August 5, 1953 |
Greensboro, North Carolina
|Resides||Greensboro, North Carolina|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Stan Lane
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||224 lb (102 kg)|
|Billed from||"The Dark Side"(in The Midnight Express)|
|Trained by||Ric Flair|
Wallace Stanfield "Stan" Lane (born August 5, 1953) is an American retired professional wrestler, trained by Ric Flair, who started wrestling in 1974 in Championship Wrestling from Florida. For a brief time in Florida, he was nicknamed Nature Boy. He is best known as one half of The Fabulous Ones, the Midnight Express and the Heavenly Bodies.
The Fabulous Ones
In 1982, Stan Lane went to Mid-Southern Wrestling and formed a team called The Fabulous Ones with Steve Keirn. The team feuded with the Midnight Express, Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee, The Sheepherders (Butch Miller & Luke Williams), Randy Savage & Leapin' Lanny Poffo and the Moondogs with whom they had a series of exceptionally bloody matches. They were also pioneers in the "MTV style" of promotion, creating promotional videos and spectacular entrances with their popular theme song "Everybody Wants You" by Billy Squier. The Fabulous Ones was actually started in Memphis by Jerry Jarrett & Jackie Fargo.
The Midnight Express
In early 1987, Dennis Condrey left JCP from one day to the next, leaving former partner Bobby Eaton on his own. Enter a man that Eaton is very familiar with and a man who is no stranger to tag-teaming, Stan Lane formerly of ‘’the Fabulous Ones’’’. Lane and Eaton knew each other well from working against each other in the past and this showed as the new version of the Midnight Express gelled from the beginning. Early on, “Sweet” Stan added a deep radio “DJ voice” for manager Jim Cornette that would enrage the crowd.
In May 1987 the combination of Eaton and Lane proved to be a golden one as they won the NWA US Tag-Team titles (a title they would win three times during their time together). A year later the team was cheered on to victory as the Midnight Express won the NWA World Tag-Team Titles from Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard (See also: Brain Busters) on September 10, 1988. This feat meant that they were the first tag-team to ever hold both the NWA World tag-team and NWA United States tag-team titles, a feat only the Steiner Brothers would go on to duplicate in 1991. The Express’ run with the belts was a short one; they were defeated by The Road Warriors in a match that marked Hawk and Animal's first title reign.
Frustrated by their inability to win the tag belts in previous years, the Warriors and manager Paul Ellering had decided to return to their roots as violent thugs who would do anything to win. This new attitude soon paid off with a title victory over Lane and Eaton. On October 29, 1988, the Midnights' reign came to a quick and violent end in New Orleans. At the beginning of the match, Ellering brutally attacked Express manager Jim Cornette outside the ring. When Lane jumped in, the Warriors battered and bloodied Eaton, leaving Lane to fight both Hawk and Animal essentially on his own. Eaton was eventually able to tag in, but was quickly overwhelmed by Animal and pinned after a vicious clothesline.
Now the fan favorites the Midnight Express soon had to contend with a blast from the past, The Original Midnight Express as it consisted of Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose, who had teamed up before Condrey and Eaton became a team. The duo was led by longtime Jim Cornette nemesis Paul E. Dangerously in the hopes of proving that the originals were better than the new version. The shock of seeing the Original Midnight Express gave Dangerously’s team the initial advantage in the feud butRandy Rose left, being replaced by Jack Victory to cut the feud short.
Due to various booking issues, Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express left the promotion for a short while, around the time that Ted Turner brought out Jim Crockett and began promoting the federation as the National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling. When the booking issues started to clear up, Cornette and the Midnight Express returned to the federation and a very strong tag-team division. One of those teams was The Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace), who admitted that the Midnight Express was one of their favorite teams and asked if Cornette would be their manager as well. Cornette agreed but the Midnight Express were not happy about it at all. After arguing, Jim Cornette stopped accompanying the Express to the ring, choosing to only manage the Dudes. At the Clash of Champions IX the two teams met with Jim Cornette in a neutral corner, forced to choose between the teams. The Express started out very aggressively, especially for a team that was supposed to be fan favorites and when the night was over the Midnight Express had once again established themselves as heels with Jim Cornette in their corner; Cornette had never stopped siding with the Express.
