Wrestling announcer’s passing brings back memories

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 31, 2000

Sports Editor

I was sad to hear the news that wrestling announcer Gordon Solie passed away on Friday.

I can remember growing up and watching Solie on TBS back in the early 80’s. Solie was my first introduction to cable television wrestling. I was used to the broadcast versions that came on every Saturday afternoon out of Dothan or either Montgomery.

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Back then wrestling was a couple of bleachers thrown around ring. It wasn’t the fancy techno-packaged WCW or WWF like it is today.

Now wrestlers come forward and

freely admit that they are here to perform and entertain the public. Wrestling, for all purposes, is fake. It’s a "soap opera" for men.

But back then, you could never be quite sure.

In the decade of the 80’s it was easy to separate the good guys from the bad guys but of course by the next show the roles could easily be reversed.

You had the "Tennessee Stud" Ron Fuller and his brother Robert Fuller, who started out as good, but eventually became rulebreakers. Ron had his "Stud’s Stable" with Robert, Jimmy Golden, a masked man who dressed in red called the Flame and the Lord Humongous, who wore a hockey mask and draped himself in leather and chains.

Then there was "Pork Chop" Cash, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, Tommy and Johnny Rich and my personal favorite, the "Universal Heartthrob" Austin Idol." I think I still have an autographed photo of him somewhere.

Believe it or not Bob Armstrong still wrestles out of Destin, Florida. I saw him on TV just a few short months ago.

I’m sure everyone around here remembers the "Exotic" Adrian Street and Miss Linda. "Cactus Jack Manson", who was really Mick Foley, has gone on to do quite well for himself in the WWF. He was also a frequent wrestler around these parts.

You could never really tell which side "Mr. Olympia" Jerry Stubbs was on. "Wildcat" Wendell Cooley was the ladies favorite and you also had Terry Anthony the "Dirty White Boy".

"Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, who is now deceased, came through this area, along with Paul E. Dangerously. I remember Dangerously and Gilbert had a $1000 challenge out to anyone who could withstand one of Gilbert’s piledrivers. The challenger had to take a piledriver from "Hot Stuff" and then get up and walk around to all four corners of the ring, touching each turnbuckle.

It wasn’t too long before Burrhead Jones took him up on his offer.

I’m sure everyone knows Burrhead from the TV commercials he did out of Montgomery for A and M. But he also did a little wrestling in his time.

"Hot Stuff" also had a very beautiful wife in Missy Hyatt. For a young man coming into puberty she was a goddess. She had blond hair, blue eyes, tanned skin and a smile that made you realize why you really

tuned into the program.

Okay, I admit it.

I’ve got a picture of her around somewhere to.