We here at Last Word on Pro Wrestling are sad to hear of the Passing of Lance Russell. The Legendary announcer best known for his work in Memphis and the CWA was pronounced dead this morning at 2:30 AM. Lance is remembered fondly by Friends, Family and fans a like for his 40 plus years as a announcer. While working in Memphis Lance had the chance to commentate some of the best matches in Wrestling history with the likes of Jerry “The King” Lawler, “Superstar” Bill Dundee and “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
Starting in 1959 and working all the way to the late 90s originally for NWA Mid-America it would be Lances style of announcing that people most remember. 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.
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.
With a winning personality and a unique voice for wrestling it is no wonder why Lance Russell is so fondly remembered. The man also has a brief run in WCW being paired with Jim Ross on NWA World Wide Wrestling but left after only four years with the company to return to Memphis where he would commentate for the likes of Smokey Mountain Wrestling.
Russell quietly retired in 1997 although has done one off appearances since then. He passes sadly only four days after his daughter who passed early last week after a long battle with Cancer. We here at Last Word on Pro Wrestling send our condolences and love to Russell’s friends and family. God Speed Lance “Banana Nose” Russell.