Q & A

January 18, 2007

Q: How do wrestlers protect their teeth while in the ring? In many matches you will see a guy cop a really stiff drop kick or forearm right in the mouth and I just find it amazing that with the exception of a few (like Benoit and Foley) they all still have pretty decent teeth.
A: We are trained professionals; we protect ourselves against a lot of things.

Q: Have you heard the news that 1PW in the U.K. folded? What are your thoughts?
A: I was disappointed when I heard but not all that surprised. The one tour I did for them I was surprised how many people they booked. I even asked them why they booked so many people. At the time I thought the Tag Tournament would have been enough to draw yet they booked 4 or 5 other big name over seas talent. They shrugged it off with a comment like, “I don’t know but we manage.” Wrestling is very hard to promote successfully, and when a promoter is flying in more bodies than needed, I never expect them to stay in business long.

Q: Someone asked a question in your last Q&A about giving wrestlers an off season, which you said wouldn't happen because fans might tune out. So what do you think of the idea of wrestlers getting leave like a regular job, where they all have 2-4 weeks off. They could stagger the times when they have holidays, which should be quite easy as they can run injury angles, and have surprise returns which I personally love. I think this would be good for wrestler's well being.
A: This could work in theory, but with a “get paid when you work” type environment guys would be reluctant to take time off without pay, even if it benefited them in the long run. This would also add addition stress to the writing staff, having to keep track of when people are available and scheduled for time off. This may sound silly and easy to over come with organization, but let’s look how chaotic and last minute everything is now, when no one is scheduling time off.

Q: How do you think you as an individual and the industry at large would react to an hour-long drama about the late territories/early WWF era of the business? My roommate and I are big fans of Deadwood and we think the format of historical drama would work well with that era of wrestling. But we also know that most people in the business are protective of the business.
A: I doubt something like this would have enough widespread appeal to work. You would also have a hard time finding the right person to write such a drams accurately.

Q: If you had creative control over WWE for the next few months how would you book WrestleMania?
A: This is such an impossible question because if I were to do what I wanted so many creative things would have had to have been done differently over the last year or two for them to make sense now.

Q: How did you react when you first showed up in WCW and Ernest Miller called you a Power Ranger? Also, the crowd chants "Power Ranger" to MVP as well and if WWE came up with an idea for you and MVP to do a Power Rangers gimmick together, would you be open to the idea?
A: It didn’t bother me when Ernest Miller said that, I was a heel he is supposed to make fun of me, and if the crowd jumps on it too then, all the better. It wouldn’t matter what creative idea WWE had, I have no interest in returning.

Q: Although you seem to have a very down-to-earth POV on your own stardom, have you ever been traveling with or noticed a fellow wrestler letting their fame go to their head in dealing with others outside the business? (no names needed)
A: There likely are those who do, but I didn’t travel with them.

Q: Since Rey Mysterio won the WWE Championship, do you feel any other "small guys" have a chance to win the big won. I know if you judge small by size the answer is no. But, someone like Jeff Hardy is somewhat considered a "small guy". Do you feel he has a chance?
A: I think Rey was the exception to the rule for the most part and with how poorly the pushed Rey as champ I doubt there will be many if any cruiserweight sized World Champs in future. I doubt you will ever see the WWE or World Title on Jeff Hardy.

Q: This isn't a wrestling question, but I just wanted to know if it was true that Canada has had trouble adjusting to having two languages? I ask this because I always hear some people say that having one language will unify and bring people together which I think if a bunch of bull crap.
A: Two official languages is absurd and a huge headache. That said once you have them, trying to eliminate one is near impossible and certainly wouldn’t unite the Country.

Q: Could you give your thoughts and experiences with Joe Hamilton “The Assassin” and Deep South Wrestling?
A: I’ve never met the man, or traveled to DSW. My closest relationship to Joe is working with his son, Referee Nick Patrick.

Q: If you had the power to make some immediate changes in TNA (for the better obviously), what would they be?
A: Less Booking, or at least OVER-Booking, and more Wrestling. More X Division Matches, NO MORE PCS!!!!!

Q: During SMW's hayday. there was a preliminary wrestler by the name of Brian Logan. I was wondering what your thoughts were on him as a worker and if you have heard anything about his whereabouts since he left OVW.
A: Brian was pretty green but good to work with and I good guy. I have no idea where he has ended up.

Q: What wrestler do you think has been able to endure and continue to get over with the fans despite horrible storylines? Kane is still over and taken seriously by the fans despite Katie Vick, the unmasking, jobbing to Shane, etc.
A: Ric Flair has been pretty bullet proof despite WCW’s best efforts to bury him with horrible angles. Remember when he was committed to a mental institution? I seem to be generally respected in spite of my Boring and Large Penis gimmicks.

