Wednesday, October 4, 2017

RIP Lance Russell

Russell modeling a hat for his Twitter followers in his later years
Photo via @MemphisLance
Lance Russell, the iconic voice of Memphis wrestling for years, has passed away. He was 91 years old. Russell sustained a fall and was hospitalized Friday. His condition worsened, and he passed away yesterday from complications. In a cruel twist of fate, his daughter passed away on Friday from a long battle with cancer. Russell is survived by two sons.

Many people consider Russell to be the best pro wrestling commentator of all-time, which considering the loss of Bobby Heenan, means wrestling has lost two iconic voices in such a short period of time. Russell worked for the Memphis territory from 1959 through its transformation into the United States Wrestling Association in the early '90s. He also worked for World Championship Wrestling and Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and he retired in 1997. Russell's deep voice was a mainstay for Memphis wrestling fans for more than three decades, and he was as much a part of the action as Jerry Lawler or Bill Dundee.

Russell was a security blanket for thousands of fans in one of the most important territories in wrestling history. Even though he led a full life and went out in his 90s, losing such an iconic figure in your life is never easy. It's not hyperbole to say that Russell was the voice for many wrestling fans, and that sting cannot be replaced or soothed easily. Rest easy, Mr. Russell. Rest easy.