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Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Solie’

YouTube Finds: The Masked Superstar ducks no one, Gordon Solie

July 12th, 2010 2 comments

At last year’s NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest, Jim Cornette stressed during his Q & A session that WWE didn’t introduce humor to wrestling, maintaining that Jerry Jarrett’s Memphis promotion successfully balanced comedy and serious issues to produce one of the most entertaining wrestling shows in the country. While WWE thinks they’re pushing the envelope with their so-called “humor” and that they’re breaking new ground by injecting funny situations into wrestling, nobody was funnier than Jerry Lawler as a heel in the ’70s, yet the fans still hated his guts, likewise with Jimmy Hart in the early ’80s. And then you had Lance Russell as the straight man between Lawler and Hart during their feud, which Cornette compares to “…Howard Cosell standing between Ali and Frazier.”

Russell’s facial expressions and reactions to the heels’ outrageous claims were indeed priceless, as this clip from 1976 illustrates (but first a word from Mid-South Poison Control):

 

Like Russell, Georgia Championship Wrestling’s Gordon Solie also had a way of injecting a little subtle humor with his classic deadpan looks when a baddie like the Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) boasted and bragged. In the clip below, Solie’s flabbergasted reaction to Superstar’s list of top contenders (which includes a few WTBS jobbers) illustrates the sly comedy that is rare in wrestling today. (Incidentally, Eadie’s voice and methodical delivery sound like that of a twisted-yet-intelligent madman, almost like a serial killer…perfect for a mysterious, masked heel.)

Incidentally, for those who think Cornette was merely one of the funniest promo guys ever, check out his serious side when he discusses retirement plans for Dusty Rhodes…strong stuff from the master.

Ernie Ladd dislikes whiskey drinkers, loco-weed abusers

February 5th, 2010 No comments

They don’t make ’em like Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd anymore. Classic promo from Georgia Championship Wrestling with Gordon Solie (who’s sporting some very cool shades, by the way), running down that whiskey-drinkin’ Wahoo McDaniel, the wanted fugitive (hence the mask) Mr. Wrestling II, and the “loco-weed” abusers Baron Von Raschke and Austin Idol (now that’s a funny visual). Oh, yeah–dig the Sterling Golden (a young Hulk Hogan) legdrop in the closing credits.

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

December 16th, 2009 No comments
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.”