Q and A

June 18, 2011

Q: Is it more difficult for female wrestlers to hit the ropes, since they're smaller?

A: They are not going to get as much spring out of the ropes because they are lighter, but for the most part they should be able to hit them the same.

Q: Would you ever consider coming back for one last run if it culminated in you having a match at WrestleMania? Not necessarily a storyline built around you never competing at 'Mania, just a feud that had its blow off match there.

A: I would consider it, but don’t hold your breath.

Q: Have you had any interaction with Steve Corino? What are your impressions of him?

A: I haven’t talked to him in several years but I know the guy, and got along well with him last we spoke.

Q: Jeff Jarrett seemed to have a major push in WCW at the tail end of his time there, but he never seemed to "draw a dime" (as the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD put it). Do you think he could be a big-time player, or is he missing something?

A: He’s 44, Jeff is what he is, if you consider him a big time player now he is, if you don’t he’s not; it’s not like he is still on his way up. It all comes down to what you consider a “Big Time Player”. He didn’t have the Rock, Austin, Hogan change the business factor but who did?

Q: Did you have a WWF/E tryout when they decided to bring you over from WCW? How did the whole process happen from a business side of things?

A: I did not have a try out. They bought my WCW contract and I started working for them.

Q: I often hear the phrase WWE Main event style. What does that mean or is it just something the internet has made up? Forgive me if you have already addressed this question.

A: I’ve always thought this was a silly term. To me “WWE Main Event Style” is just pro wrestling style. Working a match to draw emotion and make money. For the most part it’s just the psychology based style that this business was founded on.

Q: I was at WCW new blood rising in Vancouver. Me and my friends were so excited to see you live and were expecting a heck of a match since you and Mike Awesome had a great one on nitro that month. Then we witnessed what winded up being you losing 3 times and then getting the help of Bret Hart to win in a match which was so hard to understand and get into since the losses took any possible rhythm out of it. I understand WCW wanted to play to the TV audience but did you not have reservations when they thought of this? I mean I get that you were a heel but what was there reasoning in this?

A: It was Jacques Rougeau that assisted me in the win; Bret came out after the match. The booking of the match was idiotic at best. Had we not been in Canada the concept could have worked but even with that it was over booked. To make matters worse all that nonsense was to make Mike look strong and they just turned him into a comedy character a week or two later as That 70’s guy.

Q: What percentage of wrestlers in the companies you worked with follow the writings of guys such as Dave Meltzer?

A: It is impossible to answer this question. How would I know who does and doesn’t read what? It’s not like we sit around the locker room and say, “ Wow, did you see what Meltzer said about the PPV last night?”

Q: Who was your favorite Referee to work with during your time in the WWE?

A: There were several good ones; I don’t think I had a favourite. I was likely closer friends with Charles Robinson but that was more because I liked the guy than because he was a better ref than any of the others.

Q: On the previous Commentary, someone asked about Little Guido being taken seriously taking ref bumps. I think he meant something more like 'Would it seem strange for you to see Little Guido, the wrestler who seems to take huge bumps in matches and still fight back, take a ref bump, such as an accidental shove, and be "knocked out" for a few minutes?' But if that's not what they meant, it is still a question that I'm interested in your opinion on.

A: It would be dumb if he just goes down from a shove, but as a skilled worker he should be able to take a great looking bump that is more than believable enough if he needs to stay down.

Q: In your wrestling career traveling the world, have you ever experienced xenophobic or racist encounters from local people aimed towards you and/or one of your traveling companions?

A: No. Every where I went people were fans and thrilled to see us.

Q: Do you care to elaborate on the last q and a when you said "I am not selfish enough to be a great baby face"? What did you mean?

A: Baby Faces are the Heroes, they need to appear very strong, and need to be sure they are always presented strong enough in matches. They have to be more selfish in order to appear stronger than their heel counter part. I was always more comfortable making my opponent look stronger than me, and then focusing on getting heat. Good heels have to be very selfless.

Q: Does the bounce of a wrestling ring help a wrestler perform a dropkick, or are wrestlers required to have a huge vertical leap to perform one?

A: I think the give in the floor makes it a little harder to jump but much easier to land. I would describe the floor as having give not having bounce.