Q: Speaking of bad storylines, during the 'Boring' angle did any agents or the boys let you know they thought you were way above such a lame angle?
A: I think everyone knew how stupid that whole thing was.

Q: How much of travel does WWE take care of, things such as plane tickets, cars, hotels. Any different WWE compared to WCW in what they cover?
A: It is different depending on who you are. Everyone covers plane tickets. WCW quite often covered Hotel and Rental car, which was a huge plus over WWE.

Q: I always hear how you have to "love the sport" to be a wrestler is that true? There are a lot of people doing regular jobs that do not love it, but still do them well.
A: There are likely a couple who did it just for the money, but for the most part if you didn’t love it you would never put up with the travel involved.

Q: Do you know the great author Lee Child at all?
A: I do, I actually had lunch with him in NY over the WrestleMania XX weekend. There is a photo from that lunch in the photo gallery section on my Book Marks page. He is a fantastic author and a great guy.

Q: Is being the first match out as bad as some people say, how "curtain jerkers" are mocked? It seems like an important match to me, if that first match is bad, it can turn a crowd true?
A: No most people enjoy that spot. On the TV and PPV level the opener is an important spot. A lot of guys say it is the second best spot on the card, second only to the Main Event.

Q: How far do you think Johnny Nitro can go in WWE?
A: As far as WWE creative decides.

Q: Do you think that Jim Ross gets enough credit for all the talented workers he signed while running talent for WWE?
A: He signed a lot of them but how much credit he deserves depends on whether it was his decision to fire them or whether he was simply the guy who did the paper work.

Q: Did the Brawler really not know that you were in ECW while filming the ECW DVD or was it some elaborate rib?
A: If it was a rib there was no pay off to it.

Q: Is the bump with taking a whip into the turnbuckle chest first (a la Benoit or Hart)as risky as it seems?
A: I wouldn’t call it risky. Like anything else, if you know how to do it there isn’t that much risk.

Q: Did you think Christian and Angle going to TNA would pop ratings more than it did?
A: Not really. Great booking will make more of an impact. The talent is only as good as the angles they are in.

Q: When you wrestling a female in a match or doing something physical with them were you ever worried about hurting one and did you ever hurt one?
A: I never was no. I’m about as safe a worker as you will find, and I never really had to do that many big things to the girls I worked with. I Super Kicked Jazz a couple times, but I was more worried she’d beat the hell out of me if I stiffed her, rather than hurting her.

Q: Looking over the history of WrestleMania, I noticed that the Intercontinental Title has not been defended at the event since Wrestlemania 18. With people commenting lately that the titles are losing some of their meaning with constant title changes, do you think not having the IC Title defended at the biggest show of the year for this long has hurt its importance?
A: Wow that is crappy. Yes I think for a title to seem significant it needs to be show cased on a major show like Mania EVERY year.

Q: One of things I'm always impressed with by WWE tag (or 6 man, or 8 man) matches are the endings. Everyone is flying around the ring yet when it's over it all seemed to make sense as a finish (it doesn't just come out of nowhere). My question is: during one of these crazy endings how do all the wrestlers remember what they are supposed to be doing and more importantly how does all this action get so well timed that it all fits together perfectly.
A: We do this kind of thing a lot and get good at it. There is usually one or two guys in the match who are known as more of a ring general who puts all of this stuff together so it makes sense and builds. This type of thing was one of my strong suits.

Q: This is in response to a question in your latest Q & A about who should be the one to defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania. The asker of that question seemed to take it as a given that it would happen, under the "passing the torch" principle. However, I'm of the opinion the streak should never be broken. It's one of those things that should be left well alone, it's the Undertaker's big claim to fame. Also, the whole torch-passing thing seems to have gone the way of kayfabe (Trish Stratus at Unforgiven, Hulk Hogan ever since 2002, etc), especially in favour of "sentimental moments", so to speak. Undertaker retaining his streak in his last WrestleMania certainly qualifies, and I believe he's a big enough name in the business to deserve that (as was Trish, to deserve the win at Unforgiven).
A: I disagree completely. This business is, or at least should be, built on people putting over others for the good of future business. Taker doing one job at a Mania will not tarnish his spot in wrestling history. Austin lost his last match clean, because he is a pro. The Trish thing is a bit different in that she went over in her last match but she beat Lita who was leaving anyway. Jericho put Cena over huge on his way out.

Q: I was wondering your opinions of "war of the words" in wrestling. For example, when Ric Flair and Bret Hart got into all that insulting the other through public mediums?
A: They are easy to get caught up in, but I find those who try to voice their opinion professionally and calm end up looking far better than those who just get hot and sling mud, so to speak.

Q: Do you know the Great Gama, and if yes, have you worked with him?
A: I know Gama fairly well; he lives here in Calgary. I had the pleasure of working with Gama when I first broke in.

