2005 A Look Back

January 5, 2006

2005 was both a big and strange year for me, despite being the quietest wrestling year Iíve ever had. Thatís right I wrestled fewer matches in 2005 than in any other Calendar year of my career, and that includes 1990 when I debuted in early October. In 1990 I wrestled 6 matches between my debut (Oct. 2nd) and my last match of that year (December 28th) and wrestled numerous more during each year of my 15-year career.

2005 was supposed to be my first completely retired year after stepping down off the talent roster in WWE for the trainerís position in OVW. My match in Calgary (May 2004) with Stevie Richards was going to be my last match but like so many people before me that didnít end up being the case. The reason my retirement didnít hold was the ECW: One Night Stand PPV. The chance to perform on this show, not to mention have my last match with Chris Jericho (The guy I debuted with in 1990), was just too good a deal to pass up.

Once I knew I was going to wrestle again and my match from Calgary was no longer going to be my last I was much more open to a few more matches. My first match of 2005 was a 6-Man Tag match at the OVW Arena where I teamed with SmackDownís MNM to challenge the combination of Team 3D (The Dudleys) and Tommy Dreamer. This match almost didnít happen (at least my part of it didnít ) as it was scheduled to be Kevin Fertig (Mordicai) with MNM but I made a last minute call to step in and have one more match. I did the match solely for fun, MNM was a favourite project of mine in OVW and teaming with them and facing the Duds and Dreamer was simply too much fun to pass up. The match was exactly that too, the crowd was so surprised and excited to get a match like this that it was a very special night in the OVW arena, and for not having an official match in almost 11 months I managed to hold up my end of the match also.

My next match of 2005 again was a last minute surprise, and the smallest show Iíd worked since likely 1991. It was in Clover Port, KY, on an OVW house show. The Main Event was scheduled to me MNM against the Thrill Seekers (Capotelli and Jeter not Jericho and I (LOL)). Jeter had tweaked his knee a couple days earlier and people from the WWE office were coming down for evaluations in 3 days. I didnít want Jeter to risk further aggravating his knee, and working with Cap and MNM was once again too much fun to pass up. Thrill Seekers 3.0 debuted that night and we had one of the most fun matches Iíve ever had. I had become real close to everyone involved in this match and getting to actually work with them in front of a crowd was a real pleasure. We did a ridiculous Cabbage Patch/Flavour Glide combination move that really canít be explained or described but trust me it was priceless. The match was one of those perfect matches that were absurdly easy, so much fun, and exciting and great for the crowd. The only shame is that OVW house shows are usually taped on a hand held but the tape ran out right before our match and no one noticed till the show was over.

My next match was back in CalgaryÖAlberta, Calgary. I did a WWE Heat match with Maven to further promote the ECW PPV. It was almost one year to the day when I had my last WWE match also for Heat in Calgary. Maven and I had been good friends since he debuted after winning Tough Enough so working with him again was great. It was a pretty short match but anytime I get to work at home in the Saddle Dome Iím happy.

From there it was on to One Night Stand my 4th match of 2005 and what stands as my last Professional match (at least for now). This was my first real big match in close to 2 years (there wasnít much meaningful about my last year on the talent roster in WWE) and I was eager to prove I was still far more capable than WWEís creative team seemed to think. Chris and I didnít get the amount of time for our match as we would have liked but anytime we get to work together we find a way to make it work, and ONS was no exception. Having the opening match spot on such an anticipated show was so great. The crowd was so hungry and eager they ate everything up and we so enjoyed feeding it to them. I feel Chris and I had arguably the best wrestling match on the show, despite only working 4 matches in the last 14 months. It was a beautiful way to round out a career (provided it stands, you never know I occasionally get the itch) we tore it up and had a great match, I got to work with Dawn Marie one more time, and throw in an Impact Players reunion, what could be better than that.

After One Night Stand 2005 took even a bigger turn for me, when I decided to leave WWE and OVW and start Storm Wrestling Academytm. I had thought about starting my own wrestling school for a while and right after ONS I made the decision; it was time to get off the road and stay home. I finished up in OVW in July and Storm Wrestling Academytm was open for business back home in Calgary by Sept 9th. I had a small group of students for my first class but had a great bunch of guys and 3 of my 5 students have already started working with one more scheduled to debut on the 14th of this month. I have a much larger group starting on the 9th of January with another group filling up for June. I may be retired but it seems there is no rest for the wicked. If you want to learn this business and learn it well, drop me a line Storm Wrestling Academytm could be for you, itís the one sure way to see me in the ring again in 2006. I wrestle matches with all my students.

All the best in 2006 everyone, and who knows maybe the itch to work will get too great and we will see yet another Storm match in 2006.

Lance Storm