After their heel turn, the Midnight Express started feuding with Flyin’ Brian and ”Z-Man” Tom Zenk over the recently re-activated US Tag-Team titles, winning the gold from the young team in early 1990. The Midnight Express would lose the titles to The Steiner Brothers three months later.
After appearing at Halloween Havoc 1990, the Midnight Express split up when Jim Cornette and Stan Lane left the federation, due to conflicts with Jim Herd and booker Ole Anderson. For the first time in seven years there was no Midnight Express; it was the end of an era in tag-team wrestling.
Independent Circuit 1991-1992
During 1991-1992, Stan Lane competed in multiple independent wrestling organizations, including the Tri State Wrestling Alliance, the Global Wrestling Federation, the WWA, the AWF, the VWA, and the IWA. During his stay in the GWF he wrestled and lost to the Patriot in matches for the TV and North American heavyweight titles. During his stay in the AWF, Stan Lane competed against Paul Orndorff in the heavyweight title tournament, but lost in the final match. Lane also held the tag team title with Jeff Collette in the VWA, and was managed by the Big Cheese during his time in the IWA.
The Heavenly Bodies
To fans excitement, he reformed the Fabulous Ones with Keirn briefly in the USWA, with Cornette as their manager. On January 7, 1991, they won the USWA Tag Team titles, defeating Tony Anthony and Chris Bullock. Three weeks later, on January 28, after a controversial match with Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler, the titles were held up; a week later, on February 4, the rematch for the held-up titles was held and they lost the match and the titles to Lawler and Jarrett.
In October 1991, he went to Smoky Mountain Wrestling to reunite with Cornette and form a new team called "The Heavenly Bodies" with Tom Prichard. They feuded with the Rock 'N Roll Express and won the tag team titles 5 times, until he retired from the ring and was replaced in the team by Jimmy Del Ray.
Retirement and comeback
He retired in 1993 and went to work for the World Wrestling Federation as a member of the WWF's broadcast team. He began as a color commentator alongside Vince McMahon on WWF Superstars. He then went on to become the host of WWF Wrestling Challenge in 1994, where he worked with Ted DiBiase and Gorilla Monsoon. Lane also did voiceover work of matches that were taped exclusively for Coliseum Video. He worked with DiBiase and Monsoon for those too. He also worked as a commentator in Ted DiBiase's promotion, WXO.
He left after about a year and retired. Lane returned in the late-1990s and again reformed "The Fabulous Ones" for a few cards in Bert Prentice's NWA Wildside promotion to wild fan reception. In 2004, Lane wrestled on several shows with Condrey and Eaton in the independent promotions in the Mid-Atlantic area. He retired from all wrestling in 2005.
- "Sweet" Stan Lane
Championships and accomplishments
- American Wrestling Federation
- AWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Virginia Wrestling Association
- VWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jeff Collette 
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Hall of Fame (Class of 2009) with Bobby Eaton as the Midnight Express
1Lane and Eaton's third reign with the NWA United States Tag Team Championship happened after Ted Turner's purchase of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling from Jim Crockett, Jr. in November 1988. Turner renamed the promotion World Championship Wrestling and it remained an NWA affiliated promotion where some NWA championships were defended until WCW's withdrawal from the NWA in late 1993. Finishing Move: Myawashi Leg Kick
- Inside Wrestling, The Wrestler, Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- "Jim Cornette profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated 1992
- 1992 IWA championship wrestling episodes
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Florida Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA United States Tag Team Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Mid-America/AWA Southern Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Georgia Junior Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA/WCW United States Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA World Tag Team Title (Mid-Atlantic/WCW) history At wrestling-titles.com
- Smokey Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- SCW World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- USWA World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- Inside Wrestling December 1993, Pro Wrestling Illustrated