Q: I have been a loyal wrestling fan for 23 years. Over the years wrestling has had its ups and downs and I have continued to support its product. Lately I have been very frustrated. ECW is awful. I think they need to disband this and cut their losses. Raw is more talk than wrestling. Smackdown has good matches but horrible storylines. My question is do you think the WWE should go back to having one brand so they would be able to utilize superstars from all brands and create better storylines for the fans. Also, this would help them when superstars get injured. The shuffling of wrestlers from brand to brand now is confusing and sometimes goes unanswered.
A: The “Storylines” as you call them aren’t bad because there are too many brands or not enough talent depth per brand. They are bad because booking is poor. The extra brands create a lot of money for WWE and that is the bottom line with the decision process.

Q: How well do house shows show up in your memory banks? I know they all must blend together…but do certain aspects of certain shows stand out as awesome, or, hell, just unusual? I’m thinking of a house show in Edmonton…my cronies and I chanted all night for a backrake (Edge finally obliged us by raking the hell out of Eddy), but during your match, you actually stopped during our chant, pointed us out and said “You guys are MARKS”. Something like that stand out for you as well as us, or is it just same-old same-old?
A: It depends on the show. I remember a lot of house shows, but not that one in Edmonton.

Q: Of all the people you've been around, who do you consider to be the most legitimately tough guys?
A: On the active roster now, Finlay. He’s Irish and loves to fight, and pretty damn good at it.

Q: Did you ever get a chance to work with Bad News Brown/Allen? If so, what are your thoughts on him as a wrestler/ person?
A: I don’t believe we ever had a match but we worked together on TV in Winnipeg. I dove off the top of a cage on to Him and Don Callis a couple of times. News is a real pro and I have a world of respect for him, inside and outside the ring. He was very good to me.

Q: did you ever get to hang out with Curt Hennig whilst in WWE/WCW?
A: Not really no. I was a little quiet for his tastes.

Q: in the ECW DVD, why would they not mention former champions Justin Credible or Steve Corino?
A: If they aren’t working for WWE why promote their names?

Q: Have you spoke to Justin Credible at all about why he no-showed your tag team reunion in England?
A: I have not, no.

Q: Were you there when Kronik wrestled the undertaker and Kane? Was the match really that bad, from what you can remember?
A: I have never seen the match, but from all accounts, YES it was.

Q: While watching NYR (no I'm not insane, it was free here in the uk!) I couldn't help but think, whats the point in a cage match which allows pinfalls & submissions? And for that matter, doesn't being allowed to escape via the door completely destroy the psychology of a cage match? It doesn't make much sense that a guy would climb the cage when he could just walk out the door. Do these variables make the psychology of a cage match harder or just eliminate it completely?
A: I always thought the escape finish was a dumb idea. A cage match was designed to eliminate the possibility of out side interference or count outs. You lock 2 people in a cage and see who the better man is. I think the escape thing may have came out of the concept, “two men enter one man leaves” but more often than not the match feels like a race and lately escape finishes have been booked as flukes, which make the concept of a cage match pointless. I wish they would go back to WCW cage rules of pin or submission in a cage only.

Q: What was it like working with Hulk Hogan?
A: It was amazingly easy.

Q: I'm a HUGE ECW fan from the glory days. I can remember being at the hotel lobbies after shows and would see other wrestlers coming in to start their night. One impressive thing to me is that you and Justin Credible (several times I saw this) would go straight to your room and not deal with the wild party scene and seemed about nothing but business. While I respected the other wrestlers who chose to hit up the bars, etc, it meant a lot to my crew when we saw you two stay away from that. What's your opinion on this matter?
A: To each his own really. I was never a partier, and I think both my financial and marital situations are far better off because of that.

Q: I love the women who take the chance to work in wrestling. However, I feel bad for them being turned into one-dimensional "Divas" or "Knockouts" when they actually have wrestling talent. With Nattie Niedhart being signed to a development deal, it just bums me out that the WWE will more than likely do that to her. I know you've mentioned in past commentaries how women are underutilized or misused. What would you do to effect some change to this perception of women wrestlers? (Boy do I miss Trish Stratus)
A: I don’t know if there will ever be a return to the, hey day of Women’s Wrestling. To survive in WWE you really have to politic (there are good and bad politics) and push your own case. If you don’t constantly fight for your spot with creative you get pushed aside. Trish was one of the only women to find the power to push for the women’s division and her spot in it.

