Lance Russell, who passed away on 10/3, at the age of 91, was the greatest host of a pro wrestling show that there ever was, or ever will be.
But that was secondary. Lance Russell was, as much as anyone I’ve ever encountered, a wonderful human being. To several generations in Memphis, as well as in cities throughout Tennessee and Kentucky, he was not just the lead wrestling announcer on Championship Wrestling, but, even if you didn’t know him personally, or had never met him, he was like an uncle, or the cool neighbor that you loved hearing tell stories about his most interesting life, or, as he got older, like another grandfather to kids that grew up watching wrestling. That was for the people who didn’t know him.
To those who did, he was, put succinctly, “Lance is a very special person,” in the words of Dave Brown, whose life he shaped when 50 years ago he offered him a job as his sidekick calling wrestling, which led to a career as the most popular television news personality in the Memphis market for decades.