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12 days of Christmas Chaos (“So long from the Sunshine State!”)

December 16th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
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Remembering The Walter Cronkite of Wrestling Announcers

Remembering The Walter Cronkite of Wrestling Announcers

Recently, I heard from Pam Allyn, the daugther of the late Gordon Solie. I had been thinking of Solie recently, as I listened to him call the action during a few of the NWA World title bouts featured on the new WWE DVD release The History of the World Heavyweight Championship. When I shared with Pam that I felt that Gordon’s voice and tone were perfect in establishing an air of legitimacy to the business, she responded, “He was a one and only. I was most likely his biggest mark and very early in life. His storytelling ability was amazing. I just believed.”

With the possible exception of Lance Russell, nobody made me believe quite like Gordon Solie, especially in bouts with the famed 1o Pounds of Gold hanging in the balance. Or as TNA Mike Tenay puts it, “Gordon calling a world championship match was like Al Michaels or Bob Costas calling a Super Bowl or World Series … just a perfect fit!”

As the legendary longtime voice of Georgia Championship Wresling and Championship Wrestling from Florida, Solie had an amazing knack for getting across the story of a pro wrestling match–or as he often referred to it, “human chess at its finest.” For more on the man and his life, pick up the  book The Solie Chronicles, available now from Crowbar Press. Written by his son-in-law Bob Allyn, with help from Pam and Scott Teal, the book is packed with stories from 65 people who knew Gordon best. Teal’s books are always worth a read, and this one looks to be no exception.

In particular, I love this excerpt from the book regarding an incident that I’m assuming occurred around the time of Black Saturday:

The Solie Chronicles sounds like a fitting tribute to arguably the greatest announcer of his era.

Here’s a clip of Solie calling the action in a 1984 clip of Championship Wrestling from Georgia (the early morning WTBS time slot awarded to Ole Anderson and the NWA by Ted Turner after McMahon took over the World Championship Wrestling slot). Jerry Lawler vs. Bob Roop: a classic display of “mental gymnastics.”

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