This man, Lance Russell made Jerry Lawler’s career and helped make the king, “The King” in Memphis, Tennessee. Jerry “The King” Lawler and Lance Russell was the top announcer in the era of ‘Prime Time’ Memphis Wrestling, which pretty ran from the late 50’s into the early 80’s….
Lance Russell helped make Lawler who he became, he helped build the Andy Kaufman-Lawler feuds to the level where they were able to take it the David Letterman Show….
Lance Russell was one of the greats and along with Dave Brown, there in Memphis, Tennessee, they built that territory into one of the strongest in the land, back in the days of the NWA….Lance Russell had some great lines back then, but my favorite was when he would describe a wrestler by saying, “he’s a Son of a Gun”…..Smooth announcer, with very good input, that was Lance Russell…..
Russell spent some time in World Championship Wrestling/WCW, but his real home was right there smack dab in the the state of Tennessee, right there in Memphis, with “The King” Jerry Lawler….
CLICK HERE for a great tribute to Lance Russell from the Pro Wrestling Torch/PWTorch.com and Wade Keller…..Lance Russell with Lawler, Ric Flair, Paul Heyman(with more hair than you have probably ever seen before), Dave Brown is there and many others in this nice tribute for Lance Russell a PWTorch.com…..
Russell was one of the best all-time wrestling announcers and his spot/territory was Memphis, Tennessee……
One a funny side note, their was always a lot of comparison over the years about the size of Russell’s nose and the race for who had the longest schnause/nose between Ric Flair and Lance Russell….Just for light humor, back in the day, back on the set, on the back lot……
Here is what I was able to pull up on Lance Russell from Wikipedia and some of this fits in with what we were talking about here……
Lance Russell (March 18, 1926 – October 3, 2017) was a professional wrestling announcer in the Memphis region from 1959 to 1997, particularly in NWA Mid-America and its descendant as the dominant promotion in Memphis, the Continental Wrestling Association. As a wrestling announcer, he is best known for a relaxed announcing style, which relied upon sharply or dramatically worded statements during heated moments as opposed to the screaming and shouting preferred by other wrestling announcers; and for his two-decade-plus on-air association with Dave Brown, a college student and disc jockey when the two first teamed in 1967, and later a top weather forecaster on Memphis television for decades. In addition, Russell enjoyed a long career in the television industry in West Tennessee, at stations WDXI (Jackson), WHBQ and WMC (Memphis), mostly as a programming executive.
Russell was in a very real sense the central figure of Championship Wrestling for several decades. However, while Russell definitely became a star of sorts due to the job, he never found himself in the position of being a bigger star than the wrestlers he worked with, unlike other wrestling announcers who were based in mid-sized and smaller markets such as Danny Williams and Ed Whalen. This is in no small part due to the strong talent pool he worked with over the years, such as Lou Thesz, Jackie Fargo, Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart.
Russell’s banter with Lawler, Bill Dundee and Dutch Mantel extended many years, and covered these individuals’ frequent turns between heel and babyface. Russell would get up from his chair to conduct interviews, walking around to the front of the desk, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the wrestlers, and using exaggerated facial expressions during the conversation. These interviews were often the highlight of the Saturday morning television broadcast/taping. Russell also literally rang a bell to begin matches, in addition to pounding it loudly in futile attempts to halt out-of-control melees in the ring.
Russell was nicknamed Banana Nose by many of Memphis’ heel wrestlers over the years, starting with Lawler. Like with Ric Flair in the Mid-Atlantic territory during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the size and shape of his nose became a frequent conversation point for heels during promos. Russell was able to enjoy a strong run from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s working with Hart, who was in the unique position of being the promotion’s top heel in spite of not actually being a wrestler. Hart recorded the song “Lance Russell’s Nose” in 1983.
Here’s another name from the Memphis area that Russell worked with, Corey Maclin, and he was a fixture in the Memphis market, along with Russell and Dave Brown…