Q: I know that you worked for Genichiro Tenryu's WAR promotion during your time in Japan and having become a big fan of Tenryu was wondering if you could tell us about how he was in particular. I've read in other Q&A and biography sections that he was a very good employer but was wondering if there was any stories in particular you would share about having met him or spending time with him.
A: He was and is a great man. He was a man that didn’t have to act above others to get respect; he had it and was still approachable and easy to deal with. He was the first person to congratulate me on the birth of my first child. He knew my wife was due while I was on tour and he asked me every morning if I was a father yet. The next year on the last tour before her first birthday he had the ref take me out to buy a birthday present for her. I have never worked for a man I have more respect for than Tenryu.

Q: Do you mind if a fan calls you by your legal name or do you prefer Lance Storm.
A: Lance works easiest. But if you know me from wrestling I prefer Lance Storm.

Q: What are your thoughts on dropped or unexplained storylines?
A: They suck, and kill business.

Q: I’ve noticed that Ric Flair always takes his back body drops and tries to land on his side/hip (or at an angle). Is that just his style or is that to protect himself.
A: He explains this in his book. After breaking his back, he has always been afraid to land flat on his spine and has gotten into the habit of bumping more on his side.

Q: Probably the dumbest question you’ll probably receive but I just have to know, what was your first photo shoot like or photo shoots like in general. For paid and trained models I can understand that it’s all part of the job but for wrestlers I have to imagine it being a completely different feeling.
A: I remember the first professional shots I had done. Jericho and I were teaming then and did them in a girl’s apartment. She was just starting out as a photographer and didn’t have a studio yet. It’s no big deal; you just put on your tights and take some photos. I always liked when the photographers had some ideas for posing. I never knew what to do.

Q: What are your thoughts on dropped or unexplained storylines?
A: They suck, and kill business.

Q: Without naming names, what were some of the worst things you experienced or saw in the business in the locker room.
A: I don’t think I’ve seen anything worse than a few locker room fights.

Q: From what I’ve read in your previous Q&A you seem to be a guy that will go out there and do what’s requested of you for the most part but I was wondering, have you ever been asked to do anything that you flat out refused to do.
A: I refused to go over on Spike Dudley one night in ECW. Spike and I argued for about 15 minutes before he finally agreed to take the win.

Q: What happened to the heel commentator? TNA doesn’t have one at all which I feel greatly takes away from their matches. It seems that J.R. and The King have become buddies and that has put the king in the flip flop position, Tazz seems to only seem to take cheap shots at Joey. J.B.L. is the closest thing we have to a heel announcer.
A: I think it is better to let announcers be themselves. JBL is natural in the heel role, so that works for him and adds a lot to SD. Jesse Ventura was great in this role too but like JBL he was a heel wrestler first. To just have a commentator we don’t know as anything other than a commentator trying to be a heel would likely come across forced.

Q: Why the hell is Don West so excited all of the time?
A: He must be paid well. I can’t see it being the booking that is making him so excited.

Q: Why are house show title changes so rare? The biggest one I can remember was Kevin Nash beat Bob Backland for the WWF title after survivor series.
A: : Generally speaking title changes are considered big, and they like Big things to happen on TV and PPV. I think one title change a year on house show would be fabulous, just to show it can happen and that House shows can be special.

Q: Have you ever botched the rolling crab?
A: I’ve done it poorly at times. If the guy takes a slow bump on the move it is hard to get the momentum needed to do it smoothly. Kurt angle and Rico always took it the best.

Q: When the WWE had an abundance of Canadians (you edge, Christian, chris benoit, Jericho etc.) why did J.R. get you guys mixed up all of the time? Does he hate Canada? Even after Christian got his hair cut J.R. got it wrong sometimes.
A: He never got me wrong. Believe me JR loves the guys you just mentioned.

Q: There was one part that you didn't touch upon on Eric Bischoff's rant about you and I was wondering what are you thoughts on it when he said this. "But more importantly I hope that Lance can learn how to discern those who have “it” from those who never will. To take hard earned money and fuel the dreams of aspiring young men and women who have no real chance at making a decent living in an EXTREMELY competitive business is dishonest. And it leads to bitterness."
A: I chose to ignore this bit because it was so obviously a stupid comment. I take it he is claiming that if someone doesn’t have “it” I should not train them, and if I do I am somehow being dishonest. Let me say that I never mislead anyone or build up false hope of stardom in order to attract students. I am completely honest with prospective students about how much of a long shot making it in this business is. To make this comment dumber, he stated that I did not have “it”, which by his own statement it would have been dishonest and wrong for the Harts to have trained me. Despite not having “it” as Eric claims, I had 12 Title reigns in ECW, WCW, and WWE, and had enough financial success to step back into semi-retirement by age 35. If just one of my students has as little “it” as I did, I’ll be very happy for them.

Q: Do you think Chris Benoit would make a good ECW Champion given his history with ECW?
A: I think Benoit would make a good Champion anywhere. With the current success level of ECW I hope Benoit stays put on a WWE branded show.

Keep the questions coming,
Lance Storm