Q: In a previous commentary someone asked you about why people don't use the "Gorilla Press/Big Splash" anymore as a finisher. You answered with "As a combo I think everyone would think, “Warrior, wanna be” which is not the reaction people want." I agree that it's probably not the best thing to be compared to the Warrior but I've heard that people don't want to do that because if it's their finisher and they're not doing 2 minute squash matches, they'll be blown up by the time they get to the finish and, much like Warrior, will struggle to hit it all the time. I also noticed that not until Ezekiel Jackson recently started using it, the torture rack had been out of commission. Do you tell your students to think about stuff like that? About being 15 minutes into a match and not having enough wind to pull off a power move or some sort of high flying maneuver.

A: I advice everyone when considering “a finisher” to think of something you can hit consistently and on all or at least the vast majority of potential opponents.

Q: When you would do house shows in the WWE, who were the people in charge? Would Vince be there, were all of the agents there, was it something where the agents would rotate and have one week off then other agents would be there and such. I've always heard that Vince flies back home on Air McMahon right after TV tapings.

A: There was always an agent or two in charge of the event. Vince seldom does house shows.

Q: When you find a book not very interesting in the first few chapters do you still finish the book or is that enough for you to give up on it?

A: Depends how bad it is. I generally finish a book but I have stopped reading a few.

Q: Do you think Impact Wrestling is doing as bad as the internet wrestling community wants to think it is? Technically they only have to produce 3 live shows a month (1ppv 2 TV tapings for four weeks worth of TV). Even if they only sell 15,000 PPVs at $30 each. That's still $450,000 aka Hogans salary. Other than a few high profile acquisitions, They don't seem to be going crazy with their spending. Show is still barely watchable but it still seems like it's a strong enough brand to stick around on TV for a while.

A: What the hell is the Internet Wrestling Community? God I hate that term. The Internet is just where you get the most of your feedback because it is the most available medium. If you read a negative news article online about Apple, does Apple try to write that off as just their Internet Community? I talk to people in the WRESTLING BUSINESSS all the time and every one of them thinks TNA is doing poorly. TNA is not making money from my understanding. 15,000 buys is more than they are doing currently I’ve heard some shows pull as little as 8,000. They also don’t get all that money from PPV, I think they get maybe ½ of the total PPV revenue. My understanding was that TNA was around the break even point before Hogan and Eric came aboard. Since then they have added: Both Hardys, RVD, Flair, Hogan, Eric, and a few other names, which I assume cost a fair bit of money. Their ratings have likely averaged about the same when you consider they are very slightly up right now but were down quite a bit with the Monday night effort. Live events I think are down and PPV revenue has dropped considerably. Provided my info is correct that means expenses have gone up a lot and there over all revenue is down, since that time they were breaking even. To me that means they are currently losing money.

Q: Did you do a lot of in store signings in WCW or WWE? If so which company had you do more? How far in advanced were you told about it?

A: I did very few for either.

Q: Did you ever do any make a wish type of stuff or anything where you visited children's hospitals and such? If so, how was the experience for you?

A: I did not. I assume most fans had bigger names on their lists of who they wanted to meet.

Q: Does any one have their own managers or agents? Not in the wrestling sense but in a celebrity or pro athlete (as in NBA, NFL type) sense.

A: Some guys do have agents represent them in contract negotiations etc.

Q: Is there some sort of rule about wrestlers getting sponsorships? I've never seen a wrestler sponsor a product that wasn't already a sponsor of whatever company they're in. I'd figure at some point, a wrestler would have some sort of deal with a company that makes elbow pads or supplements. Even if it's not anything that showed up on WWE television or whatever company, I'd think that Asics would find some sort of value in having even someone like an independent wrestler like Low-Ki do an ad for their wrestling shoes in which they can put an ad in PWI or something like that.

A: I think Claudio in ROH has a sponsorship with Head Blade, but I doubt it is a lot of money. In WWE you can’t get sponsors on your own, everything goes through them. When we were doing the Invasion WWE had a deal with Adidas (I think) and on every show someone would be wearing an Adidas shirt. When I found this out, I told an office guy to look into getting me Adidas wrestling shoes. I pointed out that I was currently wearing Nike, and would be happy to wear Adidas is they just gave me a pair of shoes. I was using a Superkick at the time as a finisher so it would make a great tie in. NOTHING came of it. I think part of the problem is Wrestlers don’t have good individual track records, and big companies likely don’t want to attach themselves to an individual. If they sponsor WWE, they are a bit more removed when an individual wrestler, gets in trouble.

