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Lance Russell & Dave Brown

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General

Lance Russell and Dave Brown were a commentator team for Continental Wrestling Association from 1967 until 1997.

History

Russell and Brown switched together from WHBQ to WMC in 1977 at Lawler's urging, shortly after Jerry Jarrett split with Nick Gulas and the Mid-America promotion and began producing a wrestling program on WMC. After Russell left Memphis for World Championship Wrestling in 1989, Brown continued as the host of the wrestling program, frequently teamed with Corey Maclin and demonstrating a style similar to Russell. Russell left WCW in 1992 and returned to Memphis Wrestling, paired once again with Brown and/or Maclin.

Russell was nicknamed Banana Nose by many of Memphis' heel wrestlers over the years, starting with Lawler. Like with Ric Flair in the Mid-Atlantic territory during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the size and shape of his nose became a frequent conversation point for heels during promos. Russell was able to enjoy a strong run from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s working with Hart, who was in the unique position of being the promotion's top heel in spite of not actually being a wrestler. Hart recorded the song "Lance Russell's Nose" in 1983.

Russell also used the mike to chastise and exhort wrestlers as matches occurred. Particularly brutal attacks elicited dismay and disgust from Russell; he often encouraged other wrestlers to run in from the locker room and offer assistance. An episode from 1981 found Russell being attacked by the Dream Machine after airing a less than flattering music video of him. In a 1985 episode, Russell had a bag of flour dumped on him by Jimmy Hart which led to Hart being suspended. Another angle from 1988, where Curt Hennig attacked a Memphis businessman who had shown his support for Lawler (who at the time had just won the AWA World Championship from Hennig), saw Russell physically inserted into the action, mainly in attempting to separate the two. Other physical attacks and angry verbal confrontations remain either well viewed or remembered.

Russell has also, even to this day, been humorously identified with "Baxter suits." This originally stemmed from a ca. 1977 promo with the heel Lawler, which became more widely known when it was included in a 1980s VHS compilation of classic Memphis wrestling, and later disseminated more widely from there via the Internet. In the promo, Lawler explained to Brown that Russell's absence from the program that day was due to a death in the family - his Baxter suit died. "It shined itself to death, did you know that?"

In addition, he has been known for various one-liners such as "Don't start with that smart stuff!", "What in the Sam Hill is that?" and "Will you guys just stop and get out of here?", usually delivered in the course of trying to restore order in the TV studio following an angle or melee.

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