1999 Editorsí Award For Lifetime Achievement

Gordon Solie


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Last week we lost a true wrestling legend when Gordon Solie passed away at age 71. Gordon was a hero to us. His announcing got us hooked on pro wrestling. He could make us mark out at just about any angle or any match because, at his best, Gordon Solie had no peer. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to someone who brought us so much joy. We know the last few months of Gordon's life were painful and we can only hope that now his pain has ended and he is in a better place.†

What follows is the Gordon Solie Tribute we wrote when, in 1999, we presented him with the Wrestling Perspective Editors' Award For Lifetime Achievement.

Rest In Peace Mr. Solie.†

This article was originally published in Wrestling Perspective #77

1999 Editorsí Award For Lifetime Achievement: Gordon Solie

Quite simply, we along with thousands - or even millions - of other longtime wrestling fans grew up watching and listening to Gordon Solie. Whether it was as the lead announcer for Georgia Championship Wrestling or Championship Wrestling from Florida, Gordon was there not only calling the action, but enhancing it and making it something memorable. If you were fortunate enough to hear it, youíd never forget Gordonís call of Terry Gordy piledriving Ted DiBiase on the old WTBS studio floor or his announcing of the amazing Barry Windham-Ron Bass saddle match from Tampa.†

Gordonís voice, brilliant insight and genuine love for this business made everything he called better. With his voice and credibility, he made stars out of dozens of wrestlers including Roddy Piper, Don Muraco, Tommy Rich, Windham, Brad Armstrong and Mike Rotunda. He made heroes out of Dusty Rhodes, Tony Atlas and Blackjack Mulligan. He made Kevin Sullivan and Buzz Sawyer sound like dastardly villains. He gave a forum to some of this businessí greatest stars and pushed them to legendary heights.†

During an interview with Wrestling Perspective (appearing in Issues 55 and 56), Gordon described his legendary voice as ď16 pounds of gravel.Ē To us at WP, itís music to our ears. Gordon was the first announcer we ever heard with an encyclopedic knowledge of wrestling holds, but at the same time, he let the wrestlers be the focal point of the program. That selflessness is something that many of todayís announcers should learn.†

Perhaps referring to Gordon as the Dean of Wrestling Announcers isnít really fitting. Deans are bureaucrats, Gordon is anything but.† He spent his career working in the trenches.†† For several years, Gordon flew back and forth between Florida and Georgia every week to call matches for two promotions.† He worked hard at his craft, and in his prime, there wasnít another announcer who called a match as well as Gordon.† Never has an announcer been able to build a match, convince the audience that a false-finish was the finish, or get an angle over like Gordon.† When he said the match was over, or that an injury was career threatening, you believed it.† Why?† Because Gordon had credibility.† He created a trust between himself and the audience and he never broke that trust.† That trust meant he could sell an angle or a match, which he did brilliantly.† Gordon Solieís body of work represents wrestling announcing's paradigm - a paradigm that may never be equaled.†

There are numerous people in this business worthy of receiving the Editorsí Award and many were considered. But there are few, if any people in wrestling who have had the impact and influence on the editors of Wrestling Perspective as Gordon Solie. Heís much more than the Dean of Wrestling Announcers, heís a wrestling legend. Congratulations Gordon. You deserve this and many other honors.

This article is Copyright © 1999, 2000 Wrestling Perspective. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be quoted, reprinted or distributed without written permission from Wrestling Perspective publishers Paul MacArthur and David Skolnick.

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