Q: What is your opinion of Vince McMahon as an in ring performer? Personally, I usually find his matches really entertaining (with the exception of his match against Bret Hart last year), as he does a great job of making me hate him and wanting to see him get his ass kicked in the worst way.

A: Read my last WrestleMania commentary I talk about his match at Mania XIX. Vince is an awesome performer. He is not a good wrestler but his timing and performance in matches is awesome.

Q: Taz(z) debuted in WWE with great fanfare in 2000, defeating Kurt Angle at the Royal Rumble, but then his career seem to level off and he did not experience anywhere near the success he had in ECW. Do you think that was due to him not getting over, or WWE just not seeing him as main event material? Also, Taz once said that he admits being an a-hole in ECW, and that he has mellowed out quite a bit since then. How did you get along with him?

A: I’ve always gotten along well with Taz, but yes he has mellowed a lot since ECW. Taz got over, that was never the problem. I think WWE just saw him as too small to be a big star in WWE. He was over as an Ass Kicker and I think Vince had an issue with pushing an Ass Kicker who was so short. By WWE Standards Taz was very short. While I think Taz would have had to adapt his style (less throws) because of how big his opponents were going to be in WWE he was very over and would have been able to adapt and be much bigger than he was in WWE. Taz was smart and able to WORK in a way to make himself very believable despite his shorter stature.

Q: Is there anything TNA or Impact Wrestling can do for you to give them another chance? Would it have to involve something drastic, like firing someone in the writing and booking staff (if you know what I mean) for you to even considering looking in their product's direction again?

A: I think a complete creative overhaul is their only chance, and even then it is questionable. So much damage has been done over the years to the brand and to the talent. So many people on their roster were much bigger stars just a few years ago. Their time on TNA TV has made them less over and lesser draws IMO. Samoa Joe is a prime example. There was such a buzz around that guy a few years ago. He was over, having great matches; I loved watching that guy. Now I could care less and he isn’t ½ as over as he once was. When was the last time you heard a “Joe is going to kill you” chant? They’ve killed off Joe, The X Division, and so many other people, even with a good creative direction, so much damage has been done to the talent and the companies image that it will be very hard and take a long time to turn things around significantly.

Q: What are your thoughts on Percy Pringle?

A: I don’t really have many. I never worked with the man, but always got the impression he was a good guy and well liked within the industry.

Q: I don't know if you've noticed that the World Title that WWE uses now is smaller than the one they introduced when Triple H was the champion (after they first added the WWE logo). I was just wondering what you think of the smaller belt. To me, every time I watch SmackDown, the belt looks like a toy. I liked the bigger belt a lot more. What do you think?

A: I can’t say that I noticed. Guys are smaller now though, so maybe they figure the larger one doesn’t wear well on guys with smaller waists.

Q: Where did you learn the rolling half crab? Are you aware of a move/hold that you were the 'innovator' of? I remember an earlier post of you and Mike Awesome practicing the 'ejection seat' power bomb, but wasn't sure if you invented something else.

A: I think I was the first guy to do the rolling half crab but I got the idea after seeing Terry Taylor do it into a full Boston crab. I saw him do it once and never saw him do it again, so I stole it. After a year or so I realized it was a lot smoother rolling into the half crab so I altered it. Years later Terry even asked me where I came up with the idea because he thought it looked cool. I told him I stole it from him, but he did not recall using it before.

Q: I was wondering if you are/were a video game player? I’ve heard that some wrestlers are players.

A: Not I. I play on our Wii with my kids on occasion but that is all.

Q: Why do referees start counting when a wrestler gets on the top rope? Will they supposedly get disqualified if they don’t jump off in time?

A: I’ve never noticed, maybe that counts as not being in the ring, so maybe you’d get counted out.

Q: We all know that Bret Hart talked about having 'creative control' in his contract in WWE back in 96/97. I was wondering, was that common back then, and is it at all common for wrestlers to have it now? Also, did you ever have it written into one of your contracts?

