP one of my faves for sure, from a better time.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 09:49 pm
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kargol



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srossi wrote:
I loved the little things he would say or do to get something over as legit, like during the empty arena match when he started smoking on camera and said "Funk isn't coming so this will never air anyway."  Just fucking brilliant.

R.I.P.

And he made the point that the lighting was OK.  He made sure that recording there made sense.  Unlike the constant Raw/Nitro vignettes where we eavesdrop on a secret that the "victim" somehow doesn't ever get to know about.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2017 02:33 pm
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martini
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The greatest announcer of all-time. It is so sad that WWE didn't have the decency to put him in the HOF before he passed away.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2017 02:47 pm
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So many people say that Gordon Solie is the best of all time and/or the Dean of wrestling announcers. I think that was more because he pretty much covered the entire southeast during a time when so many local channels got wrestling that people always saw him and loved his style. And I have nothing bad to say about Gordon Solie. But I believe that all things considered, Lance Russell was the best announcer ever. He did Memphis, and only Memphis, and throughout the '80s the dynamic changed weekly. Guys would come in and leave in the blink of an eye. He got the talent over, the angles and storylines over, and made sense of a TV show that really was as unpredictable as any wrestling show of its time. Think back to how many characters went through Memphis, some would be there 6-12 months, and others might be there 2 weeks - he could weave the talent in and out and not miss a beat, and not leave any open ends to the storyline. He was the master, and he more than deserves to be in the WWE HOF.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2017 03:17 pm
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khawk
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I liked Lance a lot better than Solie. A lot.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2017 04:08 pm
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martini
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What made Lance so great is he was a television professional from the infancy of the medium.

He wasn't a radio guy who happened to like wrestling. He wasn't a former talent or promoter's son turned play-by-play man. He was a broadcaster/television professional first and foremost. That's where he cut his teeth. He adjusted those skills into the wrestling world, but never lost his knack for telling the stories of the talent he was dealing with even though it was a work in a manner his audience both understood and enjoyed.

You could insert Lance Russell into a game show of the 60s and 70s and I have no doubt he would've become as big a star as Bob Barker, Monty Hall or his old high school football broadcast partner Wink Martindale.

Last edited on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 04:09 pm by martini



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 Posted: Fri Oct 6th, 2017 08:52 pm
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Growing up I only heard Lance on NWA Pro in 89 but as the years have passed I've heard his work more and more and really enjoyed it. One of my favorites for sure.



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