Legendary wrestling commentator Lance Russell passes away [October 3rd, 2017]
Wrestling fans from 1959 until 1997 in the greater Memphis region will recognize the name, and most importantly the voice, of the late Lance Russell. Serving as a commentator for NWA Mid-America and more famously the Continental Wrestling Association, Russell’s voice was one that accompanied several high profile matches featuring the likes of Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Dutch Mantel, Curt Hennig, and Ric Flair. Lance was the commentator who explained what was right and wrong about each wrestler in a way that Southern fans understood best. Either someone was a no good dog or they “might as well be your best friend”. Jerry Lawler gave Russell the nickname “Banana Nose”, which stuck with him for several years that he eventually embraced with laughter.
Lance was the commentator for promotions in Memphis, Nashville, Lexington, Evansville, and Louisville, where he commentated at the legendary Louisville Gardens. If he wasn’t able to be there physically, Lance would commentate over videos. He was that good and that sought after that people would pay him his normal rate for him to commentate from home.
On September 29th, Lance’s daughter passed away after a long fight with cancer. That same day, he fell and broke a hip, and four days later (today), passed away at the age of 91. Wrestlers and wrestling fans alike are mourning the loss of one of the most identifiable and pivotal characters in the sport. For nearly four decades, Russell lent his voice to some of the greatest moments in wrestling history, and will always be remembered as someone who loved what he did. May he rest in peace.