A: Bret had “reasonable creative control” when it came to his departure from the company, and that would have been something that he have had to really fight for in his contract. You have to have a lot of leverage to get any kind of creative control in your contract so I doubt many have it any more. Back in WCW a lot of guys had it because during the Monday Night Wars WCW would give guys almost anything they wanted to get them signed.

Q: What were your thoughts, both past and present, on the NWO? As a fan they were one of the main reasons I began watching WCW consistently and they definitely played a big role in the Monday Night Wars. I do believe that it got ridiculous towards the end when it seemed like half the roster was part of the NWO but the early moments for me were entertainment gold. As a wrestler, were the behind the scenes take on the NWO totally different then my fan perspective?

A: To me the NWO idea was a great one that brought great success to the company. The problem was they let it get out of hand and once they became the “Cool Heels” and never gave the WCW baby faces their comeback they hurt business and were responsible for destroying the success they initially brought to the company.

Q: A lot of wrestlers seem to hate on Hogan and from the countless stories out from wrestlers it seems to be deserving. The one thing I don't get is how a lot of these wrestlers lessen Hogan's impact on wrestling. Personally, if it wasn't for Hogan I don't think I would have watched wrestling as a little kid. What are your thoughts on Hogan, his accomplishments, and the impact he had on wrestling? Do you think he put wrestling on the map and made it more mainstream?

A: Okay I’m about to rant, everybody get ready. It drives me crazy when people use the term “hate on” or “hater”. Just because you criticize someone or something does not mean you are a “hater” This term is a bullshit concept created by arrogant people who can’t defend themselves against criticism, or don’t want to acknowledge their short comings. When someone criticizes TNA they are labeled “TNA Haters” when someone criticizes Sarah Palin, they are referred to as “haters”, which is utter Bullshit. If someone called me an opinionated F—K, (I think So Cal Val actually did once) I wouldn’t label them a “Lance Storm Hater” and dismiss their criticism. For all I know, she may like my work, and even think I’m cute (okay that’s a stretch), she just happens to think I’m an opinionated F—K, and doesn’t like my criticism of TNA. Guess what, I am an opinionated F—K, and I enjoy expressing my opinions, so in that regard she’s right, the important point however is that my being opinionated does not invalidate my opinions, or make me a TNA Hater. If someone doesn’t like someone’s criticisms, DEFEND those criticism, don’t just label people as “haters” and ignore the criticism.

Okay now to your bit on Hogan. Hogan like everyone else in the industry has done good things and bad, the amount of each is open to opinion and debate. I doubt anyone would deny that Hogan has meant a ton to this industry, but that does not mean he should be immune from criticism and get a pass for the rest of his life. Form your own opinion of Hulk Hogan, TNA, Sarah Palin, Lance Storm and anyone else you choose. If you like them and think they were a big contribution to wrestling or the world, then great.

Q: You mentioned in your review of WrestleMania XIX that you thought the HBK/Jericho match was great. However, I was hoping you'd say more about it, especially since you're a close friend of Chris Jericho, and that match was huge in his career highlights. Jericho ranks it as his best match ever (or at least his personal favourite). It is the best Jericho match you've seen? Jericho felt it's one of the 10 best matches in WrestleMania history, do you agree with that? He felt it stole the show (which I agree with), do you agree with that? I understand each person has personal tastes as to how great matches are, and there are many Jericho matches you wouldn't have seen, but I was hoping you'd give your personal opinion on where that match ranks.

A: I don’t rank matches; I feel the concept is silly. Wrestling is art, it is in the eye of the beholder, there are a lot of matches I would consider great, and depending on my mood at the time would list them in a different order as to how much I enjoyed them. Personal taste also plays a factor. I would imagine many people thought HBK vs. Y2J was better than Rock vs. Austin, while others would prefer Rock vs. Austin. Neither is wrong, it’s art.

Q: Do you keep up with the latest news happenings around the world or do you not watch? I have heard many people tell me that they do not watch the news because it’s depressing. Also, those same people have told me they don’t watch TV because they don’t like reality shows or the fact that there is a lot of bad programs on TV now a days.

