Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
you've worked in so many territories, you've worked with many
announcers, from Gordon Solie in Georgia and Continental, Lance
Russell in Memphis, and Charlie Platt in Continental... who made the
all-around best announcer?
Solie. Gordon was perceived as credible. Perception is
reality. I always liked Gordon and felt he was the best.
KM: As a
follow-up, Gordon Solie has become one of the few announcers to reach
a legendary status. With so much great work, he is widely regarded by
fans as one of, if not THE, best announcer to call a wrestling match.
What are your memories of the late Gordon Solie?
was one of the boys. He coached me on what I should and
shouldn't say in the early days in Georgia as well as Alabama.
He liked to tell stories and enjoyed his work. I think the
people could feel that when Gordon did an interview or was calling a
unique Gordon Solie stories?
TP: No real
unique stories of Gordon. He was always cool and one of the
boys. I did piss him off when he was hosting the "Shake,
Rattle and Roll" concert in Birmingham. I'd had a few too
many and Gordon was attempting to tell a funny story on stage
in-between acts and I started harassing him. He didn't realize
it was me until finally he looked up and started giving me hell back.
He was cool about it later. Other than that he was one of us.
worked so many different territories.... If you had to pick one, which
would be your favorite?
TP: I had
a great time in every territory I worked. But if I had to pick
favorites I'd go with:
began doing TV commentary along with Gordon Solie for Georgia
Championship Wrestling. How did this come about?
I'm not really sure. Ole told me Barnett wanted me to do
some commentary and that was it. I was writing some publicity
for the Northern tours at that time as well. It was a good time
on the road with the boys but I was married to a real witch back then
and had a lot of personal stuff going on. I was glad to be on
every week with Gordon though.
Did you ever
consider just working as a commentator as opposed to being a wrestler?
really. I liked having
the opportunity to do both.
Your interview style is sometimes compared to Roddy
Piper, how big an influence was Roddy on your early career and how did
you come to know Roddy.
watched Roddy growing up in Texas.
I was in the Fonde Recreation Center the night he played the
National Anthem on bagpipes. I
then met him for the first time ever in Fresno California.
I met up with him again in Georgia and he along with Tommy Rich
were like "big brothers".
Roddy was always cool to be around.
I thought about his interview style and the kind of guy he was
outside the ring and that's how I wanted to be.
He's still such a nice, reserved guy outside the ring and turns
the volume up when he is performing.
Who were some of the guys you worked with and against in the
1980s who never made it to the bigger stage of the WWF or Crockett who
should have been a star?
Brad Armstrong. He had all the tools and was a great influence in the
dressing room. One of
those guys you loved having around because he always made it
enjoyable, wherever we were.
What was it like to be around Buzz Sawyer?
TP: Buzz was Buzz. What you saw on TV was what you saw off as well. I got along with Buzz. He was unpredictable in that you never knew when he was going to snap.More...