Mick Foley shares his memories of Lance Russell Submitted by Aaron Rift on 10/03/2017 at 03:43 PM
Mick Foley posted the following blog on his Facebook page:
The wrestling and this lost a true gentleman and one of its finest announcers ever with the passing of Lance Russell at age 91. Lance was the voice of Memphis wrestling dating all the way back to 1959 through 1997, calling literally thousands of matches, many of them involving the biggest stars of the time.
I was introduced to Memphis wrestling through the late Brian Hildebrand, and together, we watched hundreds of Memphis classics – usually Jerry Lawler vs his greatest rivals – all of them with Lance’s rich, smooth voice calling the action. He was one of those great announcers that could get completely swept away in the moment, creating great drama – but was also a fatherly figure to so many, and had a singular way of expressing disappointment with the actions of some of the more happiness heels to grace the area. As I write this, I Think of Lance reprimanding Eddie Gilbert, “Oh, come on Eddie”, hoping that a few kind words could dissuade Gilbert from his next reprehensible act. Memphis was the home of my first full-time wrestling job, in the summer of 1988, and I remember how surreal it felt to be in the ring at the small TV studio where Memphis TV was taped, and getting my butt kicked by Bill Dundee, while simultaneously hearing Lance describing the butt kicking.
Back when I lived in the Florida Panhandle, Lance – newly retired and living in the sunshine state – would occasionally stop by the gym that my wife and I owned, and we’d talk about the old times. I respected Lance very much as a professional, and liked him very much as a person. He was a credit to our business.