A: I follow the news; I think it’s important to be fairly aware of the world around you. That being said I watch very little television programming. Almost all reality TV in my opinion is crap. There is no reality in any of it and I find it mindless for the most part. Apart from news, wrestling programming, and UFC, the only thing I watch on TV is The Big Bang Theory. For entertainment I rely on books and the occasional movie.

Q: WrestleMania next year is John Cena Vs. The Rock, in Miami. There is no way in Hell Cena doesn’t get booed out of the building. Would it be smart to turn Cena heel before this event or even at this event? If so, how would you book the heel turn and when?

A: I would not turn Cena heel. I don’t think his style of work suits being a heel and losing his merchandise sales would be costly. Even if Cena is booed the entire match I think they are smart enough and good enough to have the crowd accept him by the end if that is their goal.

Q: I see that you have been keeping up watching Raw lately. I am a big wrestling fan and I considered it as a career, then I realized the sacrifices that are often made. But I have a hard time motivating myself to watch wrestling lately with all of the removing "wrestling" from everything, and random story lines. I often find myself watching old WWF/WCW/ECW PPVs that I could not afford when I was a kid instead of watching the weekly wrestling shows. How do you keep motivated to watch the product? Are there certain aspects you see now that spark your interest?

A: To be honest I think a lot of it is just habit and the need to stay current for my school. There are times where stuff still grabs me, but to be truthful certainly not as often as it used to.

Q: What do you think of Randy Orton as a face? How can the number 2 face of the company be a “good guy” and fight so dirty as to deliver a running kick to an opponents head after the bell, DDT them from a trapped position, or stomp their hands and limbs?

A: It was the stuff he was doing when the crowd started to get behind him in the first place. The definition of a good guy has changed a lot over the years, as long as he’s doing these things to guys fans don’t like they will cheer. It’s not just about what you do it’s the context in which you do it. How many Americans cheered when they heard Team Six shot Osama Bin Laden in the head and killed him? Shooting an unarmed man in the head would generally be considered a dirty deed, but if I met any of the guys on the team I’d shake their hand and offer to buy them a drink. I would like to think the rest of America would do the same.

Q: How do you feel Christian’s heel turn went?

A: I missed a fair bit of it, so I can’t comment. I get behind in my SD watching.

Q: How long does it take training a student before you're sure whether they have what it takes to be a wrestler or not? Have you ever had your doubts about a student, and they wound up surprising you?

A: You can form an opinion pretty quick in most cases, but with students who show potential it is impossible to determine whether they will “make it” it or not. It takes a long time to make it to the top and a lot can happen in that time, and it’s not always the best talent that make it.

Q: What is your opinion of Zack Ryder using social media to try and establish a fan base and get more exposure? Do you think this is an avenue more young wrestlers should be exploring or do you feel there could be negative consequences with WWE officials?

A: I haven’t seen any of his online stuff, so it’s hard to get too specific. It will definitely be an asset if he gets released, because a loyal fan base is great, but there is a definite possibility of office backlash. If it appears his shall we say “Internet fan base” is being thrown in WWE’s face, as a “You need to push him because we say so”, then there could be backlash that hurts his career.

Q: What are your thoughts on the special lighting in the arena when Sin Cara wrestles?

A: Again my SD viewing habits are not good, I haven’t even noticed.

Q: Who is the wrestler that you had the most matches with?

A: I honestly have no idea. Between SMW and ECW maybe Chris Candito.

Q: I know Taker's never faced Goldberg and never really had a main event type match with Jericho. Sting has never faced HBK, HHH or The Rock. But other than those names, is there anyone in Taker's & Sting's era that these 2 legends haven't beat yet (besides each other)?

A: No idea, I don’t keep track of stuff like that.

Q: Do you think Sting will ever get a HOF Induction? While he hasn't worked for WWE (yet), I think he should for his contributions throughout his tenure. If so, who do you think should induct him?

A: I’d like to think he’ll go in, once he’s done with TNA for good. Here’s a crazy idea, put Sting and Warrior in the same year and let them induct each other. Flair would be the best choice to induct Sting.

