MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The ringside pioneers of what became a world wide empire are reunited for a look back at how it all began. Together, WMC Action News 5's Dave Brown and Lance Russell put Memphis wrestling on the map.
Hold onto your seats and get ready to reminisce!
Dave Brown (DB): I cannot tell you what a thrill it is for me to be here sitting next to this man once again. Lance Russell, the legend. You know, I've read on Wikipedia once that some people consider us the greatest wrestling announcing team in history. Well, if it's true it's because of this man right here. It is.
DB: We are sitting not five feet from the exact spot where we did Saturday morning wrestling for those many years, we were together for 25 of those years.
Lance Russell (LR): It makes me overcome all of the old aches and pains and that kind of stuff just to be back here with you, Dave.
LR: We've known each other 50 years. And in all that time he's been a boss, he's been a co-worker. Most importantly he's been a very good friend and we have never ever had a cross word between us and there aren't too many people who could...
LR: The thing that was unusual about Dave was that he was always willing to go a little bit more than what he had to to get the job done.
LR: You get with the fans now and they remember a lot more vividly than I do.
DB: You realized that the only competition on Saturday morning was children's shows.
LR: Absolute true, that's what it was.
DB: We pretty well had the audience to split between four ways and we ended up getting routinely 60 percent of it and in some cases, more than that every Saturday.
DB: Alright, let's look at some highlights. There's no way we could get in all of them, these are some of the things people talk about. One was comedian Andy Kaufman, who ended up in Memphis, Tennessee.
LR: He used to watch wrestling all the time as a kid. He grew up in Long Island. And he was just absolutely mesmerized with how the bad guys could control the audience.
DB: And it became perhaps the single most talked about event that ever happened in the Memphis territory of all the great things that happened here.
DB: The concession stand brawl there were a couple of them, but the real one was in Tupelo, Mississippi, absolutely. These guys were picking up these big institutional size jars of mustard and ketchup and pickles and they were heaving them at each other and breaking them. It was a mess.
DB: As our buddy Jackie Fargo used to say it was often imitated but never duplicated.
LR: Never duplicated, yes.
LR: There have been some big guys, but the Hulk came with such a force.
DB: Known worldwide [Hulk] and he started right here. Right about here.
DB: This [Macho Man Randy Savage] is one of the most talked about events. It hurt me when I saw it and it still hurts to this day.
DB: Sometimes our studio, as big as it is, could not contain all the action.
LR: We owe a lot to a lot of people and two of them are us, hahaha. Oh shucks, I didn't mean to say that.
DB: Thanks for being here. Thanks for being such a friend.
Hulk Hogan (HH): Well, Lance Russell is a legend and he's still running strong, I'm telling you.
HH: Memphis and all those Mempho nights back in the day with handsome Jimmy Valiant, Jerry Lawler, Tojo Yamamoto, and the Fargos, I'm telling ya, that was where I got my start.
HH: That was where I got my start. Thats where I got the entertainment factor, you know, and Memphis was huge for me to get started. I also stole Jimmy Hart, Mouth of the South, from there and he's been my manager ever since.
HH: I mean, that was my start. I mean, I had to come on live TV when I'd walk into your studios and I had to have my act together.
HH: It wasn't a dress rehearsal. When you got pushed out of that curtain and you were on live TV in your studio it was wild. The crowds were wild and they helped me get my chops from being who I am today.