Q: With WM28 in Florida next year, do you see Randy Savage finally get his long awaited HOF Induction? If so, I'd have mixed feelings as the Induction would happen after his passing. To me, Randy Savage already IS a HOFer despite not getting a formal HOF Induction. He does deserve one though. I believe The Genius will accept the Induction for his brother (and maybe father too) which leaves the question to be who'd induct them?

A: I think he’ll go in next year, and am confused at people’s complaints about him going in now that he’s passed, that Vince doing it now some how lessens it’s significance or something. Everyone agrees he deserves to be in, so let’s get him in. I’d like to see him and Liz go in together. Lanny accepting with Vince inducting makes sense but you could also have Lanny induct and let Randy’s widow accept, if she wanted to.

Q: Can you tell us what your first thoughts are about what made the original ECW so successful?

A: It was a combination of a time and place, the right talent, the right direction and the right mood. Paul created the atmosphere of rebellion and belonging, and talent and fans wanted to be part of a rebellion and belong to something they believed in.

Q: Do you think Hulk Hogan would immediately quit TNA if he was guaranteed a match with Steve Austin at Wrestlemania next year?

A: I hate questions like this. I assume the dude has a contract, and doubt he could physically do a match anyway, so why speculate?

Q: I know you don't watch TNA, but I've seen it on WWE as well, especially when John Cena is facing a veteran. I keep seeing these face to face promos where guys keep saying how they respect their opponent and I keep wondering about whatever happened to insulting the guy and trash talking him. It doesn't feel like they are gearing up for a fight. What do you think about them?

A: There is always a balance you have to make. If I were facing Piper as an example, it makes sense to put him over and build him up, to remind fans how great he is before, I bury him to get heat and create interest in a match. Cena trashed Rock at times during his promos, as Jericho did when he worked with the Legend guys at Mania, and Miz buried Piper somewhat last week too. There is a balance and art to this it’s not just about saying a guy sucks.

Q: Is there anyone you went to regularly for advice on your performance in the ring?

A: No. I took advice where ever I could find it, depending on who I was working with or around at the time. When I worked with veteran workers, I’d listen to everything they had to say, when I had an agent like Arn Anderson, I picked his brain every chance I got, when I tagged with William Regal I listened to everything he said to me or others. If I walked past Ric Flair in the hall and he was giving advice to someone else, I’d stop and listen. I listened to every piece of advice being offered to anyone and processed that into my vat of knowledge. Again it comes back to art; I don’t want to just learn from one artist I want to learn from them all.

Q: On Raw it was in Long Island, and Zack Ryder who was from there got snubbed but not even making an apperance on Raw (he did make one on Superstars). Jericho and others tweeted that was wrong that a guy in his hometown didn't even get to preform on the main show. Has that ever happened to you that when you were in Calgary with an organization that you didn't get to wrestle on the main show? This sounds like a dumb question, but as a professional how can you not let it effect you that you don't even get to preform in your hometown? Thanks as always Lance! Keep up the great work, hope you are well. I'm looking for some cool books that you may like. My dad said he loved Girl with the Dragon tattoo, not sure if you have read it.

A: I have a very different opinion on this one, than Jericho. If I was in charge for that one night I wouldn’t have booker Ryder on RAW either. The live crowd is but a tiny fraction of your audience, so I think it’s pointless to book your show exclusively for them. This was a go home show for a PPV and if Zach wasn’t on the week before, isn’t on the PPV, and won’t be on the week after, what is the point of putting him on RAW? This has nothing to do with whether Zach deserves to be featured more on RAW it’s about one specific show. Yes the local home town fans wanted to see him, but they did. He worked on the show the crowd in attendance got to see their home town guy. The only people that didn’t see him were fans from elsewhere around the world and to them the city RAW is in doesn’t matter, so Ryder deserves to be on RAW that night as much as he does any other Monday. This did happen to me in Calgary, except worse. The first time back in Calgary with WWE after my initial Invasion run in, I did all the local press promoting the show. I was working regularly on RAW at that point, so during all my PR I mentioned that while I was on the show last time this was Calgary’s first chance to see me wrestle in WWE. That night I did not get a match on RAW, or Heat. I was told that since I was a heel and they did not want me getting cheered during a match I would not be wrestling. I understood their stance but wanted to at least be given a dark match so that the local crowd I promised a match to would at least get it. I did not get a match at all that night.

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